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Interviews : “We were just trying to stay above water” – An Interview with Steve Menoian (I Prevail)

By on March 16, 2017

I Prevail – Steve Menoian

Some bands take 10 years to become and overnight success, some bands just are overnight successes. On a relative scale, anyway. There is less so called ‘credibility’ to falling into the latter category, however I Prevail lead guitar player Steve Menoian, speaking from the back of the band’s tour bus in Seattle, is happy to more or less admit that this is kinda what his band is. There is no point shying away from it…

“The interesting thing about our band is that, as soon as we started touring around two and a half years ago, we started off as a headlining band,” he recalls, “given our circumstances, this is somewhat of a strange situation.”

Time to smash some misconceptions about this situation being some sort of ‘free ride’, as such a steady rise to a high profile position in the international rock scene carries its own difficulties, its own unique ‘hard yards’.

“We’re getting into this far enough that we can have some periods of reflection,” he says, “that was such a crazy time, we were just trying to stay above water in terms of putting together a touring operation, when hadn’t done it on that scale ever before. And then getting a label, getting a manager, getting an agent, and also remembering that our job is to write and play music.

“We got very lucky and we have a great team and I think we persevered well and I feel like we’re almost veterans now!” He laughs, “it was a baptism by fire, I think that’s the best way to put it.”

So quickly have things gone for them, they are about to make their first journey to the other side of the planet to Australian shores, only really three years after their inception as a band. “that was our number one place to get, that we’d circled on the map when we first started talking about the possibility of going overseas. So we’re just counting down the days.”

And the signs at this stage for their late March/early April tour look very promising indeed. “We’re really really excited,” he enthuses, “we’re just blown away with the response to the shows and how they’ve sold and everything, it looks like they all might sell out.

“We seem to have such amazing support down there, we see it on social media and all the different ways to interact online, and we’re just stoked to be able to go repay that and bust ass on some fun performances.”

The band’s expectations of the reception they will receive and the time they will have on their Aussie tour have also been heightened by our global reputation for producing great rock acts and our love of heavy music in general.

“Everything I’ve seen, just from scouring the internet and all the hearsay and stuff, it seems like the rock scene there is just amazing,” he states, “and the support for heaver music is there. There’s been so many great Australian bands, Parkway Drive, The Amity Affliction, Tonight Alive, it’s clearly just a great market there.

“So I expect nothing but the best in terms of crowds, and we’re going to try to bring it, we’re going to try to match it.”

Indeed, their live show’s reputation precedes it. Naturally it promises wall to wall slamming energy, but they also like to shake things up a little with more in the way of moods, colours and dynamics amid the full frontal assault at the same time.

“What we like to do is make it an emotional rollercoaster,” he describes, “there’s a lot of high energy obviously, jumping around, moshing, crowd-surfing, walls of death, all that. But at the same time, we try to have those vulnerable moments when our frontman shares some personal stuff and moments when you want to connect with people on that level.

“Plus we’ve got soft songs obviously, ballads, so that emotional rollercoaster is what we’re aiming for. A little bit of everything.”

The band’s debut album Lifelines has only been out for five or six months, and they have been on tour steadily since its release, but already Menoian and the band are thinking in-depth about their next move as a band and also about their longer term hopes, goals and aspirations.

“Just learning the way the record industry works, we were actually done writing Lifelines a year ago,” he says, “so we’re ready to start writing again, we’re ready to start thinking about LP two, and thinking about the longer term vision of the band. We want to be a 20-year band, there’s only a few of them out there, and obviously we think about what that would mean.

“That’s our long-term plan, I guess, and we’ll just take it day by day to get there.”

I Prevail 2017 Australian ‘Lifelines’ Tour
Supported by Void Of Vision (Excluding Perth)

Tuesday, 28th March — SOLD OUT
Capitol, Perth
Supported by Finders
Tickets: Destroy All Lines

Thursday, 30th March — SOLD OUT
The Triffid, Brisbane
Supported by Void Of Vision and Stepson
Tickets: Destroy All Lines

Friday, 31st March – SOLD OUT
Factory Theatre, Sydney
Supported by Void Of Vision and Justice for the Damned
Tickets: Destroy All Lines

Saturday, 1st April – SOLD OUT
Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Supported by Void Of Vision and The Beautiful Monument
Tickets: Destroy All Lines

Sunday, 2nd April — SOLD OUT
Arrow On Swanston, Melbourne
Supported by Void Of Vision and Belle Haven
Tickets: Destroy All Lines

Tuesday, 4th April — NEW SHOW
Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Supported by Void Of Vision and Harbours
Tickets: Destroy All Lines

Wednesday, 5th April – SOLD OUT
Factory Theatre, Sydney
Supported by Void Of Vision and Belle Haven
Tickets: Destroy All Lines


Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine,, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.