By Carl C. Sundberg
Iwrestledabearonce. Fve words. Written together, no spaces, this truly is an absurd band name. The fact that it was taken from something Gary Busy once blurted out is even more absurd. But even their name cannot prepare you for the metal experience you’re getting yourself into with Iwrestledabearonce.
Jamming every possible style of music that has ever been made into Frankenstein thrashing grenades of songs, Iwrestledabearonce shapeshifts effortlessly and violently on every song of their debut album, “It’s All Happening”. And with song names like, “Tastes Like Kevin Bacon” and “Corey Feldman Holocaust”, they don’t necessarily take themselves that seriously.
With their over the top schizophrenic sound, their head-turning merch (“metal just got gay” boasts one shirt) and being one of a handful of young bands sponsored by Taco Bell, Iwrestledabearonce is here to shatter the preconceived conceptions you might have about metal. Or not. But they’ll have fun trying. We spoke with guitarist Steven Bradley on the road, after returning from a recent European tour.
Q: Tell me a little bit about your band. I’m guessing you’re a polarizing band…
A: I guess so, we’re barely a metal band…I mean we are, but none of us really listen to too much metal anymore cuz it all kind of gets boring. It’s repetitive and it sounds the same. Not too much metal is exciting anymore, sadly.
Q: What kind of stuff do you guys listen to?
A: What were just listening to…we were listening to the new Thirty Seconds to Mars CD. I don’t know. (Call out to his bandmates in the van) What are we listening to? We listened to Boys II Men yesterday, we pretty much went through the whole deftones discography. I don’t know, we literally have the most random, terrible tastes in music ever. From weird 80s pop stuff, we listened to Duran Duran yesterday, Jackson 5. We have terrible tastes in music. There’s a lot of space rock, Explosions in the Sky, Russian Circles, Minus the Bear.
Q: You guys incorporate a lot of styles into your music, and I’ve read where people are saying these guys are insane, and other reviews where they’re saying it’s just noise, but it’s pretty complicated stuff you’re playing…
A: I guess so. I don’t know. I’d like to think so. Maybe. I don’t know about complicated because lord knows none of us are theory majors or know any of that stuff, but we are trying to do something that doesn’t sound like everyone else out there because I really don’t see a point in being a band and wasting your time on touring and making an album if it’s just rehashed garbage that people have already done a million times. What we do could very well be considered garbage, but at least you can’t go, well it sounds like this.
Q: What kind of responses do you get from your audiences?
A: I don’t know. We don’t just attract people that mosh or people that hardcore dance or people that jump around. We get kind of everyone. So it’s always interesting. We don’t really attract the serious beat down bro dudes who come to shows to fight folks. But whatever, that music’s got it’s time and place. It’s just not us. Those people don’t come see us. Our shows are typically more “funnererer” than I guess some other metal bands. We’re not encouraging everyone to kill each other. It’s more like break shit, dance, punch people, then hug afterward. Cuz that’s how it used to be. Ten years ago.
Q: Now I see you have a lot of endorsements, you’re involved with a lot of promotional tools, but you’re a Taco Bell band. Tell me about that.
A: That is pretty much the coolest thing ever. We joked two years ago, even in the bands we were in before this, we were like, ‘Oh man, the endorsement we need is a Taco Bell endorsement,’ seriously, just completely kidding. Because they don’t do endorsements, you know, it’s a joke. And then it turns out that they do. And good mother of God, it’s pretty incredible. It was a proud moment in life. You know we get endorsements, free guitars, free equipment, but free Taco Bell? I’m excited.
Q: Being a Taco Bell band, does that give you free Taco Bell wherever you go?
A: No, they just gave us like $500 in gift cards. And $500 at Taco Bell can buy you a lot of Taco Bell.
Q: You could eat for three years with that much money…
A: You’d be surprised. We’re actually blowing through it a lot quicker than we thought. But what can you do. It’s delightful. Seriously, it’s like us and All American Rejects and all these other bands. It’s pretty funny.
Q: You’ve been on tour for awhile now. What do you guys do to keep it peaceful while you’re on the road?
A: We all live together at home too, so when we get off tour, we share one big house so it’s constantly, it’s us all together. Constantly. Even our merch fellow, Eli, lives with us as well. So we’re always around each other. But we’re all friends, not just people who are like, ‘yeah I hate you but I have to play with you onstage tonite’. But we’re all idiots basically. Our music is not us trying to be quirky or stupid or whatever. We’re all seriously, just, I don’t know. Don’t take it just seriously, we have fun. Constantly farting on each other, stuff like that.
Q: So you keep it easy going, basically.
A: I mean, there’s always business-y stuff or whatever, But other than that, we’re seriously, anyone who’s met us or hung out with us for more than five minutes, they’re like ‘wow, you’ve made 400 fart jokes in 30 seconds’. I don’t know. I don’t see the point in being serious and angry all the time. I like some violent music. But I’m not going to put on spiked leather arm gauntlets and hate my parents for no reason when I don’t feel that way. I just don’t think that metal has to be serious 100% of the time.
Originally published on 101d.com