Late for Nothing: Iwrestledabearonce Guitarist John Ganey Talks Gear, Steve Vai and Their 'Structured' New Album
From deep growls over chugging, down-tuned guitars to icy screams over dreamy piano riffs, Iwrestledabearonce are a band of extremes.
The experimental metal quintet — with their weird transitions, unusual time signatures and dissonant riffs — ignore boundaries when it when it comes to creating music.
In July 2012, the band lost their lead singer, Krysta Cameron, mid-tour when she discovered she was expecting a child. Despite Cameron’s news, IWABO labored through without missing a beat. Not wanting to let their fans down, the band played only one show as a foursome — and they had new vocalist Courtney LaPlante on a plane to join them on tour that very day.
LaPlante came from a band called Unicron out of British Columbia, Canada. Last year, IWABO guitarist Steven Bradley called LaPlante a beast in the singing and screaming departments, not to mention an awesome person.
As LaPlante expressed it on Facebook, “Being a part of Iwrestledabearonce is like winning the creative lottery. There are no rules or limits on the music we make” (although she admits she’s still trying to win the regular lottery).
Here we are a year later, and IWABO, out of Shreveport, Louisiana, are rocking hard overseas at festivals such as Ghost Fest and With Full Force; on bills with bands including Korn, the Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandria and many more. Their third album, Late for Nothing, will be released August 6.
“This whole record, from start to finish, is my favorite that we have ever done,” said John Ganey, one of two guitarists in the band. “Every album we release is more structured than the last. Our writing has matured over the years, but you will always be able to tell it’s Iwrestledabearonce.”
The album also features a guest appearance by Steve Vai, who plays a solo on “Carnage Asada,” which GuitarWorld.com premiered earlier this month. The band met Vai’s son at one of their shows and later approached him with the idea for the collaboration. “We all have the utmost respect for him, and we are all so stoked that he wanted to do this for us,” Ganey said. “Needless to say, it makes the song.”
Ganey’s influences stem from all over, including many artists who had no issues experimenting quite a bit themselves. Initially, his father sparked his musical interest by exposing him to classics such as Pink Floyd and Alan Parsons. As he got older, he found himself looking up to artists like Slipknot, Nirvana and Metallica.
Ganey plays an ESP MH-100 and an ESP Horizon II. “I’ve played several guitars throughout my life, and the ESP MH models are hands down my favorite,” he said. He referred to the ESP MH fretboard as smooth and fast with the neck having the perfect slide for him. He also complimented the light weight of the guitar.
“We have been able to travel the world and play our music and it doesn’t get any better than that,” added Ganey, who can be found back in the states shredding on his ESP, along with the rest of IWABO, on the All Stars Tour. It kicks off July 19 at The Paramount in Long Island, New York.