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    Tags: Jared_James_Nichols, Black_Magic, Sarah_O'Hara

    Catching up with Jared James Nichols...

    Photograph (C) Chris Cuffaro


    Following the release of his incredible album Black Magic, we spoke to Jared James Nicols to talk about the albums that inspired him, blues rock and performing alongside his musical heroes...


    The riffs and vocals on 'End of time' (from the album Black Magic) grab hold of my imagination and set my pulse racing! For you, have there been any albums or songs that you have heard, which made you feel the same way?

    Totally! Honestly, all of my favourite albums grab me like this. It’s what keeps my musical fire burning! The first time I heard ‘Mississippi Queen’ I had that feeling. It was the same when I heard Jimi Hendrix rip into ‘Voodoo Chile’ I’ll never forget those moments.



    Do you have a favourite song on the album? If so, which song and why?

    It changes from day to day! I think each song brings up a different feeling inside of me. I get very emotional with this kind of music and playing guitar in general. It’s funny, this record on my shows all of my shades, I love it.


    As a guitarist myself, I love that moment when you develop a riff and play it for the first time. For yourself and the band, what the process of writing the album? 

    It’s just like you said, it all starts with THE RIFF.  I generally come up with everything I do off-the-cuff, I’ve always had a hard time sitting down and writing songs. It always felt so structured and safe. My most exciting moments are when I am on the edge of something really good, but also could fall off the rails at any time. There’s a beauty in that kind of playing, writing and playing like that makes the music feel alive.


    Photograph (C) Adam Kennedy




    Guitars aside, your vocals - wow! They're classical blues rock. The feeling of blues rock and the soul in blues rock is something that you have spoken about previously. For you, can you describe the feeling of blues rock and how it makes you feel?

    It’s everything to me. I want to live it, breathe it, and be as close to the music as I can. The vocals took a long time to develop, just like my guitar playing! It is a work in progress, ever-changing and growing daily. Blues rock means freedom. There are no rules, it is up to you to express yourself freely.




    Track 5 of the album, 'Home', is one of my favourites. Although you have taken influence from southern rock, has your music also taken influence from your home of Wisconsin and where you are now based in LA?

    Absolutely, I grew up in the country in Wisconsin. Now I live in the bustle of Los Angeles. I have taken so much from my roots and developed it in LA. I am so fortunate to have grown up the way I did, raised up and learned what hard work was from a young age. Besides blues, southern rock has had a massive impact on me.


    You've worked with lots of incredible people including Eddie Kramer and Tony Perry and have also supported Glenn Hughes and Walter Trout on tour. As a musician, what are your fondest memories of working/supporting them on tour and why?

    I already have an unbelievable amount of memories from reporting and touring with such legends. The biggest thing I took from all of it was that you need to be real and be yourself. I also learned how to be a professional, and how to bring it night after night and song after song. It is a humbling experience and I feel fortunate to have had such experiences with my musical heroes. Sometimes I think about it all and can’t honestly believe it’s true!


    What advice would you give to other aspiring guitarists?

    Have fun! It’s one of the coolest things in the world to play guitar.  Play what you want to play!



    Can you sum up the album 'Black magic' in three words?




    Black Magic by Jared James Nicols is available now. 

    By Sarah O' Hara



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