A Bloody metal assault 

Who: Three Inches Of Blood

Where: Boot Pub

When: Sunday, March 4

Heavy metal bands have taken a bad rap over the years for all that blood letting and bad behaviour. Biting heads off bats, coughing up blood, eating doves, the list goes on.

But it’s not all just sacrificial stage antics in this ferocious genre. In some cases, the crimson rivers are just an accident. For rising Vancouver band, Three Inches Of Blood, a few cuts and a blow to the head led to a new name and a two year dream run charting high on college radio, winning band battles and now a 2003 Canadian Independent Music award.

But if that’s not enough for TIOB to be excited about, add their first-ever gig at the infamous Boot Pub and a few days to finally get some snowboarding in and you’ve got one excited bunch of hard rockers. We rang drummer Geoff Trawick to get the low down.

Pique: How did you come up with your band name?

Geoff: We were playing a show one day, before we really had a permanent name, and one of our singers met with a bad fate from our lead guitarist’s head stock. The tuning pegs took three big chunks out of his forehead, mutilating him. Twenty-two stitches later, the stage floor resembled a war zone. Someone commented it looked like three inches of blood covered the stage and we thought that was a pretty good band name and it’s stuck.

Pique: A few reviews have called you guys more of an old school heavy metal band, would you agree?

Geoff: I think we’re more contemporary. We take the classic aspects of older heavy metal and fuse it with the metal you hear today. Some say we have a more modern hardcore sound. What we’re doing is more in line with what’s going on in Europe with the power metal scene.

Pique: What’s power metal exactly?

Geoff: It’s more about taking the classic aspect of traditional heavy metal and contemporising it. It hasn’t really caught on here yet. North America likes more the darker black metal stuff and we’re more into stuff with overdriving melodies like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, melody lines on top of the music.

Pique: Congratulations on winning the Canadian Independent music award for best heavy metal recording. You gotta be happy with that.

Geoff: A lot of people told us not to bother entering. Maybe I shouldn’t be saying this but some people told us not to bother because the judges favour Ontario bands, since it’s based there. We decided to submit anyway and so were quite shocked when we won. The competition was really fierce too. I mean, it’s not as prestigious as a Juno but I guess it’s the top of the line for independent artists.

Pique: Your album, Battlecry Under A Winter Sun, has done quite well on the college charts.

Geoff: That’s pretty much the only place where metal gets played in Canada. Generally the college crowd is more into obscure types of music. I know a lot of the program directors too, which helps, but yeah, people got into it pretty good.

Pique: So much so that you won Vancouver’s Shindig Battle Of The Bands and were the first metal band in the comp’s 20 year history to ever win the title, I believe.

Geoff: Yeah, that’s true. It’s a battle put on by the city’s college radio station for local unsigned acts. Usually it’s won by a singer-songwriter, folky type but I think we turned the tide because Black Rice won this year and they’re pretty heavy too.

Pique: So describe your show to the locals and get them all down.

It’ll be an all-out metal assault. It’s good times. We all come from the political punk spectrum but wanted to put the fun back in hardcore music. Don’t get me wrong, we’re all dead serious about playing heavy metal, but at the end of the day we just try to promote enjoyment. We’re bringing our good buddies The Nasty On to open. They’re a great punk band who we did a tour with in the States, you’ll love ’em.

Get down to the Boot Sunday night and welcome the Three Inches of Blood Boys to town. Doors at 9 p.m., metal mania and minimal cover – what more could you ask for?

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