An Interview with
'Danny De La Cruz'
Guitarist of Inglorious
that took place on Wednesday 20th January, 2021.
Interviewed By Glenn Milligan
Glenn: Hi Danny, it's Glenn from Metalliville, how are you doing mate?
Danny: How you doing? You okay?
Glenn: I'm spot on. Just getting it altogether. The weather is crap. Anyway, what was it like for you guys getting together again, after being so long apart because of all the sh*t that's been going on this year or so?
Danny: Well, we're all pretty much working separate right now. The last time that we kind of saw each other was doing the album – recording the album. Even then, there were some members that haven't actually seen other members which really, really weird, you know? To suddenly, “I didn't get to see Vinnie (Colla)”. It's crazy. It's been really difficult. Obviously, we've got to respect the guidelines but we've definitely got a case of frustration in that sense. But, in the same sense, we are really excited about the album coming out. It turned out really well.
Glenn: I've been playing it and I'm really impressed. How long have you been playing guitar before you joined Inglorious? Quite a few years no doubt?
Danny: Yeah absolutely. I was playing guitar from the age of 9. The funny thing with that is that I gravitated towards it really naturally. I t was the only instrument I was playing that I didn't have lessons for. I took lessons in violin. I took lessons in drumming. Now that's really paid off because when it comes to writing songs and demoing stuff I have quite a good understanding of all the instruments. When it came to guitar, I didn't have any lessons, I was just driving myself. It's crazy! At the age of 9 you don't even think about those things. You just think, 'I love guitar, I want to play it'.
One of my earliest memories playing guitar was bringing my tiny little amp and my guitar that was bought from a little pawn shop. My parents bought it for about £40. I hopped on the school bus because I used to take the bus to school to the door. I went straight to the Headteacher's office and I said, “I'm gonna play a solo in assembly today”. I was a little quiet kid. I wasn't really a troublemaker.
It was a bit like, 'Okay!' I went and set everything up, everyone came in for assembly, I played 'Knocking On Heaven's Door' by Guns 'N' Roses (Bob Dylan originally) – I played the solo – that was it, no backing track – everyone clapped and I thought, 'Yeah, I think I want to do that'. I went from there – it snowballed.
Glenn: Yeah, have you ever been in bands previous to Inglorious or was that the first major thing that you have done?
Danny: I have yeah but it was never anything major. I have been playing live from the age of 13. Pretty much it was three gigs every weekend. I knew Nathan (James) from about 16 and he was really aware of that. I was really grinding my arse off – every weekend – three gigs – pretty much on average. I played all the pubs. All the circuits local to me. We were writing original songs and playing covers as well because at the time in pubs... and I guess that's still the case.. covers and stuff...
Glenn: Yeah... “Play something we know!”
Danny: Exactly. So that's what we'd do. That pays for the next guitar or pays for the next set of strings. Other than that though, I haven't done anything major. I moved to London as I was getting to do a project. Nathan was actually helping me put it together and then when I was in the studio tracking this project that was going to be launched with his help, he gave me a call and said, “Do you want to step into the band?”.. and yeah, the rest is history basically.
Glenn: Yeah! It's amazing how it works isn't it?
Danny: That's it! Yeah! We were in the same circle obviously and we were great friends. It's just the way it worked. You step into something and all of a sudden you've got an album as well. It's crazy!
Glenn: Exactly. It's pretty amazing how life works like that. It's like it was always meant to happen or the planets aligned I often say.
Danny: That's it. It's been great fun. It's been great fun so far. I was thinking the other day how much I actually miss touring and not just the playing but the after... I don't want to say 'Aftershow' because it's not a case of, 'Let's all party really hard!” We are really professional when it comes to touring... but it's more like meeting people. People come to the show that play guitar that remind me of myself not many years ago. Meeting these people and enjoying day to day contact, it's definitely something I'm missing right now. But hopefully we'll get out and do it soon again.
Glenn: Yeah. It's driving everyone nuts one way or another.
Danny: Yeah! Absolutely mate! It's driving everyone insane being stuck indoors and not seeing anyone.
Glenn: Yeah! I mean, the good thing about it for people like your good selves, us as writers etc. it means that we've got something creative and productive to do whereas a lot of people who don't do that are banging their heads against the wall or watching TV. We don't do that the same as other people. We are sort of different to them if that makes any sense?
Danny: Yeah. I mean I've definitely noticed a lot of my friends that might not play instruments or creative in art or anything like that but they've taken other things more seriously. I've got some friends that are doing gaming streams. I guess that's kind of creative by putting content out. Everyone's trying new things because all that time that you get to spend in the pub chilling out, you've kind of got to fill it with something else. After a few months of filling in and just watching TV, it does get a little bit boring..
Glenn: How was it writing songs with Nathan? Was that a natural occurrence or did you take it bit by bit?
