By Sean Palmerston
With the recent release of their fourth studio album Here Waits Thy Doom early last month on Century Media, Vancouver’s true metal combo 3 Inches Of Blood have finally made the album many of us have been waiting for with baited breath. With the departure of second vocalist Jamie Hooper after the release of their previous album(2007’s Fire Up The Blades), a lot of the modern metal-core sentiments found in their music were dropped. The results of having Cam Pipes as the group’s main singer has brought his King Diamond-like vocals to the forefront – and pushed the band much more into a traditional metal sound that feels even more eighties inspired than anything they had ever done before.
Admittedly proud of their new album, the Vancouver based metal act hit the road in late September for an extensive round of touring, one which will see them criss-cross North America more than once. In fact, when I finally catch up with vocalist Cam Pipes on (Canadian) Thanksgiving Monday, the band had just experienced one of their most gruelling weekends ever. After playing a successful CMJ showcase Friday night in New York City, they then flew to Seattle to open for their friends Slipknot at an arena show on Saturday. Directly after the gig, the band flew back out east again for another show in NYC on Sunday, and were driving from NYC to Lancaster PA at the time of our chat on Monday, tired but up for the challenge of yet another gig that night.
“When we planned this tour, we purposely wanted to avoid being in Canada on Canadian Thanksgiving,” says Pipes with a bit of a laugh. “If we had a show in Canada right now probably no one would show up since historically no one comes out on Thanksgiving, so we wanted to avoid that.”
The band’s previous effort to tour in Eastern and Central Canada was during the winter of 2007/08, although that tour never came to be. After having a number of close calls with traffic accidents in inclement weather, the band decided to not complete said tour, as Pipes explains.
“We had a few very close calls with the weather. We had already been in a couple of accidents where we had spun off the road, just really bad icy conditions. The forecasts just weren’t looking good for the tour we were on, so we wanted to just stay alive. We didn’t want to cancel the tour. It was a really shitty thing to do and we got a lot of flak for it, understandably so, but we just trusted our gut and said okay, better safe than sorry.”
The band instead went home and started working on the material that would become the newly released Here Comes Thy Doom. Recorded in Seattle with noted producer Jack Endino, who over the years has worked with everyone from Mudhoney and Eric’s Trip to Toxic Holocaust and Zeke, the band chose Endino, opting for a more organic and natural sounding than what they had had created the previous time out with Slipknot’s Jordy Jordinson.
“We purposely did that,” says Pipes. “We wanted something more simplified, we didn’t want to make it a really complicated record. We wanted to go in and lay down our music and not worry about putting a lot of crazy effects on the drums and making it sound like a techno drum machine or click track it up like a death metal band would. That’s not what we’re about. We wanted to make it more natural sounding.”
“We had worked with Jack before on some demos we did on the last record when we were actually trying out Joey, just to see how we worked as a producer. We were in the Seattle area and our manager was good friends with Jack, so we had asked him to use his studio and have him engineer these demos for Joey. Jack’s a really good engineer – even when he’s not producing. We liked how that working relationship went and we kept in touch, seeing Jack every once in a while since then, so we talked here and there and eventually we had heard some of the stuff he had done for a couple of friend’s bands and other bands we like who are current metal acts. Some of the more recent stuff he had done solidified that he can do more than just a grunge record. He’s done so much stuff over the years people don’t realize his career is quite diverse.”
The album was recorded as a four-piece unit, with band guitarists Shane Clark and Justin Hagberg also playing the bass on the album. While they do have a fill-in bassist on tour with them right now, Pipes was hesitant to say if this four-stringer would join the band full-time. “We’ll see how it goes, but for now it is just a fill-in. With time, maybe he’ll be a more permanent fixture and maybe he’ll actually write with us but for now we’re just going to see how it goes and haze him a little bit to see how he reacts being around us. You have to initiate them a little bit to see if they can handle it. Time will tell who the right person will be.”
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Originally printed in VIEW Magazine