The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is pleased to partner with Microsoft Zune for Five Minutes with Fame, an exclusive video series on the Zune Marketplace featuring singers, songwriters and bands at the forefront of today's music. After a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum, we sit down with artists to talk about their music, their road to success, inspirations, being on tour and of course, some of their favorite artists and artifacts highlighted in the Museum. This week's featured group is 3OH!3.
Sean Foreman and Nathaniel 'Nat' Motte got their start in Colorado, the former crafting humorous lyrics with a flow born of his admiration for underground hip-hop, while the latter spent hours at his computer developing beats and samples. The two combined their musical vision as 3OH!3 (named for the duo's area code in Boulder, Colorado).
The potent musical chemistry lead to a 2007 self-released album that caught the attention of Photo Finish Records president Matt Galle, who flew Foreman and Motte to Beltsville, Maryland, to work on a follow-up with producer Matt Squire. The resulting full-length, Want, was released in 2008, the lead single "Don't Trust Me" eventually going double platinum, selling more than 2.6 million tracks in the process. The duo were featured on the bill for the 2008 Vans Warped Tour. "That's kind of when things shifted from being more of like a hobby to a job," says Motte. "That's kind of when everything started going for us."
The band were nominated in the "Best New Artist" category at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, where they performed "Don't Trust Me" at Radio City Music Hall. Subsequent tours have taken 3OH!3 across the United States, to Europe and Australia, earning an international following as they performed at the Reading and Leads festivals, and on Vans Warped Tour dates, among others.
After extensive touring, the band retreated to Breckenridge, Colorado, where they penned more than a dozen new tracks. Armed with fresh tunes, the band got to work in a Los Angeles studio, regrouping with Squire and Benny Blanco to record Streets of Gold in 2010. Having greatly admired Greg Kurstin's work with Lily Allen and The Bird and the Bee, 3OH!3 sought out the talented producer whose "perfect synthesis of electronic and organic music" appealed to them. The group also teamed up with hit-maker Dr. Luke on "My First Kiss" and "Streets of Gold," the album's title track. The album continues in the same sonic realm as the first two albums, with booming, hook-filled, dance-pop electro tracks, along with the comparatively subdued, sensitive "R.I.P." and the synthpop ballad, "I'm Not The One." The album peaked at Number 7 on the Billboard 200, and reached Number One on the Billboard Top Electronic Albums charts.
When not recording, Foreman and Motte keep busy drawing comic books and working as Ford models. Here, Foreman and Motte discuss computers as instruments, songwriting with a "sense of fun," John Lennon's Mellotron, Muddy Waters' guitar and Elvis Presley's football jersey.
Along with Microsoft's Zune Marketplace on PC and XBox Live, the only place you’ll be able to see these videos is right here each week on rockhall.com. Stay tuned for next week's Five Minutes with Fame with Rick Ross.