This winter sees LA based industrial metal band 3TEETH take a trip around Europe and we catch up with frontman Alexis Mincolla to ask a few questions before he goes off on tour next month.
With a background in visual art and promotion you formed 3Teeth which has evolved into a fully live band. Tell me a bit about this evolution and whether it was ever your intention to become a musician?
It was an interesting transition indeed and where initially I wasn’t entirely sure I’d ever want to get on stage, it’s now something I literally crave. It’s funny because when we started the band I was actually working as a creative director the Icon Collective which is a very esteemed music production school here in Los Angeles and Chase also worked there at the time. This really allowed me to audit the classes and be surrounded by the environment of music production while also making the transition into a full-time front man. I do also think my background with visual arts and my degrees in political science have obviously informed the music that we make to a larger degree.
From the Mindfuck logo to the cover of the new album, the artwork parallels the conceptual aspect of the album, rather than just sticking a photo of the band on the front, 3Teeth give the fans a full package. What inspired and continues to inspire you to create such imagery?
I’ve always been more of a “convey it, don’t say it” type of guy as I’m definitely more visually inclined. I also said that I want to use a band as the chassis of an art project, so I’ve always looked this project as a vehicle for more then just making music. As for the things that inspire it, it’s the world around me. I look at industrial music as not just a sonic pallet but rather a way to suck the poison out of society and spit it back in its own face. So, the inspiration comes from the books I read, to the current events that are happening around us, to the little observation I might have walking down the street. There is certainly no shortage of inspiration when writing songs about societal collapse when living in LA.
I have seen that you have a deep interest in ritual and esotericism. As someone who has studied the occult for nearly 20 years – I was interested – does it influence your performance? Your artwork? or is it purely a personal practise?
Absolutely, as student of esotericism and the occult myself, I have a deep reverence for ancient knowledge. That being said, I try to avoid a lot of the over used aesthetic tropes that continue to dilute its importance, so I prefer to make more cryptic and buried. As a front man my body is the medium and I often incorporate certain ceremonial positions into my performance that can create an archetypical resonance with the audience without wearing it too much on my sleeve. I like to preserve the autonomy of discovery with my audience. I think there is something empowering about figuring things out on your own so I just leave little crumb trails to go do the rabbit hole per se.
You have been lucky enough to meet some of the musicians that you have been a fan of and listened to over the years (Uncle Al, Tool, Rammstein). How has it been to meet some of your heroes (if you want to call them that). How fruitful have these relationships been?
It’s really been one of the most special parts of this journey for me as I’ve been extremely fortunate to spend time with so many people that I’ve looked up to. Each relationship obviously being very unique and different from one another, I have noticed some universal take aways from them. Sometimes we put people on pedestals from a far when we look up to them but the reality is all these people are just human and go through all same complex challenges that are posed through the human experience. I’ve made some really great life long relationship in this industry and I’m infinitely grateful for that.
You have toured extensively in recent months; how do you keep sane and keep a good working relationship with your band on the road?
It’s a challenge but after a while it just becomes anther day at the office. We all have our routines and little ways of keeping our sanity. I definitely need my alone time in my headphones with a good book to help recharge my social batteries because the output of that can really do a number on you.
And finally: a tough one for some but could you pick your favourite book, favourite album and favourite film (would love to share some recommendations with our readers)
I’m not really into superlatives and absolutes but I can give you things that I’m currently enjoying.
book: Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials (Anomaly) by Reza Negarestani
album: country girl uncut by boy harsher
film : 1917