IWRESTLEDABEARONCE is an extraordinary American avant-garde metal crew that has accomplished a lot through three short years, such as getting through obstacles of finalizing the member line-up, performing in dream locations, releasing a successful three-disc album, opening the door to an expected fame. Based in the town of Shreveport, Louisiana, this group of five enthusiastic and comical individuals was brought about in 2007.
Once getting started, IWRESTLEDABEARONCE went through the process of joining Tragic Hero Records and immediately releasing an EP. This shocked audiences all over the world, simply because of their strangely packed genre and fast paced abilities to produce tracks quickly.
During the time of becoming a new, upcoming band and constantly conducting original material, they were experiencing problems with the member line-up. “It’s hard a lot of the times when you’re in a band and we’re all fairly older. When you have somebody with their head in a different direction, you have no other choice but to go that way,” said lead vocalist, Krysta Cameron. As decisions were being made, the line-up became solid and final, never getting in the way of the success that was being thrown at them.
Current members now include Cameron (lead vocalist), Steven Bradley (lead guitar, keyboards, samples, programming), Mike Martin (rhythm guitar, keyboards, samples, programming), Mikey Montgomery (drums, backing vocals) and John Ganey (bassist).
First time listeners, or even fans of this crazy-coated style group still wonder where such a title for a band came from.
It’s quite simple actually.
Thank Gary Busey for stating such a witty line on Comedy Central.
“He had a TV show a while back called ‘I’m With Busey’ and you can find episodes of it on YouTube,” said Cameron. “And what ended up happening was Steven and I, the guitarist of IWABO, were watching one of the episodes and he said ‘I wrestled a bear once,’ so we thought it was hilarious and we rolled with the punches.”
Believe it or not, no matter what the internet tells people, those who are a part of the band are not all strictly from Shreveport, Louisiana. As a whole, they are based in one place, especially since that’s where they all currently reside now. Whether some of the members were born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, or not, this has never prevented the band from receiving positive feedback and performing outstanding shows.
“I think any band will say that they always like to play in their hometown. We’re all not from Louisiana, so it’s weird, but it’s cool too because whenever we play somewhere that’s our home state, that we all came from or somewhere close to it, it’s real neat to see friends and family come out. That’s really fun, but we’re based out of the Shreveport of Louisiana,” said Cameron. “There’s not that many venues really going on now, but apparently there’s one that still stands strong and having shows. We will probably be playing there hopefully next year, which will be great. Every time we play Shreveport, kids come out and they’re really supportive.”
Not only is the one place close to home an excitement for the band, but locations that others would dream to perform at are just as appealing for them when touring. “Two of my favorite places to play, ever, would be The Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts and Portugal because both times, the crowds were crazy and it’s really responsive,” said Cameron.
There seems to be beneficial energy donated to them no matter what part of the world they are traveling.
Released in June 2009, ‘It’s All Happening’ was the first debut album that IWRESTLEDABEARONCE was able to record through Century Media. This particular CD contains a mass of genres that include death metal, industrial, noise, funk, hardcore, hip hop, progressive rock and even bluegrass.
With mind-boggling beats and programming, one of a kind vocals and an abundance of creativity, it’s strange to see why the band with an outrageous name would choose such a simplistic title for an album.
In reality, it all makes sense.
“I know me and some of the guys, we all grew up watching ‘Almost Famous,’ the Cameron Crowe film. In that movie, they say ‘It’s All Happening’ and the way they said it was so sly and careless and they said it around constantly. We’ve all been in bands for a very long time. This is not our first roadie, we’ve all done this since we were like 15. And touring at least since we were 18 or 19,” said Cameron. “A lot of bands that are up and coming today are way younger than us. We’re all in our mid, late twenties and we’re now getting our foot in the door. I guess we all thought it made a lot of sense to call it ‘It’s All Happening’ because it technically was, finally, for all of us, and we’ve been waiting for the longest time.”
On the other hand, the tracks that are a part of ‘It’s All Happening’ have the most bizarre names compared to any other songs currently available in stores or on the internet. “All of the lyrics mean something. They’re either personal or weird. The titles of the songs are all inside jokes that we all have together. It doesn’t have anything to do with the song itself, but they’re all inside jokes because we don’t like to take life seriously, but we do take life seriously,” said Cameron. Though the lyrics are finely written and give off a meaningful essence, the confusion of where such titles came from is perfectly normal.
