Interview with Steven Bradley
This week has been very busy for me due to work, coming up with content for the March Spazzine, and new release reviews. I was still able to conduct an interview with my friend Steven Bradley of IWrestledABearOnce and Statues Cry Bleeding, I wanted to catch up with Steven and ask him a few questions about life on the road and what it’s like being in a touring band on a major label. For those of you allergic to profanity, you probably shouldn’t read this. You can check out IWrestledABearOnce here (and scb here)
As somebody who started out in a local band in a small town who managed to start a band that ended up on a major label, what advice do you have for other small town local bands with dreams of actually getting out of their town and touring constantly?
Nobody is going to come to your town and find out about how awesome you think you are. Get the fuck out there and tour AND make sure you keep up a strong online presence. The combination of booking coast-to-coast DIY tours and keeping in touch with people on the internets definitely helped us get out there, and is 100% the reason we got signed and are touring the world now!
I know that you guys have a rider for your tours nowadays, but what are some things you wish you could put on your tour rider and actually have waiting for you at each venue?
The band as a whole would probably answer blunts, PBR, a masseuse, and a hot tub filled with champagne… all of life’s simple pleasures, really.
I remember watching Statues Cry Bleeding play to a crowd of 50 or so people at Cottonport in West Monroe, La a few years ago, now you’re playing sold out shows in places like Japan. When you play to ridiculously huge amounts of people, do you ever feel pressure to perform at a certain level or is it easy to block it out and just shred?
50 was a big crowd back then! I remember us playing to a crowd of 15 people and IWABO played shows to even fewer folks than that! And honestly I just go for it every single fucking time… 15 people or 15,000. Playing in front of 15 people is easier because it feels less awkward for me and there’s no barricade, but there’s definitely something awesome about watching a sea of people just bouncing and dancing and diving off of shit. I don’t get nervous at all and never really have. There’s only a couple times in the history of the band I can remember looking out and thinking “Holy Shit!” but it was more of a “wow this is real and my life is pretty badass” not a “wow this is fucking scary” sort of thing. On stage holding a guitar is where I feel most comfortable in the world.
You guys are playing the New England Metal & Hardcore Fest this year, which used to be, and still kind of is, one of the biggest american metal festivals. You are also playing with some huge bands like Overkill and Every Time I Die. You’re also one of the headliners at Warped Tour 2012. Are these festivals as fun to play as it seems, or is it more stressful than people think? Also, i’m completely jealous you get to meet Bobby Blitz!
Every fest is different… and Warped is a beast in and of itself! Although Warped is without a doubt the most organized festival of all time AND it’s a touring fest AND it has 238,293 bands. Pretty fucking impressive how they keep it all together every single day with no real issues. On the other hand, we have DEFINITELY played festivals that are total nightmares… nothing organized and tour managers/promoters/bands all fighting and shit gets insane. We have driven hundreds of miles to play and then the fest is a bust and the promoter fakes a health problem to get to the hospital to dodge paying all the bands… we’ve seen it all at this point. Stoked for NEM&HF though! We’ve played it before and it’s really well organized and fun as hell.
What’s the funniest, weirdest, or creepiest tour story you have? Have you had any of those classic “overdose on heroin in the middle of a solo while topless midgets dance around you” moments?
We get creepy stories all the time, but it’s mainly Krysta that attracts the creepy folks. The INSANE shit people write/tell her even blows my mind sometimes and I’m pretty damn weird. As for funny stories, all of our tour update videos are pretty damn funny in my opinion! Watch them and you can see us all make mistakes and do all kinds of ignorant shit all across the globe!
Have you taken up any strange hobbies to pass the time while on the road?
Just drinking and doing silly shit with friends… nothing too strange! I’ve gotten pretty good at making pipes out of household objects and food items… strange skill I suppose.
Most bands dream about getting to play shows with bands like Every Time I Die, at this point in your career, if you could tour with any active band, who would it be?
REFUSED… since they’re active again… and even though we don’t have the same fanbase whatsoever.
Every time I read an article about IWABO online, people always seem to have alot of negative comments about you guys, yet they don’t really have good reasons why. Do you deal with hecklers at all on the road, if so, do you ever have a Josh Homme moment where you hurl insults and water bottles back at them?
Nah… A FEW times in the history of the band, people have touched Krysta while we’re on stage in a way that is obviously inappropriate, and that’s about the only time shit gets really wild at our shows. Krysta has definitely broken a few noses and we have definitely all but crucified a few dipshits in the past… and watched our scary friends go on to pull weapons on them, etc etc. But other than that, nobody ever talks shit to us in person. I mean people might say they hate us for being goofy or “not taking metal seriously” or some silly shit, but I don’t think anybody would ever want to actually fight us over something that stupid. We don’t have any REAL enemies I would hope since we definitely go out of our way to try to befriend everybody we possibly can and spread the message of open-mindedness and not being a dick. We DID have a super wasted guy at a show one time buy a TON of merch and then yell at us in the parking lot for “PLAYING NOTES!” … apparently he only likes music that’s breakdowns and we play too many notes or something. He later went on to punch his super young son in the face and get the shit kicked out of him before the cops showed up. Good times!
If you could have written any song ever, what would it be and why?
TOUGH question… shit… probably a deftones song, but it would take me a while to pick. Or any Queen song… or anything Slipknot… yeah, I can’t answer this. I give up.
What plans do you have for the future of IWABO? Even though you guys have achieved a fair amount of success just two albums into your career, where do you see the band going in the next two or three years or so?
Hopefully just going to new countries that we’ve never been to before and continuing to grow. We’ve been lucky in that a lot of bands come along nowadays and blow up then fall off the face of the earth completely, whereas we have had ups and downs for sure, but it’s been a slow, steady rise when you look at the big picture! Can’t ask for much more than that in today’s fickle scene, and we’re extremely grateful for every single person who has ever supported us and especially those who continue to do so. We will always be that weirdo band that hang out with people in parking lots and shotgun beers, go to merch during the show to meet people, hang around until every single person who wants a photo or autograph gets what they want, and that will never change.