Lets start off by stating your name and what you do in 3OH!3. Nate: My name is Nathaniel Motte, I sit in a dark basement in front of my computer and some loud speakers and click some stuff on and off to make beats. And then I yell into a microphone - both in the studio and on stage.
How did you two meet and get together to form the band? Nate: Sean and I met in Physics 2010 at the University of Colorado. I was a sophomore, he was a freshman. He was wearing an Anticon T-shirt. It was bro-love at first bro. We both were pretty heavily into the underground and experimental hip-hop scene, and we bonded over our love for music in general. At that time I was DJing and scratching a lot, and Sean was MCing. We would get together at my house and get stoopid on the mic and the tables. It was really fun. Eventually I started making beats - they were HORRIBLE at first! Sean was kind enough to say they were good. Eventually I started making more stuff that sounded more fun and one night we recorded Saydem up and NEATFREAK 47 vocals over the beats that I had made. I guess that was the start of our whole deal.
How do you want people to view your music? Nate: That's a tough question! I think that the vast majority of people who make things for a public forum want them to be appreciated and respected. I think a lot of people talk about "getting" or "not getting" certain music. For us I guess the most important thing is that people have fun with our music - that they have fun when they come to a show, have fun listening to it etc. I don't think this neglects the fact that we are still serious as death about the music we make. We want it to hit hard and push boundaries and blur genres, but we also want to have fun making and performing and listening to it. In a lot of music scenes, I think people get turned off by music that is different, or that is obviously fun. It's almost as if making something that is fun and inclusive immediately puts it is a "non-serious" or "gimmick" category.
I remember when I was headfirst into the underground hip-hop scene, I literally got tunnel vision when it came to different music, and it really scared me. I was raised in an environment that was really broad and inclusive in terms of listening to a bunch of different types of music, and yet I found myself rejecting any sort of hip hop that was "different" or "pop." Eventually, both Sean and I had to take a step back and ask ourselves why we were closing ourselves off to other music simply because it didn't fit the mold, or because it was to obviously pop or fun. Then we started listening to a lot of the rap coming out of Atlanta and we realized that it was AWESOME! It was pop, and yes, it was different from our safe haven of underground hip-hop, but it was super fun and dancing to it was great. I think a big part of us starting to make our music was as a reaction to that.
So after the long-winded answer, we hope that people just have fun! That they do what they want! If they like it, then word! If you are feeling it at a show come up and dance, yell your ass off, sweat!
What programs and tools do you guys use to make beats? Nate: I started out using the first version of Acid to cut up wave samples, and eventually got into programming in Reason. For a long time, all the beats I made were in reason (with some stuff sampled in Acid, like guitar parts that I played). Then we would track vocals through a Boss multitasking system into Acid, using the Boss for effects. It was super lo-fi, but it was really fun! We did our whole first record like that - tracking in Sean's bathroom and stuff. Recently, I have still been using Reason, and also cutting up drums and samples in Pro Tools, and using analog synthesizers to get funky fresh on some thick nasty buttery biscuit synth lines.
Sean does most of the lyrics and Nat does most of the beats. Do you guys often dip into the other's categories?
Nate: Yeah! We get together over a beat a lot and just kind of toss lyrical ideas back and forth. Or we will go back and forth adding vocals to a track over email. We really don't have a set method for making a song. A lot of times I will bounce instrumental ideas off of Sean when I am making beats, and he will tell me what he thinks. Then I tell him that his opinion really doesn't matter. Then he gets mad. Then he hits me. Then I hit him. Harder. Then we both find ourselves crying in each other’s arms.
What kind of sounds can we look forward to in the future? More diverse or sticking to the status quo?
Nate: Sounds from the future. Sounds from the past. Claps. 808s. tambos. I just sampled like 50 forks falling on a countertop. Dogs licking their chops. I think we are always stoked on doing new stuff, on trying to build on new sounds and working with new tools. It's just more fun to make new kinds of jams, to imitate what the people you respect are doing, and hopefully put your own twist on it too!
Who came up with the random artwork for both albums? Why no lyrics?
