An Interview with 'Nathan James'
The Frontman of Inglorious
that took place on 19th December, 2018
Interviewed By Glenn Milligan
Glenn: Hi, it's Glenn from Metalliville, how are you doing Nathan?
Nathan: I'm good Glenn.
Glenn: Excellent. I saw you at 'The War Of The Worlds' on Friday 7th December at Nottingham Motorpoint Arena. That was incredible.
Nathan: Yeah it was. I was so honoured to be part of such a wonderful tour. It ended two nights ago and I'm missing it already. I had great fun.
Glenn: Yeah. That must have been amazing to be hand-picked by Jeff Wayne as well.
Nathan: Yeah. Surreal actually. To think that 'The War Of The Worlds' has been around longer than I have been on the planet. To be able to get up there and sing one of the songs (Thunderchild) is an honour. Having gone up so many steps is pretty amazing as well. I'm really chuffed when I had the part and we played it all over the country.
Glenn: Yeah. I was really impressed. When you came onstage, myself and Sarah (Mangan) thought, 'Hey, it's Nathan'. We at one time wanted to put the horns in the air but we thought we best not.
Nathan: I had to stop myself too. (We laugh).
Glenn: When you are doing something like that, what would you say the difference is between being in a band and then going on stage with a stage show like that? Would you say it's a different concept for you altogether.
Nathan: Yeah it is (different). Obviously, I do shows because I love singing and as long as I'm doing that I'm happy. When this opportunity came up when maybe it was the wrong time – the band was doing really well. I though about it and this time I had to do it. The main difference is that in the band I am singing songs, you know what they are about and how you were feeling.
With something as big as this,there's so many other people involved. You have to sing it exactly to the book – how it's been written obviously. I'm not gonna sing it any other way. There's a lot more to think about than before because you're also a character. In my own shows I can be myself. It's a bit different. But I felt good in the challenge and hopefully more stuff will come like that in the future.
Glenn: Yeah! You pulled it off well. We were third row and we were so impressed with it all.
Nathan: Thank You.
Glenn: The first time I saw you it was at Sheffield Corporation and you were on the 'Last In Line' Tour. How was that and what stood out from that tour because that was pretty major?
Nathan: Yeah that was great that! What happened there is that we were part with legends. From day 1 we were playing with legends. We played our first ever tour. That was with The Winery Dogs with Billy Sheehan. To be in the same camp with guys like Vivian Campbell and Vinny Appice is just amazing.
Very cool for a young band to be getting to play with someone like that. That was a great tour. We went to some really cool places with them. It was great to see that the crowd liked it and got into it. It's cool to think that you were competing with these bands who have great names behind them. We were doing something right I think.
Glenn: I was playing your new album last night 'Ride To Nowhere' and it's such a grower There are so many great highlights on it. It's almost like where do you start on it. With 'Glory Days' (which closes the album), that song itself if it's promoted right could be an absolute million seller. It's in the same league as a song like The Beatles 'The Long And Winding Road' ; The Who's 'Love Reign O'er Me' or Wanted Dead Or Alive' by Bon Jovi.
Where did that idea come from because it's acoustic but its got like a medieval, majestic feel to it as well. The vocals are just incredible. You must have spent quite a bit of time getting that together. Getting it in your head for the right style for the vocal?
Nathan: Yeah. We actually did it as a band on acoustic. The wrote the chords and the music of the song in a few minutes. I had written it with words. Really simple and real easy to sing. I was going through some tough times. It was the breakdown of a relationship I was it. It's one of the best songs we have written and goes with 'Holy Water' from the first album. We didn't have to force it and the lyrics had come to me. It literally came from getting my feelings out.
I'm really happy with that one because it is such a personal one to me. It was really hard to record. The A&R guy from our people was over while we recorded it. I did two takes of the song in total. On the last one I was crying my eyes out. I think he kept it in. If you listen carefully through the song my vocal is really on the edge of cracking.
Glenn: Yeah you can tell.
Nathan: The sound engineer was saying to stop. I just pointed through the glass and I said “No!” I just kept going and crying and crying and crying. I had to go outside and have a sit down and get some fresh air because it really affected me. It was a magic moment. You can't buy it.
Glenn: It's in the moment.
Nathan: We recorded a music video for it a couple of weeks ago. When I was recording the music video, I said, “Play it really loud on the playback. I sang along to the video and I started crying at the end. It's really powerful. Obviously because it means something to me but everyone I played it to understand that. It's a song I'm very proud of and it's something that will be with me for a very long time.
Glenn: Yeah. The track 'Queen'. The riff and the chorus of that, it sounds like Glenn Hughes x 10 or something. It just sounds... it's mind-blowing. What can I say? Where did the idea for that come from?
Nathan: The riff came from Drew (Lowe) actually. (For the album), the way they were written, I said throughout the entire thing that I wanted them to be really honest in their way of writing. In the past I haven't really written from myself and always done it from other peoples perspectives – I've written in character. This one is actually about mum – I'm letting myself go here but I'm a proper mummy's boy. It seemed perfect – it was happy, it was upbeat. It wasn't sad and I thought this is very good for my mum.
Nathan: She's so great. She doesn't know yet which is really awkward. I just went ahead and did it. But yep - that it' about her (we laugh).
Glenn: Well we can't do without our mums can we?
