By Carl C. Sundberg
Drawing inspiration from 70s metal and from the much abbreviated NWOBHM, Canadian thrash metal band, 3 Inches of Blood has been slowly, yet surely building a loyal, diehard fanbase by touring all parts of the world, including the US and UK since their inception nearly a decade ago. With their gritty, thrashy, catchy battle hymns and frontman Cam Pipes and his Rob Halford-inspired falsetto vocals, 3 Inches of Blood turns heads wherever they perform.
With their latest record, Here Waits Thy Doom, the band finds themselves recording their first album for a new label and the first album not to feature any of their original members. Jamie Hooper, the last original member who performed screaming vocals in the band, was forced to quit after struggling with vocal problems. The band was also dropped from Roadrunner Records, causing them to spend some time as free agents, where they eventually signed with Century Media.
Despite these changes and challenges, guitarist Shane Clark thinks 3 Inches of Blood have finally found the right group of guys to carry forth their domination of the heavy metal world complete with epic tours, a furious new album, a label that’s got their back and a teeth shattering new video.
Q: Let’s talk about the new album, Here Waits Thy Doom, tell me what went into this album.
A: With a lineup change, the dymanic changes a little bit. And for this record, it changed for the better. This one is a lot more focused, not too many cooks in the kitchen you know. Justin and I wrote the music for this and it was really smooth. I was just writing songs we want to hear and the rest of the guys putting their stamp on it. There wasn’t really a formula, to tell you the truth. We kind of wrote songs and this was the album that happened. People are making observations about how its much more late 70s metal than the last one and I agree. It’s a compliment. But it wasn’t planned out. It just kind of happened.
Q: Is this album getting you guys more attention? You feel like you’re moving up the chain a little bit with this record?
A: I feel like with this album, there’s been a lot more help from the media, and that has a lot to do with us being on a different label too. Being more in the public’s eye on this record, in our own underground way, it’s been a lot better. But of course, touring over the years helped too. Getting more people out to the shows, and building more anticipation, I think slowly but surely, we’re generating more fans.
Q: Regarding the label switch, your last two albums were on Roadrunner, and now you’re on Century media, what happened there?
A: We got dropped from Roadrunner and then we were free agents for a year. Long story short, it was all business. It wasn’t personal or anything. They wanted to renegotiate. Labels aren’t making money anymore. So Roadrunner wanted to renegotiate and we knew if we said no, they’d drop us. So we all said no. We weren’t happy with our arrangements at that point. So we got dropped. It was high fives all around. We took about a year to decide. We knew what we wanted business-wise, so we took a year and talked to a lot of labels and Century Media was the best way to go for us.
Q: What does Century Media do for you that Roadrunner doesn’t?
A: There’s a whole long list, so I’ll go through it with you a little bit, man. They’re interested in our band, they understand what kind of music we’re playing. These are things that Century Media seems to understand that Roadrunner didn’t. Those are two big things and we have support from them. They have a publicity department that’s really good. They’ve actually done stuff for us. In Roadrunner’s case, they put out a record and it would be in some stores some of the time, but that was it. If we were on tour, there was no fucking way you’d get bailed from them. They just didn’t give a shit. They sign a bunch of bands and whoever makes waves, they put all the money into them. In our case, we got signed with that whole big group of bands that Trivium was involved in. Those guys did really well in the UK and stuff so, and us and a handful of other bands were pretty low priority. I don’t want to sound like sour grapes. That’s just the way it goes. We’re just glad we got out of that. Century Media’s just a whole different situation.
Q: Let’s talk about touring. You guys are notorious for staying on the road. I’m looking at your current touring list and it’s huge. North America and UK. Tell me about life on the road with 3 Inches of Blood.
A: It’s hard to put into words. It’s just a way of life for everybody. We just have a method where we just travel in a van with a trailer and stay in hotels and just keep it going. The road just seems like home. When we’re at home it, well it’s nice to have a break here and there, but it’s always like, man we should be on the road right now. Playing. Over the years you figure out what works and what doesn’t. Members come and go because of touring. By no means is it backbreaking work but it’s tough on the psyche as far as whether you’re deep down wishing you were home making money and having a yard and getting married and shit, then it’s not the life for you. We are all dedicated to the music. We’re dedicated to the band. That is our life. It’s really easy for us at this point.
Q: 3 Inches of Blood’s sound is heavily inspired from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, so I’m curious do you get a better response in Europe than you do in the United States?
A: It just depends where. If we’re doing our own shows in the UK and it’s booked good then people show up and it’s great. But if we’re opening up for a band…we did some shows with Arch Enemy and Opeth where people didn’t give two shits. So it just depends what you’re doing. By no means are we reinventing the wheel, we definitely stick out no matter what we’re doing. If it made sense that we were huge in Germany, because that’s where a lot of the shit we play comes from, well, we still have to keep coming back and playing a lot. So we’ll get where we’re going the old-fashioned way.
Q: Tell me about the new video for “Battles and Brotherhood”.
A: I was getting drunk at a barbeque and my buddy is in the movie industry and this dude was there, and he expressed interest in doing a video for us. And I was like, ‘well we have no money’. This dude worked on like Tron and 300 and all these crazy movies, so he has the know how and all that and he pulled in a bunch of favors and made the video happen for literally no budget. So you can see there’s some quality going on, it was costumes and a set. Really nice cameras and stuff. He was being the director and all that. We brainstormed all together on the ideas, what the video would be about and it all worked out. It was good fun. We had wardropbes and makeup, we had fake scars and shit. It was really just a cool experience. Professional stuntmen doing the battle scenes. It was cool man.
Q: And the video and the song really sum up 3 Inches of Blood in a lot of ways.
A: I think it’s funny. It’s so over the top; we’re a bunch of barbarians in the video and the song is basically about how we live our life on the road; the battles and the tribulations of being on the road and the brotherhood aspect. We are a brotherhood, we’re who we have on the road and in our travels but the lyrics are indirect as well. Of course it’s about battles and barbarians and shit. But it’s a good video to fit the vibe of our band. Fucking battles, swords, drinking horns and wenches and shit.
Originally published on 101d.com