3TEETH Talk Guns, "Orange Man" and Otherworldly Next Album | Revolver

3TEETH Talk Guns, "Orange Man" and Otherworldly Next Album

Alexis Mincolla on QAnon culture, building AR-15s, industrial's social commentary and more
3teeth apocalypto PRESS 2020, Michael Mendoza
photograph by Michael Mendoza

Revolver's exclusive white vinyl edition of 3TEETH's new Guns Akimbo 7-inch is sold out, but we've still got copies of the black vinyl variant, which is limited to 500 worldwide. Order yours before they're gone!

At the forefront of what may very well be heavy music's second industrial revolution, 3TEETH have been on something of a rollercoaster in recent years, bolstered by endorsements from Tool, Rammstein and Ministry. Leave it to a global pandemic to pump the brakes just as the ride was hitting its most impressive loops.

"We had been touring all through Europe right up until that point. It almost felt like we were snowboarding down a mountain or something and there was an avalanche behind us, but we had no idea it was there because we were on tour," frontman Alexis Mincolla tells Revolver. "Because we were on tour, we just kind of had no idea what's going on, aside from the fact that our Milan date was canceled, so it was weird."

Once the band returned stateside in early March, it was fully prepared to embark on a U.S. tour. "We thought we were good to go until the NBA canceled their season, like a day before our tour," he says. With the dates nixed, bus deposits and other touring investments lost, and a lot of time freed up, it was time to figure out a plan B.

Not one to waste an opportunity, Mincolla says the band opted to find a silver lining. Still technically in the middle of the album cycle for 2019's Metawar and with fresh covers of "You Spin Me Round" and "Ballroom Blitz" recorded for the soundtrack for Daniel Radcliffe action flick Guns Akimbo, 3TEETH relocated to Joshua Tree to begin work on new material.

"Once this project started, it was like we were almost limited by how fast things were going," Mincolla says. "You always have, like, 'Oh, I want to do this,' but we never have enough time. So we're like, 'Well, at least we have time on our side now. Let's do all these things that we wanted to do.'"

I RECENTLY SAW ON INSTAGRAM THAT YOU WENT SHOOTING WITH DANA DENTATA AND KING WOMAN'S KRIS ESFANDIARI. WHO'S THE BEST SHOT?
Well, I had kind of taught them. I build AR-15s and I really enjoy shooting — more of like a precision sports person than one of those, like, home defense gun-owners. But you know, I always say if you come up to visit us — 'cause they stayed with us for four days in the desert and we were fucking around collaborating on some stuff — I give mandatory basic rifle training to everyone that comes up because it's a fun thing to do when you're out in the desert.

They were both really good. Dana was an absolute natural. But they were both really good, actually. Once you sort of get people relaxed and you get their sort of, like, body mechanics and [get them to] not overreact to shooting the gun. I always say, "The gun's going to stay on target. It's you that's going to take it off."

So as long as you can kind of chill yourself out, you'll be able to hit whatever you want. They got good. They got good quick, too. I think they're actually coming out next weekend, and they want to go shooting again. So people got bit by the bug, you know?

3teeth security_and_oblivion 2020 press, Michael Mendoza
photograph by Michael Mendoza

ONE THING I'VE THOUGHT IS REALLY INTERESTING ABOUT YOU IS THAT YOU'RE CRITICAL OF ISSUES AND ACTIONS AT BOTH ENDS OF THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM. DO YOU FIND IT PROBLEMATIC THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE TODAY WHO CLAIM TO BE INDEPENDENT THINKERS SORT OF LACK THAT KIND OF NUANCE AND THEIR VIEWS FALL INTO, LIKE, A SPORTS TEAM MENTALITY?
Yeah. I think it's so easy to kind of just fall into, like, the "Orange Man bad" sort of rhetoric. Which, you know, clearly — I can't stand the fucking guy.

But I think that it's almost having Trump in office for four years has allowed the left, if you could even call it the left — I don't really think there's a left in this country — but I think at that point, when you're looking at what the Democrats and certain neo-liberals are doing, they just don't even take any responsibility for their actions. They just point everything at him. At this point, I think we have way too much of a scapegoat in this country to have any sort of reasonable dialog.

Discussing politics in this country is such a fucking mutation chamber that most people are just sort of parroting the last meme or post that they saw on social media, but there's actually very little critical thinking going on. That's half the reason I moved out to the desert — to refrain from getting into political conversation anymore. I have, like, two degrees in political science, and I used to actually enjoy talking about politics. But politics at this point have become really just such knee-jerk emotional responses and actually very little intellectual discourse.

