Interview – Iwrestedabearonce

Categories: Interviews
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Published on: July 16, 2011

When it comes to fusing various musical styles into something totally over-the-top few do it better than Iwrestledabearonce. Their latest album, ironically entitled Ruining It For Everyone, is a brilliant musical exercise in the manic tradition founded by bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan, Mr Bungle and Fantomas. I had the pleasure of doing an interview with guitarist Steven Bradley. He was more than happy to talk about the creative process of their new record, their infamous Black Metal prank and the band’s passion for remixes..

Hi Steven, thank you for doing this interview. Ruining It For Everyone is about to be released. Are you happy the way it turned out?

EXTREMELY happy! Our last album was super-rushed and we pretty much wrote the whole thing in under 2 weeks. This time around, we had some more time and I engineered it as well as mixed it, so it definitely came out more in the way we wanted it to than our last album.

Your new album is once again a wonderful mixture of different styles, like jazz, death metal, progressive rock and whatnot, all hold together by electronic effects and very cohesive songwriting, an impressive feat indeed. How do you manage to pull that off?

Well when you put it like that, it sounds pretty damn cool haha. We honestly just do whatever we want and have fun with things, while also being serious about the song-writing and making sure things feel cohesive and natural, not forced and copy/pasted together. We like to combined as many styles as possible, but always try to make sure everything flows.

Talking about songwriting, to what extent is a though-out or a spontaneous affair with Iwrestledabearonce?

It’s a mixture of the two for sure. Lots of our best-known parts are spontaneous things that we just come up with while drinking together or something. But at the same time, they wouldn’t work out too well if we didn’t spend a little time ironing them out and making them flow within the songs.

How did the recording process go? In what regard was it different from previous experiences?

Well this time around I just set up a control room in our house and we tracked everything in our basement! Our buddy Ryan came out and helped with some stuff, but I got to spend time on things making them exactly how we wanted and that helped a ton. We were free to work on things at 4 AM if we wanted and basically dick around as much as we wanted without someone else there to complain about it!

The subjects touched on Ruining It For Everyone a very personal to singer Krysta Cameron. Can you share some insights on that?

I know that she just wanted to get even more personal with things on this one. The lyrics also deal with more about religion being an extremely negative force in the world and how people shouldn’t be afraid to question things and not be so quick to follow the herd.

You managed to give your fan-base quite a scare with your infamous Black Metal joke. What was the fuzz all about and what do you think of genre itself and their fans?

Black metal is great! It just always seems like fans of the genre are way too closed-minded and ignorant towards other styles. It also seems weird to me that people talk shit about other genres of music fashion styles, while they’re spending an hour putting on leather and gauntlets, then another hour styling their face paint. To each his own, but people shouldn’t judge others for doing something different.

In the past you guys released re-mix albums. Is this something you’d consider doing again? What’s the added value of those remixes to your music?

Even our first EP in 2007 had a remix on it, so we’ve always loved the idea of other people interpreting our songs. Nowadays it seems a little played out, but we’re definitely not ruling it out as a possibility for another release!

Technical, progressive and experimental styles of rock and metal seem to be more popular than ever. Is this something you notice as in better tour offers for instance?

I think people as a whole are just becoming more open-minded as society progresses and more people become aware of new things. Obviously for a band like us that’s fucking great, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re on huge tours with Britney Spears or anything…. But maybe some day!

Iwrestledabearonce is also known for its lust for touring. Can you share some funny anecdotes?

Honestly, we make the best out of everything and seem to be laughing every day on tour. Also, people that love our band are normally weirdos like us, so crazy shit seems to happen all the time! It’s hard to even come up with one story in particular, since we’re constantly doing dumb shit to make each other laugh!

Time for the final question. What is the biggest Spinal Tap moment in your career as a musician?

Our entire career as a band! We go to 11 motherfuckaaaaaa!

Any final thoughts or remarks?

Thanks for the interview! Double thanks to everyone who has supported us by buying our albums and/or coming out to shows. We really do love ya, and you should come to our merch table and say hey sometime!


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