Cam Pipes took the time after his performance with 3 Inches of Blood at the Palladium in Worcester (3/22/12) to chat with us about such topics like illegal downloading, the latest ban on mosh pits in the city of Boston, and 3 Inches of Blood’s new album Long Live Heavy Metal, now in stores via Century Media!
DR: Derek Rix with Thrash Magazine and I am here with Cam Pipes of 3 Inches of Blood. How are you doing tonight?
DR: Now we’re pretty early into the Metal Alliance Tour, there are a lot of bands on this tour, all different types of genres of metal. In my opinion, especially with your vocals, 3 Inches of Blood seem to stick out. How have the crowd reactions been?
CPipes: Yeah, we like sticking out, makes us more memorable to people. Reactions have been awesome for everybody really. A lot of bands, a lot of different bands, so it’s an interesting time with different kind of fans and it just benefits everyone in the end I think.
DR: It definitely makes shows more interesting. Like what Jonny Davy of Job for a Cowboy said (in earlier interview) is that when you have a tour where all of the bands some similar it could get dull. Here we have DevilDriver, The Faceless, Dying Fetus, 3 Inches of Blood, all these different genres and fans coming out. I’m sure you’ve been making many new fans.
CPipes: Yeah Absolutely, I mean that’s the goal is to make new fans obviously. I don’t see why every band wouldn’t experience that. I’m sure some of the bands are unfamiliar with some of other band’s fans, so it’s good for everybody.
DR: Now on this tour, where there any bands in particular that you haven’t seen perform live that you were interested in?
CPipes: Most I’ve seen, most of them actually. I’ve never seen or heard of The Wretched or Impending Doom. I caught a little bit of Job for a Cowboy at the [New England Hardcore &] Metal last year, same with Dying Fetus. The Faceless and Devildriver we’ve actually toured with before. Most of the tour I was pretty unfamiliar with.
DR: Now this is actually on sale during this tour, your new album Long Live Heavy Metal is coming out soon, in stores March 26th. This interview is actually post-performance, you performed “Dark Messenger“, “Leather Lord“, and “Metal Woman” from the new album. They seem a lot more intense compared to past work. Is Long Live Heavy Metal overall more intense?
CPipes: I think so, I think it’s a little more high energy than what we’ve done before. Just something that happens naturally, we wouldn’t go into writing in a specific way, just write what sounds good to our ears. It’s got kind of a special quality to it, it’s hard to describe. Really happy with how it turned out.
DR: Thankfully I was able to purchase my copy tonight, I’ll definitely have to listen to it when I get home. Now 3 Inches of Blood have a new full-time bass guitarist, Byron Stroud. Before Stroud there was a long stretch where you didn’t have a full-time bass player, just fill-ins for touring. Why did you go so long without a full-time bass guitarist?
CPipes: Well we decided after our last full time guy left, we were going to be a lot more picky with bringing someone in and immediately making him a full member. We’ve seen it backfire, people just decide this life style isn’t for them anymore. We wanted to make someone go through somewhat of an orientation period to see if in the long run, this was for them. It appeared that way for a while with Steve [Ericcson] but he decided he wanted to do other things. We had another guy for a couple tours and it didn’t really work out. Byron has actually played with us before and kind of filled in when we’ve needed somebody. He did a tour with us but we knew it was just a temporary thing, with him being a member of Strapping Young Lad and Fear Factory. He’s always expressed interest in doing this full time, being the bass player for 3 Inches of Blood. He just unfortunately didn’t have the time to do it. Just as we were finishing recording Long Live Heavy Metal, with Strapping Young Lad being disbanded and Fear Factory being Stroud’s main gig he said you know, I’m fed up with Fear Factory. I want to play with you guys.
DR: That’s funny because that was actually my next question, how you came into communication with Stroud about joining the band.
CPipes: Well he’s a guy we’ve known, from the same hometown. Shane actually used to tech for Strapping Young Lad some years ago. We’ve played shows with Strapping Young Lad back in the day. We’ve all known Byron for many years. Ash was in the Strapping camp for a while, he used to tech for Gene Holgan. So it’s kind of through that mutual group of friends from Vancouver. It was sort of through Byron, or Gene that we found Ash. Theres always been kind of that connection with Byron. We rehearsed at a warehouse that he owns, with like a bike shop in there, and they built a bunch of rehearsal rooms in there. Byron for at least the last several years has been someone we’ve always been interacting with, obviously not on a daily basis. He’s always been up to speed with what we are doing.
DR: So I’m assuming when Byron joined, it was really easy for him to get all the material down.
CPipes: Yeah, he was already our friend for so many years. It was a lot different with previous situations when we didn’t really know the guy so well, kind of knew him, it wasn’t that awkward kind of getting to know you phase, which there wasn’t with Byron, we already knew him.
