Nashville-based artist and Gibson brand ambassador Jared James Nichols releases third full-length self-titled album Jared James Nichols, a superb and smooth rock collection that will surely leave an impression. The musical composition throughout the entire lay out is brutal, honest, and wild. The music content, lyrics and sound are deeply visual experiences that transcend into the darker corners of one’s existence, life’s inner struggles and truths. Songs such as “Out of Time” and “Saint or Fool” are touchstones to what we can expect from the album.
It’s extremely raw and one can visualize his intentions in the music.
Jared James Nichols explores rock and blues-inspired sound, as demonstrated by the songs “Down The Drain” and “Hard Wired” with heavy-riffed hits that hit harder than most. Jared James is world-renowned for his pick-less style of playing and multitudes of awards for his craft that has perfected and is unmatched. He’s toured across the globe and shared the stage with the biggest acts in the industry such as Steve Vai, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Label Society, and ZZ Top and more.
I was able to get a little time to chat with this stunning human and phenomenal musician, we discussed music and how he was inspired to follow this path in life.
When did you get together with your band? And how long have y’all been together?
- Jared: I met Dennis Holm, the drummer, right when I moved to Los Angeles in 2011. He was one of the first guys I jammed with, and we have literally been playing together ever since. Dennis is originally from Sweden and he had moved to Los Angeles to pursue music, so we met at the perfect time. Diego, the bass player, is relatively fresh to the band. I met him while being a guest instructor at a Paul Gilbert guitar camp. I was blown away with his attitude and playing, I asked him if he would like to go on the road, and we’ve been playing together ever since.
Where are you from and did this help influence your music?
- I grew up in Wisconsin. I was born in the same town as Les Paul, and was raised in the town where Stevie Ray Vaughan passed away. I think that it helped influence my music tremendously. I’ve been in love with the Les Paul guitar ever since I can remember, and it’s my main instrument of choice. Stevie Ray Vaughan is one of my biggest influences ever. Also, being from the countryside, I had plenty of time to dig in and practice as a kid, which ultimately solidified the fire that I wanted to be a musician.
What songs do you love to perform and can you tell us what the songs are about?
- “Down The Drain” this is my current single from my new self-titled record. I love playing this song because it has a ton of dynamics and is so much fun to play live. Between the main riff, the whisper of the verses, and the heavy solo, it’s just a blast! “Shadow Dancer”, this is a cool song to play because it feels mysterious and spooky. I really love to throw myself completely into the performance of this one, vocally and on the guitar. It’s one of the only songs that I have that has psychedelic moments and spacey sounds, which is awesome!
- “Mississippi Queen”: I love tearing up this cover, it’s one of my favorite songs ever. Whenever we launch into this, it’s like a stick of dynamite. This is one of those songs that either we can throw in right at the end to give the audience a taste of something they know and love, or we extend it and jam on it for as long as we want!
Tell us about your latest album.
- I always wanted to make a record that served as a menu for my live show. That’s exactly what we did with this one. We went into Blackbird Studios in Nashville Tennessee, and tracked altogether in the room, straight to tape, then overdubbed my vocals. This record feels exciting, raw, and urgent. We didn’t use any computers or metronomes. Song wise, it’s my deepest batch of songs, yet. I really dug deep to bring out the best I could.
What do you love about touring?
- I love meeting and playing for music lovers all over the world. When we are on tour, every single day is an adventure. It’s so awesome to be able to travel and spread my music all over the world. Also, being able to see the world with a guitar in my hands is one of the coolest things I can imagine.
What’s the most difficult time or struggles in your life?
- One of the most difficult struggles in my life was breaking my arm about 15 months ago. I was very scared that I was going to have a hard time playing guitar again, if ever. Thankfully, I was able to fully recover from the incident, but it was very scary. My whole guitar playing life flashed before my eyes.
Who would you like to tour with?
- There’s so many! Rival Sons, Greta Van Fleet, Gov’t Mule, Blackberry Smoke, the list goes on, and on! I would love to do shows with Guns N’ Roses, or even AC/DC!
Any crazy tour/scary close calls show stories? Ghost stories?
- So many! I do have a ghost story! We were playing in Norwich, UK, and staying at a friend’s house after the show. We arrived around 2AM to his house, which was in the middle of the English countryside. Dennis and I immediately jumped out of the van because we had to pee. So, we went to the corner of the woods and started to relieve ourselves…lol. I started to tell him a joke when all the sudden about 10 feet away from us came a very loud demonic laugh for about five seconds, we both looked at each other, and we were beyond scared. We still don’t know what that was, but it was one of the scariest things that ever happened to us. Truly!
What music do you get inspiration from? Favorite bands or music?
- Honestly, all types. I try and listen to everything and find inspiration from anything that I can. Even just recently, I was getting into a ton of funk music, really vibing on that style. I used to be more specific, but now I try and listen to everything.
Where do you plan to tour next?
- With the upcoming release of my album, I plan on touring all over the world. I really want to go everywhere that I’ve been able to go already, but also some new territories like South America, Australia, and even more in eastern Europe. I plan on going everywhere!
Can you elaborate on your perspective as a musician in this insane music industry?
- You must adapt and overcome. Anything that can possibly go wrong will go wrong! You must trust your gut and follow your own path. I don’t believe any plans until I’m literally doing them. Talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words.
What are the best shows you’ve played or best bands you’ve shared the stage with?
- I’ve been lucky to tour with a bunch of awesome bands. Everyone from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Black Label Society to ZZ Top. Some of my favorite moments on stage would have to be jamming arenas with Lynyrd Skynyrd or playing insane shows to packed clubs all across Spain. Big or small, it’s all about the energy in the room.
Jared James Nichols is far beyond the level of most musicians but more importantly he follows his own path in life, he’s devoted to his passion for music, and I am now one of his biggest fans.