Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Love For All Things Metal: Interview with Shane Clark-3 Inches of Blood

I had asked for the right to interview 3 Inches Of Blood and Kerry Goulding of Rebel Music got back to me and said that Shane Clark(Guitars) will do the interview for me.
Having just recorded their new album “Long Live Heavy Metal” to be released in Canada on March 27, 2012 and they will be at The Rickshaw Theater March 31st , 2012 with Devildriver.


First off thank you for being kind enough to do this interview Shane. I am doing this interview for Rockstar Weekly now as I have joined forces with them and will be in charge of things metal.

Since the beginnings of the band how have you seen Heavy Metal changed over 12 years? Also has that influenced how 3IOB write or perform their music?

Shane Clark(3 Inches of Blood)
In the last twelve years I’ve seen fads come and go. Lots of sub-genres take turns being the popular thing with the kids. It’s sort of the economy of the industry trying to cash in on scenes. The cool thing is, true metal and underground music never goes anywhere. Metal has fans that are true and don't subscribe to what is the flavor of the month. So in my opinion music over the last 12 years has gotten better and keeps getting better. As for 3 Inches of Blood, we've always just played our style of metal with the blinders on.

From Deadly Sinners to the new release from March 2012's "Long Live Heavy Metal"(great title) - first release "Leather Lord" is sounding so good.  Even though the band changes members a lot it sounds like a band that has been together for all these 12 years.  How does that work for all of you?

As much as members of the band has changed over the years the core of the band has been the same since 2004. With every change the band goes through we learn from each situation and improve on the chemistry. Myself, Cam Pipes and Justin Hagberg have been the song writers since 2004 and we've all been on the same page since we started writing together. It works great because we're all on the same page with our influences, and with the addition of Ash Pearson as a fourth guy in our writing team we really feel we have the most solid lineup the band has had both for writing/recording and touring. It works really well, to answer your question.

I have noticed that over the years Heavy Metal bands will wear shirts of other bands. When the band appeared on "Urban Rush"(a local talk show) you were wearing a shirt for Crowbar. I see that more with metal bands than anywhere else, why is that?

Wearing metal shirts onstage is very much showing off your influences and what you like to listen to as well as maybe wearing a bro-band's shirt sometimes. I like to wear my favorite band's shirts all the time anyway, I don't give it much thought. Most of the time what I wear onstage is what I wore that day, I don't have "performance clothes" per se, I'm certainly not into the adolescent, elitist kind of thing where I'm looking and judging t-shirts like black metal or death metal nerds. I remember when I was really young I saw Kirk Hammett from Metallica wearing a Nihilist shirt and I discovered that band because to me at that time, if my guitar heroes wore it, that band must be cool- kind of thing. So if someone discovers Crowbar, The Mystic Krewe Of Clearlight or Haggatha because of me that’s cool. Not to insinuate that I'm anyone's guitar hero.

Speaking of the TV show did that help get more sales for the album? Will you return for this release?

I really have no idea if being on Urban Rush helped our record sales. It’s possible, I guess between reruns and these kind of things ending up on YouTube, I guess they can help sales, you know, people see the clip, get into our stuff perhaps. As Vancouver-ties it was really cool to be on that show

"Anthem" is of course a song by "RUSH". How did that song come about and what inspiration has RUSH had on the band as performers?

Everyone in 3 Inches is a big Rush fan. Doing Anthem as a cover song was an easy pick, there are so many great Rush songs to choose from, we chose Anthem because it’s one from Fly By Night that is a favorite of ours and it rocks really hard. Rush is a band that is comprised of virtuosic musicians and it’s no small feat to recreate one of their songs, let alone play it right, so that was also a challenge, so if one day one of those guys accidentally heard it they would hopefully say "Well..that...was.............good..."

When you were recording "Anthems for the Victorious" you and the rest of the band took us on an online tour of the recording process, will this be happening for this record as well, giving something for the fans to look forward to?

We will definitely be releasing studio footage of the recording process. It'll be cool for fans of the band see us making this one, it was very laid back and fun to make. I just don't have a date for you. It'll be very soon though.

How hard is it for you to be on the road? When traveling what are the things you do to relax?

