Revolver has teamed with 3TEETH for an exclusive white vinyl variant of their new Guns Akimbo 7-inch, which features their contributions to the soundtrack of the ultraviolent Daniel Radcliffe action movie — namely, two high-octane covers of Sweet's "Ballroom Blitz" and Dead or Alive's "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record Baby)." It's limited to just 200 copies, so snag yours before they're gone.
We recently caught up with 3TEETH main man Alexis Mincolla to discuss the covers — which were a rush job, to say the least — and how he and his band managed to salvage a situation that easily could have gone very, very wrong.
HOW DID THE SPOTS ON THE GUNS AKIMBO SOUNDTRACK COME ABOUT?
ALEXIS MINCOLLA We were on a — I think it was like eight-week — summer tour, and [Guns Akimbo director] Jason [Lei Howden] hit me up on Twitter and was asking me if it was something we were interested in doing. He was like, "I really love your guys' new record. I feel like your sound would fit." And I was like, "Yeah, absolutely. That sounds super cool."
Then he told me the cover songs. I was slightly more skeptical because I don't really care for those songs too much, to be honest. But the movie just seemed like a cool opportunity. I like his movie Deathgasm, and he seemed like a really cool guy. He told me that Daniel Radcliffe was going to be in the movie, and he told me a brief synopsis of the movie. It seemed right up our alley. So I kind of said, "Fuck it. Let's do it." And then he told me the deadline.
He's like, "We need it in, like, 10 days." It was like, "Oh, well, we're on tour, man. That's not going to happen." And he sort of was like, "Well, you know, if there's any way you could do it, I'd love it if you can make it happen." Blah, blah, blah.
I looked at our tour dates. We had one day off, in Nashville, and I'm like, "Oh, maybe we can get a studio in Nashville." So I hit up the label and told them to grab us some studio time. And granted, all anyone wanted to do was sleep that day, on our day off. And instead, we just did a 12-hour studio day and hammered the songs into something that we didn't hate.
For me, they're not, like, our proudest creative moments, but it was about that hustle and kind of getting an opportunity that otherwise we wouldn't normally have. The producers of the film really loved it. They had actually even asked us to do a third original thing for the final scene that we kinda ended up doing, and it just didn't make the cut because the edit was, like — they needed to finish it and get it out. So we even tried to squeeze in another thing, but it just didn't even make it.
But it was really cool. It was our first time to really have an opportunity like that, so I didn't wanna kind of chicken out and be like, "Oh, I don't know if we have enough time." So we just fucking made it happen, you know?
WHEN YOU'RE WORKING ON COVERS, AND EVEN WHEN YOU HAVE A LITTLE BIT MORE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE A COVER, WHAT SORT OF THOUGHT PROCESS DO YOU RUN THROUGH IN PUTTING THAT TOGETHER TO SET IT APART FROM THE ORIGINAL?
For us, we did pick "Pumped Up Kicks" on our last record as a cover. For the Guns Akimbo stuff, they gave me a list of songs they had rights to that we could cover, so it was more like kind of picking it out of them. That was more of a "Well, these are the ones I think I hate the least."
So that was less than ideal, but for something like "Pumped Up Kicks," the sort of weird little criteria I had in my head was I didn't want to go too far back in time. I didn't want to cover something from, like, the Seventies or Eighties. I wanted something to sort of feel like a sweet spot of relevancy with the generation that's maybe in like the mid-2000s or something like that.
And I wanted it to be a big pop song that had dark enough lyrics, so when we process it to our sensibilities, it sort of made you realize how dark of a song it was — sort of a little bit like the Manson "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" cover. His sort of menacing vocal stylings really brought out how dark that Eurythmics song sounded.
I actually really didn't like "Pumped Up Kicks" as a song, but I always liked what it was sort of about, which was this, like, weird school-shooter-awareness anthem that almost people seem to look past because it had this sort of sun-soaked, white linen, beach vibe.
So I'm like, "Well, what if we just kind of give it the industrial, sort of, processing and see how it comes out." That was also a total experiment, because if it didn't sound good, we just weren't going to do it. But we were like, "This actually sounds pretty cool. Let's just see it through to the end."
I think at that point, I was really resistant to doing covers just because, I don't know, it's just not really something I'm much interested in doing. Like, I really don't like karaoke, either. It just wasn't my vibe!
And then it turned out that people seem to really like it, and it's kinda fun. It's like a challenge when you're in the studio in terms of like — I think when we were doing the "You Spin Me Round" cover, I was in the studio reading through the lyrics, and I was like, "Oh my god, I can't believe I agreed to this. What the fuck have we done?"
I really didn't want to do it. It took us, like, the first six hours of just trying it in different ways, you know what I mean? I'm like, "Do I do it like them or do I feel like doing [it] my own way? How am I doing this to make me not hate it?" It took almost literally eight hours to kind of beat it to the sort of context that kind of worked.
So for me, it's almost like it requires a little brute force to kind of just try it enough ways to figure out which way it's gonna work. It's not like I had a vision for it, you know what I mean? It was just like a "Let's just fucking throw shit up against the wall and see what sticks" kind of thing, you know?
YEAH. AND "YOU SPIN ME ROUND" ALSO HAD A COVER FROM DOPE BACK IN THE 2000S ...
Which is fine, because we were somehow completely unaware of that. But people definitely made that clear when we released it. That's for sure.
IT'S INTERESTING WITH SONGS LIKE THAT WHERE THERE'S MULTIPLE COVERS OUT THERE BY DIFFERENT BANDS, JUST KIND OF SEEING HOW THOSE COVERS ARE DIFFERENT, EVEN IN BANDS THAT ARE THE SAME OR CLOSE TO THE SAME STYLE — NOT TO DIRECTLY COMPARE YOU ALL TO DOPE ...
I mean, there's a similar sort of, like, DNA there that — I guess they're an industrial band and we're an industrial band, for lack of a better term. So I think, sure. I still haven't listened to that cover, which I probably should at some point. [Laughs]
But it's funny because the "Ballroom Blitz" thing, I feel like that's one of the most-covered songs ever. Like everyone has a cover of "Ballroom Blitz." And it was funny because they'd sent us — we were scoring to picture at this point, especially with the "Ballroom Blitz," where they had sent us the actual gun fighting sequence in which the song would take place. And they had temped the actual video with a Prodigy song.
So what we initially did is we tapped out the tempo of the Prodigy song and then we decided to write "Ballroom Blitz" at a Prodigy tempo, because we knew it would work for the scene. I think it's about 10 BPM faster than the original "Ballroom Blitz," which is already kind of a fast song, which kind of makes ours feel just absolutely fucking manic.
And then the other thing is we had like almost no time to mix that one. So if you kind of noticed, the production is slightly different on both of those songs. But you know, that's when you're dealing with like 10-day deadlines.