Alex, the coordinator of our Metal and Hardcore Round-Up, recently had an interview with Steven from iwrestledabearonce.
Can you introduce yourself and tell us what you play in the band?
I'm Steven. I play the geetar and program electronic stuff.
The group is young. How did you get started?
Well, our band hasn't been around for too long, but we're all old as hell compared to most bands in "the scene" nowadays. We're all between 23 and 27. We have been in bands since we were all kids and doing shitty DIY tours for years, and then after only a couple small tours with IWABO, something just seemed to click and good shit started to happen quickly.
Where did the band's unique name come from, and why did you choose to format it without capitalization or spaces?
Our name is a quote from the psychotic actor Gary Busey. He blurted it out on his short-lived TV show, I'm With Busey, and we thought it was genius. We don't always do the no capitalization or spaces thing, but we noticed early on that people seemed to be pissed off by it, so now we go out of our way to write it like that... sometimes. It's just a band name, but people seem to get pretty upset over the whole no-spaces thing, so we do it just to be idiots and to fuck with people on the internet.
Your music is often referred to as deathcore. How do you feel about the stigma that comes with that notion, and what are your thoughts on the subgenre in general?
We don't think that we are at all deathcore, but if people feel the need to put us in some sort of genre, then hoorah! Our thoughts on genres are fuck them! People should just do whatever the hell they want without worrying about genres or others' opinions. I feel like our soft stuff and weird parts prohibit us from being lumped in with deathcore, but who knows? I've always thought deathcore was just watered down, old death metal with 4/4 open breakdowns thrown in, or lately those nice dissonant low note breakdowns. It's huge right now, and I'm sure another fad will be along soon to replace it. We all listen to 70s rock, terrible 80s pop, weird, artsy queer stuff, and straight up death metal/grind, so I'm definitely not the foremost authority on deathcore. Did I even answer a question right there? Was I just rambling? Damnit.
You're currently on tour with Greeley Estates, Memphis May Fire, and Fact. How's that going? Do you have any good stories?
It's going great! All of the dudes in every band are really nice and just happy to be on tour. No egos, no attitudes, just fun. We've had quite a few memorable moments so far. Probably the best was the riot outside our show at South By Southwest, followed by drunken madness on our party afterwards. Other than that, just regular dumb, random tour stuff that is hilarious to us and would sound boring and stupid to everyone else: mooning people on the interstate, driving our brand new trailer into the roof of our house the day we bought it, watching a horse die on the side of the road, watching a car flip off the interstate and seeing the people inside die, etc.
Fact is from Japan. Have you been introducing them to the American culture?
Hell yes. We love those guys! We want them to come on every tour we ever do, dammit. They don't speak much English, but we've taught them terrible pickup lines that only work for them because of their endearing accents. We've also tried to make sure they leave the country knowing as much profanity as possible.
You're easily the heaviest band on the bill. How have people unfamiliar with your music been reacting?
It's been awesome. For the first time on a tour package, we are the heaviest band and not the pussiest! Lots of times, we are the only band that has singing and clean-tone guitar work. This has, so far, been the only tour we've ever done with no fights, so that's been a nice change from the usual of at least five fights breaking out per show.
Is it difficult playing in a female-fronted band in such a male-dominated genre?
I think it's great. I will never brag about our band or my guitar abilities, but Krysta is fucking brutal and can sing like a sumfabitch too... soooo it's always great to watch close-minded dipshits get owned by a 5'3" girl. Most of the time people are really cool and supportive though, and it's always awesome to have young girls tell us they're glad to have a role model who isn't a slut or something.
How did the deal with Century Media Records come about?
When we were on tour and played in Los Angeles, a bunch of label folks came out to watch. Robert, the owner of CM, was one of the first people there and was front row watching our whole set. We were just shocked that he drove way the hell out to the middle of nowhere where we were playing. He didn't send an A&R person or something; he came personally and then told us he wanted to sign us. We were talking to a handful of awesome labels, but CM just seemed the most supportive. They also made it really clear that they want us to do whatever the fuck we want and have no intention of ever trying to make us change anything, and honestly that is the most important thing to us. Also, their strong international base is a huge plus, because we want to tour the world ASA-fucking-P.
You recently finished recording your full-length debut. Tells us about the recording experience and the new material.
It was pretty fucking insane! We went into the studio with only one song ready for tracking and a shit-ton of other ideas that needed to be finished up. Basically, we were supposed to have time off to write but kept jumping on more tours, so we never got a chance to sit at home and properly work on stuff. We spent the first few weeks in Los Angeles just stressing and working on writing the album. It actually worked out really well though. We just locked ourselves in the studio working and then all went to the same two-bedroom apartments at night to sleep for a few hours before doing it all again. Because of all that, there was no time for over-thinking or over-producing. The album sounds raw and emotional, not too slick and polished like most 'metal' records of recent years. Sound-replacing, auto-tuning, and over-editing make records sound dull and lifeless in my opinion. Tracking guitars in one take at 4 AM is the way to go!
What was it like working at Ross Robinson's studio with producer Ryan Boesch?
Well, like I said before, we are all in our mid 20s, so we grew up in the hay-day of KoRn. I remember watching KoRn's VHS home video ten years ago and saying to John, our other guitarist, "Holy fucking shit! Could you imagine working with Ross Robinson in a real studio?!" And then there we are, sitting at Ross' house working on a new album. I mean, not to mention we got to use the same gear as KoRn, Limp Bizkit, Glassjaw, Slipknot, Blood Brothers, The Cure, etc. And Ryan Boesch is the fucking man. Nothing more needs to be said! He bought a T-shirt from us over a year ago when we were still running our online store ourselves, and we ended up talking to him about doing an album one day. When the day came when we had a label and a budget to make an album, he agreed to do it and Ross agreed to let us use his studio. We said from the beginning that we didn't want a "producer," just someone to hang out with us the whole time and actually understand the fucked up ideas we had. I mean, honestly our music is a train-wreck of genres with no verses or choruses; what's there to really produce? But yeah, Ryan definitely gets us and helped to expand all of our ideas with cool recording techniques and weird production noises and stuff. We love Ryan.
Is there a tentative release date or title for the album?
The album's called It's All Happening and it will be everywhere June 2nd!
Do you have any closing remarks?
Nope! Thanks so much for taking the time to get these questions together and interviewing us! Hopefully my long-winded rambling answers made some sense. And if you're reading this, thanks so much for the support, and come hang out with us on tour! We are the anti-ego band and would love to meet and high-five you!