Music video for Iconic’s Nowhere to Run.
Nathan James is one of those vocalists that has been making a lot of waves in recent years. A Hard Rock singer mostly known for his work with his main band, Inglorious, his powerful and charismatic voice has become quite popular in recent times and now he is spreading his wings even more with the Frontiers Records supergroup Iconic, featuring the likes of Joel Hoekstra, Michael Sweet, Tommy Aldridge and Marco Mendoza, but you can check out our review of their first single, Nowhere to Run, to know more about it.
I had the opportunity to do a quick interview with Nathan and we talked about a wide variety of topics, including the present and future of Inglorious, the nature of the Iconic project, the evolution of his singing and a lot of other stuff. Hopefully you will enjoy it.
Thank you for taking the time to do this, Nathan. Welcome to MusikHolics. How are things going with you right now?
Great, thank you. Very busy and it’s so nice to see a full diary after so long doing nothing.
After almost two years of the pandemic, how does it feel that things are slowly getting back to normal for musicians and people in general?
Great. It was slightly overwhelming at times, when we see full venues, festivals, etc. We are so ready to show everyone what we have been up to and I love being back on stage and seeing everyone. Enjoying music is very heart warming and emotional.
How much of an impact this situation had in your plans with Inglorious in recent times?
Well, we just kept busy the only way we could: in the studio. Getting three albums done during one pandemic is pretty good going, as far as I’m concerned.
Music video for Inglorious’ Messiah.
What can you tell us about the current state of Inglorious? What do you guys have in store for us in the near future after last’s year covers album?
Touring. We wanna go and see everyone and make sure people get to hear our new material live. Also we have started writing stuff for the next album, so will be recording that at some point. We also just bought out our first coffee… so maybe a few more unexpected things too.
Of course, now you’re making a lot of noise with your project, Iconic. How did that come to be?
Serafino from Frontiers Records wanted to put a project together with myself and Michael Sweet. He then put the rest of the line up together and here we are. I did the album last year and I am so happy with how it came out. It’s amazing to be on an album with all these legends.
So far we have only heard the first single, Nowhere to Run. What can you tell us about Iconic as a project? What can we expect?
The songs are really good. It has a sound that is reminiscent of the 80s Hard Rock times The playing is fantastic and it’s cool to have two singers on a couple of tracks; that gives it almost a Mark III Purple edge that I am obviously a big fan of. So, so happy to be involved and hoping that people love it.
I’m sure every band member can say something different when it comes to this question, but how would you say that this project differs with what you do with Inglorious?
The whole process was different. In Inglorious I am used to overseeing every decision, having the final say, etc. it’s my baby, but with this it’s very much a team effort under the eyes of Serafino. This was his idea and is his baby. I think he’s done a great job of putting it together.
Naturally, you have a lot of creative input with your own band, so my question is: Was there ever an issue of “too many cooks in the kitchen” during the recording of Iconic’s debut?
Not really. I co-wrote on two tunes. One is a single which is pretty cool. Everyone has their role to play. We all have our own opinions but we pretty much agree on everything. When you have respect it’s very easy to make things work and have open conversations.
Music video for Inglorious’ She Won’t Let You Go.
Of course, Aldridge, Mendoza and Hoelsktra have all worked in Whitesnake, so there’s that certain musical familiarity. How did you and Sweet join in the mix?
Pretty easy. It’s no secret I am a Whitesnake fan. So I’m genuinely just happy to be there. I’m also a huge fan of Mr. Sweet. He co-produced this and co-wrote every tune with Joel. We only all hung out when we did the videos but they turned out really well and we had a fun hang together in LA.
Speaking of Sweet, he’s a singer with Stryper as well. What can you tell us about the procedure of doing vocal harmonies together?
I did my vocals first so actually sung to the guide vocals which were the producer Alessandro, who is amazing. So I added mine to his and then Michael’s parts were done after me. He did a great job and is showing people just how incredibly ageless his voice is. It’s a masterclass to singers.
Actually, Michael himself said that this album has a lot of Blues influences, but, upon listening to Nowhere to Run, I felt that was something more along the lines of Priest and Maiden than, say, Purple or Zeppelin. At least guitar-wise. Would you agree with that assessment?
Maybe. It’s hard rock to me but some of the tunes have a lot of blues…you will hear that when the album comes out. I wrote the lyrics and melody to the final track, a shuffle called Enough of Your Love and that’s very bluesy.
The music video for Nowhere to Run is pretty cool, by the way! Congratulations for that. How was the process of making that video?
So fun. I spent a week in L.A and saw loads of friends. Went to the Rainbow, got drunk, made music videos, had an incredible time. It was more of a holiday than a work thing. So cool hanging with the guys, though, and hearing stories as you can imagine people like Tommy have incredible anecdotes.
Is Iconic a studio project or can we expect a tour when your schedules allow it?
I think we would love to do it live but it will be dependent on many things. Logistics of something like this are very tricky. But never say never.
Music video for Inglorious’ Until I Die.
You’re the youngest member of the band. Was there ever a sense of trepidation due to playing with musicians of this caliber and experience?
Yes, of course. It was scary but I had to tell myself they wouldn’t be doing it with me if they thought I was shit. I will use this as a learning experience as I do with everything. I am always growing and learning and who better to learn from than these legends. It’s nice being the baby, though. Doesn’t happen very often now.
Well, based on the only song I have heard so far, I think you’re doing quite a great job! Would you say that there are different vocal demands with Inglorious and Iconic?
Yeah. I’ve gone more straight ahead in my delivery. I was very conscious of not doing a Coverdale impression (laughs). When you hear Tommy’s drums it’s just such a natural thing to do. I tried to be as true to myself and my voice as I could be. I think the songs suit my voice and I’m glad you like it. The next few singles are pretty special, including a duet with Michael. It’s a real dream come true for a singer like me.
How would you describe your evolution as a vocalist throughout the years?
I’m getting a richer voice and enjoying all of my voice now, whereas before I used to only love singing high. And I am super happy that my voice is changing and as I said I like to learn. I wanna be better than I was yesterday. There’s till so much for me to achieve but I really am just happy that I have been able to use my voice to earn a living since I left school. That was always my dream.
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview, Nathan. Much appreciated! Any last words for our readers? Where can we follow you in social media and buy your music?
Our social media @weareinglorioius stream and buy the albums and spread the word. Tell your friends if you like something. It’s the old fashion way to making a band bigger. Cheers.