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

GID: Well, you guys did a great job. The record is awesome. Looking at who you’ve collaborated and toured with in the past, such as Ho99o9 and now Ghostemane, it seems like you guys have an affinity and respect for hip hop, which not everyone would expect for a band like 3Teeth.

AM: Totally, which is funny because I don’t know if it’s really a respect for hip hop as much as it is a respect for people who are carving their own lane. I think one of the things that united us and Ho99o9 is how it was two bands that really didn’t fit anywhere. We’re not metal enough for the metal kids, we’re not industrial enough for the industrial kids. A lot of that could be said for Ghostemane and Ho99o9 also. So, I just respect people who are doing their own fucking thing.

GID: Does hip hop influence your work at all?

AM: It doesn’t, but I think it should! I’m just really hesitant about doing things that don’t feel genuine to me. I don’t want to come across as some sort of dilatant whose like “oh that’s cool let me try that now.” For me, it would have to be born out of a place of collaboration and working on something where they would bring that component to it. I just don’t want to come across as a culture vulture because it’s not my style. I write the music I grew up on. It feels like something I want to listen to, not to say I don’t like hip hop. I like listening to it now. It’s growing on me and I’m being informed by friends about certain aspects of things, but it’s not me. Collaboration? Absolutely.

GID: The collaboration you guys did with Ho99o9 was awesome.

AM: Yeah, we did that in like days too. We got in the studio and we just clicked. It was like hey let’s try this and the flow was awesome. We could write a record together in like a week or so. I think we should do more with them. Those dudes are like family. We shared a tour bus together and when you share a tour bus with someone it’s like at that point you become family.

GID: It seems like these days there’s more cohesion between rap and rock, which is great because there are some excellent artists in both genres even though there are still people out there who want to pit the two against each other.

AM: I’ll never forget watching Public Enemy and Anthrax drop that “Bring the Noise” video as a kid. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world because I was such an Anthrax fan and I loved the aesthetic of Public Enemy and what they were doing and what they meant politically. To me, that was such a cool combination, such a cool marriage. It wasn’t like Machine Head doing their rap-rock phase. It was these two components that came together, these two chemicals that had a chemical reaction and created a new chemical. So if I were to ever do that it would be along those lines.

GID: I’d love to hear that! So, 3Teeth is a very visual band and the images featured in your art and videos are intense. You guys aren’t afraid of pushing people’s boundaries to the point where it may make them uncomfortable. When it comes to images and videos like “EXXIT,” is it your intent to leave people with something that will unsettle them?

AM: There’s always that aged old cliché that good art should disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. For me, a lot of what we do is a reflection of various societal issues. It’s horrific but not anymore horrific than the fucking 10 o’clock news. There’s so much horrific shit going on right now but to us, there’s an intention behind everything we do, especially the visual imagery. My background was visual arts, so I’m kind of the eyes of the band. But for me, everything we do is there to allow you to digest and ingest a lot of that density and to take away pieces and layers of that. It’s not fire for effect. It’s not like shock rock where it’s like hey let’s just make it scary and fucked up. For us, it’s like let’s do it because it means something. I don’t find it horrific, but I guess if you made a horror movie you wouldn’t be scared of it because you made it. I can see how it comes off as unsettling to people, especially that “EXXIT” video. That’s probably hard to watch.

GID: It is a tough one to sit through! But it does leave a lasting impression on you – it’s something you won’t forget. It reminds me of watching Requiem for a Dream for the first time. It’s an excellent movie, but I never want to see it again.

AM: Of course, that’s like the movie Hereditary. That movie fucked me up for like two weeks. And it was so funny because I didn’t really like that movie. My buddy asked me why not and I said because it fucked me up. He said that means it’s a good movie and I was like I guess it is. It just felt really fucked up! That’s good art! It had an effect on me. That movie just held the grief note – the grief note is perpetual. I don’t want to hear these women wailing for hours. It was awful. Really fucked up. I wouldn’t watch it again, but I’m glad I watched it. It’s the experience.

GID: You guys have played Chicago numerous times now – I actually saw you guys earlier this year with GoSt and Author and Punisher. When you have free time, what do you like to do in the city?

AM: I went out last night and we went to a place called Bites that had this little bar next to it and caught a bit of an underground show and then went to this Sportsman’s bar. We bombed around, ate good food, and had a couple of drinks. It has a good bar culture, a place where you can bounce around some cool spots and I just like the vibe here. People are really nice here. It’s like Metropolitan with mid-western sensibilities.

GID: By now you’re familiar with the different venues the city has to offer. Do you have a favorite venue?

AM: I love Reggie’s [Rock Club]. We’ve played there so much and it’s just a fun, nasty, dingy awesome space. I think [the Metro] is a great venue too, but Reggie’s definitely. It’s our home. We know all the crew there now and they have awesome Airbnbs directly above it, so they take care of us and we get to stay right there. They also have an awesome restaurant – it’s like an institution. The whole thing is like a self-contained awesome space. It’s cool. Reggie’s for sure.

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Ashley Perez Hollingsworth

Ashley Perez is a freelance music journalist based in Chicago. Her work has appeared on AXS, The Crypt 1331, Chicago Innerview, New City, The Millions, and Reality-Comics. She also runs her own music blog at Radio Not Found. Some of her favorite bands include Nirvana, The Cure, Muse, Marilyn Manson, and Green Day.

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