Interview by Robert Cavuoto
One of the most exciting UK rock bands to hit the music scene is Inglorious, and on January 25th they will unleash their third CD, Ride to Nowhere via Frontiers Music SRL.
The CD rips with raw emotion, powerful guitar riffs, incredible melodies, and thought-provoking lyrics from the first song to the last. As expected Nathan James lays down some powerful vocals on this CD and together with the band, showcase their ability to grow and mature by creating well-crafted songs. Most of 2018 had Inglorious locked in the studio recording the new CD. When the CD was completed, the unexpected happened and three of the members departed in October.
In my interview with Nathan James, he shares insights into his very personal lyrics, what transpired with the departure of the three members as well as the logistical and financial challenges for the band to tour the United States.
Robert Cavuoto: The lyrics on the second CD had an angry and distrustful tone, and the music followed suit. Did you approach the writing of Ride to Nowhere differently?
Nathan James: A lot has happened in my life during the last year that I wanted to write about and pulled from those emotions. I’m very happy with the way it came out. I wanted to write new songs and move on.
Robert Cavuoto: Do you have a preconceived plan when writing lyrics for a song or does the music help convey the lyrics?
Nathan James: The guys and I will write the music when we layout the songs with verses, bridges, and choruses. I like to see what comes out naturally then I start to write. The song “Where are you Now” just fell out of my mouth as well as “Glory Days.” I started each of those with just two lines and then crafted a story from it based on something that happened in my life. The songs take shape quite organically as nothing is preconceived. I don’t sit down to write a song about this or that. It’s whatever crops up.
Robert Cavuoto: Is it cathartic to get those stories out of you?
Nathan James: Yeah, particularly like “Glory Days.” That was about the breakdown of a relationship that I had. I thought the person was my soul mate for the rest of my life, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be. To talk about that was really hard. I also lost one of my best friends who I wrote “Never Alone.” There is a lot of emotion attached to this CD based on what has gone on over the last few months with the line-up change. I’m actually nervous to perform some of these songs live because they mean so much to me.
Robert Cavuoto: You always write great songs about situations and people in your life, I love the song “Time to Go” what can you tell me about that one?
Nathan James: That song started as a big fun riff, and it’s different than anything else on the CD. We also thought it would be a great song live to get the crowd going as it has some audience participation in the backing vocals. Lyrically it’s about getting with someone else’s partner [laughing].
Robert Cavuoto: I also really like the song “While She Sleeps.” Can you tell me if it was inspired by a true story?
Nathan James: It is a true story! I was on tour in Europe, and we met this woman in a bar. We were all having a great time, and she told us that she had to go to work at night after her daughter was asleep. I found it fascinating that in 2017 people were still turning to sex trades to feed their family and our world hasn’t been able to help sort this thing out. Something about it really bothered me so it decided to write a song about it. She was very nice, and I think we gave her what little money we had and told her to go home to daughter. It was quite sad.
Robert Cavuoto: Three CDs in do you feel that you are a better songwriter and collaborator than when you started?
Nathan James: Yes, I think so! Although there are great songs from the second CD, it took me three CDs to learn to write from my own perspective as opposed to other people’s perspective. I think I’m getting better at it and look forward to writing with the new people in the band.
Robert Cavuoto: Back in October three members of the band; Drew Lowe [guitar], Andreas Eriksson [guitar] and Colin Parkinson [bass] departed after completing Ride to Nowhere, can you share some insights into what transpired?
Nathan James: We had a pretty busy year recording the CD, and everyone was going through different things in their life. The guys wanted to do other things. Two of the members being a bit older and who were also cousins wanted to stay together. It’s hard to start a new project as it’s taken us five years to get to this point where Kevin Shirley mixes our CDs. I wish them good luck whatever they do.
Robert Cavuoto: How do you feel the transition of band members has affected the perception of the band?
Nathan James: I hope that everyone is into us musically and like the songs with the best musicians playing them. It brings a new dynamic to the band as they are hungrier and willing to prove that they deserve to be here.
Robert Cavuoto: How is the chemistry with the new members; Danny Dela Cruz [guitar], Dan Stevens [guitar] and Vinnie Colla ?
Nathan James: Unbelievable. Danny is one of my best friends in the world so having him in the band is brilliant. We have been in rehearsals for the last five days, and everyone is getting along and giving off good vibes. Everyone is helping each other, and no one is on their phone. They are concentrating and working hard to bring these songs to life live which is actually exciting.
Robert Cavuoto: You posted a message a few months ago about being cyber bullied when the three members departed; has that stopped?
Nathan James: I don’t know really, I don’t see it anymore as I’ve blocked them. The good thing about the internet is if you don’t want to see it you can just block people [laughing]. Anybody who was talking “smack” I blocked them, and they can go on their own page to talk about it. Ultimately, we have a lot of fans on Facebook and around the world, and I don’t want it ruined for them if they are here for the music. I want them to enjoy the music. There are more important things going on around the world in politics than a band getting a few new members.
Robert Cavuoto: Critics love to compare new bands to classic bands as a point of reference; I’ve seen Inglorious being compared to Led Zeppelin. Though this is a tremendous compliment, does it set an unrealistic expectation for the band?
Nathan James: Of course it’s unrealistic, it’s insane. The world has totally changed with the internet. All of my heroes never had to deal with that. What would people have written when Rainbow or Whitesnake had a line-up change? It’s bizarre to think how they would have dealt with these situations. The industry has changed as well; my heroes got huge advances from their record label, tour support, and things like that. I’m not saying it’s necessarily harder, just different.
Robert Cavuoto: Do you have any plans to come to the US?
Nathan James: I’m in constant talks about it. It has to be right for us. I think if we go there on our own it would be in small venues. That would be hard for us to make it worth our while as we don’t want to lose money and financially damage the band. It’s a business and our market here in the UK is strong. If we opened for an arena band in the US, I don’t know how helpful that type of tour is for young bands. I have seen a lot of young bands do it and it hasn’t taken them to the next level. I find it bizarre that they are playing smaller venues in the UK than us. So I don’t think it is necessarily the right move for us either.
Robert Cavuoto: Do you think it is important for Inglorious to get a solid foothold in the US?
Nathan James: I think it is. I think it is hard as the country is so big. I toured there with Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Touring cost to bring ten people over there and pay for Visas is just very unrealistic unless you are filling a venue with 1,000 people every night. It has to be worthwhile. Hopefully, someone will pick up on us, and we will have a little bit of that old fashion luck which is very hard to come by.
Our review of the new album is here:
Inglorious commence their UK Tour tomorrow: