UK-based band Inglorious has been through a lot of trouble the past few months. After their new album “Ride to Nowhere” was released, three of five band members quit on one day. Some time passed and Inglorious was back with a new line-up. In January and February they have been touring UK, Germany and France (our review from Cologne) and delivering an awesome show. Inglorious are not on a “Ride to Nowhere”, they are on a “Ride to the Top”. We talked with singer Nathan James about the plans for 2019, about bullying via social media and his dream of being a Rock’n’Roll farmer!
You’ve been touring during the past weeks with the new line-up, are you satisfied with the results? How was audience’s reaction to the new guys?
They loved the shows and were so welcoming to the new guys, who obviously felt a little bit of pressure coming into the band and being the first people to play this new material live. Ultimately we are all happy and all loved the shows and recent tour.
If one followed a few other interviews during the past few weeks, the departure of Colin, Drew and Andreas came very surprising to you too, not only for the fans. May I ask how they told you that they leave and how it felt in that moment?
It was done via email by one and the rest were contacted after. I was gutted, I’m not a robot. felt betrayed that they had been planning it and I was also confused because we are doing so well and just made a great 3rd album. To throw 5 years work away, it’s a shame. Although we are still going strong and the new line up have proved that.
You are very open to Instagram, Twitter & Co and your fans love it, but it also makes you a target to haters. After the departure of Drew, Colin and Andreas it was horrible how people attacked you and also Danny after he was announced as new guitar player. I can imagine this was a very rough time, so have you considered to shut all the channels down for a while & stop showing so much of yourself? I mean, no matter how thick a skin you grow, it hurts & shocks how horrible people can be about stuff they haven’t been included in.
Of course it*s hard. One thing I really struggle with is that rock fans, especially in the UK, are always wanting to jump down people’s throats if they make one bad move or mistake. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t made a mistake… The rock world is always crying out for talent and we are constantly having to fight the entire “rock is dead” brigade of ageing rockstars and music execs. My band came along and made a stir in the UK rock scene and people should be supportive of good new music and also characters that people are complaining the rock world is missing. Celebrate hard work and skill instead of mediocrity. If this had happened throughout our journey, maybe 3 members wouldn’t have left. We ALL worked hard and sacrificed a lot. The pressure of being in a new band is unbelievable and sometimes it’s too much when you don’t feel like you are getting the support you deserve. From the press, “fans”, radio, other bands. In regards to the comments I read about Danny and myself, they were awful and it gave me very little faith in the rock community. No wonder “rock is dead”. On a serious note, if my skin was less thick, then it could have been a very different story and I don’t think people understand how damaging their words can be.
All I want to do is make music and share my talent. We in the UK have a lot more to be worried about at the moment…
Now with a bit of distance to all that happened, are you looking ahead to a bright future with your new band members?
Yes, the festivals this summer are gonna be wild. I’m excited to see the new guys in these big stages. I remember our first outdoor festival… it was download encore stage? 2nd band on… a few mistakes and issues but the 30 minutes flew by and felt incredible. With this line up its gonna be a lot of fun. I really love the new guys and want them to have these amazing experiences.
I think Danny Dela Cruz is already a friend of yours for a couple of years, how do you feel about playing with him and how did you choose the two other guys? Where they your friends too?
I adore Danny as a person and a guitar player he reminds me of all my favourite guitarists, and if Danny was 18 when I started this band, he would have been in it. I know Dan from Metalworkz in London and he is so good and such a nice guy to tour with. I was suggested Vinnie by another musician and after hearing him play the songs, I knew he was the right guy. We laughed the entire tour and I love them.
Picture: Nedim Nazerali
“Ride to Nowhere” is the title of the new album. Why this title? I don’t think you want a “Ride to Nowhere” with your band, I would rather say a “Ride to the top” still after the Line-up change.
Thanks! The reason I chose this is because after my grandfather died I had a real struggle with my own morality and realised that the only thing we leave behind is family and art/music. The artwork suggests not the end though… but just the unknown. Which is terrifying and exciting. Much like the fans may have felt about this new era of the band.
You mentioned many times that the lyrics to the new album are the most personal ones so far, you had a rough year with your grandpa and a good friend dying, an ending relationship, with moving away from your friends to fulfill your dream of a farmer’s life, that all inspired you to the lyrics of the album I guess? Which good things happened in the past year, if you recall it? I mean fulfilling your dream must have made you very proud on yourself?
Yeh…with great sorrow comes great emotion. I had never had some of these feelings before so it was very scary to be this honest. I love my new life in Devon. I adore my animals and I feel I now have the perfect balance between music and real life. It’s keeping me sane…ish.
Did you express the good things in the lyrics to, or is it the case that we just tend to write lyrics about the bad things that happen as some kind of a therapy?
