Early years, and the Battlecry Under a Wintersun era
The group initially performed with only Jamie Hooper as vocalist before the addition of Cam Pipes. Hooper, Sunny Dhak, and Bobby Froese, along with Geoff Trawick and Rich Trawick filling in on drums and bass, got together to do a one-off reunion gig for an old group of theirs; however, things went so well with writing new material in a traditional metal style that they decided to continue under a new moniker. Rich Trawick’s roommate at the time, Steve Bays (Keyboard player for Hot Hot Heat), heard the demo of the band’s first recording and suggested having his long time friend Cam Pipes overdub some clean vocals to it. Pipes, who at the age of 10 had sung in his school’s choir, overdubbed additional vocals to what became the band’s first EP, Sect of the White Worm, in the living room of Trawick and Bays’ apartment, and became a permanent band member after the results proved to the rest of the band’s liking. Their debut album Battlecry Under a Wintersun was recorded in 2002 and released in cooperation with the Teenage Rampage and Fashion Before Function labels. It was later remastered and re-released by the band under their own label entitled Minion Music. This album had moderate underground success in the Canadian market, with the album charting on national college radio charts and earning a Canadian Independent Music Award for Metal Album of the Year in 2002. The band garnered international exposure when the band’s UK distribution label decided to put them on as a support slot for a tour with platinum rock band The Darkness. This exposure gained them much critical attention and acclaim in the world of underground metal, and they were signed by major label subsidiary Roadrunner Records in 2004.
Advance and Vanquish
In 2004, Geoff Trawick (original drummer) and brother Rich Trawick (original bass player) left the band following personal differences with the rest of the band and professional differences with Roadrunner Records. Matt Wood of Vancouver doom/sludge/noise band Goatsblood, and Brian Redman replaced them. Original guitarists Sunny Dhak and Bob Froese left the band shortly after recording in around July 2004 because “they could no longer commit to touring and needed to deal with some personal matters”. They were also committed to a business that they had set up called Bloodstone Press, a union shop and party venue. It is now defunct and together with Mike Payette (who was the third of the four shareholders of Bloodstone Press) and Matt Wood (who is also an ex-3 Inches of Blood member since July 2005 and was replaced by Alexei Rodriguez) they founded the rock band Pride Tiger.
The band plays music more oriented towards ’70s guitar-driven rock bands because, as Wood stated, “[m]etal just becomes the same thing over and over. Anyway, I’m not really a metal dude. None of us are. I’m sure if you studied pictures of 3 Inches of Blood you could pick us out as not really belonging there”. Sunny and Bobby were replaced by Justin Hagberg, who had previously played with Pipes in Allfather, a black metal band, and Shane Clark. Roadrunner put out an advertising blitz, and the track “Deadly Sinners” from the band’s second release Advance and Vanquish appeared on numerous sampler CDs, compilations, and even three video games (Tony Hawk’s Underground 2, Saints Row 2, and Brütal Legend), creating a huge press hype for the band that caused their popularity to skyrocket, with a slot on 2005’s Road Rage tour in August (with bands like Machine Head and Chimaira) gaining them many new fans.
Also in 2005, Justin Hagberg recorded the guitars on the tracks “Dawn of a Golden Age” and “I Don’t Wanna Be (A Superhero)” for Roadrunner United: The All Star Sessions. In October 2006, the band opened a show for Iron Maiden during the United States leg of their 2006 A Matter of Life and Death World Tour. The show was at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine, California.
Fire Up the Blades
The band wrote their entire third studio album in Tacoma, Washington and performed their new songs at various places in the vicinity of Washington. By December 2006, the band had begun to record material for their follow-up album at the Armoury Studios of their hometown, and revealed that it would be titled Fire Up the Blades, with Joey Jordison, drummer of Slipknot as producer. A demo of “Goatrider’s Horde” which was recorded in Seattle in the spring of 2006 was later made available for streaming on Roadrunner’s official website. Another demo of “Night Marauders” appeared in the fifth Battle Metal compilation album that was released in issue 161 of the UK magazine Metal Hammer.
