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INTERVIEW: Iwrestledabearonce

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Iwrestledabearonce is a band from Shreveport, Louisiana whose sense of outlandish humor comes across not only in their name but also in the titles of their songs. Their debut album It's All Happening, reads like a list of minions from Dungeons and Dragons, “Ulrich Firelord - Breaker Of Mountains,” and is littered with references to B-list movie actors. But underneath metal/cybergrind/jazz gems like “Tastes Like Kevin Bacon” is a sharp attention to musicianship and experimentation with genres unmatched in extreme music today. Guitarist Steven Bradley and bassist Mike Martin took some time out of their hectic tour schedule to talk with SanDiego.com about the bands' similarities to Evanescence, their German fanbase, and contagious viral videos.

On your first EP people were quick to say you sound like Genghis Tron because of the cyber-grind element in your music, what was it like to get that kind of response?
Steven Bradley: We recorded that EP in my bedroom, with no intent for anyone to ever really hear it, just as a way to organize the songs that we we're writing. We printed some online and bought like a hundred to sell locally and then it turned into this. We had intentions of finding a real drummer all along, we were just from Rustin, Louisiana at the time so finding someone who can do jazz and death metal drums was virtually impossible.

What if someone were to describe your music as “Evanescence, but hella-tight and brings the mosh"?
SB: Music is music. None of us listen to Evanescence. Fun story, my band before my last band, this is like eight years ago, played with Evanescence in a shack in Louisiana. It was awesome. It was way before they were radio popular or had management or anything. I was like fifteen. I never know what to tell people we sound like, someone can tell us what they think, and who the hell am I to ever say that's wrong? If we sound like Evanescence but heavier that's pretty damn accurate.

What are some bands that influenced you to inject different styles of music into metal?
Mike Martin: I listen to everything. I listen to Jackson 5 and you know, Blackstreet.
SB: My Dad made me listen to David Brubeck's “Take 5” when I was six years old and made me figure out what time signature it was in. That's when I knew was into weird shit, and now it's twenty years later.

Iwrestledabearonce will go on to Europe following this U.S. Tour, what is your response like over there?
MM: I came across this one German kid over there who said (in German accent) “When Krysta does death metal scream it's awesome, maybe less pretty stuff, but I still buy record.”
SB: The Century Media fans in Europe like brutal stuff, death metal is still huge there, heavy stuff still slaughters way harder than it does in the states.
MM: (In German accent) As long as we keep the heavy screaming.

What can you tell me about the way you composed your debut album It's All Happening?
SB: We took a sample of a seagull and turned that into a song, that's on the new record, that's the first time we talked about that. That's dropping a bomb for you there.

On the next album can you use egg frying?
SB: We should. Have you heard the Turquoise Jeep's “How you like your eggs, fried or fertilized?”

I haven't.
SB: Check that out. YouTube that.

It's All Happening is out now on Century Media Records.