Entertainment
Combined, there's far more than three inches of beard in this photo.
courtesy Roadrunner records

Nothing quite so metal as blood

Or three inches of it, at that

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Metal isn't a genre, it's a way of life. Vancouver based 3 Inches of Blood don't waste their time with jobs, they spend almost all their time playing shows and getting wasted with fans. Three Inches has been with Roadrunner Records since 2003 and have just completed their third album, Fire Up the Blades, an accomplishment considering the band was on tour for over three quarters of the last year.

"Touring is always a good time," says vocalist Jamie Hooper. "It's like a permanent Saturday night. But unfortunately the heat in our van has decided to conk out on us, so it's pretty damn cold. Being in a metal band is not exactly a high paying job--or a job at all, for that matter. I'm sure it's the same no matter what type of music you play, you have people that come to your shows, you hang out with them, it's a good time, everyone enjoys themselves, you go to the next place and you do it again. I'm sure metal heads consume slightly more alcohol, that's for sure."

Three Inches is no stranger to the Calgary metal scene. This is their first time touring with Cradle of Filth, but they've been in Calgary many times, including a show with gore-core legends Gwar.

"We've got a soft spot for Calgary," says Hooper. "Both the Alberta towns have good crowds. I have no idea why, maybe it's something in that Alberta beef."

When writing, the band works together, starting with a riff and developing it rather than a single songwriter dictating parts. Their influences range from Ancient Corpse to classic rock. The music is as eclectic as the fans are. Their shows bring in everything from hardcore and punk rock kids to old metal heads that haven't been to a show in years. The music is a mix of power, death and thrash metal. But Hooper says it's just plain metal.

"My father came up with [the name], which is terribly un-metal," says Hooper. "When asked we always say that when the heavy-metal army comes through your town, that's how deep the poseur's puddle will run in the streets, so that will be the answer for today. It just seemed like a good idea at the time, but I don't know what we were thinking, actually."

Three Inches are self-described fantasy nerds and proud of it. Since the band's creation they've tried to stay away from becoming involved with the faux-politik that's become the arena of so many unqualified entertainers.

"There are so many bands telling you what you are supposed to be thinking, doing, eating or not eating and that kind of bullshit," says Hooper. "We wanted to have a band that's equivalent to escapist fiction. You read a good book to get away from the woes of the world rather than dwell on what's crappy out there. It's the sort of thing where you grab a beer, listen to it and have a good time rather than get bummed out on how crappy your day was. So we're more of a story-telling band than what you'd think--you know, evil demons coming to life, wizards, pirates, Viking themes, that sort of thing."

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