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Most bands want their music to be taken seriously, some to the point of considering their music an art form and insisting that it should be respected as such. Iwrestledabearonce (IWABO) is not one of those bands. Humor is a big element with the group, but that doesn’t mean their music is all fun and games. With a unique and massive sound, and the powerhouse growls of lead vocalist Courtney LaPlante to give it an extra punch, the group really has come to be one of the most notoriously awesome groups on the market right now. In an interview with guitarist Steven Bradley we got to discuss their newest release entitled Late for Nothing, touring in the 2013 year, and all things that have to do with Iwrestledabearonce awesomeness.

Iwrestledabearone - Late fore nothingIwrestledabearonce is a metalcore group that formed back in 2007. The group signed to Century Media records and put out their first full length album entitled It’s All Happening in 2008. The band then released their sophomore album Ruining it for Everybody. The next year, during Warped Tour, the bands former vocalist Krysta Cameron announced she was leaving. Bradley put the band’s history in a little simpler light:

“After Gary Busey killed all of the dinosaurs, he made us in his image and here we are! In 2007, we made an EP in my bedroom with shitty guitar tones and programmed drums… then we found a real drummer, had a keyboard player live for a couple of months, and recorded a full length album… then we toured and then we made another album… and then we toured and then we just made another album. In Busey’s name we pray, Amen.”

Since their inception the group has been labeled as “metalcore”, but IWABO brings an element not found in most metal music, namely, experimental and avant-garde sounds. Most musicians who use this style tend to be relatively serious-minded individuals who use these themes in art-like fashions, but IWABO has structured these themes in a way that add to their immense and chaotic sound rather than as art. When asked why they choose to use these elements Bradley put it like this:

“We just write and play what we enjoy and what sounds good to us. One of my main rules is not to question things… if we like something then it’s done–there’s no over-analyzing anything. I honestly don’t think of us as very experimental or weird, but I suppose when compared to most bands we are in fact fucking weirdos.”

Iwrestledabearonce 2Another thing that IWABO has used that most other bands don’t is a female vocalist. Their original vocalist Cameron was replaced by LaPlante in 2012 carrying on the tradition. Bradley stated that, “I just hope we’ve helped make it less ‘weird’ to have a girl in your band who is singing and screaming,” and “Fuck sexism.” When asked about why they use both guttural extreme vocals as well as clean sung vocals Bradley also said, “Our music covers a lot of ground, so we always knew the vocals had to match.”

The band’s third album Late For Nothing was released in August of this year to mostly positive reviews, but it hasn’t always been that way in their career. Their first record in particular, It’s All Happening, was met with some pretty harsh and negative reviews, particularly in regards to the production of the piece. Bradley said this in response:

“Well, we did our first album at Ross Robinson’s place… so needless to say, we love bands like Glassjaw, At the Drive-in, Sepultura, Blood Brothers, Slipknot, KoRn, etc. who ALL have those raw sounding albums… REAL recordings of REAL instruments ya know?”

The third release is possibly the most streamlined (although still not mainstream by any means) release from the band thus far, but Bradley has said that the writing process was “the exact same… Krysta never helped with that previously and Courtney didn’t help with it this time around. We wrote/recorded the album entirely in our band house, so that was laid back and fun.”

When asked what tracks on this album where a favorite, it became a bit more challenging on the guitarist. “It’s tough to pick a favorite… I love each song differently. I think vocally though, Courtney killed it on Mind the Gap and I’d Buy That For A Dollar… which makes me love those songs a bit extra.” But, when asked his overall thoughts looking back on the album he said “It’s by far my favorite IWABO album to date… the songs are just way stronger and hold up to repeat listening much better in my opinion.”

IWABO isn’t just a jack of all trades when it comes to its recording work though. The group has built a cult following as a live band, drawing fans in with their chaotic and entertaining live show. The group have toured with some killer groups thus far, case and point they were recently on a tour with deathcore legends Chelsea Grin. When asked about the tour Bradley said, “It was great… we already had a lot of friends going into the tour, so it was amazing from day one. Lots of partying in parking lots… listening to Slipknot… good times.”

iwrestledabearonce 4Bradley also gave us some personal takes on touring and IWABO. First, about what bands they’d like to tour with, “Deftones. Slipknot. Korn”, as well as venue preference, “Tough question, because they’re honestly SO different. Both are amazing though, and my list of favorite IWABO shows of all time definitely spans both our biggest and smallest shows ever…”

As for what else to expect out of IWABO for the 2013 year Bradley had this to say, “We will be out with Attila in October/November in the US! And more things to announce after that, so keep in touch with us on Facebook for new tours!”

Currently the band is on tour with Attila, Upon a Burning Body, The Plot in You, and Fit For A King. For details and tour information, as well as further IWABO exploits, check o=the out either at their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/iwrestledabearonce or at their official site at http://www.iwrestledabearonce.com/about-that-life-tour-with-attila-and-more/

For those who haven’t heard Iwrestledabearone, do yourself a favor. Pick up Late for Nothing on iTunes or at a store near you, or go seem them live this fall on The About That Life tour. If you haven’t heard the band before and want to know how they sound before you spend money, Steven Bradley puts it best, “Like Nickelback, but with more guitar solos!”

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