Metal music for escape 

Vancouver’s 3 Inches of Blood visits Punk Night with old-school metal

Who: 3 Inches of Blood

Where: The Boot Pub

When: Sunday, Nov. 13

Nu-metal, hair-metal, emo, screamo, post hardcore, metal core – go ahead, just try and categorize 3 Inches of Blood.

How the band best defines itself is not in adjectives, but instead from the past with its biggest influences in late ’70s British music and heavy music before 1985.

Pirates, cyborgs and Dungeons and Dragons fantasy, all whirled about in vocalist Jamie Hooper’s mind – a mind that remembers his first bedtime story read to him at the age of three, the Lord of the Rings.

"We just want to be a story-based, imaginative band that plays metal," said Hooper somewhere between California and North Dakota, rounding up a five-week tour of the U.S. with the band Exodus.

"(Our music) comes from our twisted imaginations. So many bands are trying to sell a message or ideology. There are not enough bands making music for the sheer good sense of it. Where we are coming from, there are no cleverly hidden political messages going on. It is basically storytelling although our stories don’t appeal to everybody."

3 Inches of Blood will crack reality with their fantasy-driven metal music Sunday, Nov. 13 as part of Punk Night at the Boot Pub.

Fantasy and the goal of the band go hand in hand.

"It’s escapism," he said. "It takes you to different places away from the mundane world of working and coming home and watching television. It’s a little entertainment with head banging and some sweat involved."

The six-year-old band emerged from Vancouver with ambitions straying no further than what Hooper explained as a "bunch of dudes having a goodtime."

"Everything that has happened so far is sheer bonus out of what we expected," he said. "We keep expectations at zero, so anything is pure gravy. We hope to just keep on touring and keep on playing and putting big smiles on head bangers’ faces."

Ten months into 2005, the band has spent eight of them on the road with plenty of highway left in sight.

The band played to sold-out shows in Vancouver and drew a devout following with their first indie album, Battlecry Under a Winter Sun in 2002. The band has toured with platinum hard rock band, The Darkness, throughout the United Kingdom and was signed with the prominent metal label Roadrunner in 2004 after which time the album, Advance and Vanquish was released.

Classic metal producer Neil Kernon, of Judas Priest and Queensryche fame, produced the album. He is best known for his engineering work with Cannibal Corpse and Napalm Death.

The band continues to live in world where they believe Priest and Maiden should rule the airwaves.

"There is a lot more creativity involved and guitar finesse," he said of the old school metal. "It seems like metal bands these days, in the stereotypical sense, seem to be heavy for heavy’s sake. So it often turns into a wall of indiscernible noise or just plodding monotony for the sake of being metal. We are trying to put some solos back into the metal."

A Javelin Reign (Punk Night producer Lindsay Shedden’s favourite band) and Openfire will join 3 Inches of Blood.

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