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Iwrestledabearonce performing in 2013
Background information
OriginShreveport, Louisiana, U.S.
GenresAvant-garde metal, mathcore, metalcore, deathcore
Years active2007–2016
LabelsTragic Hero, Century Media, Artery
Associated actsSpiritbox, Empyrean Lights
Past membersSteven Bradley
Mikey Montgomery
Mike Martin
Brian Dozier
Ryan Pearson
Daniel Andrews
Melissa Cameron
Dave Branch
Krysta Cameron
John Ganey
Mike Stringer
Courtney LaPlante

Iwrestledabearonce (often stylized in all lowercase) was an American metalcore band formed in 2007 in Shreveport, Louisiana. To date, they have released one EP, four full-length albums, and two remixed releases.


Formation, EP and It's All Happening (2008—2010)[edit]

Prior to Iwrestledabearonce, guitarist Steven Bradley played in the Louisiana mathcore band Statuescrybleeding, the band was active around 2004 and broke up sometime in 2006. Bradley met Krysta Cameron at which point, decided to start rehearsing music with her and some other musicians in the area when he was impressed with her growl vocals. Iwrestledabearonce was officially formed during 2007 in Shreveport, Louisiana. The origin of this band's name was inspired by a comment made by Gary Busey on Comedy Central.[1] They released their debut EP in 2007 through Bucket of Truth Recordings, and later re-released it with new cover art through Tragic Hero Records. The release gained the band a small cult following due to their highly experimental musical style. It also granted the band enough attention to acquire drummer, Ryan Pearson. Due to the band lacking a drummer during the EP's recording, all percussion was done in a drum machine program.[2] Iwrestledabearonce signed to Century Media by 2008 after their inclusion on tours supporting the EP. The group then recorded and released their debut full-length album It's All Happening on June 2, 2009 in the United States and August 31, 2009 in European stores. In June through September 2008, their single, "Tastes Like Kevin Bacon" appeared on the Sirius Hard Attack radio station "Devils Dozen" list as high as No. 4 in the 12 most requested songs.[3]

It's All Happening reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart and No. 122 on the Billboard 200 chart upon its release in 2009.[4] Iwrestledabearonce then embarked on their second venture outside of the US in October 2009 in-support of It's All Happening. The "2009 Imperial Never Say Die" club tour which was sponsored by Imperial Clothing and Jägermeister in the UK and Europe with Architects, Despised Icon, As Blood Runs Black, Horse the Band, Oceano and The Ghost Inside. In December 2009 they were headliners in a US/Canada tour (The Tour That Stole Christmas) with Miss May I, Inhale Exhale and Of Machines.[5] Iwrestledabearonce had been selected for the 2010 Van's Warped Tour and participated from July 20 until August 15, 2010.[6] During the summer of 2009, the band decided to relocate to Birmingham, Alabama.[7]

In 2010, the band re-released It's All Happening as a 3-disc special edition that includes the regular album, a remix album, and a DVD.[8] Later, the group released a free 5-track remix EP titled It's All Dubstep.[9]

Ruining It for Everybody and Cameron's departure (2011—2012)[edit]

With the recording of the band's new album, which was revealed to be titled Ruining It for Everybody, guitarist Steven Bradley stated that the group's new album will embrace black metal, along with the band incorporating the use of corpse paint. He expressed that the entire band agreed that they do not want to be pigeonholed as a band that is suffixed as "core" any longer and the new record will be "90% black metal".[10] Bradley went on to say “We were sick of getting lumped in with ‘scene’ and ‘whatever-core’ bands, so we decided to embrace our roots and just go straight black metal on the new album. We had to change our image to match ...because of course that's just as important, if not more so, than the music.” The black metal musical shift was later confirmed to be a large practical joke orchestrated by the band and the heavy metal website MetalSucks. The band's upcoming album, Ruining It for Everybody had a song from the album premiered on the website with the staff confirming that it was all a prank and that the upcoming album "features no actual black metal".[11] The group primarily executed the joke to reveal and parody the over-serious attitude in black metal fans.

After the prank was revealed as false, Bradley later, in a serious note, commented on the album's style stating that it is "It's heavier, catchier, and better organized than anything we've done so far. We took a really spastic blend of genres and made it more cohesive."[12]

During Warped Tour 2012, it was announced that original vocalist Krysta Cameron was pregnant and would have to leave the band for the rest of the tour. She was replaced by Courtney LaPlante, former vocalist of Unicron,[13] for the remainder of the tour.[13] However, bassist Mike "Ricky" Martin stated that same summer that Cameron would be permanently replaced by LaPlante after Cameron announced she would not be returning to the band due to wanting to spend more time with her family.

