Nathaniel Motte of 3OH!3 Talks "You're Gonna Love This", "Omens", Wes Anderson Flicks, Nine Inch Nails, and More
Wed, 03 Oct 2012 15:53:30
There are few things you can count on—especially in music.
Luckily, one of them is the fact that 3OH!3 will always provide the perfect soundtrack to party. The first single from their upcoming album Omens, "You're Gonna Love This", is a downright brilliant blast. Smart, sharp, and slick, it's another insanely catchy and strikingly funny gem from the Denver duo of Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte. "You're Gonna Love This" also provides a fitting preview to the album. 3OH!3 preserve that vibe, but they still manage to get a little deeper and darker too, making for their most dynamic effort yet. These are some damn good Omens as far as we're concerned…
In this exclusive ARTISTdirect.com interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Nathaniel Motte of 3OH!3 talks "You're Gonna Love This", Omens, Wes Anderson movies, Nine Inch Nails, and more.
What's the story behind "You're Gonna Love This"? It seems like the track incorporates all of the band's signatures. It's funny, smart, and super catchy.
That means a lot! Thank you! It's a familiar look for people who konow our sound. It's akin to our whole vibe. I was at my house, and the electrician was wiring some stuff up in my studio. I was in the living room, making sounds to have later for production. I came up with that chord progression, and I thought, "This is pretty cool!" We wrote most of the album in Colorado during last December. Sean came over, and we ended up producing that crazy buildup. It sounded like the Dolby intro that says, "The audience is now listening…" [Laughs] We built it up into that drop. Sean went up to the mic, and we kept saying funny shit and laughing through that drop. Eventually, we came up with "You're Gonna Love This", and we laid that down. We've always loved a sense of irony and sense of humor overall. I think shouting out your own song and loving it is pretty funny. This song is a bit more on-the-surface than some of the material on the record. It's about having a good time. We can always see the irony in a party situation—whether it's not getting a chick and going home or something else [Laughs]. Sean definitely does more of the lyrical content. He comes from many different backgrounds but most importantly a hip hop and battle background. He's really good at that and interested in clever, punchline writing. He does that really well.
What's your take on Omens as a whole?
Up until this point, we haven't made a core concept record where the songs are absolutely tied together, and the album is planned out as a whole. In that sense, we make records song by song and examine the body of work we have and choose the tracks from there. There is fluidity in Omens. We took things back to how we started making music. Most of these songs are just Sean and I making music, experimenting with sounds, and having fun in Colorado. We did most of it in a fairly short period of time. It was nice to be in that headspace, get away from everything and return to the roots of how we do stuff having fun and making music. We try to do something different on every song and reach for new things. We also understand and realize what we're doing and what's worked in the past. It's about balancing all of that and making something worthwhile.
Do you have a favorite song on Omens?
I have some favorites for different reasons. There's a song called "Youngblood" that's almost an indie-sounding track. It's perhaps the furthest development of "musicality" we've had so far. There's a track called "Black Hole" which is hard-hitting and hearkens back to our older, tougher rap sounds. It's fun to get back to that and evolve at the same time. It feels very satisfying to be so involved in the record and dig in deep on every song.
You certainly cover a variety of styles.
That's called ADD, I guess [Laughs]. Over the years, we've learned a lot about production and music. We try to apply that to our music and make it broad-sounding. Hopefully, it stands the test of time.
Is it important for the songs to have a cinematic feel?
Yeah, I think so. Again, a good amount of that comes from Sean. He has a very visual way of writing songs. On the production tip, I've been getting into working on some film scoring projects. I've done that in the past, and I love doing it. There's a certain fluidity of sound that comes from that. If that contributes to a visual sense in the song, it makes sense. Our generation has grown up with music videos. You remember a lot of songs visually. That contributes to our writing as well.
If you were to compare Omens to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
That's a tough one! The hopeful side of me would compare it to a Wes Anderson movie, but I don't know if it's that good [Laughs]. The Royal Tenenbaums pops up. There are parts that are dark. There are parts that our pretty happy. A lot of it has an undertone of irony and a dark sense of humor. That's how we are as people and how we relate to everybody. I'd hope we could be one of the Tenenbaums. Either that or The Fifth Element because that's one of my favorite movies! It's very colorful.
Rushmore was tough to beat…
That's a good one! Moonrise Kingdom was good though.
At points, 3OH!3 does channel Nine Inch Nails. There's a melodic sensibility within an industrial space. There's a perfect balance between organic and electronic elements.
You're telling me exactly what I've been dreaming to hear [Laughs]. Specifically, that's something I've been striving for as long as I've been producing because I come from a background playing a lot of acoustic guitar and some piano—badly. As a kid, I fell into electronic music. I loved Nine Inch Nails. Then, I got into trance shit and more dance music. When it came time to produce my own sounds, I'd sample my acoustic guitar with some weird, heavy, fucked-up sounding synthesizer. The juxtaposition of those elements has always been fascinating to me. It's a cool and interesting age of music because a lot of those worlds are colliding even faster and faster. We're getting a lot of great music that combines those aspects in a fluid and cool manner. With our music, I think both lyrically and musically we love doing things that are a bit dark—whether it's funny or on the heavier side of things. That's how we are and how we live. We're not depressed all the time, but it's nice to see the world through those lenses.
Are you excited for Omens?
Catch the band on tour now! Dates here!
Watch the video for "You're Gonna Love This" below!