OK, so 3 Inches of Blood have only had two severed animal heads at their concerts.
We thought maybe there had been more over the Vancouver heavy metal band's nearly 14-year career, but singer Cam Pipes only recalls the pair. The first: "The pigs head in Cincinnati," he says. "Gwar was playing across the street and this guy was at (that) show and came across the street and brought the pig's head he'd brought to Gwar."
The fan ended up side stage with the head on a stick when it fell off, hit guitarist Justin Hagberg in the head then rolled off the stage. "The thing wasn't super fresh," Pipes says. "It was a little gnarly. It's a funny story (Hagberg) likes to tell."
The second head was a little gnarlier though, cut from a freshly killed deer in North Dakota. Another fan at one of their shows approached them and said, "Hey I've got something crazy to show you guys."
He retuned from his car with the deer he hunted that day. "He got down on his knees in the pit and he was holding it over his head and the blood was falling on his face," Pipes says.
He remembers thinking, "Man, he's gonna get sick if he ingests any of that deer blood."
The band isn't anticipating any similar props to pop up during their upcoming string of North American tour dates. "I'd like to think crazy shit happens to us all the time, but it really doesn't," Pipes says. "The craziest stuff that happens is we get nutty fans and their enthusiasm. We tend not to put ourselves into compromising situations. I think, like any metal band, we've had our share of nutty fans, but who hasn't? Metal is a crazy genre with the most diehard (fans)."
The band has garnered enthusiastic reactions across North America since forming in Victoria back in 2000. They released their fifth album, Long Live Heavy Metal, packed with fantastical tales and gritty metal appeal, in 2012 and they're continuing to promote the record on tour this spring ahead of releasing a new project, expected in the coming months.
Dubbed the Live at Mushroom Studios recording, the band holed up in the now-defunct Vancouver studio to record live sessions, which they will release as a series of EPs, along with bonus content like videos. (The studio has since been levelled to create office buildings.) "It's an idea we had, but the opportunity came up to do it at Mushroom and we learned it was closing, so we were like, 'We have to do it now,'" Pipes says. "We recorded a previous record there. We were glad we had the opportunity to record there more than once."
Up first, though, is a show in Whistler ahead of their tour with pals from the New Orleans death metal crew Goatwhore. "We always mix it up," Pipes says of the performance. "We'll play a fair selection off pretty much everything. We like to have a variety from across our whole catalog... It's been a little over a year. That's a long break for us between Whistler shows."