3 Inches Fire Up 

Punk thrashers unleash new music

By Nicole Fitzgerald

What: Punk Night

Who: 3 Inches of Blood

When: Monday, Jan. 15

Where: Garfinkel’s

It’s been two years since 3 Inches of Blood last stepped into a recording studio. The Roadrunner recording artists have been too busy globe trotting, including concerts across North America and Europe next month, to put in studio time.

The road rock and rollers finally parked their highway ambitions this summer/fall, holing themselves up in Tacoma, Washington to write their new album Fire Up the Blades, which will be released this April.

Punk Night revelers will get a preview of the new songs Monday, Jan. 15 at Garfinkel’s.

“Definitely a couple of the new songs have a little more zest, more pep than our previous stuff,” said vocalist Jamie Hooper. “There will be some songs that will surprise… Crime black metal will be shining through more than they have in the past with plenty of blast beats and slightly more majestic riffs going on… I am pleased with the progression we’ve made in songwriting. Hopefully all goes well.”

The Canadian band was happy to find themselves north of the border laying down tracks at Vancouver’s The Armoury recording studio as well as Mushroom Studios and Hiposonic Studios after spending six months in the “exciting” town of Tacoma.

Not exactly punk capital of the world, but still with nothing to do, the boys kept on task writing songs such as God of the Cold White Silence, unearthing memories of the Windigo myth Hooper remembered growing up in Northern B.C.

“It’s pretty metal sounding for ancient mythology,” he said. “Cannibalistic demons with stag horns are a pretty good topic.”

The Lord of the Rings devotee uses storytelling and escapism as his vehicle in music, covering everything from pirates and cyborgs to Dungeons and Dragons fantasies.

“A lot of bands take high and mighty attitudes where they use their ideologies to convince everybody it’s the right thing,” he said. “We wanted to get away from telling people what we thought and what they should be doing. It’s all about escapist fantasy. It’s about forgetting about work and mortgage payments and how crappy everything in the world is. It’s about getting into a song and drifting away.”

Listeners will drift away into booze cruises and all the imagined demons of the Christian world coming to life in Nocturnal Command. Punk fans will drift into the beer drinking party song of Great Hall of Feasting and the pure blasphemy of Infinite Legion.

“It’s far more intense than any of the songs we’ve done,” he said of Infinite Legion. “We are so stoked to play this live; to see people’s expressions. It is much more short. It’s a pure energy song rather than catchy riffs. It gets straight to the point with lots of screaming and blasting.”

Nu-metal, hair-metal, emo, scremo, post hardcore and metal core, 3 Inches of Blood travels it all with the band’s biggest influences being with late ’70s British music and heavy music pre-1985.

From twisted imaginations, and among those who believe Priest and Maiden should rule the airwaves, 3 Inches of Blood elevates metal music beyond the stereotypical sound that is only heavy for heavy’s sake; a wall of indiscernible noise.

The group is excited to unleash their new music, penned by all band members. With regular changeovers in the band’s lineup, previously many of the musicians played music they had no part in. Now the whole band — Hooper and Cam Pipes on vocals, Justin Hagberg and Shane Clark on guitar, Nick Cates on bass and Alexei Rodriguez on drums — can take ownership of the music.

After a West Coast tour, 3 Inches of Blood jets overseas for a three-week U.K. tour with Cradle of Filth.

In addition to 3 Inches of Blood, Punk Night also hosts Savannah and Left Spine Down.

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