INGLORIOUS (Live at the O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., October 8, 2017)
Photo: Mick Burgess

Inglorious are one of the most highly rated new bands of recent years drawing on Classic Rock influences of the ’70s and 80s but bringing them bang up to date and in vocalist Nathan James have a singer tipped as a successor to the likes of Coverdale, Gillan and Dio. Mick Burgess called James ahead of the UK shows to talk about the tour and the latest album Inglorious II.

You’re back on the road on tour next month. Are you looking forward to it?

Very much so yes. We’ve laid off the UK gigs earlier this year and concentrated on Europe when the album first came out so we feel that our fans have had enough time with this record to know the songs and all the words so it’s going to be nice to get out on the road. We’re playing 11 shows and nearly half are sold out already.

Have you noticed the buzz growing in the band on each subsequent tour?

It’s been really crazy and I noticed earlier this year when we were in Europe playing festivals. When we did Hellfest in France we walked out on stage at 10:30 in the morning on the main stage and I thought there’d be no one there at that time. When we walked out there were 10,000 people there to greet us. It was unbelievable and so humbling. It’s nice to be going back to venues on this tour that we have played before and to see them full this time. To know that we have sold out some of those venues is a really great feeling.

What have you got planned for this tour?

It’s going to be a mixture of both albums but we’ll concentrate heavily on the new one because as last year we toured the first album to death so it will be great to have new songs to play. We’re headlining this tour so we have more time to play as many of our own songs as we want and we don’t have any need to put covers in like we have done previously. The set list will be more varied and will have ups and downs. You can’t hit people in the face with fast Rock songs for 90 minutes so our set will be well balanced so there’ll be slower numbers in there and we’ll do a little acoustic section which will just be me and Drew where we’ll honour some of the great musicians who have passed away over the last couple of years. That’ll be a little medley of songs to our heroes.

You’re up in Newcastle on 8th October. What do you make of the crowds up here?

We’ve played at The Cluny before and the O2 Academy and have loved it every time we’ve gone up there. Hopefully we’ll get to spend a bit more time there this year as I absolutely love Newcastle. It’s a really fun place to go out in, the people are really friendly and the crowds we get are absolutely crazy. They are so loud.

You were last here with Last in Line featuring Vivian Campbell and Vinnie Appice who between them have played in such legendary bands as Dio, Sabbath, Whitesnake, Def Leppard and Thin Lizzy. How was it touring with them?

It was awesome. Last year we worked so hard supporting Steel Panther, The Winery Dogs and Dead Daisies so the Last In Line tour almost felt like a headline tour for us. We got the same time on stage and we played for people who knew who we were. We felt like all of that hard work we put in last year was really paying off.

They’ve been around the block a fair few times. What did you learn about life on the road from them?

They were such consummate professionals and that’s what we try to be as well and I’ve been on the road too for years with various bands and artists and we just try to get on and do the best we can. Those guys weren’t precious about moving stuff on the stage, they just got on with it and put on a consistently great show. They were really nice, polite guys too. When we played on the Monsters of Rock cruise Vinnie watched our whole show and came up to us afterwards and said we were smoking which was so nice. They’re really nice people.

This time you’re taking Wayward Sons which is Toby Jepson’s new band out on the road with you. What can we expect from them?

They are great and have an album coming out very soon. Toby Jepson has done so much great stuff over the years and their new album is a killer. It’s perfect timing, two new bands from the UK playing really catchy Rock ‘n’ Roll music. It’s a great line-up and it’ll be a really good night for the fans.

Why did guitarist Wil Taylor leave after the Last in Line tour was over?

He didn’t leave, we let him go. He wasn’t really into it when we were writing the new album. He wasn’t focussed, he didn’t practise and he got busy with other things. As a band we knew we needed a change. We needed people with the same determination, drive and ambition as the rest of us and we couldn’t afford to have someone holding us back. We made a decision as a band and we brought back Drew, our original guitarist who is absolutely phenomenal. It’s a happy family now and we’re absolutely delighted to have him back. We’re all loving it and it’s great being up on stage together. The guitars are always in tune now which is a good thing.

Drew Lowe was your original guitarist. Did it feel like a natural decision to make to bring him back?

Absolutely, I’ve known Drew for five years and he’s Colin, our bass player’s cousin and he lived with our drummer Phil, in London for a while so we’ve all known him quite some time. There was no bad blood when Drew went the first time so I’m totally happy that he’s back. We’re having a great laugh on tour and you’ll be able to see that in a couple of weeks.

You have a new album out Inglorious II. How’s the reaction been like so far?

It’s unreal as the week it came out we were doing an HMV tour doing acoustic shows. I thought it’d be amazing if a British classic Rock band could make it into the charts and we did, we got into the Top 10 album charts and got a Number One Rock album too. It was pretty wild and the reviews have been amazing too. More importantly the fans love it and people are messaging me saying how much they love it which is great.

It’s your second album in 2 years which is pretty fast work. Are you in a productive form of creativity at the moment?

Well it’s actually going to be three albums in three years as we’ve just started writing the third. We have three or four songs down already and it’s going to be a bit heavier. We love writing and creating music so if we can do an album a year, why not? I think the next thing for us would be a live album.

Were any of the songs on the new album ones you’d written for the first one or have they all been written since then?

There was only one song, No Good For You, that we had done around the time of the first album but it was in the wrong key when we first recorded it, it was really high for me to sing that. If I was to sing that every night I’d burst a blood vessel. We’ve now brought the key down and changed the tempo and think it works so much better.

How do you go about the creative process?

We get together and write for a couple of days then I go away and write some lyrics then we rehearse the songs up and go into the studio and record them. We don’t mess about. We get it done quickly and never force anything. If something’s not working we just leave it. We’re all very open and honest with each other.

When you did the first album and again with this album you got producer Kevin Shirley in to work with you. How did you manage to snare just about the biggest name in production today to work with such a young band?

We were looking for someone to mix our album as we were wanting to pick up a gear and I remember the first time I heard the Black Country Communion album I thought it sounded incredible. It was so rich, deep and real. I just said to management to see if Kevin would work with us on the off chance as if you don’t ask you don’t get. Management sent him an email and he said yes. It was that simple really. I have no problem being cheeky.

What have you learned as musicians from him?

I learned not to mess about. He mixed the whole album in four days. I think that’s brilliant. He’s not a turd polisher. If an idea is no good or is not working, he’ll just say so. He’s very honest and doesn’t hide anything and that’s what we like. I like the fact that he’s worked with the best singers in the world from Steven Tyler, Glenn Hughes, Steve Perry and Bruce Dickinson, some of the greatest singers of all time. To hand over my raw vocal and have him work on them felt so comforting knowing that it’ll sound brilliant. He knows exactly what he’s doing.

What are your plans going into 2018?

We’re over to Europe after the UK shows then we’ll be working on our next album that we hope to have out towards the end of next year and we’ll spend the summer in festival season.

Inglorious start their UK tour on 30th September at The Uni Arts Centre, Pontypridd and runs until 20th October at the Electric Ballroom, London. See for more details.

Their latest album Inglorious II is out now on Frontiers Records.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.