Late for Nothing (2013—2014)[edit]

As of January 24, 2013, the band had been writing music for their third studio album.[14] On May 25, 2013, it was announced on their Facebook page that the band has finished recording the new album, following up with an update on June 7, 2013 that the album would be titled Late For Nothing, and would be released on August 6, 2013. On June 11, 2013, they released the first song off the album entitled "Thunder Chunky". On June 25, 2013, Century Media announced on their website that "Firebees" would be released as a single, along with an iTunes pre-order of the album.[15] On July 27, Late For Nothing was leaked on the internet. The album was eventually released on August 6, 2013, along with a music video for "Boat Paddle" via their Facebook page. Steve Vai is noted to have provided sections of the song "Carnage Asada" on guitar.

Hail Mary, signing to Artery Recordings, and Spiritbox (2015—present)[edit]

Their fourth album, Hail Mary, was released on June 16, 2015 via Artery Recordings.[16][17] Due to the label being acquired by Warner Bros. Records on August 31, 2017, this would prove to be the band's one and only release via the label.[18]

On September 18, 2017 singer Courtney announced a new unnamed project which will feature her husband and guitarist, Mike Stringer.[19][20] The project was later revealed as Spiritbox, which will release their debut self-titled EP on October 27, 2017.[21][22]

Following uncertainty of the band's status along with LaPlante's and Stringer's position in Iwrestledabearonce following the unveiling of their new project, LaPlante confirmed during an Instagram live video session via her private account that she is no longer a member of the band, but that she also doesn't know if the band will continue on as they have not released an official statement affirming their position.[23] In an interview with Loudwire in July 2019, she explained that her and Mike Stringer's leaving was due to them being worn down by their status as "replacement people" and their desire not to stagnate and to do something different.[24]

Musical style and influences[edit]

Although Iwrestledabearonce is generally categorized as metalcore,[25][26][27] experimental metal[3][25][28][29] and mathcore,[30][31][32] the band's music is considered as diverse, due to their use of frequent genre changes within songs, varying between jazz,[33][34][35] progressive metal,[35][36] electro,[29][34] synthpop,[33] and even hillbilly music.[29] The band has also been compared to grindcore.[28][33][34][36]

The band attempts to evade categorization so significantly that they focus on blending as many genres as possible.[12] Their song structures are known for chaotic changes in pace, varying between blast beats, breakdowns and then contrasted rapidly by melodic, "lounged-out" interludes in the middle of their songs.[37] Influences for their musical style have come from a wide variety of bands including The Dillinger Escape Plan, Radiohead, and Björk. Björk, particularly, was noted as being an inspiration for former vocalist Krysta Cameron's sung vocals.[34]




Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Label Chart peaks
US Hard Rock
US Indie
US Rock
US Heat.
2009 It's All Happening Century Media 122 16 47 1
2011 Ruining It for Everybody[46] 80 8 13 16
2013 Late for Nothing 93 9 18 25
2015 Hail Mary Artery 186 5 11 20


Remix albums[edit]


Year Song Album
2007 "Ulrich Firelord: Breaker of Mountains"[47] Iwrestledabearonce EP
2008 "Tastes Like Kevin Bacon"[48] It's All Happening
2009 "You Ain't No Family"[49]
2011 "Karate Nipples"[50] Ruining It for Everybody
"Next Visible Delicious"[51]
"You Know That Ain't Them Dogs' Real Voices"[52]
2014 "Firebees"[53] Late for Nothing
2015 "Gift of Death"[54] Hail Mary


Year Song Director
2007 "Ulrich Firelord: Breaker of Mountains"
2008 "Tastes Like Kevin Bacon"
2009 "You Ain't No Family" David Anthony[55]
2010 "See You in Shell"
"Danger in the Manger"
"The Cat's Pajamas"
2011 "You Know That Ain't Them Dogs' Real Voices" Scott Henson
2012 "I'm Gonna Shoot"
"Beary Scary Movie" DVD Century Media
2013 "Boat Paddle"
2015 "Gift of Death" Shan Dan[56][57]
"Green Eyes"


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External links[edit]