The band’s most popular song off of “It’s All Happening” goes by the name of “Tastes Like Kevin Bacon.” With a silly label and an amazing representation of what the band’s style of music is like, the entire band decided to create a promo video that allowed viewers to go more crazy.
Demonstrating the clever and humorous side of themselves, this video includes the members being dressed up in wacky outfits and dancing along with certain beats that are in the song. Aside from being funny, the music video also shows them playing live and giving all that they’ve got when performing.
“That (‘Tastes Like Kevin Bacon’) was one of the first videos we ever did. We were scared about doing it because that song was fairly new. Steven recorded the song himself, with John, in our living room in Shreveport, Louisiana. We were scared about it because we didn’t know if we wanted to save this song, but at the same time, we said ‘Screw it’ and go with the flow. Before we did that video, this guy named David Anthony, he directs videos and his wife is a photographer, so they work together. He came down and directed one of our first videos for ‘Ulrich Firelord: Breaker of Mountains,’ which is off of our EP and then he said ‘Hell, lets do another one, that was really fun,'” said Cameron. “I remember we were on tour and we went through Atlanta, where he’s from and he set up a green-screen in his basement, where we did all the funny antics and he rented out a little music hall and played the song live. We spent time on that thing. I think it cost nothing to rent out. David basically did it for free. For the love of filmmaking, for the fact that he’s cool and a friend of ours. It’s cool because there’s such a live feeling to that song.”
Besides releasing a CD that holds their 10-track set, IWRESTLEDABEARONCE decided to get even more imaginative by producing a second disc that came with the package.
This CD holds techno-sounding remixes that were done to nine out of the 10 songs. What allows this surprise disc to be fascinating is that the remixes were not recorded by them, but their friends instead.
“We’re all into different styles of music and I think what filled us on doing that was when we had our EP, we had these guys named Dada Yakuza, they’re from Brooklyn and they ended up remixing one of our older songs, ‘Ulrich Firelord.’ It went really well and we thought it was awesome and it sounded really cool. We wanted to do it again, this time get a bunch of people or our friends to do it,” said Cameron. “It was really cool, especially having our friend from Horse the Band, David Isen, doing a remix and then Weinman from Dillinger Escape Plan. Being able to tour with them, know them personally and then do a remix for our songs is really cool. I think it’s really cool, I guess, I mean, hell, it’s something to dance to, right? Get drunk, get a party started, put on the remix album.”
While being in a band as long as they have, one would assume that slight problems would occur when at home or on the road. Even though they are constantly spending time with one another, this family of musicians does not experience those typical obstacles.
“What makes us so special to each other is the fact that we all agree on most of life in general. Everybody has their own opinion on things, but we never try to push religious-political beliefs on anybody. In this band, we all believe in what we want to believe in and nobody judges each other for it. Other than that, we all get along,” said Cameron. “It’s pretty insane for the fact that we live together, eat together and sleep together. If I wasn’t around them, I’d feel weird because I like coming out of my bedroom and seeing Mikey say ‘Oh, I made coffee,’ and his hair is up in the air and the rest are playing video games or watching TV or something. It’s comforting.”
Currently touring several parts of the world and continuing to please audiences, this makes it difficult for them to create newer material faster than they’d like to.
Consistently striving to remain getting their name out there, there isn’t a moment in time where this group of five slack on improving their abilities and ambition to make it further than they have already gone.
“As musicians, we all want to out-do ourselves. I think definitely on the newer record, the vocals are going to be a lot more crazier and a lot less screamy. There will be a song where there’s all clean-toned vocals and then there will be a song where, maybe, I’ll use screaming as a form of a writing melody of some sort instead of using it as voice, but using it as an instrument. You just never know what will come from us. I like screaming, it’s fun, but I think singing is more fun,” said Cameron. “We’re on tour 24/7, so it’s really hard to sit down as a band and start writing new material. I know for a fact that there is some new material being worked on right now because I’m always seeing Steven or John play guitar or working on strings, violins and piano. We probably won’t have anything new until we record again, which will be this winter. With the internet, nowadays, everything leaks. I’m kind of scared about it. We want to try, maybe this fall, to have a new song to perform live, for sure, though.”