Inglorious - Birmingham, February 2016

British rock music is the envy of the world. For many decades our relatively small island has consistently produced bands who have led the way, who have been a shining light and in many examples who have even started revolutions. Of course, some of the biggest bands in the world are from across the Atlantic and beyond, but there is one prevailing fact: all those bands without a British passport will name check artists from Birmingham, London,  Glasgow, Cardiff - and many other places from the Land of Hope and Glory - as being a huge influence. One very satisfying observation is that this is true for every generation. The path to success for the highest achievers is also an interesting point to discuss. For some it may have been a slow burn whilst others may may have achieved everything they wanted and more overnight. But the end result is always the same: they leave an indelible mark in the history books of rock. What we often don't realise though is that the bands who will inspire the next generation are happening now. There are a number of new British bands beginning to break through, collectively creating a very exciting time for rock. But there is one band for whom things are rocketing and it is with a feeling of intense pride that we bring you Inglorious. Inglorious have yet to release their debut album but they are already possibly the most talked about band in the UK. Check out album tasters Until I Die, Breakaway and High Flying Gypsy and you will immediately see why. They are 5 incredibly gifted musicians: Nathan James (vocals), Andreas Eriksson (guitar), Wil Taylor (guitar), Colin Parkinson (bass) and Phil Beaver (drums) are perfect examples of those who have perfected their craft. The whole rock community is taking notice and this means Inglorious are in huge demand. It’s in the middle of this whirlwind, and before their Birmingham show opening for The Winery Dogs, that we catch up with frontman Nathan…

It’s clear that Inglorious are a band of incredible musicians and you've all been involved in other projects. How did the concept of Inglorious come together?

Through me really. I was recording an album which I originally was going to have as a solo record, and I had some amazing session players on there including Micky Moody from Whitesnake, Gus G from Ozzy and some of the best drummers in the UK including Craig Blundell whose playing for Steve Wilson. So it's a really great album but after I finished it and spent all my money I kind of went I actually want to front a band. So I put that to one side and started the search for a band. I really wanted to be a Robert Plant more than I wanted to be a Meatloaf.

You spent 3 years with the Trans Siberian Orchestra. How has your tenure with this hugely successful band prepared you for Inglorious?

It's prepared me a lot. It's taught me so much about touring and looking after yourself and about what's important: that the crowd have a good time. You're there for them, you're not there for yourself. Don't be selfish. And I had the opportunity to work with some great musicians and learn lots about songwriting from people like Al Pitrelli whose played for everyone. He's one of the most well-rounded musicians on the planet. I’ve learned that it's important to stay true to yourself as well because TSO was a great experience for me and I did love doing it but musically it was never how I wanted to sing and it was never really the music that I loved. So now I get a chance to do that.

You have appeared on the high profile shows The Voice and Superstar. Throughout these shows you consistently presented your passion and love for rock. What doors did these shows open for you and how does it feel now to be doing exactly what you set out to do: fronting your own rock band which even before you have released an album is possibly the most talked about new band?

It's amazing and I can guarantee that if I wasn't on television we wouldn't be the most talked about band around at the moment. It's totally contributed to everything that's happening to me and to the band. I was discovered by the Trans Siberia Orchestra because I was on TV. They flew me over for an audition as a result of me being on a TV show and, liking what they saw, signed me to a contract and I was there for 3 years. I performed to 80,000 people at the Wacken festival in Germany last year and I've done so many things because of them but most importantly, those TV shows gave me a fan base and that fan base has stayed with me, stuck with me. They’re so active on Twitter and they really are supportive. They come to all the shows and they’re helping spread the word. So I am so thankful for TV and I would never change a thing about it. If someone asked me if I would do it all again I would. It was the perfect opportunity.

Your new album isn't out until the end of February but you will no doubt have been playing tracks to the huge audiences when opening for The Winery Dogs and of course as part of the set list for your own headline shows. What have the audiences' reactions been to your debut's material?

