Interview by Karen Hetherington / Pictures Adrian Hextall / MindHex Media
Just before taking to the stage to perform their biggest headline gig to date at London’s iconic Electric Ballroom, I was fortunate to get a chat with charismatic Inglorious vocalist Nathan James to discuss song writing, reaping the rewards of hard work, star struck moments and how he’s very hard to impress…
Asked about the song writing process Nathan had this to say:
“We are actually going into the studio in Spring, we have got 5 or 6 really good ideas and we are going to write for the whole of November”.
He continued: “It’s strange because with both of our albums one of the guys will come in with like a whole demo and we will put lyrics and a melody to that and it will be perfect straight away, and other times they will just say ‘we’ve got this riff but we haven’t got a chorus or anything’. When people just bring an idea we all sit down and work through that kind of like a family so each song is a bit different in that respect. On this album that we just put out there are a couple of songs I done with Andreas, with just me and Andreas writing and a couple with just me and Colin and then the rest of the group as a whole. I have written on every song, I am the only member who has written on every song. I write every single word and every melody and some of the music. I play piano, my fingers are too fat for guitar”.
I wanted to know who Nathans main inspirations were when he was young and influential:
“There’s three male singers that I was obsessed with when I was about ten years old until I was 14 or 15. Michael Jackson, I love Michael Jackson, Michael Bolton – which I think you can hear sometimes in my soulful kind of style of singing and the other – not for his voice but for his style and great songs is Robbie Williams, I loved how great a performer he was and he put on a good show so as a kid I was kind of influenced by that and then in my teens I discovered Guns N’ Roses and it was all downhill from there really”.
And asked if he gets a chance to listen to other new bands?:
“I listen to lots of new stuff, sometimes just once but I do listen to it. If someone sends me something I make an effort to listen to it because I think, once upon a time I was that guy you know who was sending people stuff and getting people to listen to it and I truly believed in what I was doing. I’ve got a couple of friends who I’m trying to help out, a band I’m almost managing – Gypsy Heart – my best friend Heather of like 10 years, I love her she’s the best female rock singer in this country without a shadow of a doubt, she’s unbelievable, she’s here tonight actually, so yeah I’m trying to help them out”.
He goes on to say:
“If I believe in something I genuinely get behind it, I just don’t think there’s a lot of….there’s a lot of good stuff but there’s not a lot of amazing stuff and I like amazing stuff, I like things that blow me away on first listen, a voice that can capture me or a guitarist you know has spent thousands of hours mastering his instrument. I think we live in a generation of people who are too lazy to master their instruments, their voice or guitar or drums, I think people are so over stimulated by social media and TV. These people who used to sit down in their rooms in the 70’s and 80’s and practice for 7 or 8 hours a day don’t exist anymore and I think that’s why… rock n’ roll’s not dead but I think it’s harder to find really great rock bands because there’s just no one paying the time or paying their dues really. I sacrificed everything, I gave up TSO (Trans Siberian Orchestra) which was a huge, huge gig and lots and lots of money every year which I got very used to and I worked for like two months of the year and didn’t have to do anything the rest of the year. I gave all that up to make this happen, so I put myself in a totally different financial situation. I moved back in with my parents and I put myself on my arse and it made me very hungry, so I think if you really, really want it there’s always a way. I don’t come from a rich family, I was born in a council house in the same place where Ricky Gervais is from, we just graft, if you really, really want it, you’ll find a fucking way of doing it. If you have to work ten hours a day at the Post Office and you get to write for the other 10 hours and get to sleep for about 4 hours you’ll do it, if you want it