Nate: My brother Mothra (http://www.nicholasmotte.com) did the artwork for both of our albums, with some help from Andrew Kimmell on WANT. Nick is such an amazing artist and brother! He has been drawing for so long, blowing the minds of everyone in his path. It has been amazing to see him develop as an artist - super fucking inspiring!!!! He has the most amazing visual sense. Plus he's a tight dude. And the tightest of brothers. Andrew is equally insane in his sense of space and aesthetic. He's been hustling the design game since the womb!
About the lyrics... I don't know... To me it seemed a little pretentious that we would include our lyrics in our CD, almost as if we were pushing them down people's throats or something. I don't know if that is rational at all or makes any sense, but I guess I just didn't want it to seem like we are overly anxious to have people read into our shit!
How did you guys open up for Snoop Dogg and what was that like? Nate: The Snoop show was awesome! Our set was great - dope energy from the crowd and the Fillmore is awesome! We went off right when we were supposed to, and it took Snoop over 2 hours to come on. I went outside in back of the Fillmore to try to cool off right after our set, and I see Snoop roll up with about 15 dudes in a van. They rolled out and walked into the club and Snoop could barely open his eyes because of his "allergies." I think Don the Magic Juan picked some chicks out back and the whole crew rolled upstairs. We were right before him on the bill that night, and during the whole time people were waiting there wasn't even a DJ or anything. Towards the end people were getting really pissed off, but finally Snoop came on and KILLED IT! He is such a good performer and has such an insane presence on stage - it is pretty amazing to watch. All sins were forgiven and the DOGGFATHER ruled all.
Are you overwhelmed by the quick popularity you have gotten so far? Nate: Ha! I think we're doing fine! We can still go to the bathroom without the Paps all over the place snapping pics! No, it has been so fun to see our music spread out and to see other people having fun with it! It's so flattering that people want to listen to the shit that we make for fun!
Its almost seemed like this years warped tour is the reason for your success. It really seems like you guys being on warped tour made you explode onto the scene. Would you agree and what are your thoughts?
I think Warped was the best thing that we could have done for our group. It was crazy to see crowds getting bigger and bigger every day. I can't describe how amazing and flattering it is to play a city like Houston, or Boston, or Chicago, where we've never been anywhere near with 3OH!3, and see a few thousand people going nuts and having a good time. I think for one reason or another people on Warped were just stoked on coming to our shows and being stoopid and dancing around and having fun - and we fed off that the whole tour. It was a magic carpet ride of a summer. Sans Jasmine.
Have you ever thought about bringing a live band on tour??? Nate: Oh man! This summer on Warped, our buddies Matt and Josh and Adam from Katy Perry's band played with us almost every day. They are so nice and funny and INSANE musicians, and it was so much fucking fun to have them ripping our track to shreds. We just played a couple of the craziest shows we've ever done in our hometown of Boulder, Colorado with them, and it was by far the best shows we've ever done. So yes we've thought about it. Dreamed about it. Wet-Dreamed about it...
Any highlights from Warped Tour? Nate: I chipped Sean's tooth in the first week. Then chipped it again later. I think both times we were on stage romping around and I hit the microphone into his face. My legs are just starting to heal up. The scabs on my shins and knees from jumping down off the stage and into the crowd are disappearing. I feel kind of like a pussy now. I'm gonna start jumping off shit to get my summer look back.
Touring plans for the fall and winter? Nate: We are heading out on a headlining tour in October! Look out! It is going to be dope - we'll be getting all sweaty and loud in clubs in your area!
With your band, people either like or don't like 3OH!3. How do you guys deal with people who aren't fans of the band?
Nate: We have a little black book of every single hater ever. Addresses, phone numbers, shoe size, meal preference.
If you could each pick 5 songs to put on a perfect mixtape, what would they be?
Nate: - Chris Whitley - Hotel Vast Horizon
- Joanna Newsom - Emily
- Justin Timberlake - I Think That She Knows outro
- Sage Francis - Emperor’s New Clothing
- Robert Johnson - Hellhound on My Trail
Anything else you want to add? Nate: Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who came out and saw us this summer or listened to our shit or helped work our record - you have made this summer the best of our lives!!!!