Interviews

Interview: Alexis Mincolla of 3TEETH

Transgressive five-piece 3TEETH is thrilled to announce their signing to iconic metal record label Century Media Records. 
 

On 3TEETH’s signing, frontman Alexis Mincolla shares: “It was a perfect-storm-moment for 3TEETH; musically, culturally, to make the jump to Century Media. We have more to say than ever and needed a label home that understood that.”

 
Having been compared to the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Tool and Ministry, 3TEETH made a name for themselves with the release of their explosive singles “Degrade” and “Atrophy” in 2017. The band draws inspiration from the early ‘90s industrial scene to craft their artful sound. 3TEETH will release their third full-length via Century Media Records later this year.


ANTIHERO: The band is over in the UK for three dates. Playing in a country that has not often witnessed the full 3Teeth headlining set.

Alexis Mincolla: So far, it’s been great, you know. We started off in London. It was a banger. It was like a sold out. Small, sort of sweaty, good little party in there and then last night I was at Manchester Rebellion and it was awesome, it was great. The reception has been perfect. We haven’t been back here in almost like – we kind of skipped it all last year because we were touring so aggressively in the US but we just didn’t really have the time to make it over here so. It feels like a year and a half of anticipation. It’s sort of just sling-shotting back into these three-day tours which are great. It’s awesome.

ANTIHERO: First of all, how would you describe your band to someone who hasn’t heard of them before? It seems to my ears that they come across as a band that is hard to define in terms of musical genres.

Alexis Mincolla: Oh okay. It’s always tough to describe sounds, but you know, we’re sort of somewhere between industrial metal and dance music. It got a groove to it. It’s dancey-er than say, just metal. It’s got that sort of pull on the floor sort of vibe to it, so you can groove out and dance and stuff like that. But it’s also aggressive, it’s seething with aggression and it’s got that sort of chainsaw guitar in there. It’s not the most acceptable sound but if you come to the show I think it has a lot to offer.  I think that it would fit into A lot of different types of music bands, whether people are into metal or industrial or even dance music.

ANTIHERO:  You’ve announced recently a big record signing to a major label, Century Media. I’m just wondering why you’ve decided to go with signing to a record label? I mean, it’s an age when many bands prefer to go and do it yourself rather than signing with any label at all.

Alexis Mincolla: You know we’ve been doing it for ourselves for like four years when we met. NANR over there, Mike Ginner, who’s been coming to all our shows. We sort of … long dating process where we talked about doing it and Century Media did a deal with Sony where Sony actually bought Century Media, the idea of getting Sony distribution out of it was really the huge impetus to signing were, having that global footprint and having a real big distribution footprint, really to allow us to get our message out there in broader context, was something we decided that would just be better for this point and time in the band. It’s fun to have a slow burn – to do it all ourselves and keep that grass-roots mentality but we just felt we’ll try this avenue.

And the people that we’ve been sort of – like I said, that courting process over there, the NANR, Mike Ginner, we really got on well and they really understood what we were trying to do, and it seemed like a good opportunity and also to have a bit more money. To have Sean Beavan actually produce the record this time was something that definitely had a big allure to it. So, we did it. We had to sign the deal in puppy blood… Hopefully, it all works out.

ANTIHERO: “Shutdown” was only realized last year and already ready you have another album due to be released this year. I was just wondering if you feel the band is on a creative ‘roll’ at the moment?

Alexis Mincolla: Yeah, you know it’s like strike while the iron is hot for us, and we don’t really want to slow down, we don’t want to lose the momentum that we have, and we’re either touring or in the studio. It’s really, you’re doing one or the other. And we don’t really have much interest in anything else right now. We’ll sleep when we’re dead. But right now, it seems like there’s enough green life on the boulevard and that we should just keep pushing until we get some resistance and then maybe we’ll slow down, but I don’t want to look back and say well we could have worked harder, and we could have done this, and we could have pushed harder, but we were getting lazy about it and we missed the opportunity.

I mean, it’s not easy to become a big band and cut through – it’s a huge challenge, and we may have put a little scar on the face of the dragon but we’re far from cutting its head off and we know we’ve got a lot of work to do. We just figured let’s put out another record and you know we’re never really content with the stuff we put out and everything we keep writing is getting better and better. We just felt like let’s keep writing.

