3D In Your Face's Sam Gets In Your Face!

Do you like loud, heavy, crazy, heavy metal? If you do then you will now know nation's number one 80's hair metal tribute band around, 3D In Your Face! They have released a new album recently and have been playing shows on and off with so much more they want to do it's truly crazy! Bassist Sam "Spade" Morris discusses the band's latest release and plans for the year!

1. You say that your band is an 80's hair metal tribute band, so are you a tribute band or a real band?

Sam: To be honest with you we are the best of both worlds. On one hand we've put together one of the wildest 80’s shows on the planet.  The lights, the pyro, the lasers, the makeup, and all the big hair hit’s from the decade of decadence.  On the other hand we have released 4 of our own original albums, the latest being “Midnight Devils” released on Dec. 6th, 2013.  So on any given night you will hear some of your favorite 80’s tunes as well as some 3D In Your Face original Rock N Roll.

2. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

Sam: 3D In Your Face was started as an idea back in 1999 by founding member and lead singer Alan ‘Hot Rod’ King.  Back in 1999 music in general had grown quite weird and nobody was putting on a show for their audiences.  Alan had toured with Rock N Roll groups during the 1980’s and wanted to bring back the Rock N Roll spectacle that had been so prevalent to shows during that era.  3D In Your Face was born and flourished for many years because of the group’s die-hard work ethic.  It was strictly by the book 80’s Rock N Roll and fans all over the Midwest couldn't get enough.

After many lineup changes drummer Jeremy ‘The Playboy’ Deans was brought in and has been a permanent member for 5 years.  A true student of the Tommy Lee school of drumming.  Playboy delivers the goods every night and makes it look really good.  Playboy joined 3D In Your Face after playing with a few of Omaha’s finest metal bands OX-45, Sin, and Di-Fi.

Chris ‘Sniper’ Hineline joined 3D In Your Face 4 years ago by chance after a former guitar player quit the band the night of a huge show.  Stepping out onto the stage in front of 1,000 screaming kids, Sniper let his presence be known.  Sniper also toured throughout most of the 1980’s in working bands, a true guitar virtuoso and unapologetic fan of Eddie Van Halen.  Sniper has become the ring leader on stage calling out the shots and keeping the troops in line.

Last but not least I joined 3D In Your Face at the tender age of 20.  Before I was even legally allowed to drink, these guys brought me in as their guitar tech.  I toured with the group for 8 years on the side of the stage.  At the time I was also playing guitar with two national touring punk rock bands Officially Terminated and Bandit Sound.  About 3 years ago the bass player at the time, up and quit the group.  So I stepped up and learned all the tunes and transitioned into the band without missing a beat.

3. What makes you guys all 3D In Your Face?

Sam: Have you seen our hair?  3D In Your Face has become a way of life.  It’s an over-the-top, high octane Rock N Roll party on wheels.  It’s true passion for music and giving our fans the biggest, loudest, and wildest show we can possible give them.  It’s denim and leather, studded belts, and eye liner.  It’s standing up for what you believe in.  It’s not taking sh#t for the way you dress or the way you brush your hair.  It’s about wearing KISS shirts every day of the week if you want.  Honestly 3D In Your Face is about being yourself and being proud of it.  Stand up for what you believe in.

4. Why turn to the 80's era of all things for your band, what is it about the 80's for you guys that made it stand out and want you guys to take it into the musical aspect?

Sam: The 80’s gave us some of the biggest guitar oriented rock songs ever.  It was the last great decade for music originality.  The music was still pure, raw, and emotional then.  It was exciting and dangerous all in one.  I think each guy in this group will tell you something different.  I myself was drawn to the rebellion of the 80’s rock as well as the magic of the theatrical rock performance.  Growing up in the Midwest there were very few escapes from reality and Rock N Roll became my escape.

5. While your an 80's type of band do you take the 80's label to heart, like act 80's, appeal and hairstyle, with everything else in between?

Sam: Absolutely.  Leather jackets and jeans aren't just for the shows.  We live this every day and night.  In our down time we are rehearsing and practicing our instruments.  Watching KISS videos and going to shows.  The hair is always up.  Whether it’s part of the 80’s or not, being in a working rock band is the greatest job in the world.  I am proud of that and love showing it off.

6. Can you tell me about the "Boys Behind The Hair" series you guys had done, what was it about, why did you want to go and do it?

Sam: That was an idea I had to have a special guest blogger (Jim Kauffman) a die-hard 3D In Your Face fan, interview each band member and ask them some questions about our personal lives.  The idea was to give our fans a glimpse of where each one of us came from and why we do what we do in this band.  I think it was great and shed a new light on each member of this band.   It brought each band member down to a personal level with our fans, which is something a lot of bands have trouble doing.

