Room Thirteen's Philippa McMahon caught up with 3 Inches Of Blood guitarist Shane Clark at the Southampton date of their UK show to talk about what's next for the band as well as the problems that can affect bands.

Room Thirteen: How has the tour been going so far? Have you noticed a large change in the crowds since you were last here?
Shane Clark: It's been above average, enthusiasm, but no matter how many people there it's been really wild and great fun. The word is getting out; you know how the metal underground works. We've played new places too- like Ireland, which has been fun. The reception we got there was amazing, since we didn't know what to expect and we hadn't been there before. We had lots of fun. I feel really lucky that I can go to places I otherwise wouldn't have the money. It's a breath of fresh air to come to Europe. Nothing in North America is really older than 200 years old so it's amazing to see things that are three times as old over here, it's really cool.

R13: Have you got any "road rules" that the band has to follow to keep the peace on tour?
SC: Just the unspoken ones- don't be a douchebag. One of our rules is there are no rules- to a certain degree. But there are unwritten ones like- have a good time and respect your own body

R13: Are you playing the Ozzfest this year? I've heard rumours that you have confirmed for it.
SC: It's up in the air actually, we're not sure, it's getting worked out but unfortunately word travels really fast, but yeah if we do it, it would be great, if not, we'll try and do it some other time.

R13: So how does the band juggle other commitments with all your various side projects?
SC: We're in other bands on paper but those bands have other bands, so when everyone's schedule works we'll meet up. There's a doom/grind project which I'm working on, but everyone's main priority is 3 Inches Of Blood so if there's any downtime the other bands might get picked up, but for the time being it's just 3 Inches Of Blood.

R13: Seeing other bands suffer problems with drugs and arguments only to fade away, does it make you worry about 3 Inches Of Blood and what would happen if you made it big overnight?
SC: I feel that true good metal stays in the underground. If people haven't done the DIY thing for 10 years, they'll get caught up in everyone telling them they're great- the glamour side. We've been on the unglamorous side for so long, I don't really see it happening but if it did happen we've got our heads screwed on pretty tight. I think we'd be ok. We wouldn't let each other get too big for our boots and if anyone got too full of themselves the rest of the band would cut them back down to size

R13: It's always awful when lead singers in bands are used as the face of the band. Is it hard when on photo shoots to ensure it's always fair for everyone in the band?
SC: Oh yeah it's hard, if you've got a girl in the band, or a singer, sometimes the band can be perceived as a backing band rather than equal members.

R13: Have you done any really awful photo shoots where the ideas suggested clash with what 3 Inches Of Blood is all about?
SC: It happens all the time. Back home we were trying to get a good band photo, you know, maybe us sitting in a bar drinking beer- something we all do together. And the people said 'oh, let's do a carwash shoot with the band washing cars for money'. It had nothing to do with our band at all! There are so many people in our band that someone normally has a good idea for photos so it's normally okay.

R13: You've not been in the band from the start. At what point did you decide you'd made the right choice to join the band?
SC: Originally I joined the band filling in with Justin for a tour or two after the two original guitarists left. The first tour went so well we decided on the 2nd tour to keep it going and I became a proper member. We became very good friends and musicians. We're like family now and closer than brothers

R13: What about times where you've thought you want to pack it all in and quit?
SC: It's kind of too good to be true really. Since I was 10 years old I've wanted to be in a band or do something creative. Life's just full of ups and downs!

R13: Can you remember your first review?
SC: I do actually, the fact I was mentioned was pretty cool; it was a long-term goal at the time that I'd fulfilled. It was by an underground 'zine in Vancouver.

R13: I saw on the Internet the other day a picture of a person with the new cover artwork for your album tattooed on his arm. What's it like to see that on someone else?
SC: It's crazy and flattering, but I kind of want to laugh since I hope he likes the next record now he has that tattoo on him for life!

R13: When is your new album out?
SC: It's done but we're waiting for it to be released. It's now out on June 26. We've created something really special so it's annoying the release date was pushed back. It was great to work with Joey Jordison though, he's a great musician and we thought he'd be perfect to help us out. He's the same age, he's in a successful metal band and he's like a walking encyclopaedia of metal! He really wanted to capture the essence of the band rather than making us sound a certain way and he most importantly brought the best out of us. The album sounds a lot more diverse than our other work, much more mature.