Danny: Obviously, we are great friends already. We've had many a night out – hanging out, drinking beer – getting up to mischief and all that stuff. The experiences were already there. We were already comfortable around each other. To be able to write songs, maybe about the same nights that we've shone out together on all these things and all these experiences. It became natural in the sense that we will write things about his experiences or the vibes that were real etc. It became really natural. I was living in London at the time. He'd come down and I'd have a home-studio set-up. We'd bounce ideas and we'd take it to the studio set-up and get it recorded down.
He's really talented with writing songs because he can just sing things to me and (with) myself being self taught and music by ear to actually learn guitar, I'm kind of hearing it how he is singing it. I'll say, “Oh, like this?”, then he'll say, “Yeah! that's the one!”. Then it snowballs from there. He adds the lyrics and the melodies.
It's really cool because I think we both really trust each others opinions as well. If I was to clash at points, it's normally a case of compromise and saying “Okay, what do you think about this, let's try this or let's try that. Let's track them both and see which works better”. You're supposed to go, “No, no, no, I'm right – You're wrong, I'm right”. There's none of that happening.
Glenn: Yeah! Egos aside. It's down to that fact that you are good mates. It's the music and the songs that are important – first and foremost.
Danny: Yeah. Absolutely definitely. I think that's why it works so well. 'She Won't Let Me Go' – that was a song that was written before a project that I was gonna do and Nathan was going to help me out with it. He co-wrote the song with me. I remember actually that we wrote the song... I came down to Devon to do a writing session with him.
He said, “Don't do anything with that song”. I said, “How do you mean? I'm gonna record it. It's not gonna sit there doing nothing as it's a great song”. He said, “No, No, don't do anything with it!”. He think he kind of knew at that point that it was a great song. I think he wanted to see it with Inglorious.
It's really crazy as you say, how the Universe works. I got a phone call one day when I was tracking that song in a studio. He said, “Do you want to be in the band...” He said, “What are you doing?” I said that I was tracking this song. He said, “Don't do anything with that song!”
Glenn: As in, “Don't try and change what is going to before us as a band?”
Danny: Exactly. It was kind of like, “Well I was waiting for a session and I can't really carry this on – let's call it a day there”. That was it pretty much. It's crazy stuff but as you say, that's the way the Universe works at times doesn't it?
Glenn: It works anyway. Why did you decide to call the album, 'We Will Ride'? (out on 12th February, 2021 on Frontiers Records) What came first, the title or the song?
Danny: I am pretty sure it hadn't even been decided whether it was a track in the album. I might be completely wrong there but I think I remember calling the album and not knowing what it was called, whether it was a track on the album. Then we were thinking about the order of the songs etc. The song did come first. I remember being in a tiny flat I used to live in, in London. We had this cool riff, we had this great song. Nathan put vocals on and he gravitated towards a theme of an old school Highway Woman that used to rob people on a highway on a horse.
This whole kind of idea of it, named the song, 'We Will Ride' – that came before the album. In the studio it felt natural to Phil (Beaver) and Nathan especially to call it 'We Will Ride' after the previous album being called 'Ride To Nowhere'. It felt like a natural progression. It wasn't really planned at all. It wasn't like a case of, “Oh this is going to be called “We Will Ride' because we've got the previous album called 'Ride To Nowhere'. It just happened. I think it works well to be honest.
Glenn: Yeah! I notice you've got a Keyboard/Piano Player on there called Rob Lindop. How did that come about and how did you guys get to know Rob?
Danny: Rob's actually been playing in the band before I was in. He'd always come out to festivals, always come out for the live shows etc. He's a really, really brilliant guy and a great musician. He lives not that far away from where I grew up. We hit it off instantly because you've got that familiarity... the same accents and all that stuff. He's a great musician, a really great guy and it's really, really cool t see him on this album because I'm pretty sure this is the 1st album where they've had a keyboard player or a professional keyboard player on the album. Usually the Producer does it or a guy in the studio. It's great to have Rob on. A fantastic musician. I can't recommend him enough.
Glenn: Excellent. Regarding the Producer, Romesh Dodangoda, I know he has credentials to his name like 'Bring Me The Horizon' and quite a few others on the list, but what was it about him that made you decide or Nathan decide to choose that certain guy as opposed to any others that are around for doing the job?
Danny: I think the whole concept behind it as well is party to do with this new line-up. A kind of half-different band in the sense that we've got some new writers involved and we've got some new sounds happening. I think to be honest, the guys just wanted to take it a bit further with that and say, “Look, let's look at the options with Producers”. Romesh was one of those guys that is producing modern bands that are making it really high up on the billboard etc. He's got a great talent of achieving ridiculously big sounds. I was actually blown away.
Obviously, listening to the stuff like 'Bring Me The Horizon' and 'Bullet For My Valentine', I thought, 'That's great, I grew up on that!' But when it came to, recording, obviously our sound is a little bit different. A lot of people will say it's that Hard Rock/Classic Rock kind of vibe.
