By: Amy Cooper, Detroit Ginger


Photo from VoiceNews.com Lee Runestad (Drums), Eric Vanlerberghe (Vocals) Brian Burkheiser (Vocals) and Steve Menoian (Guitar)

Photo from VoiceNews.com Lee Runestad (Drums), Eric Vanlerberghe (Vocals) Brian Burkheiser (Vocals) and Steve Menoian (Guitar)


Blowing a hole in the Mitten with a giant chance, Michigan Post-Hardcore band I Prevail releases a cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” and becomes a sensation in a matter of weeks. With the help of YouTube, “Swifties,” and some loyal fans, the band has caught the attention of music media like Billboard.com and has skyrocketed up the iTunes Rock Charts. Now with a headlining tour and dates scheduled with Amaranthe in the U.S. and Canada, it’s safe to say I Prevail is going places. Detroit Ginger managed to snag the attention of I Prevail’s Drummer Lee Runestad for a quick Q&A on the band and its skyrocketing fame.

Detroit Ginger: When was I Prevail first on the scene?
Lee Runestad: We first launched our band December 1.

DG: What was the reason for starting the band?
LR: We all have a huge passion for making music so it was very natural for us all to start a band together.

DG: What are the band’s influences and favorite artists?
LR: We love Bring Me the Horizon, We Came as Romans, and A Day to Remember. These bands have had a huge effect on our writing style.

Screenshot from Detroit Ginger Magazine's Facebook Page

Screenshot from Detroit Ginger Magazine’s Facebook Page

DG: Each of you brings a heavy presence to the table. What does it mean to each of you to make it to the top of the iTunes Rock charts, dethroning artists like our other local native Kid Rock for the number 1 spot, and making the front page of iTunes for your EP “Heart Vs. Mind?”
LR: This has been a huge honor having our album and single both reach the number one spot on the iTunes Rock Charts! To find out we are competing with artist like Kid Rock is very surreal.

DG: The viral sensation of your cover of “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift has brought you many fans and great opportunities. What gave you the idea to cover her song? Has Taylor reached out to you yet?
LR: We listened to her new album and all agreed that “Blank Space” was a great song to cover. Swift is an incredible artist and we wanted to use her popularity to introduce people to our sound. We would love if she reached out to us, but unfortunately she has not.

DG: It’s exciting to have a band come from the Detroit area for other locals. Do you feel that the culture here has embraced and helped you along with exposure from stations like 89x and 98.7 AMP Radio?
LR: There has been so much support from our local community as well as many other areas around the world. It is mind blowing that people are so kind and generous when showing their support for us.

DG: “Heart Vs. Mind” has a great sound and each song packs a punch on a different level. Out of all the songs on the album, which is your favorite?
LR: We all have a special place in on our EP for the song “Heart Against the Mind”. This song explains how we are transitioning from our work lives to a career in music. We have had to make huge sacrifices and follow our gut to make this all happen and it initially produced a lot of doubts. When we wrote the song we were very skeptical that music would be a full time job. We are happy that this is beginning to look like a real possibility!

DG: “Face Your Demons” has some interesting lyrics, including “I’ll make sure the whole world knows your name but for all the wrong reasons.” Could you elaborate on what the song is about? 
LR: “Face Your Demons” lyrics are meant for a victim of sexual assault to condemn their abuser. The lyrics are meant to empower anyone in a vulnerable state of mind who has had someone abuse them.

DG: What do you hope to achieve as a band as an end result? Is there a favorite festival you’d like to play, a certain goal you guys have as a group?
LR: Our goals as a band have already been completely surpassed. I’ll never forget the night when we hit 1,000 views. We all joked that it would be great if we got our video to 10,000 views.

Taken from the I Prevail Facebook Page

Taken from the I Prevail Facebook Page

Tour Dates and ticket purchases for I Prevail can be found on bandsintown.com/IPrevail.

To watch I Prevail’s take on Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space,” click below:

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