DR: When it comes to touring, playing on stage, and then in the future, how ever long it takes, recording the next album, should be a lot more comfortable with Byron. I honestly didn’t know he’s been a friend of the band for so long. When I first heard the news he joined 3 Inches of Blood I was blown away, he’s basically a heavy metal veteran, been doing it for a while.
CPipes: He’s got more touring experience probably than all of us combined. He’s been at it for a long while.
DR: Now kind of veering off track out of my own curiosity, when I saw 3 Inches of Blood perform the  Mayhem Festival, I noticed you and Shane both have a tattoo of Manbearpig on your calf.
CPipes: Yeah and Justin has it to.
DR: Is that a thing you guys decided to do together?
CPipes: Yeah somebody got the idea that we should get it as like a bro tattoo. A buddy of ours who lives back in Southern Ontario, we always kind of hang with him when we’re up in the Ontario area. He’s tattooed us a few times. We had just enough time this one day and we were like oh lets all get Manbearpigs! We finally got it done, it was easy, we all did it at once. Ash doesn’t have the tattoo.
DR: Should convince him to get it done.
CPipes: Yeah, he loves South Park, probably more than any of us. He’s very picky about kind of things like that. He’ll have to really really want something.
DR: I think he’ll change his mind eventually. Now, thankfully we’re not in Boston, I don’t know if you’ve heard but the city of Boston very recently has been attempting to ban what they call “floor dancing” from metal concerts. Mosh pits, anything like that. There was a Flogging Molly concert where people were getting knocked down, granted that happens all the time, and no body was injured. Now Boston officials are really trying to ban moshing all together. There was a GWAR concert a few nights ago at the House of Blues in Boston, and I heard that they were attempting to stop the mosh pits, and even escorting crowd surfers out of the venue. Your thoughts/comments on the matter?
CPipes: It’s no good. It’s a touchy subject because it’s personal liberties, personal freedoms, freedom of expression. I’m sure they’ll try to make the case that it’s violent behavior. Ultimately I think they’ll fail and people are just going to do it anyway. I mean I’ve been to a ton of venues where it says no moshing, stage diving, etc. They just have to put that up for legal reasons I think. Unless you’re like obviously trying to hurt someone, and there is that person at a metal show, but it’s rare. You see a kid afterwards with his nose busted, he’s not crying about it, he’s actually pretty stoked. It’s one of those things that happen, you take the risk, it’s your choice. I wouldn’t do it myself, I’m getting older. I haven’t been able to get into a pit for years now, I’m one of those old guys that stand in the back. More power to you if you’re in there. For being on stage and seeing the kids going crazy and all that shit, it adds a level of intensity that helps you play better. There is nothing worse than playing and the crowd is just standing there, whether by choice or not. It just sucks the life out of everything.
DR: Definitely. Now for Thrash Magazine, we collect opinions and comments about the always popular topic of illegal downloading. I’ve heard musicians list pros and cons, that they enjoy the fact it gets their music out there so people come to the shows and support the band by buying merchandise. What is your personal opinion on the whole situation.
CPipes: I’m not for or against it really, I mean it’s going to happen, we’re in that age now were people are going to do that. Hopefully they’re going to come to the show, buy a t-shirt or whatever because that’s where a band is going to make their money, they don’t make money off record sales anyway. You’d have to sell a horrendous amount to recoup the investment that was made, and then start to see a profit, metal bands are just not going to do that. I’m not really going to judge you for doing it. I look at it more as yeah they want to check out the music. We do still manage to sell CDs, and that’s fine. There hasn’t been such a huge drop-off to us in sales that we really complain that people download. If you want to do it, I’m not going to try and stop you.
DR: Well as long as you come out to the shows, buy merchandise, support the band in some way!
CPipes: Like a shirt, you know anything.
DR: The market in general is just so down, musicians have to find a way to adapt. With the 3 Inches of Blood merchandise on this tour, you have the new album Long Live Heavy Metal, which is not even in stores yet, for sale. Also signed by all members of the band, and I’m sure a lot of people see that is a great incentive to buy it, along with the signed poster included.
CPipes: Yeah, you have to give them something interesting, entice them to buy the music still, interesting package, something signed. We like the added bonus of having a label that put out a vinyl for us.
DR: Which is nice because there are plenty of people like myself that enjoy to collect vinyl. I don’t want to take up anymore of your time, any last words, promotions you’d like to get in?
CPipes: Yeah, new record coming out, I hope everyone enjoys it, that’s really all I can say. I also hope people come out to the shows.I thank Cam Pipes and Century Media for this opportunity, a very interesting interview.