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Music  >>  Vinyl  >>  Rock/Pop

Iwrestledabearonce

Hail Mary

Iwrestledabearonce Hail Mary
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When it came time to record their fourth full-length album and first for Artery Recordings, Hail Mary, Iwrestledabearonce all agreed on one thing. So, what was the great unifier in this case for musicians Steven Bradley [guitar], Courtney LaPlante [vocals], Mike Stringer [guitar], Mikey Montgomery [drums], and Mike “Rickshaw” Martin [bass]? “We wanted to write some straight-up heavy, crazy, gnarly music this time,” declares Steven. “We basically decided to just shit on everything people might be expecting and do something ‘weird’ for us AKA take things in a darker direction and write some music that explores even more heavy/technical genres than in the past.” “On this album, we all had a clear goal to push ourselves both creatively and technically,” LaPlante agrees. “My lyrics and performance had to mirror the music. I had to push passed my self-created boundaries, and as Steven so eloquently put it, ‘Get gnarly.’ The only pressure I felt was from myself. Since I joined the band, I’ve grown as a vocalist and lyricist, and now is my time to prove it.” With that mindset, the quintet retreated to Steven’s studio in suburban Los Angeles to cut the 14 tracks comprisingHail Mary. 2013’s Late for Nothingintroduced Courtney behind the mic, boasted a guest spot from guitar god Steve Vai on “Carnage Asada,” and scored acclaim from the likes of Ultimate Guitar, MetalSucks, Kerrang!, and Revolver. However, this new collective goal encouraged the members to truly gel on album number four. “The last time we were writing, I had just joined the band, and I was a bit isolated at home for the beginning of the process,” recalls Courtney. “I didn’t hit my stride creatively until I got down to Los Angeles with the guys. This time, I was there for every single moment. I was engrossed in it. Together, we watched little ideas bloom into what Hail Maryis now.” Album opener “Gift of Death” begins with a dissonant hum before slipping into a bludgeoning polyrhythmic guitar-and-drum death march punctuated by Courtney’s distinct growls. “The goal was to piece together a bunch of crazy tech metal ideas, but to not lose sight of keeping it memorable and somewhat organized,” says Steven. “Also it’s pretty damn evil, and it really sets the tone for the album.” Then, there’s the eradicating and entrancing “Erase It All,” which boasts a scorching cameo from Suicide Silence singer Eddie Hermida and also appropriately received its debut on Easter Sunday 2015. “It’s emblematic of what we’re doing on this record and having both Courtney and Eddie together at the end of the song is just inarguably br00talz.” “It’s time to reject the notion that if you play by the rules, then you will be rewarded,” sighs Courtney. “Erase that false mindset and move on to better things. It’s about standing up for yourself and not drinking a drop of the poison disguised as medicine people shove in your face.” Iwrestledabearonce’s multi-dimensional sound has transfixed listeners since the release of their 2009 debut It’s All Happening. Over the course of 2011’sRuining It For Everybody and Late For Nothing, the band amassed nearly 100 million cumulative YouTube views, while obliterating stages in 40+ countries and with bands from every genre imaginable. Everything laid the groundwork for Hail Mary as their most corrosive, catchy, and chaotic statement to date though.

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