3 Inches Of Blood - Spawn of the Necro Wizard
Interview with Cam Pipes by Joe Who?

Late last summer it was announced that Metal Church was going to head out on a fall tour. Being a big fan of their work, (and the fact that they haven't toured in forever!) I decided that I wasn't going to miss this show.

When I got the info for the show that I was planning on attending I noticed the opening band listed as 3 Inches of Blood. I didn't know a thing about them. I decided to pick up one of their cds, so I would be more familiar with their material. This wound up being their debut Roadrunner CD "Advance and Vanquish".

This cd was a blast to listen to. The sound was total "Old School". The band incorporates thrash with traditional metal. The songs tell stories of pirates, robots, warriors etc... that are very entertaining.(It sure beats this emo shit like whining about your girlfriend.-->
The more rugged, harsh style vocals by Jamie Hooper and the banshee like screams of the other singer Cam Pipes. (Yes, that�s his real name, short for Cameron.)

I recently talked with Cam, after their Nov. 6th 2004 Milwaukee show with Metal Church, and here's our little discussion...

Wormwood Chronicles: Can you give us a brief history on the band, and how this all got started?

Cam Pipes: The band has been around since 2000. I joined the band around a year later. They asked me to put some vocals on a demo they were doing, add some back-up vocals. I did a song, and they liked it so much, that they asked me to join the band. So that's sort of where I came in. We recorded our own record, toured it a whole bunch up in Canada, and now we're here I guess.

WC: So is this your first major tour of the states then?

CP: Yeah, pretty much. We've done a little bit of touring here and there, like up and down the west coast. We've hit some dates in the Midwest a few times...

WC: Was that with Machine Head?

CP: No, we actually didn't do that tour. We toured the east coast last year with The Black Dahlia Murder and Himsa. So this is the most extensive touring we've done so far in the US. We're playing a lot of new places we've never been to before.

WC: You have a new album out called "Advance and Vanquish" on Roadrunner Records. This album is a lot of fun; it has a classic, nostalgia feel to it. How's the reaction been so far from the different crowds you've played to?

CP: Oh, really, really good actually, especially playing to Metal Church fans. They understand where we're coming from. They're very appreciative of it, young and old. A lot of people are really enthusiastic about it, because we're bringing the old metal back into the limelight I guess. So it's really cool, and the reaction has been really, really favorable, and we're just happy to be out here.

WC: Your songs tell stories, what inspires you to write in this manner?

CP: Well, being that I joined a year into it, I guess that their original motivation was the guys just sort of got together, because there was a band that some of them were in that had been asked to do a reunion show. They had to recruit a couple of guys, that weren't originally in the band. Then they just said you know let's forget this old stuff, let's start a new band, and they started writing metal. I remember seeing them a couple times, and being like - Wow, no one's doing this anymore, this is really awesome. I was really stoked to join when they asked me.

WC: Two of my favorite songs on the album are; "Deadly Sinners", and "Revenge Is a Vulture". I was just wondering what those songs are about?

CP: Well, "Deadly Sinners" is a song loosely based on an army of metal warriors that patrol the streets and re-conquer the world for heavy metal, and do away with the trendy shit that we're hearing nowadays. "Revenge Is a Vulture" was inspired by a story about someone's relative. They had a dispute with a neighbor, and what they did was they put up some real ugly looking carving of a vulture, just to spite the neighbors. So the term "Revenge Is a Vulture" came about. It just turned into a story of someone being betrayed and getting vengeance.

WC: Neil Kernon produced your new album, he did a killer job. What was it like working with him, and did the album turn out the way you envisioned it?

CP: Well, you know, I didn't really have a vision for the album, because we never really worked with a producer before. Neil was great to work with. We were kind of nervous going into it, because you know - all the bands he's worked with, and his legendary status. Right off the bat we were real comfortable with him, he made us feel totally at ease, and he knew how to get the best out of us. So it was an awesome experience working with him...

WC: Did you record in Chicago?

CP: Yeah, we did. Originally we were going to record in Tacoma, but the recording date kept getting pushed back, and we couldn't get the studio due to delaying it so long. Neil is based in Chicago anyway, so he said why don't you just fly out to Chicago, I know some great studios here.

WC: Traditional metal seems to be making a major comeback these days. Do you see it as a novelty, or a major return to form?

CP: Well, I hope it's not a novelty. I hope that it can come back to bands who are returning to their greatness in popularity at least, like Maiden and now Priest is back with Halford. I think it's a good sign. People are going to realize what was great about metal before, and even the new generation of metal kids are going to be like - Yeah that's fuckin' killer, and what was I doing listening to Korn?!

