Buffalo Iron Works Presents
Wage War, Islander, Assuming We Survive
49 Illinois Street
Buffalo, NY, 14203
Doors 6:30 PM / Show 7:00 PM
This event is 16 and over
Certain moments in life change everything. The trajectory splinters, and there’s no turning back. I Prevail—Brian Burkheiser [clean vocals], Eric Vanlerberghe [harsh vocals], Steve Menoian [guitar], and Lee Runestad [drums]—explore this phenomenon within the title of their full-length debut, Lifelines [Fearless Records].
“When we started diving into the record, we all sat down and thought, ‘Wow, everything has changed in the last year,’” explains Brian. “Everyone encounters those moments that really define where the rest of their lives are headed. We’ve all grown from everything that’s happened. When we sat down and got to work, we really wanted to share our journey through these songs.”
“Lifelines are a great visual for certain points in your life,” adds Lee. “It’s a line you can’t go backward from or ignore. For us, the path split from the moment we all created I Prevail.”
I Prevail are no strangers to this experience. After the release of the quartet’s 2014 debut EP, Heart vs. Mind, nothing would ever be the same. The EP moved over 60,000 copies as the Detroit band toured with the likes of Hollywood Undead and Crown The Empire. Meanwhile, the group’s cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” sold 300,000-plus singles, went Top 20 on Active Rock Radio, and generated over 22 million views on YouTube and 17 million-plus Spotify streams (consistently remaining in the Top 10 of the platform’s Viral Chart). The band would be nominated for “Breakthrough Band” at the 2016 Alternative Press Music Awards and garner features from Billboard, Detroit Free Press, AXS, Loudwire, and many more. Everything has aligned and set the stage perfectly their debut full-length, Lifelines.
In early 2016, the boys retreated to Wall of Sound Studios in the small and secluded town of Riley, Michigan to work with trusted producers B.J. Perry and John Pregler. With nearly two years on the road under their collective belt, the group had fully realized their style, merging entrancing hooks and a powerful and pummeling sonic backdrop.
“On the EP, we were all getting to know each other’s style,” Brian goes on. “We spent a year working on it without ever launching publicly. We wanted to make the best impression possible. Then when we put it out, we spent the next year-and-a-half doing everything we could to promote it. Writing Lifelines was such a different experience. We had so much more time to grow together and really had a clear vision for the sound we wanted to create on the album.”
The first single “Scars” gallops from a propulsive riff into an unshakable refrain teetering between a hypnotic harmony and a hard-hitting groove. It’s immediately infectious.
“Being away from family members and going through relationships that have died off, sometimes made me feel anxiety and depression,” admits Brian. “Sometimes, you have to look in the mirror. We wanted to create a song that was personal to us, but still relatable. That’s how we got the concept of ‘Scars.’”
With over five years of unmatched determination, the culmination of five Florida musicians' effort is ready to be unleashed. Guitarist/vocalist Cody Quistad and guitarist Seth Blake met in high school when they discovered that they shared musical interests, and started jamming soon thereafter. In 2013, the duo encountered vocalist Briton Bond and, shortly after, bassist Chris Gaylord and drummer Stephen Kluesener were incorporated into the mix. The line-up alone of Ocala, Florida's Wage War sheds a more-than-welcome light on the importance of a solid foundation built upon evolving musicianship. Wage War marks their territory with from-the-heart lyrics and thrashing beats that transcend to a community who understands the trials and tribulations of growing up all too well.
In fact, Wage War IS that community, as Quistad explains, "A lot of the themes in our songs are about growing up to be a productive person, and dealing with the real things that can happen in life and coping with circumstances that could be problematic,"says Quested. "The first single we're releasing, 'Alive,' is an anthem to all the naysayers out there that are always talking about our generation being a bunch of losers."
Blueprints, the band's debut album co-produced by A Day To Remember's Jeremy McKinnon along with Andrew Wade, resounds with all of the tension and ingenuity of its creation. The band delivers 11 tracks of uncompromising multi-dimensional metalcore, filled with high-intensity rhythms, battering drums and blazing guitars, tempered with tuneful vocal passages. Crushing breakdowns alongside a combination of roaring and melodic vocals prove powerful enough to level a small village. Yet, Wage War aren't focused solely on destruction.
"The goal of Blueprints was to establish a foundation," Quistad says. "It';s our first record and our first chance to show people what we're about. So we really went all out to deliver the best songs we could possibly write and play them to the best of our ability. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised."
