The band was founded in 1994 as a three piece: Joey Eppard on guitar and lead vocals, Josh Eppard on drums and Chris Bittner on bass. They came to the attention of Universal Records after well-received performances at the Woodstock festival in 1994, eventually getting signed in 1998, but following an unstable relationship with the label through its series of corporate mergers, the band was left with little prospect of releasing their album. Eventually, the band decided to release it on Planet Noise Records, a small indie label, and thenceforth managed themselves independently, until their 2005 signing with Metal Blade, on whose label they re-released Wake Pig in late 2005. Their career has been marked by several line-up changes, most notably Josh Eppard's departure to join Coheed and Cambria (of which he is no longer a member); the two bands used to be regular touring partners. The band has toured nationally several times, and have appeared on radio stations throughout the United States. Joey Eppard also has an active solo career and released a solo album, Been to the Future, in 2002.
When questioned about the band's name in an interview with Rock Something, Joey Eppard stated that they considered changing the name of the band several times, but always decided to keep the name 3. According to the same interview, the name of the band originally stems from Joey Eppard's own "fascination" with the number: "It is a reference to the construct of our reality as having predominantly 3 aspects. For example, we live in a 3 dimensional universe on the 3rd planet from the sun, experiencing time as past, present and future in a form that consists of mind, body and spirit."
In separate tours in May and October 2007 the band toured with the British progressive rock group Porcupine Tree, on their Fear of a Blank Planet North American tour. 3 also went on the road with 80's rock band Scorpions, and later finished up the second leg of the Fear of a Blank Planet tour with Porcupine Tree.
The music video for the song "All That Remains" was voted the #16 Video of 2007 on MTV2's Headbanger's Ball. It was directed, shot and animated by David Brodsky
They were a part of the "Progressive Nation '08" tour with Dream Theater, Opeth, and Between the Buried and Me.
Their fifth studio album, Revisions, a compilation of re-recordings of never before released songs as well as selections from their first 2 studio albums, was released on October 27, 2009. At the time it was planned to be their final release on Metal Blade Records.They have already started to play a couple of their new songs ("One with the Sun" and "You are the Alien") at their live shows dating back to tours from late 2008. The band was due to record and release their next studio album for Roadrunner Records, but were subsequently dropped before any production began.
They have now re-signed with Metal Blade Records and have begun production of their sixth studio album entitled "The Ghost You Gave to Me" due out October 11th, 2011 in North America.
The band themselves describe their music as "dark yet uplifting, spiritual without any connection to religion". Their music is punctuated by dark, sometimes incomprehensible lyrics, often rather detached from the accompanying music. Joey Eppard is considered a highly competent guitarist with a unique, primarily self-taught flamenco/slap hybrid guitar technique.
Over the course of 3's discography, the band has covered a wide variety of music genres. This spectrum of style includes the following songs: hip hop (Don't Even), R&B (You Call Me Baby), rockabilly (Paint by Number), blues (Bedroom in Hell), reggae (Brother), funk (Get 2Gether), psychedelic (Signs of Life), metal (These Iron Bones), pop rock (Live Entertainment), acoustic rock (Careless Kim), punk (Sawed Off Shotgun), progressive (Monster), instrumental (Bramfatura), experimental progressive (Dregs), rock 'n roll (One Way Town), soft rock (Lay Down the Law), pop (Soul Reality), folk (The Game), experimental (Broadway Alien), and progressive funk (Leaving on the Light). The genre-defying diversity of their music is what gives them the self-proclaimed title of a hybrid band.