In the name of Heavy Metal - Shane speaks Out!!
Canadian metal has it's fair share of quality bands such as Anvil, Razor, Exciter, Annihilator, Voi Vod, Sacrifice and many more and not to forget such big bands like Rush & Triumph. Over the last few years the scene over their has grown and now we have the likes of 3 Inches of Blood, showing the world that Canadian metal is not dead. With the band releasing 5 albums since 2002 the band are promoting 'Long live Heavy Metal' a classic blend of retro 80's metal with some modern temps is just another fine example of Canadian metal. I managed to have a chat with guitarist Shane Clark whilst on tour with Over Kill in Sheffield in October. Here is what he had to say...
OK Shane thanks for doing the interview, I hope your all well. As many people will not be familiar with the band could you enlighten me to when the band was formed band by whom please?
"Well we are doing great, the tour with Over Kill is going great. The band was formed in 2000 and we started out like all touring bands do, we started off small in Vancouver (Canada) and we started touring Canada and the U.S. and we got a tour when 'The Darkness' broke up in the UK which helped us get a record deal just because of popularity. (Ed: that is a strange tour you & The Darkness, how was that? Did their fans accept you?) Well I was not in the band at that time but Kam our singer has the King Diamond type of vocals so it wasn't that much different from Justine's vocals to be honest. In the end we were signed to Roadrunner and that is when I joined and we have been pretty much on the road for about 10 months or so. We do tour a lot. We mainly met up as our city is not that big so every musician pretty much knows each other and the band were originally from Northern British Columbia to Vancouver and I had met the other original members and the very early line up of the band took a very small piece of Iron Maiden and made a whole record like that. So the 1st record is a very one dimensional record & I liked it but when I joined the band I replaced the main song writer and I wanted to have more of a broad influence as the N.W.O.B.H.M. is our main influences and I just wanted more riff within the band and aggression with the Bay Area bands. I didn't want to take away their style or anything just to ad more variation to their music. I think the album and Justin and I did with the band was in 2007 and since then our formula has become a lot better."
As a musician when did you learn to play the guitar and do you have any family members who are also musicians?
"Well my father is a musician who plays Blue Grass Folk music and I grew up on that sort of music like Willy Nelson and he was my influence on how to play. A few years later a friend of mine made me a tape of Heavy Metal music with AC/DC, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest etc... and I got into that music at a early age and when I was 11yrs old that same guy took me to see Iron Maiden 'Somewhere on Tour' and that was pretty it for me. The next year I saw AC/DC which blow my mind & I decided I wanted to play music and I have been influenced by good honest music ever since. (Ed: What does your parents think about you playing metal music, are they disappointed in you?) Well early on in the 80's my father could not identify in that and he was a musician and I remember him saying you can play so fats why don't you play Jazz or Country. I told him I don't like that stuff and I never had any money on the brain, he came around in the end and he understands it all now. He likes the band I play for but he doesn't sit down and listen too it and he understands that his son is happy and that is the most important thing to him."
Which guitarist have influenced you?
I was at at early age into rhythm players the Malcolm and Angus Young then James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett and Bobby Gusfston ex Over Kill and all those guys from that era really. All the Bay Area musicians, the guys from Exodus and some crazy acoustic stuff like Led Zepplin, Jimmy Page, Richie Blackmore are huge influences to me, there are so many to mention from my list. As a lead guitarist I would have to say Michael Schenker is a massive influences, Eddie Van Halen and my biggest influences Billy Gibons."
What guitars do you play and are you endorsed by any guitar companies?
"Well the last couple of years I have been using Yamaha and I have been getting guitars from their Japanese custom shop they brought back the SG series they are a bit like Les Paul's and Rick from Triumph use to play one. My main guitars are Giboson SG's, everything for me just goes back to AC/DC."
What Canadian metal bands have inspired you?
"I would have to say Rush, Triumph, Voi Vod, Exciter, Razor, the original Slaughter, Pile Driver, Sacrifice, Anvil."
Out of all the albums that the band have recorded Shane, which is our favourite and why?
"I like the 2nd album even though I didn't play on it 'Advanced & Vanquished' just because it was just the more maturing level of the song writing and the drummer was better as he was the new drummer. The one's that I played on are 'Long live Heavy Metal', just because each song and co writing within the band is at a all time high and the recording itself is really good. It was mixed properly and there is no song on the record that is not bad and the record has been out since may 2012 and I have had the chance to listen too it more since we recorded it."
The band have gone from Roadrunner to Century Media, are you happy with CM?
"Hell yes!!! In Europe we are doing so well and the labels are promoting us so well with interviews, advertising in the UK, Roadrunner UK were good to us too. Roadrunner in Europe not that good, we were signed from the U.S. office and the European office had told us that they didn't agree with the U.S. office in signing us and they would of never of signed us so they never did anything for the band. Working with Century Media is the total opposite and we are very happy with them."
So is the current album selling well for the band I presume the tour with Over Kill has pushed up the sales a little right? From the new album which songs do you like and why?
"I saw your review, thank you very much it was great!! I never saw any bad reviews so far so it is doing really well. Compared to our other records there are no negative reviews. Yeah the tour with Over Kill has helped our sales for sure. As for songs I like on the new album I like 'Leather Lord' because we start our set with that song and it is a quick aggressive song and you can hear Cam's Halford type vocals which is a little bit like the 'Painkiller' type of vocals. I also like 'Metal Woman' because we wrote a song for the ladies. We take our music seriously and it is Cam's lyrics that some people can relate too. I also like the acoustic song I did which is done on a 12 string guitar which I love which also has flute and native drums on the song too which is really cool. I also like the song 'Dark Messenger' which I like to play a lot and there is a real injection of Rock & Roll in that song.
As the band have been around for some time now and have become more popular will there be a live DVD in the very near future?
Well we did try it once and failed, we took Goatwhore through Canada in 2010 which was a great tour and was awesome and it all ended with 2 shows in our home town and with the production end of things a couple of things got fucked up and we worked with the wrong people, so weather that will come out or not is another thing to be seen. I don't think it is going to happen the audio girl fucked up so there are only 3 songs we maybe able to use, maybe a bonus live DVD for the next CD I don't know?
How's the tour going so far and how do you get on with Over Kill guys?
So far it's going great!! I think Over Kill through the booking agents were asking for submissions and I think we had a mutual friend who had introduced the band to Over Kill and they liked what they had heard so that is how we got on the bill. (Ed: How was London gig last night for you?) It was awesome, London has always been very good for us and we have had some really solid friends and the energy level has always been great for the band. The 1st 2 shows where in Germany and you could tell that a lot of people had never heard of the band so there was a lot of listening going on and they didn't leave but they did stay to check us out.
Are you looking forward to playing tonight in Sheffield UK?
Yes we are, we are looking forward to playing this club Corporation so it should be fun.
Well Shane thanks for taking your time out, good luck with the tour and album sales. Do you have anything to ad before we finish?
Yeah long live Heavy Metal \M/.