Everyone wants to be remembered for their accomplishments, and “3”, the Woodstock, NY-based group are well on their way to establishing their place in music history. From humble beginnings in the mid-1990s in his parent’s basement, lead singer and guitarist Joey Eppard along with guitarist Billy Riker, bassist Daniel Grimsland, drummer Gartdrumm and percussionist and keyboarder Joe Stote have spent their career developing a sound that is “balanced with a strong sense of both intricacy and simplicity,” said Eppard.

While 3 are often filed under “progressive” by music critics, Eppard is hesitant to label them as such, giving “hybrid” as a more appropriate term.

Progressive or not, 3 are far from ordinary. Combining elements such as acoustic and electric guitars and a unique percussive style with Eppard’s melodic vocals, 3’s most recent album, 2005’s “Wake Pig,” highlights each member’s individual talents while keeping the overall sound cohesive.

“Wake Pig” sees the band’s sound coming full circle, resulting in a collection of 13 songs that are similar to those on their first album, 2000’s “Paint By Number,” but more mature.

“Wake Pig” was originally released in the fall of 2004 to have available during their tour with Coheed & Cambria. 3’s tour with Coheed generated a fair amount of buzz among various record companies, who began to express their interest in the band and in giving “Wake Pig” the support and promotion it deserved.

3 decided to re-enter the studio and spend more time on “Wake Pig,” finishing the mixes, adding two new tracks, guitar solos and vocals to the song, “Where’s Max.” A more complete version of the album was then re-released on Planet Noise Records, and it could very well be 3’s ticket to more mainstream popularity.

Citing influences from John Lennon and the Beatles to Prince, Eppard and company have written songs that are catchy, but not poppy, with multiple rhythms and tempo changes that intrigue the listener on every track. “We want to break into popular music with a sound that has a little bit more to offer [than what’s currently out there],” said Eppard.

Restricting themselves to one specific sound and identity is something the men of 3 have made every effort to avoid, giving them a great amount of creative freedom with their music.

The result has been a progression of 3’s sound over the years which is evidenced by the different sounds on each of their albums. However, there is a consistent sense of melody and musical intricacy that ties the changing sounds of their albums together.

Although they currently have a few new songs, 3 plan to tour behind “Wake Pig” for a while and take the time to develop their new material before heading back to the recording studios. After finishing up their current tour dates, 3 will depart for Japan on March 1 to play at the Independence-D Festival on March 4. Although Eppard has toured in Europe to promote his solo project, this will be the first time 3 has toured outside the US.

“I’ve been waiting pretty much the entire life of the band to play out of the country,” said Eppard. With the success from “Wake Pig” and their upcoming tours, 3 may soon be scheduling more foreign shows as they enter the mainstream.

3 will be appearing this Friday, Feb. 10 at Steel Music Hall with Life Before This and local acts the Following Dawn, Another One Down and Split Rail. Doors are set to open at 9 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at the door for $8.

Swain can be reached at lswain@campustimes.org.



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