WC: I heard that you guys had a major band shake up within the line-up. Can you tell us what happened, and what is the current line-up at the present time?

CP: Well, around April of this year, our drummer and bass player, who are brothers, quit the band just before pre-production. So we enlisted Matt Wood, who's a friend of ours, former room-mate of mine actually, and plays in bands around Vancouver. When he got the call, he basically dropped everything, and met up with us. Brian our new bass player, he's from Tacoma. We've played with his bands before, his old bands in Tacoma, and he was friends with our manager, and other people that we know down in Tacoma...

WC: Brian's the only Yank in the band, right?

CP: Yeah, he's the only American in the band. Then in July after we recorded the record, our guitar players decided that they couldn't commit to touring anymore. They had some issues they needed to deal with, really unfortunate. We were just about set to go back on the road again, instead we had to sit around our home town and recoup. We recruited a couple new guitar players. Now we've got Shane Clark and Justin Hagberg. We're still on good terms with our old guitar players; we still hang out, and go drinking with them. We understand why they had to do what they did. They support us, and what we're doing still.

WC: Do you have any good road stories from the tour so far?

CP: Well, it's pretty early. Let's see - UM, Damn - Well we're doing a hell of a lot of driving; we've had to fix the heater and or coolant type of problem on our van three times. So luckily it hasn't been too expensive thus far. We had a coolant hose blow out in the middle of the desert as we were going to Nevada. It was leaking coolant like crazy, and over heating. We were taking a water bottle and filling it up with dirty water from a ditch, and filtering it through with someone�s underwear, to get all the dirt out, so we could fill the coolant back up again, and just make it enough to the gas station before it leaks a ton of fluid again. (laughs) (That qualifies for this interview's "Spinal Tap story" for sure!--Doc)

WC: Who's been the best city that you've played to so far?

CP: UM, You know, tonight was probably one of the best shows we've had so far. Last night in Des Moines was really good too. Not as big a turn out, but just as enthusiastic for sure. All the cities we've played in have had great energy, and everyone we've met has been real cool. If it's not a great turn out, no one gets bummed out. Everyone's just stoked to be here to play, and by the end of the night once Metal Church gets up there, everyone in the bar is paying attention. They know how to fire the crowd right up no matter who's there. So everyone's having a great time.

WC: How do you maintain your voice on tour night after night? You really hit those high notes a lot.

CP: I just kind of warm up during the day listening to records in the van, sing a long with them. I gargle with cold water before the show, about a half hour in advance. Warming up lightly making sure it's not too rough, get the cobwebs out. The cold water helps loosen up the phlegm and keep it crisp and clear. I've had rough patches before, but I'm not into strict of a regimen of warm up's or anything, just enough that I don't kill myself night after night.

WC: Will your first album be re-issued at all? Is it available in the states?

CP: Well, actually yeah it hasn't been available in the states before. We tried getting it released down here. That's definitely something we'd like to do, but at the moment with the new album being out, it's kind of been put on the back burner. We tried for so long to release it in the states. We actually did get someone to release it, but the label folded, and it was close to when we were about to go write some new stuff. It's done its course for now. We'd like to see that album, and this new album come out on vinyl eventually, because neither of them got released on vinyl.

WC: Now that you're on a major label, (Roadrunner Records) are there any plans to put out a video - like "Deadly Sinners" for example, for MTV, and Uranium?

CP: Possibly. At the moment no one's really that sure. We talked about it before the guitar players quit, but since their departure it's kind of been put on hold, and there really hasn't been much talk of it. We'll see how touring goes over the next little while. Maybe they'll be stoked enough on our schedule that they'll want to do something like that.

WC: What are your plans for the months ahead, after the Metal Church tour?

CP: After the Metal Church tour, we finish this tour in Massachusetts on the 28th of November. Then we drive back to the west coast and we tour with Satyricon and Infernal Majesty, pretty much doing another full US tour for most of December. (Unfortunately, this tour wound up a disaster when Satyricon's touring guitarists were arrested on suspicion of rape and Infernal Majesty left early--Doc)

WC: Any plans for 2005 at all?

CP: Don't know yet. We just heard about the Satyricon tour, so we're waiting to see what's coming our way in the new year still.

WC: Thanks for your time, Cam, any last words for your fans out there?


Roadrunner Record's Website

3 Inches Of Blood's Official Website