Lord of the Wasteland of Metal-Rules.com recently conducted an interview with 3 INCHES OF BLOOD guitarist Shane Clark. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Metal-Rules.com: Jamie [Hooper] had throat problems and was forced to sit out Ozzfest, which must've killed him, and the rest of the band, too.
Shane: Oh yeah, man! It was weird.
Metal-Rules.com: I saw you play on Vancouver — one of the off-dates — and he was there right beside the stage watching. Did he go out on the road with you or did he stay at home?
Shane: He had to stay at home to give his vocal chords a rest and had a weekly and bi-weekly checkup thing going on. Don't quote me on this, but most likely he's going to sit the rest of the year out because, for lack of a better word, he really fucked up his vocal chords.
Metal-Rules.com: Is it just a day-to-day thing caused by the rigors of the road or is it something more serious?
Shane: That's still being assessed. I'll just give you an idea of what's going on. Jamie started the band, I think it was in 1999 or 2000, or something like that. His vocal style is that he's singing from his throat. Most singers sing at sixty decibels, that's pretty loud. Jamie sings at a hundred and twenty decibels. He's literally screaming his head off. After seven years of doing that, something just pops. I'm not making light of the situation, he's really got to figure something out with his team of specialists. If him sitting the rest of the year out means he'll get better, then we're one hundred percent behind him. He's our friend and his health is more important that doing a bunch of shows and not being able to talk when you're forty-five years old. On the flip side of it, Justin has been taking over a lot of Jamie's vocal parts, filling in for him. He's not trying to imitate Jamie, he's got his own thing going on and he's a great fill-in. He's got this Tomas Lindberg thing going on. Jamie's happy with that. We definitely didn't want to get some guy to fill in for Jamie, some guy we didn't know. That would've just sucked, we're a tight-unit band, we've been through a lot together since the lineup changes and we're not taking this whole situation lightly and we're not going to replace Jamie. So Justin stepping up was great. I don't think we could've done Ozzfest or anything without Justin doing that. Until Jamie gets better, he's going to handle it and it sounds good. We'll just take it as it goes and won't make any predictions. The power of positive thinking, it helps you.
Metal-Rules.com: If either Cam or Jamie left the band, would you continue with just one vocalist or does 3 INCHES OF BLOOD need two singers?
Shane: If Cam or Jamie left? You know what, I don't think we would replace either of those guys. If Cam or Jamie lost interest in the band, it would probably be the end of the band. Knowing that they wouldn't is really good. That's one of those things I don't think would happen, but that would probably be time for the band to move on. Cam is irreplaceable alongside with Jamie. I mean, Jamie started the band. If you look at a band like NAPALM DEATH, there are no original members left so I'll never say never, but today I just say no.
Metal-Rules.com: How were the Ozzfest shows?
Shane: Killer! It was a big stepping stone in the band's history. Besides getting so much exposure with tens of thousands of people in just a few months, we made great friends, made contacts and had a great time. It was heavy metal summer camp! I felt like I should have paid them to do that. To be guaranteed to play a show with other great bands and have a tailgate party, it was great, man! Ozzy was only there every other day, but us, BEHEMOTH, HATEBREED and LAMB OF GOD kind of got this camaraderie going on because those were the bands playing shows every day. I almost looked at those "off dates" as a summer tour and the Ozzfest dates as the off-dates in a way. Those were theater shows. We were playing House of Blues and those kind of places, a bit bigger here and there. We got an equal amount of exposure on those dates. To sum that whole thing up: best tour ever! Best tour for the band, best tour of my life, the best summer of my life probably. I got to crank my amp every day and it was killer.
Metal-Rules.com: Did you have any reservations about playing Ozzfest beforehand?
Shane: No. Before we knew what was going on about it, a few of us were a bit iffy on the corporate bend on it. But we'll let those corporate people worry about that shit, we'll just show up. It was such a stepping stone for the band, playing in front of so many people, it didn't really matter whose political and corporate agendas were going on because the bottom line is that this was a festival for people to come and enjoy. It was actually free for people so no one cared about that. The history of Ozzfest is kind of a legacy now. It's the only metal festival in North America. We were honored to be on that. It's a legendary festival.
Metal-Rules.com: You almost already answered this, but would you do it again?
Shane: Oh yeah, totally!
Metal-Rules.com: You mentioned your influences and you very clearly wear them on your sleeve. Does it bother you when the press or people think of you as a "retro" band rather than being groundbreaking or original?
Shane: No one really cares about that. Usually, that's just critics. People at supermarkets are also critics. That doesn't bother us. If we were concerned about that stuff, I don't think the band would be around. We just do what we do and we never deny our influences. When metal fans tell us, “you guys sound like Maiden or Priest”, hell yeah we do, man! If we deny that kind of shit we would look like douchebags who are self-defensive. We're a metal band and to imitate is to create when you're starting out. I can throw you a million things that the new record sounds like. There are "Haunting The Chapel" riffs on there — influenced riffs, I should say. The spectrum of influences is a little bit broader on this record but they're everywhere. The NWOBHM thing is still alive and well in our sound but there's also a lot more Bay Area thrash, a little bit of black metal and some seventies metal. I kind of went off on a tangent there, but to answer your question, that kind of shit doesn't bother us one bit.
Read the entire interview at Metal-Rules.com.