The band toured the United States during January and February 2007 in support of Cradle of Filth with The 69 Eyes and, in March, toured the UK with Biomechanical. On March 22, 2007, the band was confirmed to play the second stage at Ozzfest. On April 6, 2007, the band’s website was completely redesigned. Prior to the release of Fire Up the Blades, the band stressed that the album would be “darker, tighter and more dangerous” than their Roadrunner Records debut. “This album is heavily influenced by low quality beer, bong rips and listening to black metal in the dark”, says Hooper. “It doesn’t sound blatantly black metal, it still sounds like us. But it’s a faster, more intense version of us.” Fire Up the Blades was ultimately released in Japan on May 28, 2007, and worldwide on June 26, 2007. During the 2007 Ozzfest Tour, Jamie Hooper was unable to sing with the band as he was experiencing throat problems, and was warned by doctors that he may damage his voice permanently if he did not rest it. He did not perform on the Ozzfest tour nor the Operation Annihilation tour. Harsh vocal duties were taken over by guitarist Justin Hagberg. Hooper did not perform with the band for the whole 2007-08 year.
Following a fight with Saxon drummer Nigel Glockler on November 10, 2007 at the Hard Rock Hell festival in the UK, 3 Inches of Blood fired drummer Alexei Rodriguez and issued an apology for his behavior. The fight left Glockler with broken glasses and a black eye. Four security guards intervened and beat Rodriguez severely, hospitalizing the drummer with a broken elbow. He was replaced by Ash Pearson (of Sound Of the Swarm & Just Cause) who later joined the band permanently.
Here Waits Thy Doom
Jamie Hooper eventually quit the band permanently in late 2008 and did not perform on Here Waits Thy Doom, making it the first album from the band not to feature any original members. Hagberg has taken over harsh vocal duties full-time.
The song “Beware The Preacher’s Daughter” features all four members of fellow Canadian Metal band Bison BC (James Farwell, Dan And, Masa Anzai and Brad MacKinnon) singing gang vocals on the chorus.
3 Inches of Blood was featured in Rockstar’s Mayhem Festival 2010. On September 9, 2010 the band released a music video for the song “Silent Killer”.
A new song, “Lords of Change” is currently streaming on the band’s Facebook from their forthcoming 7 inch called Anthems For The Victorious.
Long Live Heavy Metal and breakup
On March 26, 2012, the band released their album, Long Live Heavy Metal, in North America. Cam Pipes and Justin Hagberg feature on vocals with Justin Hagberg, Shane Clark and Ash Pearson on instruments.
On June 2, 2015, it was announced that the band would be disbanding after two final shows that took place on November 7 and 8, 2015. The shows took place at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, near their hometown
Cam Pipes – clean vocals (2001–2015)
Shane Clark – guitar (2004–2015)
Justin Hagberg – guitar (2004–2015), harsh vocals (2008–2015)
Nick Cates – bass (2006–2009, 2015)
Ash Pearson – drums (2007–2015)
Battlecry Under a Wintersun (2002)
Advance and Vanquish (2004)
Fire Up the Blades (2007) U.S. No. 147
Here Waits Thy Doom (2009) U.S. No. 195
Long Live Heavy Metal (2012) CAN No. 92
Sect of the White Worm (2001)
Trial of Champions (2007)
Anthems For the Victorious (2011)
Ride Darkhorse, Ride (2002)
Destroy the Orcs (2003)
Deadly Sinners (2004)
The Goatriders Horde (2007)
Trial of Champions (2007)
Battles and Brotherhood (2009)
Silent Killer (2010)
Metal Woman (2012)
Live at Mushroom: Vol. I (2013)
Live at Mushroom: Vol. II (2013)
Live at Mushroom: Vol. III (2013)