3 Inches Of Blood interview (09/2009)
|With:||Shane Clark (Guitars), and Cam Pipes (Vocals)|
|Conducted by:||Doc Godin (in person)|
3 Inches Of Blood
After a quick listen in on the nights sound-check, and a brief discussion on Calgary weather, it was time to sit down and discuss touring, the new album, and BTO with Shane Clark and Cam Pipes of 3 Inches Of Blood
Shane: Down to brass tacks!
Luke: Yeah! So, brand new album, brand new tour - How are the new songs working out in the live atmosphere?
Shane: Really fun. Yeah, like we've played, I don't know how many - Cam?
Cam: We've done like 5 shows since the record came out, and it's been a consistent batch of new songs in the set. We played a few shows in the summer just to test it out, but we really couldn't do too many before the record is actually out.
Shane: But working out the bugs, just seeing how things translate live is going over really good. There was two songs - "Call Of The Hammer" and "Battles And Brotherhood" that were released on myspace and stuff. But then there's one song that's going over really well is "Silent Killer", it's the third track from the album, so it's kind of tough to gauge at this point, but so far so good!
L: Is there any song in particular that's your favourite to play live?
Cam: That will take some time. Usually a favourite will stick out after you've played it live quite a bunch and it's still pretty early...So for me it's too early to tell.
Shane: Yeah, songs for me sometimes - I'll have favourites for a while and then a different song will be my favourite. You play the same songs all the time so you gotta change it up.
Cam: Then you bring in a song you haven't played in a set in a while and that kind of re-vamps your love for the song.
L: This is also the first album without Jamie [Hooper], how has that changed things in the studio for you guys?
Shane: It really opened up a lot of space for him [Cam].
Cam: Well, yeah, one less guys vocals to track, so it doesn't take as much time. From a live perspective it's like...He didn't really do any of the touring for the last record because right before it came out he had to take a break just to see if his voice would get better, so we toured that whole record without him anyways. So we're already used to not playing with him live and now it's our first recording without him and people [pauses]...The question is still "how is it?", it's just funny because it wasn't official that he had to step down and was out of the band until some time last year and he was just like "I can't do it anymore".
Shane: Like Cam was saying, it's been a couple years since he's been with us, and now that the record came out a lot of people don't really know the story with Jamie. We keep getting reminded like "Oh yeah! Jamie's not in the band anymore" - because it's been such a long time. The dynamic in the studio just felt like business as usual, because we've been touring so much without him.
L: Yeah, I remember first seeing you guys at Monsters Of Rock last summer and that was the first I noticed Jamie not there...
Shane: But yeah, Justin does his parts live and does a great job.
L: So how did you end up getting Justin to do harsh vocals in the studio rather than scrapping the idea of harsh vocals altogether?
Cam: Well I would arrange my vocals the way I wanted to, the way it felt right, but then there would be parts in songs that felt like they needed something, but would sound almost redundant if I would just sing the whole song. Justin arranged that, threw in his vocals here and there where it was suitable. The producer would make suggestions like "That part needs something" or whatever, and Justin would throw something in there.
Shane: Also too, I saw the band before I was in the band, and one of the big things that sticks out about 3 Inches was that dual vocal dynamic. It's more of a back seat role, but that dual vocal dynamic is still present. That's another important thing I think.
L: You guys have also brought in Jack Endino, he's done some great work recently - Toxic Holocaust, The Black Halos, High On Fire. How did he push you guys in the studio and how did he compare to Joey Jordison?
Shane: He was like "I want to make this album sound like Bleach". [Laughs] No, not really.
Cam: Is this going to be on print or for a radio show?
L: It's all going to be on text.
Cam: So the sarcasm won't translate very well in that format...
Shane: Yeah, so strike that from the record. We had a very clear vision for the band on this album because we just wanted to take the actual process - the sonic process - we wanted to sort of do it 180 degrees different from the last one.
L: Yeah, I noticed this one has a more up-close feel to it than the previous albums...
Shane: The last one was really over-compressed. Just certain technology, it's not good or bad, it just depends on the band. We really wanted to have an album that represents how we sound live. Jack is a really talented engineer - he basically made it sound like our band with microphones on it, recorded. There's very minimal computer editing; we didn't record with a click track or triggered drum sounds, he [Cam] didn't have an auto-tuner (not that we used one last time). We just wanted to do something different from the last record. Repeating yourself is boring as an artist, you also don't get anywhere without taking a chance at something new - I guess that's a good way to look at life, you know?
L: I also noticed you guys pull in a wide range of influences from Rainbow to Slayer, was there any conflict in the studio between you [Shane] and Justin for whose style should go where, or do you both share the same influences?
Shane: Not at all. Me and him are writing partners, we have a lot of different influences but we share a lot of the same. Sometimes he'll have specific ideas and I'll just take a back seat and let him write the whole thing, sometimes it will be the other way around, but we work really well together. So when you hear something like Slayer or Rainbow, it's not on purpose but those are definitely our influences. That's really cool that you noticed that. But no, we never clash as far as influences go.
L: Speaking of influences, have you heard any feedback from Randy Bachman or any of BTO regarding your cover of "Not Fragile"?
Cam: Well, for now that track is only available on the European digipack version. So it's just one area that it's available in right now.
Shane: I would love to hear what those guys think! Especially Fred Turner - he wrote that song, right?
Cam: Yeah, Fred Turner wrote that and he sings on it. We kind of did that on purpose - something that wasn't a BTO hit. It's really heavy for a BTO song.
Shane: Yeah, definitely one of their heavier ones...
Cam: Fred Turner was the better singer anyways.
Shane: Unfortunately all those FM radio hits are all Randy [Bachman]'s songs.
Cam: Except for "Let It Ride".
