Jared James Nichols – Casting Spells
When the guitar whirlwind first visited the UK to tour a couple of years ago, he kindly answered a set of customised questions. With his imminent return and pending Black Magic album we offered Jared some further questions. We hope you enjoy his entertaining thoughts and responses…
Please identify your original home town and then describe it for us in five words….?
East Troy, Wisconsin. Cows, cheese, farms, beer, tractors!
James Brown, Jimmy Vaughan or Homesick James? Do say something about each artist if you wish or mention any favourite songs…
James Brown makes you feel good, so much funk I can smell it! Jimmy Vaughan is the embodiment of ‘Texas Blues’ BLOODLINE?! (SRV) Homesick James is the slide guitar master. His cover of ‘Stones in my Passway’ gives me the chills.
Musical instruments – any current stage work favourites/reliables?
I love my single pickup Les Paul Customs. Always sound amazing and totally reliable. I feel very inspired when I play them. Recently I got a 1968 Fuzz-Face pedal that I’m obsessed with. It’s THAT Hendrix and Cream tone..
Which cinema film has the best introductory music and why?
I’d have to say, Pink Panther or Pulp Fiction! Both have amazing intro music.
You get to duet on a recording with Beth Hart – which song do you suggest for the project? And what sort of arrangement / tempo would you go for?
That would be amazing. I would love to do a slow blues burner. I’d say ‘Night Life’ by B.B. King. I could just imagine how we could tear it up.
Name a great record – any artist, any genre – with a great keyboard intro…and is there anything else you like about the recording?
Riders on the Storm. It’s such an amazing vibe. Perfectly sets up the tune. This song itself is perfect. An amazing fusion of almost Jazz and Rock.
Is there an album you can listen to all the way through in its intended sequence?
(artist / album)
Number one in my book would be ‘Dark Side of the Moon.’ I couldn’t even tell you how many times I’ve played this record over and over again.
Can you dance? Do your relatives think you can dance?
I think I can dance a little! But then again, my relatives might say otherwise. ha!
Which artist did you perhaps go to or happen to see without any great enthusiasm, but found that they impressed you? And why?
This happens to me all the time. Last one I can remember is ‘Chicago’ I went to a Fourth of July fireworks show last year and they were playing. It’s funny when you see a band and hear all the hits you forgot about! Great musicianship and showmanship. It was exceptional.
Two free tickets arrive for a concert – who would be on your wishlist (that you have not seen before!)…..and choose an opening act, too
I would love to see The Rolling Stones with Paul McCartney as the opener. Wait, does that bill even make sense??! Ahh, who cares, that would be unreal.
When composing do the lyrics arrive before the melody / chords?
Mainly it’s the melody first. I tend to always start with the guitar. When writing, it’s usually very off the cuff and whatever just feels good. I try to keep it fresh and simple. A riff, a beat, a lyric. That’s it.
The radio is playing – what song would make you go over and turn up the volume? And which song would you run to turn OFF??
Volume up for Mississippi Queen or Frankenstein! I’d turn it off if any ‘new country’ or rap that comes on. I have a hard time with those two ‘music’ genres…
Name your favourite David Bowie song – why do you rate it?
I love ‘Lets Dance’ mainly because it has one of my biggest guitar heroes ‘Stevie Ray Vaughan’ playing lead.
Name two albums by any artists that impress you with their artwork
Cream ‘Wheels of Fire’ , ‘Disraeli Gears’ or Lynyrd Skynyrd ‘One More From the Road’
Which recording by any artist, any genre makes – in your opinion – best use of a horn arrangement
‘Touch Me’ by The Doors. I recently heard the isolated horn parts and it was unreal. The horns with Jim Morrison’s vocal could stand up as an amazing tune in its own.
Bonnie Raitt offers to play slide guitar on one of your recordings – which ‘own’ song or chosen song do you go for?
I’d love to hear her play slide on my original tune ‘Now or Never’ That would be ridiculous.
Have you ever gone the Talent Show route? Even locally? – What was the result?
When I was young I used to have fun and play ‘Battle of the Bands’ with friends. I actually did pretty well! It is laughable now though! We won a few cool first place prizes and we were the kings of school!
Name a recording – any artist, any genre – that fades away too soon for you..i e you just don’t want it to end…
Albert King ‘I’ll Play the Blues for You.’ Even though it is an already 7+ minute song, it ends with some seriously amazing guitar work. I could listen to him riff out forever!
Feature Image Photo Credit: Jim Donnelly
Additional Photo Credits (Top to Bottom): John Bull/Rockrpix, Laurence Harvey and Chris Cuffaro
Jared James Nichols’ new single ‘Last Chance’ is out now on Listenable Records and available to download on Amazon UK
In addition, his new studio album ‘Black Magic’ will be released in September 2017 also on Listenable Records and he will be touring the UK in June/July 2017. You can read more and find the dates here: http://bit.ly/2t69vAA