It’s totally therapy for me, honesty in writing is important… you can hear the difference.
In our last interview you said your biggest dream is to own a farm with lots of animals, now only two years later, that dream came true. It seems like you are really a person who’s aiming to reach his goals?
Haha, yeh. I don’t always get what I want, obviously… but I can honestly say I needed these animals. They get me up out of bed before sunrise. They give me love and I do think its a great distraction from what I have been dealing with the last year. I am not unfocused on the band, but I am realising there is more to life.
How does a normal day for you look like if you are not touring?
First coffee, let the animals out, feed them, go to the health club for a swim, come back, go beach, see friends, cook fresh food… usually involves eggs as I get about 20 a day from my hens and ducks, have dinner with family, animals to bed, pub, sleep. Repeat.
You own dogs, chicken, ducks, guinea fowls, quail, a royal python, three pigs, 2-3 Rheas and a pet sheep named Georgia, next one will be alpacas you mentioned, do you already have more plans for animals or what is on next?
I have 5 alpacas now and we are going to breed our 2 females, so this time next year we will have 2 little babies as well!!! Next on my list is goats, I had goats as a kid and I love them, such characters. I also have peacocks now which I have name Ziggy, Freddie and Elton.
When moving to Devon, which is about a 4 hours drive from London, you left all your friends and also a part of your family which means a lot to you behind. How was it to leave this behind & how where your friends reactions to it? Did they understand? I guess for most London youngster party people, a farm live doesn’t sound too fancy.
I sound like I am old man but I have done it… I have lived the party lifestyle for too long and feel lucky to have escaped it. My friends don’t understand it until they come down here and see just how beautiful it is and after they have had one of my fresh eggs from my chickies, they fully understand haha. My best mate was moving away as well, so it kinda made it a good thing. I drive, trains are good, so if I want to go back and party I can… but I prefer an early night and miss my babies when I go away
You turned 30 last summer, do you have the feeling that something changed for you? First midlife crisis? Ticking clock?
Haha yes. I had a big festival type BBQ party for my 30th and after it I did have a moment of panic… I felt I hadn’t achieved enough but a couple of weeks later I was rehearsing for the War of the Worlds arena tour and I was like… I’m doing ok, I’m healthy and lucky and I still love singing.
If you think back to your younger years, let’s say half of your age now, did you expect to be at this point of your life with 30 or did you imagine it totally differently?
This was pretty much my dream.
Earning enough from music to live and not get a “proper job” and being surrounded by animals and fields.
You invited some of your fans to your new home to have a birthday party and then you also did a Christmas party which already became some kind of tradition now. Do you have plans of doing this every year to give the fans a possibility to meet you?
Yeh, it’s so much fun for me to plan and make it special. In a world that’s not always lovely and fun I try to do these things to give me and my fans something to look forward to… there is so much doom and gloom nowadays, it’s good to have something to look forward too.
Do you have other plans for special events on your farm? A Nathan James Festival or summer music camp maybe?
I want to do inglori-fest… watch this space.
Also planning song writing weekends for young bands and singing workshops.
You have a very close relationship to your parents, so the song “Queen” is dedicated to your Mom, you mentioned once that she didn’t even know about is; does she know by now and how was her reaction to it?
She had no idea, I was worried she wouldn’t like it but I think she does, haha. It’s amazing to me that I can write songs for people that I love… it’s to me the ultimate way of honouring someone.
In a interview with Planet Rock you described yourself as a passionate, emotional, honest and fiercely loyal person. On your new album one topic is cheating that appears in a couple of songs and also in the “I don’t know you” video. So does your loyalty also count for your relationships, because one would think a Rockstar’s life means having a lover in every other town with the saying “what happens on tour, stays on tour”, what do you think about it?
Hardest question to answer in this interview. I’m no saint but I would find it very hard to have a lover in EVERY town hahhaa. After a show I want a shower, cuppa lemon tea and 8 hours sleep. I think we never know about people’s situations so we shouldn’t judge. I think everyone should mind their own business a bit more in general when it comes to matters of this nature.
Your parents have been married since 30+ years, is your parents’ long lasting marriage something you want for yourself?
Of course. my parents are my heroes. I’ve said many times how proud I am of them. They have worked hard together and created an incredible life and empire for me and my siblings. I want what they have, and if I achieve what they have I will be very proud.
2019 just kicked off, how does your perfect year look like? What plans do you have?
Going to New York for a gig with my friend Chloe Lowery, who’s album I sang on, festival season is gonna be good, more touring, acoustic shows, writing…
Thank you so much for answering all these questions, I just had to know it all? And good luck with “Ride to Nowhere”. All the best
Thank you very much.