Jared James Nichols is getting ready to unleash his forthcoming studio album Black Magic and today previews the first single “Last Chance” from his eagerly anticipated release.

Following last year’s European tour with Zakk Wylde, and UK tour with Walter Trout, Wisconsin-bred guitarist Jared James Nichols returns to the UK on 21st June for a series of club dates and festival appearances in June and July, including Ramblin’ Man Fair (29 July) and Steelhouse Festival (30 July).

National Rock Review recently caught up with Jared James Nichols to talk about his new single, his forthcoming UK tour and what it was like to tour the world with Zakk Wylde.

NRR: You are just about to release your new single “Last Chance” from your forthcoming album Black Magic, could you tell us a little bit about it and the inspiration behind it?
Jared: It’s no secret I love the blues. I was drawn to this music at an early age. I spent years soaking up all the classic records from Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, and Howlin’ Wolf. We all know originally ‘the blues’ was named the ‘devils music’ and looked down on. If that’s the case, then I look at it as being a student. I’m practicing the BLACK MAGIC of the blues. Mixing the things I love about blues and rock music and putting it together in my own interpretation.

NRR: You’ve also got a UK tour coming up including shows with Blue Oyster Cult, UFO and some headline/festival shows as well. It seems like the UK has really accepted you since you first arrived here. You must be really happy about the response you’ve received from the UK?
Jared: Absolutely! I love being in the U.K. Like I’ve said in the past, it just keeps getting better every time I come. Audiences here are passionate, they have a real understanding of the music. It’s very exciting and inspiring to come over to the U.K. I always give it hell! I draw influence from so much British music, it’s unreal.
NRR: We’ve been fortunate enough to see you perform in the Newcastle area in recent times with the likes of Glenn Hughes, Walter Trout and Scorpion Child and you are going to be returning with Blue Oyster Cult at the Northumbria Institute on the 26th June. Do you enjoy performing in the North East of England?
Jared: It’s always been a blast! Like I mentioned before, audiences here are truly something special. To be back in the north-east with Blue Oyster Cult is mind-blowing for me. I’ve always been a huge fan of the band, these shows will definitely be electric.
NRR: What’s your favourite track to perform live and why?
Jared: Every night is different. I always try to connect with the audience and feel what they are into. Sometimes, it’s a slow blues number, or times is some crazy up-tempo rocker. To be honest, I usually pull out all the stops every time I get on stage. It’s an amazing feeling to travel so far from home and be able to play such inspiring shows. I tend to go a little WILD.
NRR: Each time I’ve seen you perform live during your set you have played a few covers, including the likes of “Rock and Roll Hoochie Coo” and “Mississippi Queen”. Even on your last album you’ve got Robert Johnson’s “Come into My Kitchen”. I just wondered if you could choose any artist to cover one of your songs, which song and artist would you choose.
Jared: That’s a tough one. I’d be flattered for anyone to cover anything I’ve written. For someone more famous and well known… how about Leslie West or Eric Clapton?? A guy can dream, right?? HA!
NRR: Some of the first tracks I heard from you were the live tracks you recorded at The Viper Rooms. That venue obviously has a lot of history, what do you remember about those early recordings?
Jared: Those are fond recordings for me. It was the absolute beginning of becoming an artist and fronting my own trio. Playing at The Viper Room was nuts, I was so nervous and excited! Talk about a venue with history…Plus, I had only been singing seriously at that point for a few months! I’m so glad that EP exists as an absolute start of to my career.
NRR: The first time I saw you live in Newcastle, you reminded me of a young Zakk Wylde. I saw Zakk play when he used to be in a band called Pride and Glory and you remind me a lot of that sort of era of his career. I know you toured with Zakk last year, what was that experience like for you?
Jared: I love Zakk. He is a close friend, and such an inspiration for me as a guitar player and bandleader. That for me was like ‘Tour BootCamp 101’ We toured all over the world together. It was an absolute dream come true.
NRR: As a trio the band seems very tight. I was just wondering how long have you been together and how did you all meet?
Jared: I met Erik and Dennis shortly after I moved to Los Angeles in early 2011. I wanted to start my own trio and was looking for a rhythm section. I met Erik, asked him if he wanted to jam, and if he knew a drummer. He told me about Dennis and I said to hit him up. We met and started jamming a few days later. Flash forward to over 6 years later we are still going strong!!! They are awesome players and great guys. I’m very lucky to have them!
NRR: What’s the one album in your record collection that you couldn’t live without?
Jared: Mountain – Climbing! This record to me is like the ‘Holy Grail’ of Blues/Rock. Leslie West is one of my biggest heroes. I really connected with this album and have based most of my approach off of it.
NRR: What else do you have in store for the rest of this year?
Jared: Well besides the new record?! We will back in the U.K. at the end of July to support UFO, play Ramblin’ Man Fair, and SteelHouse Festival. I can’t wait! This Fall, we will he doing a second tour of America/Canada with UFO and SAXON.

Jared’s new single “Last Chance” is available to purchase on digital download from Fri 16th June via Amazon.

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Header photo: Adam Kennedy

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.