May 2, 2012
Here at RAGGED HQ, it’s never too early to get excited for Van’s Warped Tour! As we’re looking ahead at our summer plans, we took a trip down memory lane to re-visit last year’s special Warped Tour edition of RAGGED featuring 3OH!3 on the cover. Enjoy the complete cover story below and be sure to download the complete issue as a free PDF here, including several more photos from our shoot with the band. Who else can’t wait for Warped this summer??
“IT’S FUN TO HAVE FUN,” says Nat Motte, half of the electro-hop duo 3OH!3, explaining the ethos behind his band’s performances. It’s a simple, obvious statement but still stands out as an ultimate truism amidst the infectious party anthems and inspired live shows for which the band has become known.
“Listen,” continues Motte’s partner-in-rhyme, Sean Foreman, “we’re not über-cool, we’re just like anyone out there. It’s OK to jump around. I’m no usher; I can’t moonwalk across the stage, but I’m having fun. I’m putting my energy out and going crazy, so it’s oK for you, too. You don’t have to sit there and be worried that you’ll look like an idiot. We’re all in this together and we’re all having a good time.”
For the last four years, that attitude of assurance has helped put 3OH!3 fans’ insecurities at ease while throwing their bodies into frenzies. This summer, the boys from Boulder, Colorado, will join Warped Tour for a month to bring the party to parks and parking lots across the states, while releasing an eP of new material to satiate fans’ thirst for new bangers. It’s the fifth time in as many years 3OH!3 has gotten involved with the touring festival (twice prior for summer-long stints, twice for one-off dates), and RAGGED caught up with the wild children before they packed their bags—to pick their brains and explore the evolution of the band’s onstage raucous.
How has your show evolved from those early days?
Nat Motte: They were pretty crazy. We kind of just tried to break down that barrier between artist and fan, so our shows were kind of an inclusive, all-out crazy party. and it worked in that sense— that’s what they were and that’s what they still are. We’ve evolved a lot musically and our live shows incorporate a lot more elements, but we still keep that sense of just trying to have a good time, have a party and put a smile on everyone’s face.
You’re mostly using synthesizers on the record. How has your live band developed?
Sean Foreman: We started out with a few DJs. actually, our first show was with an iPod. We thought it was a funny idea to use an iPod shuffle so we would never know which song was going to come up next and just kind of let it go. as we grew, we didn’t want to have the same show over and over, so we were like, “OK, let’s develop it.” We had some buddies play with us on Warped tour, a bunch of people we met in the other bands expressed interest, like, “hey, man, I’d love to play on this song,” so we just sort of put a ring up there and let people switch in and out. It was so fun, like a family, and after a while we decided it sounded good. We got a couple of our friends from Colorado to tour with us and now we have keys, guitar, bass and drums.
As your audience has grown over the years, has your onstage confidence developed, too?
Motte: We’ve sort of always had a shield to hide behind where we’re not trying to project ourselves as cool or put forth too much nonsense. Physically, those first shows were crazy. I remember afterwards we would just go straight home, almost too tired to even drive. We’ve learned to capture that energy and keep it going over months and years of touring.
Foreman: Yeah, playing a big show is a different game. In a lot of ways, you’ve got to perform a bit larger-than-life, and it’s not as personable. But at the same time, you try to see the faces up front and make it like a smaller show.
Five years involved with Warped Tour. What has that meant for 3OH!3?
Motte: It’s been huge for our band. It’s where we started our touring career. We played this one show in Denver in 2007 and didn’t really know what to expect, but it was awesome. the next year, we went from playing in front of 400 to 500 people at home to showing up in states we’d never been to and playing for a few thousand people. It was huge and then we did all of 2009 on the Warped main stage.
How is the Warped Tour audience different from your standard shows?
Foreman: One element that casts Warped tour fans away from the rest is they’re willing to come out in 100-degree weather, bear the elements all day, listen to music and go crazy in the mosh pits—just have fun and let loose. I think we really appreciate Warped tour fans because it’s so much energy and our live show relies completely on energy, so if the fans are going crazy it pushes us further. It’s like a really good boot camp for any artist to play Warped tour because you develop your live show. If you don’t have a good live show, I think it’s pretty apparent at Warped tour because that’s what people expect. R
posted by Staff