3OH!3 started with a very simple and modest philosophy: just having fun with what they do and love. Both Nathaniel “Nat” Motte and Sean Foreman connected with a purpose, plan and passion to make great music. This is what separates the good from the best. 3OH!3 is no exception for extraordinary talent.
2007. Boulder, Colorado.
When anything is born, it takes a while to learn how to walk. Before you walk, you learn to sit up, then crawl. After sometime, you learn to stand. Finally, you take your first steps. First steps start with a fall—humble beginnings.
Sean was living at home with his parents holed up in the basement busy and incessantly clicking away on MySpace looking for new 3OH!3 supporters, while Nat was working away at crafty beats on blown out computer speakers. With their self-titled album that was sent from coast to coast, unfortunately they have received many rejections or “no, you will never make it in the music business”.
But all it takes is one “yes”; that “yes” was found in Photo Finish Records president, Matt Galle. Matt saw the vision of the witty and catchy lyrics meshed with clever and booming electronic beats and saw money.
With a little help from their friends like Benny Blanco, “Don’t Trust Me” from the album “Want,” topped the charts at #1 double platinum with over 2.6 million tracks sold; etching their history in the hallowed halls of music super-stardom forever.
Now, they collaborate with artists like Lil Jon, Ke$ha and Katy Perry and have their latest album “OMENS” in stores now.
Oh, and it also helps to have your band name represent your hometown area code.
Contrast Magazine: Before creating the band in 2004, what was life like for 3OH!3?
3OH!3: Life was pretty different for the two of us. I was only 19, hustling my way through college. Nat was a pre-med student studying his ass off. We still found plenty of time to party and make music, tough.
CM: Since the beginning of 3OH!3, how has your music progressed?
3OH!3: We perform our old stuff all the time, but often, I forget to listen to it. When I do, there are pros and cons about all of it. Whether it’s the fact that we have become much more proficient at the software we use, or the technology has just become more advanced, the new stuff just sounds bigger to me. However, with the old stuff, there are lyrics and melodies that we wrote that make me think, “Where did that come from? I can’t even remember writing that,” in a good way.
CM: Do you think you’ve matured personally since starting 3OH!3 in your later teens?
3OH!3: Relentlessly touring has a way of humbling a person. When I spend time at home with my friends and family, I soak it up because I’m not always sure when I’ll be hitting the road again. It settles me and focuses my energy. I’ve learned so much from the relationships I’ve made in the business and through the process of songwriting and playing shows. They have made me a more mature, but not jaded person.
CM: You guys once performed for the United States Navy, how was that experience?
3OH!3: Playing for the Navy was a truly unforgettable trip. There were so many question marks going into the shows since they weren’t allowed to share details until a day or two prior. so, that caused a bit of stress, but also surprise. When the shows went off without a hitch, there was an even larger sigh of relief than usual. The men and women we met were remarkable. It was amazing to hang out and have a drink with them and get bits and pieces of their stories.
CM: Do you think 3OH!3 is something future generations will still be listening to?
3OH!3: I made a time capsule with all the 3OH!3 albums to be opened and 3030 so I’m thinking, “Yes,” but by that time, they won’t be listening to music anyways; they’ll just internalize it, download feelings to their brain or something.
CM: What was the inspiration for OMENS?
3OH!3: There wasn’t one singular inspiration for OMENS. We just wanted to write an album that we and our friends would really want to listen to. We focused on producing beats that sounded unique and fun to us. We didn’t get bogged down too much in any grand vision; we just wrote and wrote and wrote. The process was the most fun I have had in a long time.
CM: Have any other music artists impacted your music?
3OH!3: Most definitely. Nat and I were inspired by Lil Jon early on. We loved bands like The Faint and Nine Inch Nails for mixing genres and adding an electronic element. I personally look up to Andrew WK for his lifestyle and ethics.
CM: What do you guys fill your iTunes with?
3OH!3: Mine is a healthy mix of Indie Snobbery and Pop Buffoonery.
CM: Name an artists of a completely different genre that you’d love to collaborate with.
3OH!3: I’d love to work with Seal. “Kiss from a Rose” is one of the best songs ever written.
CM: What are your favorite backstage snacks?
3OH!3: Pita, hummus and beer.
CM: What’s the scoop on Ke$ha? What is it like sharing a stage with her?
3OH!3: It was really fun. That show is a machine. I remember walking to the dressing room and there were signs for “Ke$ha” and “Ke$ha Band” and we had a sign that said “Two White Rappers.” I almost died. Haha!
CM: What’s some helpful advice you could share with musicians who are just starting out?
3OH!3: Have fun! I’ve worked with a lot of younger artists lately and they are so concerned with making it “big” and selling albums. I think you have to be in it for the right reasons first and foremost. Play locally, record some music and build a local buzz. Definitely use the Internet to your advantage.
Don’t forget to listen to 3OH!3’s latest album OMENS on Spotify while awaiting their upcoming album NIGHT SPORTS. Also, download their single “Mat At You” right now on iTunes!
Official 3OH!3 Merchandise HERE!
Written by Joe Brown.