When Sean Foreman and Nathaniel “Nat” Motte formed 3OH!3 in 2004, the garage-rock zeitgeist was at its zenith. The prospects for an electronic-pop duo were slim in the mainstream.
However, little did these two adventurous musicians know the music scene would shift their way, thus opening doors they never dreamed possible. This includes scoring hit “Don’t Trust Me” and international single “Starstrukk” from their 2008 album “Want,” as well as recent Top 10 track “My First Kiss.” The latter track features Ke$ha and can be found on the group’s latest effort “Streets of Gold.” The other unlikely event for 3OH!3 was becoming popular on the punk-based annual Warped Tour.
This year, the group is a featured act on the summer soiree, which rolls into Northeast Ohio for a show Wednesday at Blossom Music Center and Western Pennsylvania on Friday at First Niagara Pavilion.
The Vindicator talked to Foreman about 3OH!3’s place on the Warped Tour, the real story on Ke$ha and the back-rub guarantee.
Q. First of all, how do you see 3OH!3 fitting into modern music?
A. I’ve always liked to think that part of the reason 3OH!3 works is that it doesn’t really fit. Not that it is intentional, it just seems like some of the stuff we write sometimes – especially for pop – isn’t the most palpable and that is also the reason it stands out.
Q. How does 3OH!3 fit into the Warped Tour with all of its angsty and punk-based bands?
A. I don’t know if it truly does, but it’s helped us in the past. Also, something that people don’t really realize is that Warped has always been pretty diverse. Eminem has been on it, Ice Cube [too]. The music is not necessarily the common thread as much as the attitude.
Q. When you think of the Warped Tour, what comes to mind?
A. Hot, hot, hot. Warped Tour is all about the connection between bands and fans. There are no lines keeping the two apart. Every band has signings and hangs out. There are no smoke and mirrors, very little production. It has been and continues to be about the connection these bands make with their fans and the energy that the fans bring back out to the band.
Q. Speaking of your single “First Kiss,” do you remember your first kiss? Was the girl prettier than Ke$ha?
A. I was a chubby, brace-faced preteen. It was Truth or Dare and this poor girl Darby. I remember it so well because we both had braces and it felt super awkward like two robots trying to kiss. I don’t remember if she was prettier than Ke$ha, but then again we were 10.
Q. Hmm, that sounded like a shameless plug for 3OH!3’s new single “Robot.” OK, we’ll bite. Why did you release the non-“Streets of Gold” track?
A. “Robot” is for our fans that are so amazing. We want to always be working on new music and new content to keep active with our fanbase. It’s just a throwback type song that is awesome to play live and that I can let loose on the verses.
Q. Back to Ke$ha, did you know she shoots rainbows and kills unicorns [from her music video “Blow”]?
A. I did know that. The question is does PETA know about that? Ke$ha is cool, very down to earth. Definitely a girl I know I can be real with. She is not superficial and is very nice. She can be sassy.
Q. Regarding the Warped Tour, why should people make sure they take in your set?
A. Because it’s fun and we promise back rubs.
Q. Finally, tell us the OH in your band name stands for OHIO!