With a suitably surreal name (taken from a quote by Gary Busey!) and an equally unpredictable approach to music, avant-garde metallers iwrestledabearonce combined their famously twisted sense of humor with their love of old-school slasher movies last year for the feature film A Beary Scary Movie, which features a supernatural killer named “Shreddy” armed with a razor-sharp guitar, which he uses to decimate the band's fans.
But that's not the only time the band pulled a shock out of their pockets: in 2011, they tricked fans into believing they were recording a Norwegian-style black metal album, and they stunned audiences last year when lead vocalist Krysta Cameron, who suddenly left the band after becoming pregnant, was almost immediately replaced by Courtney LaPlante, after which the band completed the 2010 Warped Tour without missing a stop. LaPlante is now a permanent member of IWABO, and contributes as songwriter on the band's new studio album Late for Nothing, which hits stores today. Here's the album's first single, the excellent “Thunder Chunky”:
We got to chat with IWABO's Mike “Rickshaw” Martin about the new release, the band's love of horror flicks, and their bizarre creative sense.
FEARnet: You've been playing some of the new songs on tour this summer... how's material going over with the fans?
MIKE: The new stuff seems to be going over quite well: we hear people scream "Thunder Chunky!" Before we even play it. Courtney is really stoked to be playing her own songs now.
The new material seems to have a more cinematic feeling, and is less experimental in style. What inspired you to take your sound in that direction?
Well, when IWABO is writing, we really don't set a tone for an album; we just start writing. I think the only thing that's really changed with us is the fact that we're old, and like a more traditional song structure. But other than that, we do what we want and keep it weird.
What led to Steve Vai's involvement on the track “Carnage Asada?”
We're actually pretty good friends with Steve's son Julian. He's a fan, and we've always just hung out and partied with him... so he kinda just made it happen.
Let's backtrack a bit and talk about A Beary Scary Movie. How did that project come to light?
A Beary Scary Movie started as a music video idea. John [Ganey, IWABO guiarist] is a huge Nightmare on Elm Street fan, and he kinda mentioned doing a spoof video, so our buddies at KOTK productions took that idea and started working. A bit later, they kinda said their idea was more of a full, scripted movie. To be honest, I think Century Media had just expected a video. But they put some money into it anyway, and it turned into a movie.
You've done some really creative videos in the past as well.
We actually have a new one coming out this week, and just like our other videos it's pretty wacky... this time around, it's a little more simple, but I think everyone will enjoy it.
Did the band come up with the story idea for Beary Scary?
Justin Beasley of KOTK productions wrote the story, and left a lot of the dialogue open for us to just play around with. When we started filming, we just made up a lot of the weird jokes that we think are funny.
How did Jake Busey and Slipknot's Shawn Crahan get involved?
We actually met Shawn through a photo shoot, and had some beers with him and hit it off. He loved the idea of being in our movie. We're actually pretty good friends with Jake Busey's sister Alectra, so that's how we got Jake on the project.
In addition to A Nightmare on Elm Street, what other horror movies inspired you?
IWABO as a band is huge into the old-school horror world. Every time we even hear of a scary movie that looks good, we head to a theater, or to Netflix, or whatever.
What films are your favorites?
The Shining, Child's Play, the Friday the 13th movies, Puppetmaster... lots of those movies just scared the shit out of me as a kid. I'm not going to lie, I'm still afraid of ghosts.
What's the scariest movie you've seen lately?
I actually just saw The Conjuring.
What did you think?
I thought it was awesome... and I'm glad I don't live alone! I'm also glad the van isn't haunted!
A Beary Scary Movie is available on DVD (including a deluxe edition) and Late for Nothing released today. You can find them both at Century Media's online store CMDistro.com.