A Q&A with The 3148s
Face melting altrock-Americana from Detroit…
What’s the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
‘Guillotine’: The idea first came up as our guitarist Greg got sucked into Mike Duncan’s book Hero of Two Worlds and podcast series Revolutions. The parallels kept jumping out – from the vast social disparity, to morally and financially corrupt government officials, to even the interplay of climate disruption and social upheaval. Those things led to a boiling over that resulted in the French Revolution, which ought to be a lesson well heeded to us today.
What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
This was a super ambitious track for us. Between the cello and violin intro, the rapid fire lyrics and the even faster punk/surf beat, we were teetering on disaster the entire time. In fact, when we left the studio with the ruffs, we were about to scrap the whole thing. It wasn’t until our producer, Mat Leppanen, over at our label, The Animal Farm Music, made sense of it and really dialled in the energy that we fell in love with the track. We always knew this was a fun song to play live and our audience loved it, but we weren’t sure we could capture that energy on a recorded track. Luckily, we had a great team to make this happen.
Who produced the release – what did they bring to it?
We recorded this track at Rust Belt Studios in Royal Oak, Michigan with Jacob Halkey. Jake really took a LOT of time to dial in the right guitar and bass tone to match the energy that we were looking for. That guitar tone was really key to the final product. Once we recorded it, Mat Leppanen did the final mixes and really lined up the feel we were going for. We typically enter the studio with pretty well formed songs that we have usually played live for awhile. However, with the relationships we have built over at Rust Belt Studios, they can take our ideas and really tighten them up, without losing the original intent or energy of the song.
What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
For ‘Guillotine’ in particular, we want the listener to really take a deep dive into the past and realize that this has all happened before, and will all happen again. What’s the famous quote, “those that don’t look at history are doomed to repeat it”. That is what we really wanted to convey with this track.
How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
Over the last few years, we’ve developed a very collaborative writing process. Everyone in the band brings something to each track. We get together and play around with different tempos and song structures until we settle on something that feels right playing live. For Guillotine in particular we ended up increasing the tempo by about 50% by the time all was said and done. What makes our sound unique is that we all come from very different musical backgrounds. Ian Coote (vocals, Guitars, Keys) comes from a more Americana and folk rock background and draws influences from Tom Waits and the Eels. Greg Jones (vocals, guitars) ventured more into blues and classic rock with everything from Led Zeppelin to Jack White. Tom Jones (drums) is our resident metal head who cut his teeth drumming to Metallica. Jason Seifert (bass) is all over the place, growing up listening to lots of new wave (Depeche Mode and the Cure ) and punk (Dead
Kennedys to NOFX).
What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
At the time when we wrote this track I know I was listening to a ton of punk (NOFX, Off With Their Heads, Pennywise, The Bronx, ect…) and Greg and I had just gone to see the Electric Six play live, which was our first live concert in well over a year due to the pandemic. Greg was really feeing off that high energy vibe and when he brought this song to practice we turned his surf rock riff, into a more classic punk chug and of course, sped it up… a lot.
What countries would you like to tour? Are there any standout venues you’d like to play in?
Oh we want to tour everywhere! Europe and the UK in particular as rock music is still really big there. Here in the States, it’s harder to find venues and an audience that want an actual rock show anymore. We are very lucky to have Detroit as a home base that has some amazing venues that welcome our sound and audience. Namely, The Sanctuary in Hamtramck . It’s an awesome and intimate venue with one of the best Soundsystem in the State. As for venues, we would love to play the Filmore and Saint Andrews Hall here in Detroit. They are iconic venues and it would be more than a dream to play those stages where we have seen so many great shows.
If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
For sure it would be ‘My Old Lady (Don’t Tolerate)’. Not only was it the first song we ever wrote as a band, bit has just a killer riff that will make you get up off your feet. It’s for sure one of our favourite songs to play live.
What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
We really want to continue to play live and create music that is just as much fun for us to play as it is for others to listen to.
Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
Don’t forget to check out www.lawlapalooza.org, which is a festival here in Michigan we are headlining to support the ALS Research Institute. It’s a cause that we are extremely passionate about.
For more info visit: 3148s.com