I was interested to see how he would approach it. His mixes his fusing of the sounds... the drums sound huge and I'm always dissatisfied now with my own drum sounds at home demoing up. I am thinking, 'It's not got the right sound like Romesh gets'. I don't know how he does it. The guitar sounds huge this time. There are layered guitars on some of these tracks and it makes it different. He's done a great job. I guess it was just moving forward with the sound and that's what he did.
Glenn: Exactly, talking of Romesh, that brings me onto Sheffield (because Bring Me The Horizon are from Sheffield), if everything goes to plan you have the Heretic Fest there. What are you looking forward to about that? I saw you guys when you played the Rock & Blues at Ripley and saw you at Stonedead as well. How were those types of gigs for you? I know they were a while ago!
Danny: These kind of festivals are great because you take a look at the line-up and you can tell what they go for. It's like that 'New Wave Of Classic Rock' (banner). It's grouped around fantastic bands within those groups. They are kind of based around that kind of vibe aren't they?
Danny: It's great that these festivals exist around this kind of music. It's what we need. I look forward to playing those kinds of shows. I always find that the audiences really appreciate our kind of music, the musicianship and the time & effort that goes into it. It's great playing those shows and its cool playing a later slot. We find that with some of the bigger festivals we've done like Graspop and some of the larger scale festivals, you play earlier in the day and not late at night when there's that kind of vibe. It'll be really cool.
I mean, Stonedead was great as well. The line-up of the show was awesome. Glenn Hughes played after us and we got to hang out with him just before. He's a really nice guy – just the staff – the way people look after you at these festivals - We are really, really well looked after. I love it.
Glenn: Yeah! Chris Sumby of Stonedead is a great guy! Mark (Hobson – DJ Mutley) at the Corporation, Sheffield is a really good guy too. They will look after you there as well. I have known him and the Corporation staff for years so you are in for a good night.
Glenn: What influenced 'God Of War' because we've had all the Trump stuff plus this and that? Was it a general thing or was it aimed at a certain person or persons?
Danny: Yeah. Interesting question. If I'm completely honest, I don't really have the answer. Mainly because when it comes to lyrics...
Glenn: Nathan does it..
Glenn: It's why I didn't mention much about the songs before because it could have been Nathan's bit.
Danny: Exactly. Yeah. I can pretty much say that those lyrics - 99.9% of the lyrics – especially so far – they've been Nathan. I think it makes sense. At the end of the day, he's singing the song. He's feeling it! The melody – it's coming from his heart – the lyrics – so it makes sense. But 'God Of War'. I don't actually know if it's a specific person or what. But it's really cool. I like that.
Glenn: It's the right time for that song. Before I wrap this up, what was your favourite time in the studio and what song guitar-wise meant the most to you or was the easiest or hardest to do?
Danny: I think tracking 'She Won't Let Go' was really an extense for me in guitar in just what I've done so far because me and Nathan wrote it so far, long ago, before I was in the band – a great story that I was really connected to. As far as the solo goes, I really put a lot of effort and thought into how I was going to craft that. I loved the song and I thought to myself, 'I want this to be a solo that guitar players listen to'. It kind of tells a story but at the same time, when I listen to a solo personally, I like melody and I like flashiness as well. I like technique and melody in one. So I was thinking, while I was creating that, I really want guitar players to enjoy this track. It's had a really good response.
I remember Phil saying to me after the studio... because he was in there while I was tracking the solo, “That day when you were tracking solos it was actually electric. It felt really exciting”. He was really egging me on as well which is awesome. That's probably one of my favourite moments in the studio, just getting egged on by Phil saying, “Oh that was cool”. We were bouncing off each other, That's what it's all about – having learnt from this. Having that connection in the room with people that you class as your friends, you can start to disconnect from being really uptight and serious about stuff – you just loosen up and enjoy it. That was probably one of my favourite moments. So yeah, a question all tied into one answer there.
Glenn: Exactly. That's great. Well I'm looking forward to seeing you guys live again. It will be the third time I have seen you (personally). Hopefully Sheffield will happen and the up and coming tour will happen as well. I can see how well you guys get on together because it all gels and the album is absolutely great. I can't wait to hear the new stuff live.
Danny: Fantastic mate. Thanks for having me. Hopefully I will see you at a show soon.
Glenn: You will do. You take care Danny. Good to speak to you mate.
Danny: And yourself. Cheers mate.
Glenn: Thanks Bro. See you later. Bye.
All Concert Photographs taken by Glenn Milligan @
Stonedead 2019 & Rock & Blues Custom Show 2019
Big thanks go to Nathan James - Frontman of Inglorious, Maria Lundy @ QEDG, Duff Battye & Valeria Laghezza @ Duff Press & of course Danny De La Cruz himself for the fantastic Interview!