I really enjoy being on the road, we work really hard and tour a lot. It can be a bit of a bummer at times when you're away from family and girlfriends/wives but that is the nature of what we do and they support that. That’s how life goes, you take the good with the bad, and being able to play music for a living has way more pros than cons for me and I can speak for the rest of the band as well when I say this. When I'm on the road,I like to relax by reading and listening to lots of music. I really value sleep. Solitude is rare too so if that happens it’s a treat.

Being a guitarist who are your main influences and why? I really enjoyed the song 12:34, what brought that about and will we see that type of song on upcoming albums?

My influences are many over the years. At a young age I really just learned to soak up all different kinds of stuff. I was around lots of country and bluegrass growing up so I've got acoustic music in my blood. I got into metal and rock at a young age and have just soaked it all up ever since. As a guitar player I really like guitar players that sound like themselves, like Ritchie Blackmore. I would say my main influence and focus is rhythm guitar and players who write cool parts and riffs. I can appreciate the tech soloing that’s really popular these days but it all sounds like a Paul Gilbert instructional video at the end of the day to me. I like the bluesier side of things where there's feeling and personality. My main heavy influences growing up were AC/DC's Young brothers, Blackmore, Jimmy Page, Andreas Kisser, Hetfield/Hammett, the list goes on. As I got older and my tastes broadened I really got into acoustic stuff like Loe Kottke, Michael Hedges and Doc Watson. Hearing really cool acoustic interludes on Black Sabbath, Rush and Metallica albums is where I'm coming from with 12:34 on Here Waits Thy Doom. The new album has an acoustic song I wrote called "Chief and the Blade" that is the same kind of idea. There's a little more going on, its a 12 string tune with mandolin layered on it, Alia O'Brien from Blood Ceremony who is an incredible flute player played on it. I'm really happy how that song turned out. Having peaks and valleys throughout the album is something the band is really into.

This being your 5th album and only the second release with Century Media Records how did the change happen and what were the reasons (if any)for leaving Roadrunner Records?

Well, I can't really say anything bad about Roadrunner, they really helped the band in the early days and really pushed Deadly Sinners and got us lots of exposure. They dropped us at a good time for both parties involved I think. We were free agents for about a year and kept working the road while we talked to labels. Century Media worked out really well. They understand what kind of band we are and they do what they say they are gonna do and we all work hard on both sides. It’s not one sided and that is very important.

With bands like Mastodon and Anthrax getting more exposure on David Letterman and other shows, does that mean that metal has finally garnered some respect?

I think it’s still the same as it's always been. True metal will always be highly respected by those of us who get what it’s all about, and frowned upon by the more conservative tastes. I think it rules when outsider culture pokes it’s head into the mainstream and you see a real metal band on TV though. It would be great to see more underground types of music on shows like SNL. I don't watch TV much, I really like the "On Demand" way the internet is. You are in charge of what you want to see and hear. At least for now.

Byron Stroud (Fear Factory,Strapping Young Lad) is the new bassist for the band and a great addition in my eyes as I have always liked Strapping Young Lad's stuff, how did the change come about?

We've known Byron for a long time. He's been involved with us on the business side of things for a while. He filled in for us on a tour a few years ago and when we were looking for someone he said he wanted the gig and there you go. It was very smooth. He fits in really well and he is a part of the 3 Inches family of brothers and sis'.

What are some of your favorite Heavy Metal bands?

Some of my favorite metal bands are Entombed, Pig Destroyer, YOB, Cephalic Carnage, Goatwhore, Brutal Truth. I have my standards that will always be there, Metallica, Priest, Maiden, Rainbow, Sabbath, Sepultura, Slayer, Exodus etc...

What would you all say to a metal festival with all bands from across Canada, I think that would be huge if it could get pulled off.

- I'd love it! I think if it were on the level of Heavy MTL it would be great. Anyway, we'll be there either way.

I sincerely appreciate your time on these questions and wish you all the best for the future and may I say this?"LONG LIVE HEAVY METAL"!!!!!

Anytime! Long Live Heavy Metal!! Live it!!

Shane Clark
3 Inches of Blood

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