3 Inches of Blood to return to battle in Vancouver after a decade-long hiatus

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      The news is as barebones and short on details as it is welcome, especially for metal fans both on the West Coast and globally.

      Almost a decade after unplugging the amps for good, Vancouver’s 3 Inches of Blood is headed back to the battlefield—at least for a night.

      Live Nation made the announcement this morning, and it was concise: “After nearly a decade, 3 Inches of Blood are returning for a concert in their hometown of Vancouver, Canada on January 13, 2024. The band’s full-circle return will begin in the same place it ended, at the legendary Commodore Ballroom on Granville Street. Tickets go on sale September 15, 2023. Come celebrate an epic night of music. Long live heaavy metal!”

      3 Inches of Blood first exploded out of the Vancouver underground during the early ’00s rawk revolution, with DIY tracks like “Destroy the Orcs” and “Balls of Ice” embraced as much by white-belt hipsters at they were metal fans. The band survived lineup changes to enjoy a decade-and-a-half career, releasing records on indie heavyweights Roadrunner Record and New Century Media.

      What today’s announcement means for the long-term future of the group remains to be seen. The band’s Facebook page offers no information other than the reposting of the Commodore show news. Fans are, however, already asking about a tour in the comments section.

      Back in a 2015 feature article, 3IOB singer Cam Pipes told the Straight there was no one major factor contributing to the band’s decision to break up. After coming back from a tour in the early ’00s, the group’s various members took stock of things. On the positive side, they were still having fun after four full-lengths and a career fuelled with pinch-me moments (including hitting the road with Motörhead).

      The downside was that, in a streaming world, the music business has never been more divided between the haves and the have-nots struggling to get by.

      “The very last full tour we did, about two years ago, was in the fall of 2013,” Pipes said at the time. “It was fun, but we came back with not a lot of cash in our pockets, and that kind of prompted the question: ‘All right—what are we doing with this band? Let’s go on a break for a while.’”

      As great as being able to make music is, at some point you’ve got to start making a living at it. And not being able to pay the bills eventually led to a decision on 3 Inches of Blood’s future—that compounded by the band’s members getting “comfortable not doing anything”.

      “I don’t want to get too much into who initiated it all, but it was basically one guy saying, ‘I’m retiring—I’m resigning from the band because I’m kind of tapped out creatively, and I’ve got other endeavours I want to pursue,’” he said. “That led to someone else going, ‘If he’s done, I don’t want to do this without him.’ At that point, you’re like, ‘All right, this is almost like beating a dead horse.’”

      Except that time has a way of making you forget about the bad moments so you can concentrate on the great ones.

      And right from the moment that 3 Inches of Blood exploded onto the scene, it gave Vancouver no shortage of those.

      “We played Wacken festival [in Germany] to 50,000 people in 2008,” Pipes said a decade ago. “That was insane and surreal—people waving Canadian flags and singing ‘O Canada’ at the end of our set. We got to tour with Motörhead. There was a lot of bucket-list stuff that we didn’t necessarily write down at the beginning. Definitely, when I was younger I was always like, ‘Man, how rad would that be to play with Iron Maiden?—they’ve always been my favourite band.’ And then we did.”

      3 Inches of Blood

      Where: Commodore Ballroom

      When: January 13, 2024

      Tickets: livenation.com