Insane! I can't even believe it. We wrote the songs while I was out on tour with the Trans Siberian Orchestra and the boys were sending me demos over on WhatsApp, and we were writing songs that way for a while. It's just so strange that people are enjoying these songs when they don't even know them yet. People are singing along by the second chorus and they're joining in. It's just an amazing and wonderful experience. And it's also my writing debut this album. I've never written before and the last song, Unaware, on the album is, as of Monday, on Planet Rock's A play list.

‘The Future of Rock’ is a term which has been used to describe Inglorious, firstly by Planet Rock, but it's gaining momentum amongst the rock press. Why do you think the rock community feels this way and how comfortable are you with this label?

Obviously it's hugely flattering and an amazing thing to be called but I think what people are understanding is that we've really practiced. We've all individually mastered our own instruments. I've had singing lessons for the last 11 years or so. This is all I want to do. I've given up the Trans Siberian Orchestra which was for me a huge stint. It gave me a very comfortable lifestyle for 3 years. I've sacked that in to fully commit to the band. This is a real band and we work and strive to be better everyday, and we get out on stage and give it our all. We play live and not a lot of people are doing that any more. We recorded our album live, we don't use click tracks live. We sing, we play, we give people a show and that's what it's about. I think there has been a distinct lack of that the last 10 years or so.

February UK tour

Let's talk about your self-titled debut album which will be released on 19th February. You took a very low-tech approach to its recording and chose to record simultaneously as a band as opposed to each member recording their tracks separately. How will the fans recognise the success of this approach in the overall sound of the album?

You should sing it like you do at a live gig. It should make you move more. Our drummer and bass player have been playing together for 17 years so you won't find a tighter rhythm section. They are one. It's real. People are so used to hearing auto-tuned vocals and doubled guitars that it will sound different. It's not over processed. This is how it sounded back in the day. This is how it sounded when people were good enough to play their instruments to a high enough standard. This is why we've done it this way. We're not hiding anything. It's not a perfect album by any means but it's real and I think that it's important to be authentic.

You have a February tour with The Winery Dogs followed by your own headline tour later in the month. After being together for 2 years how excited are you to be at this point – releasing a much anticipated debut album and getting out there to perform the songs you all wrote collectively as a band? 

We cannot wait. Honestly, it's all I've wanted for a long time but unfortunately things get in the way of that. You have to earn money sometimes and you have to do things you don’t necessarily want to do whereas now we've all taken a big leap of faith. We believe so much in this album and this band that we’re all going gung-ho and we’re gonna make sure people hear it and love it. I’m also excited for people to hear us live at gigs because the reception we have been having so far on The Winery Dogs tour has been incredible. People don't know these songs and there just going absolutely insane to them. They absolutely love them so it will be good when people can hear the album and they'll hopefully come and see a show and they won't leave disappointed, because it's the same thing. We tracked the album live, we play live.

Finally, what does inglorious’ calendar look like for the rest of 2016?

We've booked quite a few festivals and there are still more coming in that I think we would have missed out on actually but due to the buzz people are booking us last minute for a couple of great festivals. So we're going to try to do some nice big shows and look at doing a tour somewhere later in the year, and also, most important to us, we're gonna write another album. We want to get to the stage where we can do a gig and not have to play a cover. We've definitely got more material in us. We wrote 30 songs for the debut album and were hopefully gonna write another 30 for the second album. We're looking forward to getting back in the studio and giving people some more songs.

As Nathan leaves us to prepare for tonight's show, we reflect on how well deserved the huge media spotlight is that shines over Inglorious. It may seem like they appeared following a huge explosion but what we need to remember is that the band have worked tirelessly over the last 2 years to create music and a show that is truly world class. Their commitment to delivering music of the highest standard is inspiring. Don't take our word for it. Check out their video for Until I Die and see the magic for yourself.

Inglorious’ self-titled debut album is out on 19th February and can be pre-ordered from their website