iwrestledabearonce's Steven and Courtney Hail All Things Music


iwrestledabearonce has been around for quite sometime doing countless touring, playing show after show, having changes in the mix, new music released wit the same pattern still going on til this day! As of lately the band got signed to Artery Recordings, released new music with further plans on playing to follow through soon enough. Lead guitarist/programming guy Steven Bradley and frontwomen vocalist Courtney LaPlante discusses the new changes and the plans in development for the future.


1. Let us get started by filling in our readers as to what the band has been up to in the past year?

Steven: In the past year, we've taken some much-needed time off from the grind of touring 200ish days out of the year, year after year after year! We've been hitting it hard since 2007 and have hit almost 40 countries in the process, so some time off was definitely in order. Our last long stretch of touring was in the summer, and we did some of the biggest shows of our career at some of the most amazing European festivals in existence, and also got to go to a lot of new places in the process, so it seemed like a good note to end things on for a bit. During that down-time, we were also working on writing/recording our new album ‘Hail Mary.’

2. Can you give those of us who aren't familiar with iwrestledabearonce a brief history of the band and can you please describe your sound for those who have yet to hear your music?

Steven: Way back in 2007, we wrote/recorded our first EP in my bedroom in Louisiana that we weren't sure anybody would ever in listen to and then immediately went on tour… and pretty much toured non-stop other than short breaks to write/record albums since then! At this point, I can honestly say that every album is a bit different and was done with a slightly different mentality, but we generally sound like a giant mix of shit… No genre is off limits, and we’ve always lived by a “do whatever the fuck we want” mentality and tried to have fun and let people know that you don’t have to be super br00talz and pissed off all of the time even if you love weird metal.

3. Could you take us through the writing process of iwrestledabearonce? How does one of your epic songs come to be?

Steven: Generally we just work on riffs while on tour/at home on break, and then come together to assemble everything for a while before recording. The songs are always finished first, and then passed off to Courtney who tackles all of the vocal/lyric writing and then records that shiiittt.

4. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Courtney: What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send? I did not set out with a theme in mind, but the dark, dramatic tone of the songs really inspired a lot of religious imagery for me to work with. It's something we all have been affected by in some way, whether negative or positive. So I really explored my feelings of anger and fear, and how interconnected those emotions are. I realized there are a lot of issues that piss me off, and scare me at the same time, so I cast out my demons into the songs! I don't want to send a message of hopelessness though, I want to send a message that this negativity doesn't have to be the definitive mindset of your life...but that it's ok to acknowledge that you are angry.

5. What bands lately have influenced your band and its sound?

Steven: Honestly I feel like a grandpa now and I’m not even sure who/what is cool at this point. I don’t think we’re better than anybody else out there, but there just haven’t been a ton of new metal bands that inspire me lately. I still listen to a lot of old stuff-Refused, Deftones, Glassjaw, Dredg, Cynic, Nasum, etc etc… honestly not much stuff that even sounds too much like our band, but for some reason I just love writing weird tech-metal stuff when I pick up a guitar!

6. How did you get Eddie Hermida of Suicide Silence to be involved with your new single and song for "Erase It All"? Why did you think he would be a good fit to be a part of this tune?

Steven: Eddie has been a good friend since we first toured together in 2009, and he’s obviously an insane vocalist with a huge range. We all respect the hell out of him as both a human and musician, and he was crashing at my house for a few days before a Suicide Silence tour so it seemed like a no-brainer! The part that he’s on just seemed extremely fitting for him and Courtney to scream on together because uh… it sounds fucking awesome and why not have fun with your friends whenever possible?!

7. What's the story behind "Erase It All"?

Courtney: "Erase It All"  is about rejecting an apathetic attitude towards our society's control over us, and becoming more proactive in changing the things we don't like. I got the lines " Tilt your head back/ try to take your medicine/ it falsifies the intentions of your enemies" stuck in my head one day while I was listening to the demo, and I built the lyrics around that. I was actually out on a run so I yelled the words to myself on the way home so I would not forget my new ideas, and probably made the neighbours feel uneasy, seeing a girl running down the street yelling about medicine and enemies. I was feeling very bitter about how hopeless it seems to be able to change all the bullshit in our world, and "Erase It All" was born!

