Interview with Cam Pipes of 3 Inches of Blood

Ok, so I’m going to be completely honest and tell you that before seeing 3 Inches of Blood live at Mayhemfest, I did not consider myself much of a fan. There’s something about the speed/thrash King Diamond influenced metal bands that just get under my skin, and make me want to bash my head against the wall. After that being said, I decided to suck it up, and watch their 30 minute set, early in the day at Mayhem in Detroit, with an open mind. Once 3 Inches of Blood came out on stage, I realized they could also double as bikers, with their long hair, beer guts, and denim vests… which is cool in my book. 3 Inches put on an amazing show, and got the crowds up and going, which helped set up the vibe for rest of the day. And I have to say, I was digging it, and I have a newfound respect for them as a kickass metal band. I was able to sit down with lead singer Cam Pipes after their set, and here’s what he had to say:

Amanda: How do you feel the band compares now, to the original line-up of when 3 Inches of Blood first formed?

Cam: That’s kind of difficult to answer; I think regardless of who’s been doing it, there’d be some kind of progression.

Amanda: Do you think the current line-up is better than the original?

Cam: Yea, in some ways I think it is. Shane and Justin have been hanging out with us for a while now, and I think they had the right attitude off the bat. I think that was a big thing that we really needed; to kind of do a little gut check, and really get people who are in it for the long haul. The other guys just kind of lost interest. That’s the usually the reason people leave; they’re just not interested in touring anymore, and it wasn’t for them.

Amanda: Yea, I could see how that would be a difficult lifestyle to take on, especially if you had a big family life at home.

Cam: Yea, I don’t think it had much to do with family for them, I just think they got sick of touring all the time and not making much of a living off it. For us, it’s more about playing, as it should be for any band.

Amanda: Exactly, it should be because it’s your passion first and foremost, I would say.

Cam: Yea, and you know, I’d have a job at home if I needed to, but I’d still be doing this no matter what. I haven’t had a day job for like six years, but before this I worked in a grocery store, and I could go away on tour with that job.

 Amanda: What would you do, just quit and find another store to work at when you got home?

Cam: The last job I had, I’d just say ‘hey I’m going on tour for a month, and they’d just say ok.

Amanda: Oh sweet, so they just let you come and go as you needed?

Cam: They’d just have me call them when I got back, and they’d keep me on the books and let me work if they needed me.

Amanda: Definitely more of a job with no responsibilities, where you can get away with that kind fo thing, then?

Cam: Yea, it was a small independent store, and there wasn’t really a high turnover, because it was more of a family business, and literally was most of their family that worked there.

Amanda: Cool, so if you ever had to go back, do you think they’d let you now, after 6 years?

Cam: Well now a days I don’t know, I would really hope it’d never come back to that.

Amanda: You guys just made a video, and re-issued your song Silent Killer, correct? When can fans expect to see the finished product, and where can we find it?

Cam: We don’t have an actual date quite yet, but it’s very close to being done.

Amanda: A few months back you guys did some recordings for your first ever live concert dvd- Tell me a bit about that, and when its expected to be released?

Cam: We just finished up the tour before this one, and ended in our home town, and did a couple of shows, so we filmed them, and we’ll be working on that next, most likely when we’re home from this tour.

Amanda: So you guys are taking some time off after Mayhem is finished?

Cam: A little bit yea, we’ll still be busy doing shows on the weekend, kind of regionally, but we don’t have any tours planned. This kind of a tour has restrictions as far as time; you can’t tour all these major markets year round, there’s set dates for when it’s available.

Amanda: If you had to choose between Grave Digger and King Diamond, who would you pick?

Cam: I’d go with the King, he’s always been a huge influence for me.

Amanda: What kind of musical influence did your family have on you as a child, before you started your own musical preferences?

Cam: My parents listened to a lot of classical music, so that’s what I remember the most. They didn’t listen to a lot of top 40 radio, nothing like that. I had to discover rock for myself.

Amanda: What question are you most sick of being asked?

Well not just this tour, but with ANY interview is, ‘how’d you come up with your band name?’ that’s the one question I just can’t stand. It’s such a boring question, and our answer is usually some bullshit made-up answer.

Amanda: What’s your favorite cereal?

Cam: Probably Special K.

Amanda: Special K? You must prefer all that healthy shit then, over the sugar filled crap?

Cam: Yea, I didn’t grow up eating all those sugary cereals, maybe I’d do frosted mini-wheat’s, but that’s about it.

Amanda: That’s actually what I always give my kids. No reason to get them all wound up on a sugar high.

Cam: I would have honey nut cheerios every now and then, but I preferred regular cheerios. I never got bought the sugary stuff as a kid.

Amanda: Well your parents did a good job then!

Amanda: What do you feel is the best way to support music these days?

Cam: Go to a show; if you know the band, go to a show, and if you like it, buy some merch. That’s probably the best way. You know that people are going to download music no matter what. It hurts bands that are actually making money off record sales, more than it does bands like us; we’re not making any money off record sales as of yet, and I really don’t know if we ever will, so it doesn’t bother me that much.

Amanda: So do you think it helps at all, by getting your name out there?

Cam: It does help get our name out, that’s for sure so I don’t mind.

Amanda: So you’re not the type of person who would be making you tube videos, telling everyone not to pirate?

Cam: Not at all. I’m glad that on this tour, it sounds like most of the bands are doing pretty well with sales. The bands are giving incentives to buy albums, such as if you buy the album for 10-15 bucks, the band will autograph it for you.

Amanda: That’s definitely an awesome bonus for only paying 15 bucks.

Cam: What we do, we’ll go and sign stuff for people anyway, but to get people to just buy the album, we’ll sign them all ahead of time. We do that at regular shows, like let’s say it’s for a non festival show that we’re playing, but not headlining, but playing the show with someone bigger like Lamb f God or something.

Amanda: And I would think that would be one of the easiest ways to make fans, right?

Cam: Oh absolutely, we always just try to hang out by the merch table between bands, and just hang out for a bit.

Amanda: Sweet… If you were an animal, which animal would you be?

Cam: A bull. I’m a pretty stubborn person anyways, and I am a Taurus, so that makes sense.

Amanda: Cool, I’m an aries so I’d be a ram which isn’t far off from you.

Cam: My wife is one also, and she and I tend to butt-head’s a lot.

Amanda: OH, I know just how that goes; Sounds like the typical marriage!

Amanda: What most excites you about your upcoming tour in Japan?

Cam: Everything. It’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, and have never been. Ever since I’ve heard about people we know who’ve gone and played shows there, they say it’s just amazing. I’ve heard stories of it being an extreme culture shock.

Amanda: How long will you be over there for?

Cam: We only have one show, but we’re trying to do a tour around it, in nearby countries, hopefully Australia.

Amanda: That would certainly be a nice change of scenery!

Amanda:  If you could dig up one dead person and bring them back to life for a day, who would it be?

Cam: Dio.

Amanda: That would be cool, I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him, or see him live. Did 3 Inches ever get the chance to open for him?

Cam: Never met him, know people who have.

Amanda: He was definitely considered one of the founding fathers of metal.

Cam: Yea, he’s the one icon in music, which has died in my lifetime, which I was really old enough to know of his presence in music. I have seen him live before; other icons have died while I was alive, but Dio was the only one who had that much of an impact in my life.