We were fortunate to get the opportunity to chat with one of the hottest properties in Blues-Rock right now Jared James Nichols, while he is in the UK playing a whistle-stop tour which includes headline shows, supporting Blue Oyster Cult & UFO with festival runs including Ramblin’ Man.
- Who were your earliest influences around you that grabbed your imagination with music?
When I was 13 years old I became obsessed with classic rock. Bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath got me really excited. Originally, I wanted to play drums, but then turned to guitar when my parents couldn’t handle me banging on a drum kit all day!
- Was their one specific moment / concert that inspired you to take the direction you did?
Honestly it was my first ever real concert. Kiss, ZZ Top, and Ted Nugent! Talk about an insane bill. It was an outdoor arena and I was absolutely mesmerized. There was so much energy from the crowd and the music it was infectious. I was hooked from that moment on…
- Which guitarists inspired you as a young musician?
Everybody! I soaked up everything I could. I was really into Jimmy Page, Tony Iommi, and Eddie Van Halen in the early days. I was obsessed.
- Do you feel any specific guitarists influenced your style?
The top three players that really influenced my style are Leslie West, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Paul Kossoff. I really love their guitar playing and SOUL. I look up to each of them for inspiration.
- As for song-writing / composition which bands inspire the direction of your writing?
I am very much inspired by the great blues/rock trios of the late ’60’s/early ’70’s. Groups like Cream, JIMI Hendrix Experience, and Mountain are sounds I strive for in my own compositions. On the other side, Texas Blues and Chicago Blues styles are a huge influence on my sound.
- How did you find your short stint at Berklee School Of Music / what brought you to Boston & MIT from a personal point of view and what did you want to gain from the educational experience?
I always wanted to study guitar and music. When I graduated high school I decided to try Berklee. I recieved a full-scholarship to the school even. Unfortunately it didn’t go as planned, I hated it. Instead of growing my knowledge and love for music, the environment and teaching at the school really turned me off. Music became almost a dreadful thing. It was a soul-sucking experience. After my music school time, I dedicated my life to playing music straight from the heart. No more over analyzing or judgement.
- You picked up many accolades as a young guitarist over the years winning various competitions etc – do you feel they were instrumental in gaining notoriety and progressing your early career?
Definitely! Competitions in music are very hard to judge. It’s like apples and oranges. With that being said, the amount of exposure I was able to gain through winning a number of guitar contests was huge in the beginning. I was hungry for exposure, these were the perfect way to find just that.
- How did you find the LA music scene and navigating it as a young musician trying to get yourself out there?
It was tough! It’s ‘Welcome to the Jungle’! The competition is fierce and huge. There are so many people trying to ‘make it’ that it is very tough to find your place. It takes a special kind of breed to make it work in a place like LA. I had to give it EVERYTHING I had.
- You got an EP out back on 2012 from the Viper Room, an infamous venue which is forever ingrained in music history; was it was a statement of intent for things to come?
I was so nervous! Between playing such a historic venue and knowing we were going to record it, I had the jitters. It was definitely the ‘bench-mark’ and starting point of exactly where I wanted to go with my music.
- How did your line up for your trio come about?
Erik the bass player was one of the first guys I met when I moved to Los Angeles. I saw him play bass and thought he was good! I asked him for his number and if he would want to play a gig with me if I could book one. Two days later I booked a gig and called him, I think he was pretty surprised! I asked him if he knew a drummer and he said yes, he mentioned Dennis. A few nights later we started jamming! It started very organically, then grew into what it is today.
- You have toured extensively in the US etc – and supported In Europe too – do you find any differences in the European Blues audiences than back in the US?
Absolutely, In the US you have to be very established in order to draw a crowd or to get anyone to actually pay attention to you. In the U.K., audiences are very in tune and well read on musicians/bands of all sizes. There is still a great blues scene here in England I believe. In America, sadly it is few and far between.
- You are about to embark on a UK tour both in a headlining and Supporting and festival slots, any of those particular dates that you relish?
All of them!! In excited to headline, support, and play festivals. It’s always fun to play long headline shows, but it’s a whole other excitement to support my music heroes and rock massive festivals.
- Are there any artists on the festival slots that you will be looking forward to catching while there?
I’m excited to see a ton actually! It’s funny, it will be more like a reunion with a ton of now -band friends like Glenn Hughes, Saxon, Dead Daisies, UFO and more.
- You have a new full-length album en route – When did the writing process take place?
It hasn’t stopped since ‘Old Glory’ came out. I honestly never stopped writing or coming up with ideas. It’s just part of the whole thing really. I write melodys and riffs almost every time I pick up a guitar. I just love playing and writing so much.
- How do you approach the writing / do you write consistently or do you prefer to set aside time to write new material?
Always consistently. I tend to write every day.
- When and where did the recording take place for the new album?
We recorded a bulk of the record a Johnny Depps home studio as well as Bruce Witkin’s studio in the valley. I was very lucky use such amazing gear and facilities for the whole recording process. Great memories!!
- Who produced the new album / have you worked together previously?
The record is produced by one of my great friends Tony Perry and myself. We met through his dad who is Joe Perry from Aerosmith. We’ve been writing songs for a solid year or so. He is an amazing recording engineer and has the perfect ear for this kind of music. Like myself, he’s not afraid to try new ideas and get a little crazy with it!
- How do you feel the new work compares to your previous releases?
It’s much more intense. It’s really like ‘Old Glory 2.0’ It has a super raw feel and it’s stylistically ‘off the cuff’ I was able to dig in a little more in this record as compared to the previous one. It was a blast to record.
- Any stand out tracks on the album you love or are looking forward to performing live?
Honestly I want to play the whole record live! Every song has been translating well in the live setting. They are all so different musically from each other. It will be fun to play them live and see how audiences react.
- What lies ahead for J J N in 2017 and beyond?
Touring, writing, recording! I just want to keep going and growing. I want to play for as many people as possible and keep this music alive for years to come. I’ve got a lot of work to do!
Many thanks for taking the time to chat with us at Rock ‘N’ Load , Catch Jared James Nichols while you can folks !!! Tour dates and links below !!!
UK CLUB DATES
Wednesday 21st June 2017
with special guests “Rainbreakers”
Book Tickets: seetickets.com
Box Office: 07771 520 374
Church Street, Grimsby,
North East Lincolnshire, DN32 7DD
Milton Keynes, Craufurd Arms
Saturday 24th June 2017
Book Tickets: www.thecraufurdarms.com
Box Office: 01908 313 864
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
59 Stratford Rd, Wolverton, Milton Keynes, MK12 5LT
SUPPORTING “BLUE OYSTER CULT”
Newcastle, Northumbria Institute
Monday 26th June 2017
Nottingham, Rock City
Wednesday 28th June 2017
Book Online: alttickets.com
Box Office: 0115 950 6547
8 Talbot St, Nottingham NG1 5GG
Thursday 29th June 2017
Book Tickets: Ticketmaster.co.uk
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
300 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JA
Sunday 30th July 2017
Book Tickets: www.steelhousefestival.com/tickets.html
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Hafod-y-Dafal Farm, Aberbeeg,
Ebbw Vale, Gwent, NP13 2ER