Shane: He does that highway song too..."Let It Roll Down The Highway"?
Cam & Shane: [Simultaneously break into singing the main part of BTO's "Roll Down The Highway"]
Cam: Yeah, all the other big hits are pretty much Randy Bachman songs.
L: I think it's a proven fact that at any given point in time on any given day, "Takin' Care Of Business" is being played on the radio somewhere in Canada.
Cam: Yeah, in the states too. The difference between classic rock radio in Canada and the states is over here you'll hear a lot more obscure Canadian content. But the similarities is that in both countries you'll hear a lot of Rush or those big hit BTO songs.
L: Also with the new album cover, you kind of drifted away from the cartoon trend you guys had going on, why the dark turn here?
Shane: It wasn't necessarily a darker turn, but we didn't want to do the whole painting thing again.
Cam: We couldn't really agree on a style of what artist to go with so we tried to go the photography route.
Shane: It was a really good representation for me, Justin and Cam and our idea of an original piece. We worked with a photographer, and it was all stream of consciousness kind of ideas when we were doing the photo shoot for that. Like Cam was saying we couldn't really agree on any artwork, while at the same time where do you go? Our first 3 albums were paintings, where do you go from there? Ok, we could be like the other 100 metal bands out there using a painting of a....bear...with wings...fighting an alligator or something. And again, we just didn't want to repeat ourselves, do something different.
L: Since the breakthrough of Advance And Vanquish in 2004, I noticed a little bit of focus has been shifted from Toronto & Montreal to Western Canada in the Canadian metal scene, bands like Divinity and Bison B.C. getting big contract deals - do you think you guys helped create that focus shift or do you think it's purely coincidental?
Shane: I kind of hope so - like giving some exposure to bands out west. Generally - Cam and I talk about this quite a bit - generally (and I'm being general), press in the east don't really give two shits about bands in the west.
Cam: I think it's a population density thing too. There's going to be more bands out east then there are out west, and most of the major media outlets for Canadian music are in Toronto or Montreal - Those are the two major markets out east. There are magazines that are supposed to be a nation wide thing, but they still only focus on the east and pay little attention to western Canada. I won't mention the name of the publication, but it's unfortunate. Hopefully we're giving western Canada some kind of exposure.
Shane: And also the bands you mentioned, I'm sure all the success they have is by their own merit. Just getting the word out about western Canada is cool.
L: I've also noticed you guys have almost been on a non-stop tour for the past few years, is there any Spinal Tap worthy stories as of late?
Shane: Those things happen all the time, not to that extent though. Typical things like...Wait, no, I think that Spinal Tap shit looks like it only happens to Anvil.
Cam: Yeah, we get the usual bumps or whatever, but nothing too crazy. We go through the same stuff any other bands do - you know, flat tire here and there, having your van broken into or whatever.
Shane: We've learned from what other bands have gone through and just heard their stories. We've heard about bands who got their van broken into and had all their laptops and Ipods stolen. Or all the bands money is in someones bag - and I'm thinking "Are you an idiot?" why would you leave it in the van? And why wouldn't it be on you at all times? I think the most Spinal Tap thing we do is we leave gear somewhere and have to get it fedex'd for a pretty penny to the next show.
L: With the release of a 4th album and touring non-stop, is there any plans for a DVD or a live album any time soon?
Shane: Yeah, now that we're on a different label - Century Media - they are a little more open to things like that. They've got a great in-house team of video guys, so being on Century Media it's definitely more of a possibility than in the past. I've been compiling footage of the road for the past 4 or 5 years, so we want to put out a live DVD alongside maybe a live album or alongside another DVD of just touring. Not necessarily a big crazy Pantera video, but something that shows the fans who we are a little bit on the road. Who knows? That's just an idea. There's a Wacken thing coming out pretty soon...
Cam: I'm not sure exactly what it is, I think it has something to do with the 20th anniversary. We played at Wacken the year before so I don't think it will be exclusively bands from '08, but I guess we've got a song on there.
L: Ok, so final question, kind of a bonus question. I noticed in the liner notes of your first 3 albums you mention a band called S.T.R.E.E.T.S, so I decided to check them out and they were really good, what can you tell the MetalStorm readers about the now defunct S.T.R.E.E.T.S? [Showed a copy of S.T.R.E.E.T.S "Bobognargnar"]
Shane checking out the S.T.R.E.E.T.S CD
Shane: He [Cam] is more familiar with them...
Cam: Yeah! S.T.R.E.E.T.S were good friends and almost a brother band in Vancouver with 3 Inches Of Blood - Played lots of shows with them, used to be neighbours with some of them, so we've always been sort of a tight-knit group. James who was in S.T.R.E.E.T.S is now in Bison B.C., Mike the bass player went on to be in Pride Tiger and is now in a band called Bogus Tokus. They're just a skate-rock/skate-punk band who listen to a lot of Thin Lizzy and a lot of classic rock. They were a fun band and a crazy party band - we played some legendary house parties with those guys too. They're definitely up there as the ultimate "bro" band for us.
L: Ok, wrapping things up, it's time for the obligatory "any last words for the MetalStorm readers"?
Shane: I think generally we like to thank the fans. Especially in Alberta, we have some pretty loyal fans who have been around for a long time.
Cam: Yeah, Alberta is definitely a stronghold for us...And I used to live here - I don't know if that will pull any weight with people?
L: Well, this site is actually based out of Europe, so I'm not sure if a lot of them even know what Calgary is.
Shane: Well, generally speaking we'd just like to thank the fans everywhere.
Special thanks to Kerry Goulding of RebelMusic for setting up the interview
Photos courtesy of Danica Breanne O'Naughten
||Posted on 18.09.2009 by Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.|
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