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3OH!3 walked so the rest of the music industry could run

Haters won't admit it, but 3OH!3 forever changed the game with their music

3OH!3 performs during ASU's Fall Welcome Concert on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe, Arizona.

3OH!3 performs during ASU's Fall Welcome Concert on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe, Arizona.

On a dangerously sunny day in 2018, 3OH!3 saved my life.

My best friend and I waited for over an hour in the blistering sun during the last ever Van's Warped Tour. It was expensive, but we'd pay anything to see 3OH!3 live, and on that fateful afternoon, I nearly passed out after meeting them.

Blame it on being starstruck or dehydrated, but what was there to save me? My friend's freshly signed 3OH!3 T-shirt, of course. Wet and wrapped in ice, it cooled me down before I completely lost consciousness, but honestly, it was probably the magic within the shirt itself that saved me. 

Let's get something straight — 3OH!3 is the greatest electronic band of all time. Deny it all you want, but they are.  

"Black dress, with the tights underneath, I got the breath of the last cigarette on my teeth..."

Need I say more? We both know you know the rest. 

With one song, 3OH!3 changed the world in 2008. And let’s be honest, if Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte hit the Camp Flog Gnaw stage this year, nobody would have booed. 

In case you somehow missed it, on Nov. 10, Drake was revealed to be this year’s secret guest at Tyler The Creator’s annual music festival, Camp Flog Gnaw, in California. 

At the festival, rumors spread that the secret guest was Frank Ocean. Because he performs live so rarely, some fans went as far as camping out at the stage all day to get a chance at watching him. When Drake came out instead, he was booed off almost immediately.

There’s no way 3OH!3 would have suffered the same fate. 

The numbers don’t lie. The band reached seven on Billboard’s Top 100 List with their breakout song, “DONTTRUSTME,” and again when they collaborated with Kesha to create the anthem that is “Blah Blah Blah.” 

3OH!3 didn’t just get recognized by Billboard. The hardcore-electro-pop band was also nominated as Best New Artist in 2009 and Best Collaboration in 2010 with MTV’s Video Music Awards. They even made it onto Now That’s What I Call Music Vol. 31.

There’s no denying the band has serious talent. The best thing about 3OH!3, however, is their ability to transcend time. Although the majority of their hits came out in the late 2000s and early 2010s, an infamously bad time for music, their work does not reflect this. 

Songs like “PUNKB*TCH,” ''Touchin On My” and “IMNOTYOURBOYFRIENDBABY” all still destroy airwaves, maybe even more so than when they first came out.

I personally rediscovered 3OH!3 in 2018. When I was clearing out my old iPod Shuffle, their album “WANT” came on shuffle. One swift listen to “PUNKB*TCH,” and I was a new woman.

I got to college and the music followed me. Songs like “I Know How To Say” and “STARSTRUKK” — which featured Katy Perry in her prime, by the way — became my friend group's pre-party hype music and before-concert high. 

In 2018, when they announced their tour in celebration of 10 years since their breakout album, I genuinely considered buying a plane ticket home to see them perform. I didn’t end up doing it, but I stand by that idea to this day.

Like it or not, 3OH!3 knows how to party. They somehow created an entirely new sub-genre of electronic music that I can only describe as the perfect soundtrack to what Gossip Girl made me think clubbing was like in the 2000s. 

No other band could capture the vision of a dimly lit, neon ballroom blasting music while girls covered head-to-toe in sequin party dresses and glitter dance the night away in nine-inch heels and fur coats. 

They were the first ones to do it, but these club-pop electro beats are still around today, found in artists like Charli XCX, Slayyyter and SOPHIE. You can go ahead and thank 3OH!3 for that.

Reach the reporter at and follow @SaraWindom on Twitter. 

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