I feel like you used to be able to have disagreements and still be friends, but at this point, you're having entire families having fallen out with each other. I don't think politics should define the human experience. I think people should be able to still have different political beliefs, especially in a country where there's so many people who are completely underrepresented.

I don't feel like my political beliefs or ideas are represented in this country by any means as a person who has, for the most part, very liberal ideas, but also likes my Second Amendment. But to believe in equality and the Second Amendment is sort of a weird thing, you know? Like where does that exist? I don't know.

INDUSTRIAL MUSIC HAS ALWAYS KIND OF THRIVED IN HEATED POLITICAL ENVIRONMENTS. WHAT DO YOU THINK IT IS ABOUT THE GENRE THAT'S LED IT TO PAIR SO WELL WITH POLITICAL AND DYSTOPIAN SUBJECT MATTER, DATING BACK TO BANDS LIKE MINISTRY AND SKINNY PUPPY?
I think that the soundscape itself is already like you're dealing with the sort of critique of a mass production society. We have this sort of soundscape of the mass production society in the industrial tones and stuff like that. I think that it was sort of a natural pairing with that.

And I think if you look at some of the real true industrial roots, it is sort of more born out of that working-class factory environment — people who are recording actual noises and sounds and stuff like that.

I think that ultimately, I was drawn to it for those particular reasons — this idea of sort of sucking poison out of a mass production society and spitting it back in its own face in a seething industrial soundscape. I grew up a metalhead, but when I got into industrial, I found something so aggressive that I was drawn to it because it had so much message. It wasn't just about some, like, Lovecraftian obliteration and all these things that made death metal heavy, because I think those things are so obscure and oftentimes weirdly esoteric that it's tough to really grasp.

But when you're talking about more industrial stuff, it's very much so anchored in real issues of what's happening around you.

YEAH. TO ME, IT ALWAYS KIND OF SEEMED LIKE INDUSTRIAL WAS WHAT PUNK KIND OF EVOLVED INTO IN THE EIGHTIES, ONCE THRASH KIND OF VEERED OFF INTO DEATH METAL AND BLACK METAL AND SO ON.
Totally, totally. And that's where I think you sort of get some of the initial cyberpunk aesthetic and stuff like that. Yeah. There's definitely a heavy punk vibe to it, you know? Or can be, at least.

ON THE LAST ALBUM, YOU HAD THE PRESIDENT X CHARACTER, WHO'S LIKE A REPTILIAN KIND OF FIGURE. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE CONSPIRACY THEORY?
I like them all. I find conspiracy theories to be pretty hilarious. But also, I always talk about how I think there's about 10 percent of truth embedded in every conspiracy theory. I think that what happens is they like to sort of hide things in plain sight, so it's like the conspiracy theories get kind of coded in this added sort of fat to sort of prevent any of the truth from coming out.

So I use the term "conspiracy theory" lightly, even though obviously I think there's a lot of absurdity surrounding it. But I do love the Reptilian Anunnaki stuff, especially in modern context of the sort of tinfoil hat QAnon culture. I think it's pretty funny. I read something about how 3 million people in the U.S. wholeheartedly believe that there's actually Reptilians that walk amongst us.

YEAH. I HAD A FRIEND BACK IN COLLEGE IN THE EARLY 2000S WHO WAS JUST SOLD ON THIS IDEA THAT OUR GOVERNMENT HAD DEALS WITH THE GRAY ALIENS AND THE REPTILIANS, AND THAT THEY ALL HAD A PACT ON WHAT SPECIES THEY GET TO EXPERIMENT ON AND WHERE ...
... And they came here from Nibiru to collect the subatomic gold in order to replenish their atmosphere, so therefore, they created a slave race. To me it's fun, 'cause I love good stories. And it's fucking amazing storytelling.

At this point, fact has become stranger than fiction, so who knows what's possible? It would be fucking great if we were living in this sort of like intergalactic battle that we were just unaware of. Because I feel like that would be a lot more interesting than the absolutely mundane bipartisan shitstorm that we're in.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN TELL US ABOUT THE DIRECTION THE MATERIAL FOR THE NEXT ALBUM IS HEADING RIGHT NOW AND HOW THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENT MIGHT BE INFLUENCING THAT?
I'm trying to think if I could say it without revealing anything. We've been out in the desert for months writing this record, getting a sort of like off-world perspective. It sort of feels like you're on another planet.