7. How has the reaction to your latest CD been?

Sam: The reaction has been overwhelming.  People love the new songs and the new direction we took for this album.  Recently Demon Dolls Records started selling some of our CD's also Perris Records bought a bunch to distribute overseas.  This is the most records I have ever sold and I am totally blown away by the reaction the new album has been getting from critics and fans alike.  Even my punk rock-loving friends seem to dig this album.  It’s an honest Rock N Roll record for Rock N Roll fans.

8. How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?

Sam: The writing process took almost two years because we never took a break from touring to sit down and write this new record.  So on top of playing. Traveling, and touring we were writing and rehearsing.  Once we got all the songs down we took two weeks off and barricaded ourselves into the studio.  We did it right.  We slept together, ate together, and lived together for two weeks.  I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard in my life.  Two weeks later the most of the tracks where done except a few vocals and lead guitar solos.  We finished those up a few weeks later and began post production and art for the cover and sleeve.

9. What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?

Sam: Every band says this, but we wanted to try and capture that raw vibe and live sound in the studio. So we set up the drums, bass, and guitar rigs in different rooms of the studio. Then we all came back to the drum room and played the tracks live standing next to each other.  Each song was basically recorded live except the vocals, and rhythm guitar tracks. Sniper surprised all of us and played most of the solo leads live with the rest of the band.  As soon as the record button was pushed we were off.  Very few cut-ins. What you hear is basically the band live in real time.  

10. What kind of input did the producer have during the process?

Sam: Our producer was Troy Way, our live sound engineer.  He came in and wasn't happy with a lot of the process.  He is the guy that has to hear it a front-of-house every night.  He probably has the best musical ear out of anyone I have ever met.  The whole process was relatively new to me and I think Troy took these tracks and turned them into gold.  I really look forward to working with him more in-depth for the next album.

11. And are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)

Sam: Totally.  I think we got the sound we were looking for.  I know for a fact that we will be using this same recording process for the next album.  Raw, dirty, Rock N Roll.

12. Did the producer use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?

Sam: Not that I can remember.  But the whole thing was quite weird and quite surreal.  I was just on cloud nine being there and seeing these songs finally come to life.  I could have sat in that studio another two weeks I was so happy.

13. How did you go on about capturing your 'live sound' in the studio, or perhaps you didn't?

Sam: Like I said before, all the drum, bass, and lead guitar tracks were basically played live.  We all stood together in the same room.  The amps were spaced out in different rooms and we listened to each other through the head phones.  Once the red light came on it was do or die.  The pressure was on.  Time to perform or do it again until you get it right.  It was 100 degrees and we were sweating like dogs.  It was glorious.

14. Please inform us about your favorite songs and lyrical highlights and why?

Sam: My favorite song on the album is the title track Midnight Devils.  That song very reminiscent of The Misfits or Danzig.  The lyrics are about the feeling that you get on a Saturday night when the sun goes down.  The possibilities are endless and the night is now yours so capture it.  Make some memories, have some fun, and live life like there is no tomorrow.  Everybody changes whether good or band when the sun goes down.
15. Any overall theme of mood that you're trying to capture while writing songs?

Sam: Usually when I write a song I try and come from a very honest place.  It seems to be easier for me to write about a something that has happened to me.   I also like to write about emotions that I feel particularly strong about.  Like the song “I Still Believe In Rock N Roll” is pure and simply me feeling like I am the last guy that still believes in the power of Rock N Roll.  Obviously I know that’s not true but sometimes I feel like an outsider because I love this music so much.  I came from a punk rock background and I try to incorporate those influences in my writing.  It usually turns out to be quite interesting.   80’s glam music mixed with punk rock angst.  Sniper on the other hand writes from a purely sexual place.  Take “Squeeze Me Dry” for example, there is no mistake about what he is talking about in this song.

16. Does your vision for coming up with music get affected at all by time?

Sam: Yeah it does.   I love writing in the moment and I love writing about those feelings right when they are happening.  Usually that is almost impossible so I will scribble down the idea and revisit it when I get time.  As long as the emotion gets down on paper and there is a record of this event happening I can go back and get in that mood and finish the idea I was working on at the time.  Not only does time affect the writing and vision but the music that I am listening to at the time affects it equally as much.  Whether it be tunes by The Who, The Dolls, KISS, Crashdiet, Sister, or Hanoi Rocks every songs affects the song I am writing.

17. Did the record company interfere with anything on your "sound" and songs?

Sam: Nope because we are lucky enough to still be an independent artist.  Of course we knew we had to stay in the boundaries of heavy metal and Rock N Roll because that’s what our fans were expecting.  Other than that there were no rules or regulations and let me tell you that felt quite liberating.  With so much pressure on everything else we wanted the songs to represent a place and a time in our lives as a working band on the road.