Nathan: No. Exactly. It sounds really Rock 'N' Roll.(We laugh)
Glenn: Well you put your heart on your sleeve there and that's a really major thing. It's not all “Look at me, I'm the best Rock 'N' Roll singer out there, I'm Immortal”. We're all human so, you know, it makes sense.
Nathan: Yeah. Thank you very much.
Glenn: No problem. With regard to 'Ride To Nowhere', is that like an actual ride or is it more of a sub-conscious thing in the mind? I wondered where the idea came from and on the cover where you have a fairground ride that comes to a full stop with a bullseye.
Nathan: For me, it was a friend of mine who is a tattooist who created the cover. I basically gave him the body of all the titles and said, “Please draw me a cover”. He had a book and this artwork in particular fit for the front cover. At the time, I had just lost my Grandfather and my best friend when I was picking the album title. I was so down and depressed and I had never really dealt with mourning before and lost (people). I was really starting to question.
At the time it was about my morality. I was so down and I was thinking, 'What is the point and where are we going?' I had lost these people, I didn't see it as fair and I struggled. Also, similarly it's a proper ride. Not one song is the same and that is one thing I can be proud of. When you listen to the album, you can't really stop, you are constantly travelling – not in like a proggy kind of way.
The songs are by the people in the band and we constructed a good album. At the end of the album it just felt, 'What's next?' Originally, it was for my mum but I wanted to leave something behind. A period in this album such as when we did 'Glory Days', I thought, 'Oh, this is one of those songs I get to leave behind that my Grandchildren will hear'. They will say, “Oh my God, that was my Grandfather”.
Nathan: Something like that. I know I'm not the only one who has lost someone so people can also feel it's about them. It felt like that right to do it and if people like the song then it makes it even better.
Glenn: Yeah, that's awesome. It makes a lot of sense that. You've got a brand new band. How did you go about picking the band and what characteristics did they have to have to make them fit the ideal mould of the new 'Inglorious'?
Nathan: Well I've known the guitar player (Danny De La Cruz) since he was about 16. He caught one of our songs on YouTube. At 16 he was phenomenal. A monstrous player. He played three times a week. On numerous occasions we met at gigs. He'd come to see our band. We ended up friends, he moved to London. I took him out to meet other musicians then afterwards he became our guitarist.
Not just a kid in his bedroom. He's a well-rounded musician – he's got great influences and he's a nice guy. We became great friends. When we originally lost Will (Taylor).. well when we had to part ways with Will two years ago, we brought him in when he was off. He was unbelievable. I've never met a guitar player like him. This opportunity came up with Andreas (Eriksson) going because he was Andreas' Guitar Tech on our last two tours.
Nathan: It's proper Rock and Roll this story (we laugh). So Andreas' teach now is playing Andreas' parts. He's 19 and he's right for us. We've moved forward the way we wanted as people. I feel so lucky to make this a living and I want to enjoy every moment. I want it to be fun. As far as Dan (Stevens), Danny and him have known each other since he moved to London. I played with Danny on my 30th Birthday. He's a wonderful musician and a really great guy. He can play anything a bit like Dan – they are a perfect duo. Their chemistry together works for every song.
The bass player, (Vinnie Colla) was quite a hard one to find after Colin (Parkinson). Our agent was recommended him. He is a humungous bass player in one. (We were told), “If you wanna go (for him), he's going to play rock and he's going to play the good parts”. He sent me a video and I was so impressed that we just took him on without even an audition. We played and it was was frikkin amazing.
Nathan: We are all really hungry for it. They all feel like that. They want to show me what they can do.
Glenn: Nice! You've got an up and coming tour happening in January/February. Do you feel a bit apprehensive about that because it will be the first time you have brought the new band out? Or have you rehearsed that much that it will be no problem?
Nathan: We've rehearsed a lot. They are great musicians and they will kick ass beyond the vocals. Yeah! It will still sound like people want it to sound. The guys are honouring the ones that have been before. I've explained to everyone that next time we write we'll see what we can do. But this (time), it's definitely about playing this album (Ride To Nowhere) to people how it was recorded. I'm just showing them we aren't going anywhere.
Glenn: Yeah! We were so impressed that you had been confirmed for Stonedeaf Festival at Newark. That's going to be a big milestone. We went there this year. It's such a great set of guys – Chris (Sumby), Jenny (Duncan), John Reid and everyone. They are amazing and you are going to have such a good time. What were you thinking about when you found out you had got confirmed for that?
Nathan: Amazing. I've sung with Glenn (Hughes). He invited me up with him a couple of years back and I sang 'Burn' with him but I've never been out on an actual festival with him. It's gonna be amazing to hang around with him and catch up. He's my hero. It'll be a wonderful day. It's a great meet and it's going to be a fantastic day.
Glenn: Yeah we are so looking forward to having you.
Nathan: Oh thank you. It'll be a good meet and we are really looking forward to it.
Glenn: Sweet. That's great. I'm going to let you get off but it's been a pleasure talking to you Sir and I'll see you at Stonedeaf.
Nathan: Thanks a lot. I will see you then.
Glenn: You take care.
Nathan: Thanks Glenn.
A big thank you for Valeria Laghezza & Duff Battye @ Duff Press for setting up the Interview
& Maria Lundy of QEDG Management.