Bear necessities 

One would be hard pressed to succinctly describe the Louisiana metal
band I Wrestled a Bear Once. Its songs incorporate a pantry of sounds. Racing metal guitars pushed against adult-contemporary pop; New Wave ’80s synths punctuated with samples of the General Lee’s car horn.

The alt-metal quintet formed in 2007 from the ashes of another act while on tour in New York City. There, guitarist Steven Bradley met vocalist Krysta Cameron — the band’s secret weapon, a banshee alternating between feral growl and angelic cry.

“She wanted to sound like a dude and have people not be able to tell she’s a chick once she started singing,” said Bradley. “Same as the music: She doesn’t want to be limited to one certain thing.”

Almost immediately, they penned an EP and hit the road. It’s been going strong ever since. In 2009, they released their debut, It’s All Happening, followed up by 2011’s Ruining It for Everybody, recorded
in Bradley’s basement, “just for freedom to track guitars at 4 a.m. and
not have anyone complain or bitch and say we’re doing things wrong,” he
said. “It’s fun to go into million-dollar studios and feel good about
yourself. But at the end of the day, it’s largely unnecessary.”

Ruining It finds
the members honing their ADHD attack and tightening the seams on the
mutating arrangements. The parts may seem somewhat random, but Wrestled tries to connect them; the music isn’t a Jackson Pollock painting.

“We
come up with a million ideas, but they don’t always work and we won’t
force them. We want it to make sense,” Bradley said. “None of us claim
to know what we’re doing too well, but we always at least try to make
sure things flow.”

The
group already has begun work on its next album. Bradley insists you can
always find the members in the van or bus, headphones plugged into
laptops, fooling and tooling around to make music.

“That’s
the beauty of the technology that’s simultaneously killed and made
possible music,” he said. “You can work on music anywhere.”

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