INTERVIEW WITH... 3TEETH
PHOTO CREDITS: STEVEN SCOULLER
Down The Front Media caught up with 3TEETH frontman Alexis Mincolla after their set at SWG3, Glasgow where they’ve been supporting the mighty MINISTRY on this recent run, and two days before their new album ‘Metawar’ was released.
DTFM: So, Alexis, you’ve a new album, ‘Metawar’, coming out, you must be excited?
Alexis: This is our third album; our first major label album and for us it’s somewhat of a difference in what we’ve done prior as we had a little bit of capital to afford us time to get into the studio to write together as a band because before we were largely sending files between each other, working jobs and writing in our free time. This is a record for us which was a total devotion to the record which was a new experience for us which we had a fucking great time doing.
DTFM: There is a lot of different stuff happening in the songs, some of the arrangements seem complicated. How long does the writing process take and how do you work on that as a band?
Alexis: We took some time to do it. The way we write in particular, we’ll write songs and say, oh, that’s cool. Oh, let’s take the vocals from here, oh, lets’ take the bass line from there, oh let’s take this…It’s like the nature of Industrial music which is sort of like re-purposing materials in different ways. We sit and write together in rooms as a band, but we don’t want to sound like a jam-band, we want to sound like a synthetic machine that’s cold and just punishing, so we almost like pull the heart out of the jam and put that part in the freezer then we’ll pull another piece of the heart out and put that in the freezer too then we’ll combine those hearts later and create a ‘Frankenstein-esque’ machine.
DTFM: Where does your inspiration come from to come up with these songs?
Alexis: Our inspiration comes from all over, it’s not hard to find inspiration to write songs about, societal collapse, where everywhere you turn sort of feels like society is collapsing around you. The songs lyrically that I like to create attention around are things that I feel are issues that feel pressing to me, things that I want to absolve myself of as a human experience as a way to cathartically, release it from the thing I might be rambling about then it’s like stop talking to me about it and just write a song about it and then I go, ok, cool that’s fine.
DTFM : Political unrest and politics in general seems to play a part in your music. Does the current political situation with Donald Trump play a heavy influence in your songs?
Alexis: I don’t think Donald Trump plays any heavier of an influence for me than any other moment from when we started this project which was essentially the Obama Administration. I have a lot of issues with that. I finished my degree in 2005, living in Rome during the Bush Administration and I had problems with them. For me it’s not necessarily about a particular Administration, as much it’s about systemic issues at whole that I recognise. The Trump Administration, if anything, in America made it harder to cut through because everyone jumped on board with shitting on the Government at that point in time and if you were to have any sort of critique of the Government you had people jumping down your throat, pinning you to one side or the other side, oh…ok cool, they’re like liberal fucking cocks who would say this, blah, blah, blah, I had nothing to do with them. I slammed Hillary, I slammed fucking Obama, Bush, everyone to that point. For me it’s not about a particular individual who has made it worse, I just think Trump in general has made it harder to cut through, because, almost of the ‘band-wagon’. It required fancier footwork on this record to have a critique of the American Government which often at times American foreign policy is domestic policy for other governments, so you can consider that a global issue.
DTFM: So, who or what does the ‘X’ in your song ‘President X’ represent?
Alexis: The song President X is about every President. The X means it’s a variable, it’s every president. Frank Zappa once said that the executive branch of the Government is the entertainment division of the military, industrial complex. Which means you’re dealing with a guy who is there to just wag the dog if you will, it’s ‘info-tainment’ which I do believe Obama actually ushered in. Obama was on ‘Saturday Night Live’, Obama at the Whitehouse Correspondence was delivering speeches in ways, like he was a better stand -up comic than most people. He was so ferociously entertaining that we all fell in love with him in a way that centrist politics creates pacification and no one gives a shit and says, oh, we got a black president, he’s awesome, he’s charismatic, he’s brilliant and then everyone just tunes out, which allows him to drone strike children in Yemen without any consequences, because it’s Obama, look at his smile, he’s brilliant, he’s cute, he’s the best! Meanwhile he can get away with anything at that point. If anything, Trump is such a terrible politician, he’s so bad at lying that he engages more people, whether or not that engagement creates anything positive, I have no comment on because most people jump on the first buzzword rhetoric of the 30 second shit-bag news cycle and that’s not going to contribute to anything in terms of actual rhetoric, but at least it’s getting people to be engaged and focus on it. Whereas with Obama, we kind of just thought, finally we have a black president; this guy’s brilliant he’s awesome, and funny, we’re sailing off into the sunset, everything’s fine and it was not. Nothing really changed, so at that point it almost made sense that the pendulum was going to swing back to, you know, info-tainment wise, a President like Trump, so it’s going to be interesting to see what the next one is like, it ping-pongs.
DTFM: Is there anybody who you would really like to work with and collaborate with on a project?
Alexis: I always thought about collaborating with someone like Mathew Barney, who is a phenomenal visual artist. He was married to Bjork and a Yale grad, he’s a visual art phenomenon who I think had a lot of prolific statements. I’d like to resurrect modern American ‘Jowdorowsky’ vibes with a film project and scoring something like that.
DTFM: Your music is unique and listening to it it’s not easy to pin-point any specific musical genre that you might have an affinity with. Who were your main musical influences growingup that shaped who you are today?
Alexis: Bands that had a profound effect on me were Ministry for one because I had an older brother who was in metal bands. I’d say back in the day if you wanted to find out about a cool band you had to get beat up by someone’s older brother. Now you just have a Spotify playlist. I think the things that really inspired me were bands like Sepultura who were a big inspiration to me were. I thought they merged really heavy stuff and political stuff in a way that was seething with an energy that seemed so real to me. Nailbomb’was another as well which was a side project for those guys. Rage Against the Machine. I ended up taking out Che Guevara’s Guerrilla Warfare at the public library because they put him on a shirt. I was in 7th grade, I was about 12 years old at the time, checking out Che Guevara. I have very little desire to preach to fans. I want them to think for themselves…Think for yourself!
DTFM: So you guys are on tour with Ministry, you’ve a new album out, what’s next for 3TEETH?
Alexis: I’ve no fucking clue! I like to put one foot in front of the other because everything about this project seems to move so fast and it’s so challenging in so many ways because eveythime you set your trajectory you want to happen, you’re limited by capital and time and you sort of end up having to adjust your trajectory based on here’s what I want to do and here’s what you can do, so we’re just going to find out, write another record, make some weird shit. I’ve no idea. Right now, it’s going on tour and not getting detained at borders!
3TEETH’s brand new album ‘Metawar’ is available to purchase now - https://www.centurymedia.com/release.aspx?IdRelease=2210