IWRESTLEDABEARONCE guitarist/songwriter STEVEN BRADLEY takes AP track by track through the band’s new album, Ruining It For Everybody.

“Next Visible Delicious”
This song is the first that we finished writing for this album, and a few of the riffs are from ideas we had right after finishing the last album [It’s All Happening]. I feel weird even using the word, but I guess you could say it's “typical” IWABO style, bouncing from electronics to off-time heavy stuff to jazzy stuff to a synth-driven chorus to weird electronics with guitar tapping. Lyrically, this song is pretty self-explanatory; it warns of the dangers of allowing religion to be the basis of our society's decisions politically, and in general. We felt like it was good to lead off the new record with this song, since it definitely sounds like a progression for us, but also seemed the most similar to our last record.

“You Know That Ain't Them Dogs' Real Voices”
This track, like the previous one, is fairly reminiscent of something that could have been on our last album, except it's organized much better and the chorus parts are way more catchy and memorable. It also has a completely left-field surf part that we did spur-of-the-moment while drinking in our basement working on demos. Ricky [Mike "Rickshaw” Martin, bassist] had the idea for a surf part, so I took the super-deathy part I had just written for the song and changed the same riff to a tremelo-y surf style. Also, the very last “breakdown” and weird off-time riff of this song are ones I had written years and years ago that I loved and never got recorded in our previous band.



“Deodorant Can't Fix Ugly”
This song is where the record starts to take some weird turns, even for us. It starts off with a pretty proggy intro that's definitely unlike anything else we've ever done, and then [i[it]oes into a weird, off-time heavier section featuring lower-tuned guitars than we normally use. After some other twists, it actually goes into a riff (the one underneath [t[the lyric]Why should we believe in something we can't see?”) that was the first heavy guitar riff I ever wrote with a synth behind it. I remember coming up with it at John [G[Ganey, guitar/programming] parents' house almost a decade ago, and somehow we forgot about it until now; something is definitely wrong with our brains. But anyway, the best part of this song—and maybe the album—is the end of this song that features guest vocals from some amazing gospel-style singers that we tracked in Atlanta. Lyrically, this song is about questioning the idea of blindly following ideas and living life without ever questioning things.

“This Head Music Makes My Eyes Rain”
You just can't be heavy without something contrasting it to make it heavy. This song serves as a little break before we go into the next track, which kicks off as the heaviest on the album. John has had the basis of this song floating around for a few years, and we finally organized it and built on it with some extra programming and guitar work. It's a nice interlude and gives a break for everyone before we do some more crazy, noisy bullshit that we love oh-so-much.

“It Is ‘Bro’ Isn't It?”
Well, AP says this track sounds like “hate sex between Napalm Death and Evanescence” and “roommates in a game of stereo wars.” Hoorah! This song is the first one on the record where we dropped way down to drop-F# tuning, whereas we're normally in drop-B. It features some of the most straightforward heavy riffs we've ever done, and also some of our favorite simplistic, pretty parts of the album. If you're into angry hate sex, give 'er a listen!

“Gold Jacket, Green Jacket”
This song was actually the last one we finished before we started tracking, and we just used lots of ideas we had wanted to use on the album that we hadn't found a place for yet. It has a pretty damn awesome Indian-sounding section with insane guest vocals from Andrew [S[Sudderth]f Fair To Midland [a[and]ur first-ever sing-along-style breakdown. Guitar nerds will note it's the only track where I busted out ye ol' Whammy pedal again. Now go watch Billy Madison.

“Break It Down Camacho”
Obviously, the main rule of our band has and always will be “anything goes,” but this song in particular has one of the longest sections we've ever done of just spacey, pretty stuff. Add in the fact this song lyrically is about Krysta [C[Cameron, vocalist] grandfather's death, and it's a pretty emotional piece of music. The sample of Krysta's grandmother at the end, combined with the recording of the actual whistle used at the Long Island Sound that is referenced in the lyrics, is pretty goddamn hair-raising.

“Stay To The Right”
Remember when Ma Fratelli in The Goonies yelled “Stay to the right!” and it was awesome? Okay, good. This track starts off with a ton of fast, heavy goodness; goes into a super-catchy chorus; drifts into a weird ‘70s-style prog section; and finally ends up with some ‘90s-inspired electro-nu-metal-weird-sounding glory that definitely pays homage to some bands who have influenced us. Our buddy Big Chocolate sent us over the short drum loop underneath the aforementioned electro part, and we went to town on it. The lyrics on this one are about all of us literally living together on and off the road for the past few years.

“I'm Gonna Shoot”
MaacccGruuubbberrrrrr. This track definitely stands out on the record in my opinion as the “least IWABO-sounding one.” It still bounces between lots of different ideas, but somehow it feels different to all of us. The intro and the section that starts at 1:30 are soft and pretty, but for sure sound new and different for us. We all love this song because it sounds so different.

“Karate Nipples”
Good ol' “Karate Nipples” was the first single we released from Ruining It For Everybody. This song definitely features the catchiest chorus/vocals of anything we've ever done, and also has one of the gnarliest detuned heavy parts we've ever done. It's a good example of the record as a whole, where the general theme was to push everything further and make the soft parts more memorable, the heavy parts more br00tal and the electronic elements more interesting. It also has a pretty killer ‘70s-disco part I wrote in the car on the way home from seeing Tron in IMAX 3D. (Don't ask me why I remember that.) Our buddy Sluggo, who has done remixes for us in the past, actually gave us the beat in the electronic break and told us if we didn't use it on the album and name the song “Karate Nipples,” then we wouldn't be friends anymore.

“Button It Up”
“Button It Up” is probably my favorite track on this new album, and [i[it]s definitely the darkest song we've ever written. It's also the only song we have where we kept the working title for it as the final title. (Cue the music from “The More You Know…”) Anyway, the opening section is one of my favorite riffs John has ever come up with, and then it flows into one of the few off-time, weird-ass, dissonant, tapping guitar parts we have on this album with a pretty ridiculously heavy “breakdown” behind it.
Lyrically, this one is about a girl who meets a guy online and is then tortured and killed, something that happens too frequently nowadays and is one of the unfortunate consequences of this new era of people spending more time online than actually interacting with other humans. The very end of this song is super-heavy and features guest vocals from our good friend Eddie [H[Hermida]rom All Shall Perish. It seemed only fitting that since it has the heaviest ending of any of our new songs, we close the record with it.