ISLANDER in 2016 is a new breed of monster, certain to leave every witness a believer. Founding member and vocalist Mikey Carvajal was joined by Korn/Love And Death wunderkind guitarist J.R. Bareis in 2015, leading the band on a powerful new path. The seeds of this relationship were planted during 2014's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest, when word of ISLANDER's explosive performances quickly spread to the tour's headliners Avenged Sevenfold and Korn - who flocked to watch the band almost daily. Bareis, who was then guitar tech for Korn's Brian "Head" Welch, soon found himself in the role as ISLANDER's new guitar player.
Shortly thereafter, ISLANDER recruited bassist Zeke Vasquez (ex-ForeverAtLast), and after a couple revolving seats behind the drum throne, newly exited Avenged Sevenfold skinsman Arin Ilejay became a permanent fixture breaking sticks and cymbals behind the kit.
In February of 2016, ISLANDER "without question" partnered again with producer Cameron Webb (Motorhead, Alkaline Trio) at NRG Studios, and over the next eight weeks the newly ignited foursome got to work on Power Under Control, recording twelve original tracks that showcase the quartet's deeper complexion.
"We would not move on to the next song until we were finished with the song we were working on," explains Carvajal on the albums alignment. "This is an album which follows a character through a story. The songs stand on their own. If someone really wants to know the real meaning behind one of the songs, they have to listen to the song prior to the one they are listening to."
Exploding out of the gate with "Darkness," the track infuses spidery drum patterns and attacks lyrically with the same tightness as barbed wire around the throat. From other stand-outs like the punky workout "Green Slime Man," the reggae-drenched outro to "All We Need," to the swaggering rhythm of "Casket," ISLANDER's flavorful recipe is just as much about attitude as it is musical ingenuity.
Carvajal continues, "Our friend HR from the legendary Bad Brains is on a track called "Think It Over," which is destined to be a live favorite with its rally cry anthem, a track encouraging the youth to take power under control, make good choices and to stay strong in this crazy world."
"These guys might be the new force in rock," asserted Alternative Press, as ISLANDER garnered worldwide press accolades since 2014's breakout debut album Violence & Destruction. The group had three consecutive singles climb to the Top 25 on national rock radio charts, and their videos and streams are in the millions. These developments led to full scale tours with some of rocks elite, totaling nearly 300 shows since the debut - Korn, P.O.D., Papa Roach, Seether, Suicide Silence, and the 2014 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. "Mayhem 2014 was the first mainstream tour we did. Quickly, we learned a lot about being a band," confesses Carvajal. "We were home less than two months within just one year." 2015 saw ISLANDER invited to perform at some of the biggest rock festivals in the country - Rock On The Range, Aftershock, Louder Than Life, Rocklahoma and Shiprocked to name a few.
When asked if this feels like a new life for ISLANDER, Carvajal states, "We can't describe just how refreshed we feel with our new lineup. Everyone was playing in different bands, we met on tour and as we had to make some changes in the band for the better, we found ourselves with this lineup. It's our sophomore release, but it really feels like the excitement of a debut release all over again."
"Power Under Control is the link that will find its way into the darkest parts of our fans inner selves and bring light to them."
Assuming We Survive
Assuming We Survive is taking the world by storm, using raw passion and good old hard work has them becoming the new face of pop punk. Their roots run deep, rising up through the ranks from the local scene to national tours with big names such as Atreyu, Falling In Reverse, Attila, and many more. AWS was founded in 2007 by front-man Adrian Estrella and drummer Kris Pasos. The lineup is rounded out by bassist Joe Lawson with guitarists Phil Adams and Johnny Silva. By the time the band released their second EP "Get Busy Living", they had already booked themselves on two Western United States tours; defining their ability to work hard and willingness to sacrifice for their craft. These tours built a massive following both local and abroad, earning them enough recognition to be invited onto "A Day To Remember's" Self Help Fest in 2015. On top of these festivals, they have also played several Warped Tour dates in 2012, 2013 and 2014. 2015 and the 2013 Aftershock Festival. As well as getting invited on the Super Villains Tour with Falling In Reverse, Attila, and Metro Station as well as the Christmas Vacation Tour with Falling In Reverse and Atreyu.
With the stage set for 2016, Assuming We Survive is poised to unleash a full length record that will take no prisoners as well as a March tour that will pave the way for their performances at both SXSW and the South By So What festival in Austin, Texas. On top of all of these big things happening for the band this year, there is still more they have yet to unveil such as playing the Journey's stage on all of Warped Tour 2016.