R13: How's the tour going?
Cam Pipes:It's going really well, everyone's having a good time.
R13: How many dates are there?
CP:Nineteen in total, all in a row, no days off.
R13: Is it around Europe as well?
CP:Yeah, we're doing a bunch of shows on the mainland. Tomorrow we're in London and that's our last UK show.
R13: Are the venues you play in Britain smaller than the ones you play in Europe, and America?
CP:They're about the same.
R13: Since the release of your latest album, Advance and Vanquish, has there been a big increase in your popularity?
CP:Steadily the word is getting out about us because our music is more widely available now with us being on Road Runner. It's not massive or anything, in fact we never expected to be where we are now, but it's been good on the most part, the feedback we've been getting has been really positive, and we're getting new and dedicated fans as well. When we've been to back multiple times we're seeing the same faces over and over.
R13: I've been aware of 3 Inches of Blood since I saw your video for 'Deadly Sinners' on TV, what has been the impact of the video?
CP:It's Definitely helped our music, and also being in snowboard and skateboard videos as well as the Tony Hawk video game. We're always looking for different ways to get our music out there, different formats, different mediums, it all helps.
R13: Do you prefer the small clubs like Jilly's or the large venues?
CP:I don't really have a preference, there's definitely a more intense vibe when you're playing the smaller venues because you're right in the fan's faces, but then there's a thrill in going out and playing in front of a thousand people on a big stage, they both have their ups and downs.
R13: How are the sales of Advance and Vanquish coming along?
CP:I've no idea.
R13: Don't you phone up to check?
CP:Not really no, I don't really care. I know people are listening to it, we're getting positive feedback which is what's important to me.
R13: You've been bundled into the new genre called Battle Metal, are you happy about that?
CP:Oh yeah. It's a new label that's recently been thought of, we've been thrown into the power metal category as well. I don't necessarily see us as a power metal band, even though I love power metal. Battle metal seems a little more fitting especially with the theme of the lyrics. We're definitely more raw sounding, we're not as over the top as such bands like Blind Guardian or Gamma Ray.
R13: Having lyrical content about Orcs and Sword Masters is usually scoffed at, claiming it to be a bit cheesy like Manowar, do you worry about that, why do you write about battles and pirates and so on?
CP:That was something that had been going on before I joined the band. Jamie was writing lyrics about Vikings and pillaging, we're both fans of fantasy so I like the idea of writing stories. Basically anything chaotic or blood driven, so it's all about warfare but we tend to stick with medieval things.
R13: Did you choose Road Runner or did they choose you?
CP:They approached us. We were trying to get our name out there, we sent them our demo to various labels and they came calling. They had a lot more to offer than the other labels did, they were more serious in signing us, it all happened very quickly. They liked what we were doing, they liked the fact we were touring a lot at the time, you know, supporting our first record.
R13: Didn't you find it odd because Road Runner tend to sign a lot of nu-metal acts and trend setting bands?
CP:Yeah, I think they were starting to turn a corner when they picked us up because since then they've not really signed any more nu-metal acts, in the states anyway. They picked up Cradle of Filth just before we got signed, Opeth recently. I like some of the signings they've made, they're definitely turning a corner, and they're also going back to their roots so to speak but also branching out and taking a chance on bands that have already established themselves such as Opeth and Nightwish.
R13: How much of the writing process are you involved in?
CP:Basically just the lyrics, the actual riff writing is done by those who can actually play the stringed instruments, but I'll chip in with arrangement ideas and structures. Ultimately it's the guitar players who jam stuff out.
R13: Do you all write together?
CP:The way we've done it in the past is when the song is complete it would be a lot easier to write the lyrics. Then I'd have an idea of how much I'd need to write because if I write lyrics beforehand it's like I'm doing double the work. The ideas come very easily but it's how I'm going to structure them, which comes when we've already got something completed.
R13: Do you write on the road?
CP:We try, it's definitely been more difficult this past year with the constant touring, and it's not easy to find a quiet spot where you can practice.
R13: Have you started writing the follow up to Advance and Vanquish?
CP:We will be after this. After this tour we'll be done touring and concentrate on writing.
R13: 'Upon the boiling sea' is in three parts, any thoughts of a concept album?
CP:Maybe not a whole album, that maybe something further down the road.
R13: Listening to Advance and Vanquish, many of the songs have a similar up-tempo aggressive feel, have you any thoughts of doing any epic numbers?
CP:Maybe, it depends what riffs are floating around, we'll get down to the nitty gritty later and let things happen, we'll do what feels right.
R13: How do you record, is it live or pieced together?
CP:With Advanced and Vanquished we did drums, then guitars, then guitar leads, then we did bass and vocals at the same time.
R13: Why two singers?
CP:No particular reason actually, Jamie was the original singer and I was friends with all of them and they heard I could do some falsetto singing, so they asked me to contribute to one of their demos they recorded. I threw on some vocals, they liked it so they asked me to add vocals to all the songs and join the band, so I said yeah ok. I wasn't doing anything else at the time, it was the excuse I was looking for to get out of the city I was in, so I moved away.
R13: Don't you find that fans will focus more on either yourself or Jamie?
CP:Some people are more into what I do, some are more into Jamie's style. You either love my vocals or you hate them, a bit like Geddy Lee from Rush. It's nothing we planned out, it was just 'let's see how this works.'
R13: How long have you been singing?
CP:I've been singing in bands for at least 10 years and I've been in this band for four and a half years.
R13: How did you find out you had such a powerful voice?
CP:I would try and sing along to records, mostly Iron Maiden stuff. It was definitely Bruce Dickinson who I tried to aspire to for years, eventually I was able to hit the high notes and then after a while I was able to sustain it without it killing my throat.
R13: Do you listen to a lot of new music?
CP:No, mainly old metal and old rock. Iron maiden are my favourite band.
R13: What are 3 Inches of Blood hoping to achieve?
CP:For the short term, hopefully the writing process for the new album wont be too arduous and ideas come pretty quickly.
R13: Why 3 Inches of Blood? Why not 4?
CP:It was from a story Jamie's brother told his dad, he heard him say 3 Inches of Blood in the story, it was about an injury or something he'd sustained. That phrase stood out to him so we used it.
R13: What's your highest point of 3 Inches of Blood so far?
CP:Being able to have the opportunity to tour as much as we have, coming over to the UK and Europe.
R13: If you had the chance to do it all over again is there anything you'd do differently?
CP:Not really because all that stuff has just been a prologue to where we are now.
R13: Who came up with the song 'Deadly Sinners?' For me it's one of the best metal anthems I've heard in a long time.
CP:That's a funny story actually. We were at a music shop because someone in the band was renting an amplifier. One of the employees was telling us how great this amp was and then he stopped himself and looked at all of us in black clothes and tattoos and said 'what am I talking about, you guys probably play in a band called Deadly Sinners or something.' Immediately that struck a chord and I said we have to write a song called Deadly Sinners It just turned out to be this anthemic piece that people really like. I don't see us as hit makers but I guess that's our defining moment so far.
R13: How's the tour going?