GENRE IS DEAD! Interview With 3Teeth’s Alexis Mincolla

It’s lights out at the Metro in Chicago. The stage is bathed in black while the crowd buzzes, waiting in anticipation for the next moment. The music gradually gets louder prompting the crowd to start cheering and applauding. Alexis Mincolla growls “Life to life/waste to waste/I’m harbinger/the master of decay” and the crowd goes wild slamming and moshing against one another. The reaction is so visceral, it’s hard to believe the crowd wasn’t sure what to make of 3Teeth just ten minutes before.

3Teeth’s set is shorter than usual – they’re playing as support for Ghostemane’s headlining tour – but 30 minutes is all they need to cause chaos. The band unleashes their fury on the unsuspecting crowd. Opening with “Divine Weapon” the band commands the tiny space cluttered with the amps and instruments of the remaining acts. They thrash and rage through “EXXIT,” “American Landfill,” and “Affluenza” from their latest album Metawar as well as “Pit of Fire” and “Tabula Umbra” from their second album, <shutdown.exe>.

Mincolla, 3Teeth’s frontman, is an intimidating force on stage. Decked out in leather, a sneer, and dark glasses he dominates the cramped stage, yet is mesmerizing with his hypnotic dancing. The band attacks their instruments with such fervor and passion their energy bleeds off stage and infects the crowd. They end their set with “Master of Decay,” leaving the crowd wanting more and making new 3Teeth fans in the process.

Since the release of their 2014 debut album, 3Teeth has been one of rock’s most talked about acts. Their intense, hard driving sound not only caught the attention of critics and fans but of big name acts like Tool and Rammstein, who they’ve toured with. They’ve achieved great success over the past few years, but as Mincolla reveals, they’re not ready to rest on their laurels. Rather, they want to keep pushing musical boundaries, challenge themselves, and remain grateful for everything they’ve accomplished so far.

Backstage at the Metro, Mincolla chats with GENRE IS DEAD! about the influence of industrial music, breaking genre rules, and not living up to expectations.

GENRE IS DEAD!: 3Teeth is currently supporting Ghostemane and the lineup is pretty eclectic. There’s hip hop, hardcore, punk, and industrial acts on the bill. How did you come to be a part of this tour?

Alexis Mincolla: Me and Ghostemane have been kind of talking through DMs, you know? There’s a mutual respect and there’s a little bit of rapport there, so he invited us up. He was like “dude I love 3Teeth” and I got into his music and it sort of worked out. It’s so funny how it’s as simple as that. We just slid into each other’s DMs.

GID: Though most of the crowd was there for Ghostemane, you still got a good response from them. By the third song, they were ready to tear shit up.

AM: Yeah! It was cool. I just wish we had more time. Thankfully we do tomorrow (Nov. 6). It’s direct support just two bands at that point. It’s good to have more time because we had a big set planned out and then we got here it was like oh half hour? Fuck, what are we cutting out? We just winged it. We actually just changed our entire live setup for this tour.

GID: I was hoping for President X to make an appearance.

AM: I can’t do that with a 30 minute set because of the changeover itself! So, we’re actually gonna do that tomorrow because we have this sort of interlude after “Master of Decay.” It’ll give me time to do my transformation. There’s definitely a plan for that because I think this crowd will love it. There’s a lot of fun masks and showmanship happening up on that stage right now. It’s funny too because the girl who made the President X mask actually made a lot of [Ghostemane’s] masks. Shout to Laney Chantal, she’s awesome.

GID: Metawar is your third album and it stands out from your other albums because you guys do some different things here, like incorporating more melodies and having some slower-paced songs. Yet, the whole album is still very mean and heavy. What was the inspiration behind going in a different direction?

AM: One of the things that separates this record from the others is we wrote this record in a room together as a band. To me, the album sounds like that. We also wrote this record for live [shows]. Everything had to be a banger. Let’s write some stuff that we can fill into our catalog – more festival slammers and bangers to get the crowd moving and stuff like that. So there’s more groove metal in it, there’s more of that dirty word nu-metal and stuff like that in it. Also, I just wanted to try something different. I don’t want to write the same record. The next record will have traces of the other three records, but I don’t want to do what anyone’s expecting. So we just tried some different stuff and we had a lot of fun doing it.

GID: It’s a great album and the new stuff you guys do it on really works. I just love the different feel and vibe there is to this record. 

AM: I also think a lot of the inspiration is having been fortunate enough to play some really big spaces and arenas with acts like Rammstein. You’re constantly thinking “what are we gonna play in front of 50,000 people?” You sort of end up trying to write some songs that can fill those spaces, so we wanted to write big sounding songs.

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Ashley Perez Hollingsworth

Ashley Perez is a freelance music journalist based in Chicago. Her work has appeared on AXS, Chicago Innerview, New City, The Millions, and Illinois Entertainer. She also runs her own music blog at Radio Not Found. Some of her favorite bands include Nirvana, The Cure, Muse, Creeper, and Green Day.

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