3 Inches Of Blood are currently headlining a twenty-two date tour of Europe with their new album, 'Long Live Heavy Metal'. I caught up with guitarist Shane Clarke for a quick chat before their show at the White Rabbit, Plymouth.
Shane, good to meet you! You are almost at the end of the UK leg of this current tour. How has it gone so far?
"The tour is going really well! The attendance has been good, we have a solid line-up and each person brings something cool to the table."
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What is the story behind Byron joining the band?
"He joined just before we recorded the new album. We have known him for a while and he has had a long time business relationship with the band. His schedule was free so it made sense he should join us. He had filled in for a tour a while back and expressed an interest in joining us a while ago. The chemistry was good and he's a Vancouver guy and we now have the most solid line-up we have ever had."
A contentious question you may not want to answer. What are your thoughts about your old label Roadrunner closing their European operation?
"They also shut the Canadian operation. When we were with them they did Jack Shit for us so it's not much of a surprise. It's a natural progression of where record labels in general are going; it's not a shock, just inevitable. It is unfortunate for bands that had a distribution deal with them or young bands that may have to start over."
How well is the new material being received live?
"Across the board this record has received the best reception so far of our career. Live the reception is great and we can tell people have listened to the new album by their reactions."
Your sound has evolved away from power Metal style and towards a more classic Heavy Metal style. What brought this change about?
"The last three albums have been a progression in our style; the earlier albums had a different line-up who stuck to a particular formula. 'Long Live Heavy Metal' is a perfect snapshot of this progression and a good representation of all the styles for fans that have been with us from the start."
On 'Long Live Heavy Metal' the track 'Metal Woman' sounds like it has a strong Judas Priest influence. Is it a tribute to the legends perhaps?
"That comment is a complement. If someone hears an influence that is cool. Sometimes subconsciously there can be an influence."
The track 'The Chief And The Blade' has a very strong folk feel to it. What was the inspiration?
"There is a cool story about that track. It was written on a twelve string and we wanted a flute sound so we contacted Alia O'Brien from the Canadian Heavy/Doom Metal band Blood Ceremony and asked if she was up for it and she said OK. We think it's a good idea to have an acoustic interlude in our albums. We had one on the last album and it breaks the album up a bit. It also leads into 'Dark Messenger' really well."
Thank you for your time Shane, any last comment you would like to make?
"We are excited to be back in the UK and having a new album to tour. Getting the music to the fans is what we are all about. We have just done six weeks in the States and after this tour we have another two week tour in the States. We will be back in the UK before the New Year."