ANTIHERO: Had the new album already been done and dusted before the record label signing?

Alexis Mincolla: No, it wasn’t. We had a few demos that we had been working on and when we signed the deal, we ended up going into the studio at the very beginning of the year and writing about sixteen more demos which will sort of serve as the bedrock for what will turn into the album. Obviously, demos are just working with rough draughts that we’re going to really carve up and trim off the fat and really sort of refining and turn into the stuff that will essentially be the meat-potatoes of the track. And I’m sure we’ll write some new stuff.

I got fifteen demos, we’ll probably carve that down to about nine or something that we really turn into song songs. Then I’d like to write at least three more after this tour now that we’re actually going to be working with Sean the minute we come of this tour, go in the studio with him, who’s obviously Ray Stevens’ producer, who produced Marilyn Mason “Antichrist Superstar”, worked alongside Trent producing “Downward Spiral”. He’s a great guy and he mixed our last record, so we have a great rapport with him so we’re really excited. He knows where we’re trying to go with this thing and there’s no better person to do it than Sean. And he’s really excited to work with us and we’re just hoping some magic can really happen in that studio and it gets done.

ANTIHERO: Just wondering, will you be featuring any more song collaborations on the next album? Of course, you did some collaborations early this year. I was just wondering will the new album feature any more song collaborations from other artists and other people from different musical genres?

Alexis Mincolla: Yeah, we’re always excited about expanding our pallet and working with other people that maybe aren’t completely like what we’re doing, but it adds a different dimension. We just finished those two collaborations with ‘Horror’ and we just toured with them and we were performing together on the same stage and that was really fun, it really inspired us. You’re getting ready to sort of expand your sound horizon, it keeps kind of forcing more creativity out of it.

For us, we’re always, especially in the writing process, we’re constantly like hey let’s do a writing session with so and so or let’s try to go see so and so cause if you’re doing the same thing all the time, and just working with the same people, you’re going to find it rough. And I think one of the really strong ways to break up that is just throwing weird ingredients in the kitchen. If you have the same four ingredients in the kitchen every night, you can only make so many meals, but if you start to bring in some new ingredients and sort of, spice up the menu, you’re going to have more interesting shit so. Absolutely, I don’t want to reveal any names or anything like that because you’ve got to have some sort of element of surprise there. But yeah, we’re absolutely going to do that.

ANTIHERO: Of course, there’s a changed climate in the music business these days. What level of standing does 3Teeth have first of all at home and then internationally?

Alexis Mincolla: Again, there are a million bands out there today, there so many people who are doing it. It’s like even if you become a huge band, you meet someone, and people don’t know of you and so in terms of what standing we have there, I think we have enough of a standing to fill out some rooms. We’re playing those anywhere from 250 to 600 cap rooms right now, but the goal is to really write some songs and to really push this thing into a much broader sphere, especially having a Sony distribution behind it, where we can hopefully start playing some theatres eventually.

I love playing clubs. I’ll play any songs. I’ll play an arena, I’ll play a 200-cap room, I don’t care, I just like playing shows, but to really bring more production behind it into the stage show or theatrics. I look at the whole thing as a big art project. For me, I just want to be able to get more resources to do bigger and better things. The goal is to take it to bigger spaces with this next record.

ANTIHERO: Is the band able to survive – are you able to survive as full-time musicians? That’s what I was kind of getting at.

Alexis Mincolla: Yeah, I mean I think survival is a good way to put it. I don’t think we’re able to thrive as full-time musicians, but we are surviving as full-time musicians. It’s not comfortable, it’s difficult and you live a little foot in mouth and you make a bit of money on tour. Touring is nice though because touring – you get your catering at the venue so you’re always eating. You stay on the run but when you’re at home and you’re running low on cash its tough. It’s almost better to stay on the road. I think if you’re touring a lot you can make a living out of being a musician but in terms of recorded music, no you can’t. It’s impossible, you’re never going to see the big royalty checks anymore. That just doesn’t exist. Your thirty-dollar check from Spotify that you get comes from all the strands of your music is not going to pay your cell phone bill so. You stay on the road a lot and you just pound the pavement and you do it until you’re exhausted and then you try to go write some music.