18. Are there any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?

Sam: Not sure about any anecdotes but I have a good story for you.  After we finished the entire album we sent if off to get manufactured.  We ordered 1,000 CD's and they arrived on the Thursday before the album release show on Friday Dec. 6th.    If you have ever seen 1,000 CD's you realize how many that actually is and the challenge set before you.   So I opened the first box and marveled at the CD art.  I read the thanks and made sure everything looked like I wanted it to look.   Even our producer Troy Way looked it over.   We never thought to actually put the disc in the player.  I got to rehearsal later that night and the boys asked how it sounded.  So I slapped in the player and I was shocked by what came out.  Country music.  The manufacturer messed up and put another bands country music EP on 1,000 of our brand new albums.  I freaked out and the guys just rolled on the floor laughing.  What can you do?  Eventually it all worked out and we had 100 pressed in Omaha to make the release.  But somewhere out there are 100 “Midnight Devils” CD's with country music underneath.

19. How would you describe the sound of your new CD to any potential new fan?

Sam: Rock N Roll.  It’s 80’s inspired guitar Rock with a modern feel.  Glam metal for the next generation.  We weren't trying to rewrite Appetite.  We wanted our own album.  We wanted to put all of our influences and experiences together and shake them up and see what came out.

20. Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)

Sam: I will give you three.  The first and most important is Elvis Presley, The King of Rock N Roll.  Before Elvis there was nothing.  Elvis was the true Rock N Roll pioneer.  He was smooth and charismatic.  He wrote the book when it came to songwriting and liver performances.  There never was a bigger rockstar than Elvis Presley.  RIP.

Ace Frehley was the sole reason I picked up a guitar.  By the age of 17 I was obsessed with KISS.  My parents went out and bought me a Les Paul guitar and I started taking lessons.  By 18 I had joined my first band.  KISS was the coolest band out there.  The blood, the makeup, the chicks.  I wasn't the most popular kid in school but KISS made it so that didn't even matter.  I was so inspired by the riffs and melodies I just had to be in a band.  Ace Frehley made me realize that this is what I wanted to do with my life.

Johnny Thunders the glam punk visionary. Johnny represented anger and defiance. The New York Dolls did it their way and were uncompromisingly unapologetic about it. Thunders made me fall in love with Rock N Roll again.

21. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Sam: I will tell you what all 12 songs mean off the album;

1. Forbidden City – This song is about graveyards/necropolises, cities of the dead.  Towns built in order to house the earthly remains of people that have passed away.

2.Generation Durt – Is a song about being broke and having nothing but still not ready to give up.  Fighting for every inch.  Being beat down by society but standing tall.

3.  In Your Face – Is a song Sniper wrote so I can’t really say.

4.  Midnight Devils – is about everybody changing when the sun goes down for better or worse.

5. Always Brings Me Back – Hot Rod wrote this song.

6.  Sleeping in Omaha – This song is about believing there is more out there.   Follow your dreams.

7.  Bleed Bettty Bleed – Is a straight up Rock N Roll song about a small town girl that found Rock N Roll and it changed her life.  A crowd favorite and the only song on the album that I sing.

8.  Underneath The Stairs – Was actually written about The Amittyville horror and the movie of the same subject.

9. Radar Guided Love Bomb – I was trying to write a song about a girl.  A real bombshell , if you get my drift.  I was searching for those sexual innuendos that were so prevalent in the 70s and 80s.  The song could be taken a few different ways.

10.  Time We had Our Fun – This is a punk rock song that I wrote to kind of put closure on my former band that I loved, Bandit Sound.  We toured together for many years and it ended abruptly and I think I was still a bit bitter.

11.  Squeeze Me Dry – This song was written by Sniper.

12.  I Still Believe In Rock N Roll – Pretty self explanatory song.  I still believe.

22. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Sam: Yes.  The song writing process is very different than many bands.  Sniper and I usually work as a team, bouncing ideas back and forth off of each other.  There are a few cases that one guy will take the reins on a song and write the whole thing himself.  Usually it’s quite a team effort.  We will get the riff and melodies knocked out then the lyrics.  Next the song will move from Sniper’s basement to the rehearsal studio where we will give it to the drummer and he will put his mark on the song.  By then the whole idea is starting to breath and it usually is nowhere close to the original idea.  It quite the amazing process.

23. What are the plans that you guys have for the future, shows, and touring that we should know about?

Sam: Right now we are finishing up a residency at a club in Omaha, Nebraska.  Every Friday night we throw a Rock N Roll celebration at The 21st Saloon.  The residency will last until mid May 2014.  Then we will begin our summer tour which consists of motorcycle rallies, street dances, festival, clubs, private parties, barn dances, and everything in-between.  Of course the ultimate goal is to play as many shows in as many different cities as possible.  So if you are reading this and are interested in booking us please contact amking4@cox.net.  We would love to come and spread the good word in your town.  We are setting things up right now so that after the summer tour we can hit the studio again and put out another album while our momentum is still high.  Back in the day bands put out new albums every year like clockwork and I think we are shooting for that with 3D In Your Face.

24. If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do.

Sam: Thank you for this great interview.  IT truly was my pleasure.  If you ever need anything from 3D In Your Face please feel free to ask.  Thanks Natalie. 

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