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How Spiritbox’s Courtney LaPlante (Ex-IWABO) Learned to Scream

Courtney LaPlante, currently of Spiritbox and formerly of Iwrestledabearonce, took a unique path on her way to learning how to scream. It’s a game of trial and error for everyone, but— really — how many screamers have tried taking a swig of hot sauce to warm up their voice? At least one…

In this episode of Loudwire’s ongoing “How I Learned to Scream” video series, the Spiritbox frontwoman looked back to her childhood — about five years old — to recollect her very first memory of hearing an extreme vocal. Whether you realized it or not, odds are it was the same case for you — Cannibal Corpse‘s appearance in Jim Carrey’s 1994 hit film, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

“My mind went, ‘Okay, this guy sounds like a primate of some sort or a gorilla or something from a National Geographic show when they’re talking to each other,'” said LaPlante, who also noted her mindset at the time was, “Ace Ventura loves animals, this whole movie is about animals… they’re just an animal band and that’s why he likes them so much because they sound like animals.”

Later on in life, as LaPlante began to form her tastes in music a bit more readily, she was turned on to System of a Down and Linkin Park while watching MTV2 when staying home from school one day. Both bands had small elements of harsh vocals that shaped an early taste in heavier music.

As for actually making an attempt to scream herself, that didn’t happen until she was 18 when she elected to place a scream over a breakdown in a song her brother wrote. Even though it was a family effort, screaming was restricted solely to band practice. “I never could ever fathom going in my room doing screaming,” she dismayed.

Despite never wanting to practice in her bedroom, it’s not because her family wasn’t supportive of these wild, animalistic noises she was capable of producing. The whole family would attend local shows with her brothers going especially nuts in the pit, even at a middle school graduation. “Very inappropriate,” remarked LaPlante, who noted some of the hilarious moments that transpired.

Now, about that hot sauce… it’s one of many tricks LaPlante has adopted in an effort to get her voice prepared for a show. She’s also known for nursing cough drops on stage, sucking on one for a brief period before placing it back on the wrapper to go back to at later points in the set.

Oh, and she a totally unashamed about cupping the mic. There’s a few reasons for that, but you can watch the episode below to find out why LaPlante is an ardent defender of the divisive technique.

Follow Spiritbox on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify. The band signed a deal with Rise Records earlier this year and are currently working on their debut album. Be on the lookout for their new song, “Constance,” which will premiere at 10PM ET tonight (Dec. 3).

Spiritbox’s Courtney LaPlante: How I Learned to Scream

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