The Three Two Ones Count it Off

Long Beach power trio Three Two Ones kick off the new year with a residency at La Cave and are planning to press their debut EP, Jenny, before month's end. Signalling they're definitely a band to watch in 2012, their style sketches classic no-frills, pissed-off punk with a minimalist, psychedelic brushstroke—an interesting dichotomy with a lot of sonic possibilities. Guitarist Jimmy Moran talks about the band's aesthetic, scenester dick-measuring and sleazy bebop musicians as he gears up for the busy month ahead.

OC Weekly: You're a classic power trio. Who are your favorite power trios?

Jimmy Moran: Man, hmmm . . . there are so many. The first that comes to mind is the Jam. We grew up on a lot of cool punk stuff. Some of the greats fall in that category. It's definitely a lot easier being just three people, that's for sure.

I'm really digging the instrumental breaks from the YouTube videos. What instrumental groups are you inspired by?

Thank you. Our one video on YouTube? [Laughs] That was in July. [We're] not really inspired by instrumental groups, I guess. Some older instrumental music is cool, but nothing new—Mulatu Astatke, Triston Palma B-side instrumentals, Big Youth, dub, some old jazz, especially bebop.

Do you have any favorite bebop records?

Not really favorites, more like appreciation for certain artists and the real sleaziness of that era in jazz.

What's the songwriting dynamic like among the band?

Well, ideas and parts are brought to the table, and we keep it super-simple and effective. We have a lot of fun when we play and put shit together.

Who do you think write really “simple and effective” music?

The Ramones!

You guys are pretty well-entrenched in the Long Beach/Orange County club scene. What's great about rock clubs here, and what are some frustrations you have?

Sometimes, going out sucks. Everyone's trying to outdo one another. It's pretty funny. We go out to see bands that are inspiring, pissed and tuneful and have some good tunes. Our home base is Long Beach. Frustrations? Last call is at 1:30 a.m. Bullshit.

What's an example of bands trying to outdo one another that you've seen? Is that a good thing or a bad thing, all the outdo-ing?

Not the groups, the people. “Who is cooler?” etc. It's a dick-measuring contest out there sometimes, when people feel like they've got to prove something. Silly.

I can't find any music online aside from YouTube. Are you going to post any?

We have a two-song 45 coming out sometime after mid-January called Jenny.   The songs will be free on our website,, on Jan.15.

What's Jenny going to sound like?

Upbeat and fun, like Blue Train. Just kidding!


This column appeared in print as “The Three Two Ones Blast Off.”

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