DENIM CULTURE: 3OH!3
Concept & Direction Jan-Willem Dikkers
Images by Michael Mundy
Nat Motte and
are the two Colorado natives behind electropop sensation 3OH!3 (pronounced like the area code in their native Boulder). Together since 2004, their catchy number-one breakout hit, Don’t Trust Me, sold nearly 3 million copies— and had the daring duo donning the equivalent of adult underoos in the video. The tireless band just released a new album, Streets of Gold, featuring Katy Perry and Ke$ha.
Amazon: Jeans can be all things to people, from a status symbol to a memory trigger. What do they represent to you?
Nat: When you’re wearing a nice pair of jeans nothing can touch you. Even if your lack of butt is cleverly disguised and compensated for by exceedingly well fitting denim.
Sean: Jeans are a source of identification. No matter how much someone might ‘not care’ about their jeans, the style says something about who they are.
A: Do you recall your first pair of jeans?
N: I assume they were some sort of overall…
S: I think my first jeans were Osh Kosh. Either that or Levi’s. I wore the overalls like they weren’t ever going out of style.
A: Do you have a favorite pair of jeans or jeans style? What do yours say about you?
N: My favorite jeans were these A.P.C. jeans that I wore for the better part of a year, without washing. They were perfect after that year—so comfortable and perfectly fitting.
S: My favorite style is skinny jeans. I don’t like them too tight, just slim. My jeans probably say that I’m not afraid to do something a bit different, even it that is just wearing skinny jeans.
A: What denim style do you wish would go away?
N: The over-sized stitching on boot-cut jeans is really bad.
S: There’s a style of distressed jeans—the ones with whiskers in the groin region—that just puzzles me.
A: In your opinion, which public figure looks best in jeans?
N: Helen Mirren
S: Garth Brooks
A: Who would you never want to see in a pair?
N: Paris Hilton
S: Darth Vader
A: What is your definition of success?
N: Being respected by those you love and respect. Doing something good for society and trying to advance this culture we live in. Oh, and dunking a basketball.
S: Success is when your are perfectly content and happy with the person you are.
A: If it’s true that success is both a blessing and a curse, what is the down side to the accomplishments you have achieved?
N: I suppose “time-off” is at a premium now, and the constant traveling and moving makes it a little tough on romantic relationships. But the downsides are fewer then the upsides—so we keep doing it!
S: Spiderman said it best “with great power comes great responsibility.” It’s no longer me in a basement with a 4-track, I have a lot more to think about. But it’s still just as fun as the day we started.
A: Who inspires you to do what you do? What do you most like about your line of work?
N: I’m inspired by other people’s music. I am a fan of music at my most basal level, and I always will be, so being involved in music is a very gratifying thing for me.
S: Nat inspires me, as well as my family and my girlfriend. It’s most fun sharing the enjoyment of what you do with other people.
A: What decade currently piques your interest and how does it inform your work?
N: I’ve been listening to a lot of ’80s-era Kate Bush, and there are some interesting production elements in those songs. Believe me- I am stealing all of them!
S: This decade and the future. I have always loved sci-fi and I’m not nostalgic, so I am always looking forward, trying to do something new. That said, the 1770s were pretty rad.