“New Justice Records in Australia will be putting out our debut album.” That’s ex–Zombie Cartel member Jono LaNasa. He’s speaking about a record deal for his new band, Prevailer. New Justice will distribute hard copies of Prevailer’s CD, due early this summer, throughout Australia and New Zealand with digital distribution worldwide. “The main plan is to have the label promote us in Australia and New Zealand. We’ll cross-promote the label and their other bands in the U.S. and eventually team up for tours here [and in] Australia and Europe.”
The Aussie connection began six months ago in North County. Prevailer drummer Jerad Buckwalter was asked to loan some extra drum gear to the band As Silence Breaks, which was here from Sydney, to record at Lambesis Studios. Located in San Marcos, Lambesis has a reputation as the go-to shop for metalcore following the 2006 recording of As I Lay Dying’s An Ocean Between Us. It is co-owned by Dying member Tim Lambesis and a recording engineer named Daniel Castleman.
“As Silence Breaks hand-picked Castleman to produce their upcoming record,” says LaNasa. “It was their first time in the U.S.” The guitarist says the two bands bonded over similar interests and that Buckwalter helped out on As Silence Break’s tour. A twist of fate came when New Justice Records was taken over by As Silence Breaks front man Sam Rilatt. “Soon after, Sam offered us a deal.”
Prevailer is made up of members from a defunct hard-rock/metalcore band with the improbable name Carol Ann. After the recent breakup of Zombie Cartel, Buckwalter suggested that LaNasa and ex–Carol Ann guitarist Diego Martinez meet and jam. With Buckwalter’s brother Will on bass and front man Evan Burdick, they began cranking out metalcore originals. “Our new songs have shredding riffs, machine-gun double bass, neck-snapping breakdowns, and tons of energy. But they are also a lot more elaborate and melodic, with plenty of guitar harmonies and structure.”
The band’s name Prevailer, explains LaNasa, doubles as a mission statement. “Our goal is to spread positive messages from hard personal experiences through our aggressive music, which is a scene normally known for spreading negative or violent messages.” Prevailer’s debut is June 23 at the Flying Elephant in Carlsbad.
Positive messages or not, LaNasa has a lot riding on Prevailer: “This is by far the most excited I’ve been about a band. I’m not getting any younger. This is probably my last diehard shot before I have to grow up.”