8. Your three previous releases were all released under Century Media Records but "Hail Mary" will see it's first and debut release from Artery Recordings, why the switch between labels?

Steven: It was just that time! No huge fight or anything exciting, but we just wanted to change things up a bit and get some new blood injected into the band from the label side of things.

9. How did you and Artery Recordings come together? Are you pleased with what they have been doing for you thus far?

Steven: I've known Mike Milford at Artery for a long time now, and he’s just always struck me as the sort of guy who is very passionate about music and the bands he works with. Also he’s been a touring vocalist for years and has first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to live in a van and grind it out on the road, and honestly that counts for A LOT when it comes to understanding where you’re coming from when making decisions. Our friends in Chelsea Grin and Attila refer to him as Dad, and for good reason… he is the fucking man and has done awesome stuff for them for years now. Honestly I wasn’t concerned with shopping around too much, and especially after we spent some time touring with Mike in Europe last year, Artery seemed like the obvious choice. I feel extremely fortunate to be in a business relationship with someone who I completely trust and think so highly of as a musician/businessman/human, so it’s been amazing so far. We also know Mike Nordeen there from touring with him since back in 2008, and Shan Dan for a few years while we were both with Century Media… so Artery is just the best vibe I could ever imagine in a label.

10. What was the recording process like this time around? Was there anything different that happened or was it the same old studio thing?

Steven: Much like the previous two albums, we just holed up in my little studio and cranked it out! Lots of long nights, lots of coffee/red bull/monster, and lots of Indian food… and fish tacos.

11. Can you tell us how this album differs from the previous ones? What can we expect and what is the message behind it?

Steven: This album is a pretty huge departure from our previous albums in a lot of ways. People seem to expect goofy shit from us at this point, but this time around we just wanted to kill everything. We’re still a bunch of goofy weirdos, but for some reason this time around we were just all on the same page of wanting to write some heavy/gnarly stuff where the usual twists/turns were replaced with even heavier twists/turns. There’s still some singing on a few tracks, but this is our heaviest album musically and the most screaming on any album so far, and there are definitely new styles within metal that we explored for the first time. This is also our first album with Michael (Stringer) on guitar, and he is an absolute beast and definitely added some crazy technical guitar work that challenged me to get even weirder. For the first time ever, we even threw in some guitar solo action too, because… why the hell not?

12. How did you guys choose who you wanted to have as guest vocals on the new album?

Steven: Eddie is the only guest spot on this album, and it just seemed like a no-brainer! Like I said before, he’s a long-time friend who we love/respect the hell out of, so it just seemed like the perfect fit… Plus he sounds like a goddamn demon.

13. Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs?

Steven: Definitely. Musically, I think this album is inarguably our craziest/heaviest statement to date and has a lot of changes, while remaining pretty consistently heavy. Vocally, I think Courtney killed it in terms of her range as well as the lyrics. The lyrics this time are less abstract and paint a much clearer picture than ever before, which I love.

14. What would be the cinematic equivalent of "Hail Mary"?

Steven: Probably the recent remake of “Evil Dead”… People were expecting business as usual from something they thought they knew everything about, but out of nowhere shit got extremely fucking gnarly.

15. What's your take on "Hail Mary" as a whole?

Steven: As a guitarist, I think this album has our strongest guitar work yet. Our last album had more of a focus on throwing in some more hooks and exploring the less heavy side of things while using guitar to just serve the songs, whereas this album has way more tech/shred stuff. Like I said, the addition of Michael and his song-writing contributions made me have to step my game up and I’m really proud of what we created.

16. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?

Steven: More music… for as long as is humanly possible! And hopefully some touring that includes even more new countries!

17. Any last words for the friends and fans out there?

Steven: Whether you've been following us since 2007 or are just tuning in, we love and appreciate the hell out of you. We might be self-serving assholes who only make the sort of music that we want to make, but we’re extremely thankful and humbled that we get to continue doing so and can still play shows all over the world. Come say hi in person or on Facebook or something, because we’d like to meet you.

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