But that’s another reason too you work with a label, to give you a little cash advance so you can focus full time on the record, as opposed to saying “hey we’re all working jobs in order for working on the record three nights a week at night because we all have jobs” so to be able to devote ourselves full time on this record because we did have a cash advance which enabled to give us a runway is something that’s – it’s going to be different for us now because of that, whether that helps us write better songs or it doesn’t, we’re going to find out.

ANTIHERO: You mentioned there touring and of course you’ve toured with many musical heavy-weights; Ministry, Tool, Rammstein, just to mention a few. What did those experiences teach you?

Alexis Mincolla: Touring with Tool especially, playing thirty dates in arenas, it’s like taking a helicopter to the top of the mountain where, you didn’t climb the mountain, you took a helicopter there and you sort of learn the approach and you get an understanding of the view from the mountain and you get an understanding of actually what the path looks like so it’s a great learning experience, but you do have to understand that you’re not there by virtue of having earned that position on the mountain yet because you just took the helicopter up there.

So, I think that for us, it gave us a little taste of that and it’s something that, for us, it’s created that vibe but instead of having it in the back of your head, you have it as sort of you got the taste of that arena blood and that’s what you want again. We’d love to get back there eventually. Of course, I think their level of stage production and their theatrics was something that we were just so insanely inspired by. I would love to be able to build some of that into our shows as well.

Anytime we tour with anyone, even if its someone like we’re doing that co-headlining on the tour, you get inspired by touring with other really good touring bands. Every band is so different from the next band in the way their live show is rigged ad set up to the way they perform to they all have a rapport with each other. There’s a lot of cool interaction between all the ingredients. You can’t help but at least change to a certain extent and learn something and be inspired so. We love touring with other bands. It’s something we really thrive on.

ANTIHERO: The style of music that you play, generally regarded as brutal, dark and heavy, but how do you relax when you’re off stage? What do you do in your more mellow moments?

Alexis Mincolla: I like taking baths when I get back to the hotel to decompress. Little things, playing video games on the road, sort of taking your mind, a bit of escapism. Read an occasional book. Just try to … Obviously, when you get onstage you’re in the office and you’ve got to get to work but when you get off the stage you want to be able to decompress and kick your boots off and hang out with the guys on the bus. Maybe smoke a joint, relax and shut the f*ck up, tell some jokes or whatever you know. You’ve got to figure out how to loosen up.

At the end of the day, whether what you’re finding on stage and that energy, whether that’s going to be dark, heavy, brooding and really intense, there’s part of that cathartic release on stage. By the time they get off stage, I’m as chilled and mellow as a Hindu cow. I’m very at peace in myself because I got to let out so much of it onstage. So, I think there’s something about doing that every night and knowing how to transform right before I get on stage and also be through with it by the time I get off.

Alexis MincollaANTIHERO: Just a final one, if the roles were reversed and you could sit down and interview somebody maybe not even a musician, who would you like to sit down and have a one-on-one with?

Alexis Mincolla: That’s an interesting question. You know there probably a whole hand full of people that I’d love to interview, but after having toured with Rammstein and getting some time with Till [Lindemann] and being really inspired by him, I’d love to actually sit down and interview him. I think that would be really cool because Till is someone I’ve looked up to and being able to get a little time because we played about four shows with them. It would be fun to pick his brain a little more.

ANTIHERO: Lex, that’s been great. Enjoy the show tonight and hopefully when you’re touring the new album, you’ll include the UK again and get back here soon.

Alexis Mincolla: Absolutely, man. We love it over here and we get back as much as we can. And we did get a new agent over here so hopefully, it’ll happen more often.

ANTIHERO: That’s brilliant. Thanks again for chatting to me today.

Alexis Mincolla: Awesome man, thank you for the interview. Take care.

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Mark Dean

I'm a 40+ music fan. Fond mostly of rock and metal - my staple musical food delights. Originally from Northern Ireland, I am now based in the UK-Manchester. I have a hectic musical existence with regular shows and interviews. Been writing freelance for five years now with several international websites. Passionate about what I do, I have been fortunate already to interview many of my all-time musical heroes. My music passion was first created by seeing Status Quo at the tender age of 15. While I still am passionate about my rock and metal, I have found that with age my taste has diversified so that now I am actually dipping into different musical genres and styles for the first time.Photo: Mark Dean with Jeff Kendrick of Devildriver - Photography by Olga Kuzmenko

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