Interview: The 3148s
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Our band kind of took a backwards approach. I think lots of folks start off pursuing a life in music and then get a bit older and start to settle down toward something a bit more “stable.” For us, we kind of started with that “stability.” Three of the four of us are attorneys – we’ve all got families and set obligations. But when we started just kind of jamming together as a lark I think we all felt connected to what we were doing in a way that made us want to shake things up a bit. We transitioned from garage cover band to writing and producing original music and focusing on building a live show. We’ve still got our “day jobs” – but I think the passion lies in the performance, which hopefully comes through.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Three of the four of us practice law. I’m not entirely sure that lends itself toward the creative process – except maybe that it inspires us to make the most out of an artistic outlet like music. Beyond that, we’re all busy with our families and other relationships – which provides all kinds of inspiration when we sit down to write something unique.
How long has your band been around?
We’ve been playing together for 5 years or so – but really focusing on original music and live shows for the last two or three. Honestly, with 2020 in the middle of all that it’s hard to say if we’re just getting started or if we’ve been playing together for a million years.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We’re based out of Detroit, Michigan. Detroit has an amazing and diverse history of music. From classic soulful Motown, to a killer punk rock scene with bands like the MC5 or the Stooges, to techno and everything in between, Detroit’s always had an incredibly musical soul. I think that diversity comes through in our approach to writing original music. We’ve all got different influences and backgrounds that sort of end up melding together to get our sound.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
The name is a bit of an inside joke, really. We were having a hell of a time coming up with something we could all agree on. Since we’re mostly lawyers, one of us joked that we should name ourselves after a section of Michigan law that awards attorney’s fees for claims that are “so excessive as to have no reasonable foundation,” since that tends to describe us well. That joke ended up landing, I guess, and the name The 3148s stuck.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
We’ve had a few. Probably our most memorable came right before lockdown when we played The Sanctuary in Hamtramck, Michigan. For most of us it ended up being the last event we actually got to attend before going inside our homes for months on end. It was also a bit of a graduation from grinding local bars were we’d lug in our own PA and set up in a corner to a legitimate venue. Plus, that room has a killer history in Detroit rock n roll – hosting acts like the Romantics, the White Stripes, and Scream.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
So far we’d have to give it to the Sanctuary in Hamtramck or the Magic Bag in Ferndale. We’d love to play another iconic Detroit room like The Majestic.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Man, that’s a tough question. I think for what he’s meant for Detroit, and how unbelievably innovative his music is Jack White would have to be on there. If we all had to pick different artists it would certainly end up being an eclectic festival – we’d have folk singers opening for death-metal bands with a few classic rock acts dusted in between. I don’t know how many tickets we’d sell, but we’d sure enjoy the hell out of it.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Find bandmates that primarily you like playing with. It’s certainly a lot easier to make weekly practices and lug your gear up some rickety stairs to play in front of the bartender and a couple locals if you really enjoy hanging out with and playing with the other guys in the band. I think that chemistry also comes through in the music – certainly live.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Don’t hold back. There’s no reason to hold back and feel like you can’t book a certain venue, or record at a certain place. Do the stuff you really love doing and the rest will fall into place. Plus that way, even if it doesn’t fall into place you are at least still doing stuff you love.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Hard to narrow down, but it’s probably My Old Lady (Don’t Tolerate) just because it was really our first original. It still is probably our favorite to play live since it has a classic riff that drives the song.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
As noted, one of the most fun to play is My Old Lady (Don’t Tolerate). We’ve also been really enjoying playing Guillotine, which is set to be released though The Animal Farm records in July. It’s a pretty different song for us that’s fast paced with aggressive vocals that center around a theme comparing modern division to some of the forces at play during the French Revolution. It’s weird and esoteric and energetic and a lot of fun to play.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Typically, either Ian or Greg will bring a song to the band that has most of the components put together. Then we’ll all get into the rehearsal space and work it out – adding pieces. For Ian’s tracks, this usually means Greg and Jason speed up the tempo and crank some gain. For the tracks Greg brings, Ian adds melody and another layer of musicality that makes the song more dynamic and complex. The songs then morph into something new that sounds more like The 3148s.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Man, we’re really all over the place. We’ve got songs about traditional and relatable issues like relationships and love, to esoteric songs that draw inspiration from stories from the Old Testament and the French Revolution. The real message I think we try to put out there is how much we enjoy what we’re doing, and how much we enjoy doing it together.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Honestly we are all pretty easy going and get along pretty well. Our flexibility really contributes to our writing process. We’re all open to input and suggestions from each other which allows our songs to grow and change into something that we’re ultimately all happy with. We’re also all pretty open about how we feel about things, so there isn’t any strange tension from one of us bottling something up or feeling like we’re forced to do something we don’t like.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We’re really excited for our next two single releases, Guillotine (July 08, 2022) and Saratoga Avenue (September 09, 2022). We’re also looking forward to a charity gig we are hosting at The Magic Bag on August 12, 2022, dubbed “Lawlapalooza.” We’re putting on a show with some other local attorney-driven bands to raise money for ALS Therapy Development Institute.