Wed, 21 Jul 2010 11:41:35
"All of us are very inspired by Deftones," exclaims Iwrestledabearonce frontwoman Krysta Cameron. "The first time I ever screamed was when my very first band covered 'Birthmark.' So Deftones are the reason I scream!"
Krysta's become quite good at screaming since then. In fact, she's honed her voice into a weapon all its own. There are certainly moments on Iwrestledabearonce's It's All happening that evoke Mr. Moreno and Co., but the Louisiana electro-tech-grind-jazz-techno-metal outfit have a sound that's so distinctly deadly it's earth-shattering. There's no genre safe from Iwrestledabearonce's unbreakable sonic grapple…
While out on Warped Tour, Krysta sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino for an exclusive interview about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, handbags, Star Wars and how her band are going to beat heavy metal and every other genre into submission.
There's a sensitive side to IWRESTLEDABEARONCE that comes through seamlessly. How do you balance that brutality with the sensitivity?
We're into so many styles of music. We are cheesy people, but we don't want to be like, "Alright, here's our love ballad." We wanted to combine it all. As humans, our emotions are all over the place, so we wanted to fit that in with the music.
It definitely becomes transmitted through the mix of those insane guitars and your vocals.
That's exactly why we try to do it like that. I don't think we'll ever write a song that doesn't go in multiple directions. We'll always have a mixture of crazy, then really sensitive, then crazy and then sensitive but crazy at the same time [Laughs]. We play with emotions and leave people guessing what the song means and how we did it.
Well, you still have a sense of humor with the song titles.
Of course, a lot of bands take themselves so seriously, and we do too. This is our job but we also like to have fun at our job because who wants to go to work and hate what they do? Who wants to pretend they're something they're not and adopt a stage name? There are some bands that still do that; we're just not like that at all. Why take life so damn seriously? It's like a little kid's dream. Either they want to be a firefighter, an astronaut or a rock star. We're not rock stars, nor are we firefighters but I'm sure if there was a fire somebody in this band could take it out. I'd probably just sit there and laugh because it's hilarious to me [Laughs].
If you were to compare It's All Happening to a movie, what would you compare it to?
Definitely Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! One, Two, Three—all of them [Laughs].
Who's which Turtle?
We've established that the boys are the Turtles, my dog is Master Splinter, I'm April O'Neil and our merch-guy-slash-tour-manager is Casey Jones [Laughs]. I have a peekapoo. She's half-Pekingese and toy poodle. She looks a little bit like Master Splinter mixed with Falcor from The Neverending Story and an Ewok with a wicked snaggletooth. She's a mixture of all three. I don't think she's a dog [Laughs]. She's actually a human trapped in a dog's body that looks like all three of those characters [Laughs].
You just can't get away from the hybrids…
Which Star Wars is your favorite?
I can't pick that [Laughs]. That's like asking, "Which child is your favorite?" We're all kind of nerds. It's really hard to pick one out because they all have something special. It's like a Radiohead album; you can't pick which one is your favorite.
Empire Strikes Back always pulls me back.
Okay, I could see that. That's a good one! I remember watching this episode of That '70s Show. They did one episode where they were comparing life to Star Wars, and I was like, "Man, that's so true!" [Laughs] A lot of people under-rate certain episodes, but I think they're all good in their own ways. They all lead up to something epic.
Each movie has a lot of heart too. They're not slicked-out with CGI and special effects.
Exactly! Back in the day when it first came out, it was ahead of its time.
What's the story behind "See You In Shell"?
The story behind that one is really personal. I wrote it about personal family issues. Hopefully, people pick up on it. I've had a few people say, "I've read your lyrics, and did this happen to you? Because this happened to me…" The fact that they can relate to it in that way is really cool. It's something to help them out. When things are going down growing up, there's always that one record that you can relate your entire life to at that point in time. Having kids come and say, "Hey, this reminds me of what I'm going through now and it's helped me," means a lot. We all have a huge sense of humor because we don't take ourselves seriously. The song titles with the actual songs themselves. The song titles are all inside jokes between the band. That's what I think makes it even more special because people are like, "What does that even mean?" [Laughs] That song is a very touching song to me. When people can relate to it, it's really awesome.
How does it come across on stage?
We're just a bunch of idiots [Laughs]. We'll probably end up having a few drinks and go on stage and say, "Wow, I'm covered in bruises and sweat, awesome!" We beat ourselves up.
Which records shaped you?
Radiohead's Ok Computer or Silverchair's Neon Ballroom…I still go back and listen to that and it came out when I was in high school. Then there's Bjork's Vespertine. Pick out any random Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd album, and it'll remind me of growing up. There are a lot of random songs that play a big role in my life still to this day.
Tell me about your handbags
I'm constantly keeping my fingers and hands busy. I'm always sewing something. Some people are always calling in for custom handbags as well. People actually really like my work and want to wear it. I started making them our second year into touring. When I'm at home, I've always painted, sculpted and been artsy as hell [Laughs]. You're not able to do that on the road really. I love music. It's as therapeutic as art, but I like to do both to keep me sane. I started making the handbags on the road about two years ago and I keep doing it. People can get through my MySpace page, Let Them Eat Cake. Go there and look at my designs.
Have you heard Iwrestledabearonce yet?