Med mindre än 24 timmar kvar till årets festival fortsätter vi med Rocknytts intervjuserie ”Inför Sweden Rock 2019” vidare. Näst på tur är Jared James Nichols som Rocknytts Diane Webb fick ställa några frågor till.
Gitarristen Jared James Nichols från Wisconsin är ett av de hetaste namnen inom nutida bluesrock. Sedan 2010 har han hunnit bilda sin egen powertrio, vinna otaliga priser för sitt gitarrspel och öppna för ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Glenn Hughes, Walter Trout, Saxon, UFO, med flera. Han har också utgett två album, senast “Black magic” (2018) som mötts av ytterligare hyllningar från gitarr- och rockentusiaster och till soundet liknar hjältar som Cream och Mountain.
You’re doing Sweden Rock Festival, the biggest rock festival in all of Sweden. How did that happen for you guys, and is this your first time playing it?
– I think there was a drawing, and they said if there’s a band that wants … I’m just joking. Yeah, this is our first time at Sweden Rock. I’m so excited about it. It’s funny, because Dennis Holm, our drummer, my drummer, he’s actually from right outside of Gothenburg, and he would always say to me, oh man, Sweden Rock, Sweden Rock, Sweden Rock, right? And I was like, “Yeah, must be a really big deal.” But it would just come up in a conversation and then go away. And a few months ago when I got the call and found out we were actually booked at Sweden Rock and I hit him up, it was like, what? I am so excited to go play there, because Sweden and Scandinavia and that whole market is such a market I really want to bring the blues power to.
I really want to go there, and I know how much music and rock and roll, guitars, and how important it is there, and I would love to be there to do my thing, and I think Sweden Rock is the best opportunity to break into that market.
Is this your first time performing in Sweden?
– This is not, we actually performed a few shows in Sweden, but they were very small club shows. It was like the beginning of 2015, my first time over to Sweden, but this will be our first time back in Sweden in a long time, so yeah, it’s going to be great.
What expectations do you have for you guys for Sweden Rock?
– The expectations that I hold for Sweden Rock is, I just want to go over there and blow people away. I just want to go and have people, you know, I want to leave a mark. That is my thing. I want to go and just set the precedent and raise the bar, and show people hey, we’re here, and we’re going to come back again and again and just keep it flowing, and yeah, Sweden Rock, it’s an institution, right? So as far as Europe festivals go, it’s going to be another notch in that belt, which is an honor.
What can fans expect from your gig?
– Oh man, it’s going to be high energy. We’re coming in swinging. I’m going to leave it all on the stage for Sweden Rock. It’s one of those gigs that a lot of people, myself included, it’s such a big gig, it’s like a bucket lister, a dream gig, right? So I don’t take that lightly, I’m going to go in there and give it all I got. I’m not going to waste any time, I don’t want to small talk anyone, I just want to go out there and kick ass.
There is no small stage at Sweden Rock. Even their small stage is not a small stage, and that’s the glory of Sweden Rock.
– Yeah, that’s the best part. I know, and it holds a lot of weight to even be on the bill, so for me, I’m going to go one up that and just kick it straight in the ass.
For the fans of Sweden Rock that are going to see your show, and fans that have never seen you before, how would you describe your music to them?
– I would describe it … I grew up playing a lot of blues. It was really, really blues-based guitar music. And I’d studied that coming from the classics like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter, and using that kind of vibe and inspiration to form my own blues rock trio. And what I’ve done is I’ve taken a lot of that blues flair and that soul behind it that I love, and I’ve incorporated it with more of a hard edge sound that’s just a little more pushing towards that real hard rock sound. And I credit a lot of bands like as wide as Mountain and Cream to Pantera to all these different influences, and I mix it up, and I call my whole brand blues power, which to me is just taking what I love from the blues and hitting it with a punch. And honestly, all I’m trying to do is breathe a big old fireball into the music I love and bring it to now. Not try and get what was behind us or something from the past, just bring the music I love in right now.
I’ve seen your live show, you’ve got the hair flipping and you’re all over the place and you’re spinning around, and it’s just- … magnetic.
– Yeah, I turn into an animal onstage, and I just love it, because it’s like I found out that the only way I could be true to myself and true to my music was to just let go and to just do what felt right. And it’s funny, a lot of people say, “Oh man, I’ve listened to your records or I’ve seen you online,” they say, “But when you see it live, that’s when it’s there.” So for me, that’s quite an honor, and that means a ton, so it’s really exciting.
What’s your favorite song to perform live?
– I have a few, it actually changes every night, right? We’re doing songs, I have two records out. The new record or the newer record’s called Black Magic, right? And we have a few songs off there, Don’t Be Scared and Last Chance, those are really fun for me to play, and they’re great live energy songs. And we’re writing right now for a new record, and we’re kind of road testing some songs, and it’s cool to see some of the reaction on some of the new ones. You can tell which ones are the winners and which ones people are like, “That’s good, but you know … ” So Don’t Be Scared, Last Chance. I don’t really do many covers, but I do do one at the end of the set, Mississippi Queen, which is one of my favorite songs, and I love ripping into that. That one’s super sick. The whole show for me is such a monumental thing, it’s like a movie. I just, every single part for me is so important. The whole show is really to me just … I don’t know, I just try and nail it every night.
Aside from Sweden Rock while you’re in Sweden, do you have other shows, or what have you guys got going on?
– Yeah, so what we’re going to do is we’ll stay in Sweden, I’ll do some clinics for my new signature Epiphone guitar and Blackstar Amps, we’ll do some clinics at some music stores. I think we’ll be doing some club dates, that’ll be announced soon, but then what’s going to happen two weeks after Sweden Rock is we head to Switzerland for Rock the Ring, Rock the Ring, and we’re on the main stage there with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Def Leppard, and it’s crazy. I’m just so honored, excited. It’s one of those things too where we sit here and we talk about it, and that’s cool, but then when I get there, it’s like you’re at your birthday party and you’re like, oh my God. It’s actually happening. You know? So that’s happening a few weeks after that. And then we’ll go home for a minute, but as far as the Europe stuff goes, then we’re going to do a big UK tour with Living Color. That’s about a week and a half after Switzerland.
Are you guys planning on sticking around Sweden Rock for the four days, or are you just there for your day that you’re performing?
– I think that we’ll be there for a few days for sure. I want to check it out.
Are there any bands on the lineup that you’re dying to see while you’re there?
– That’s a tough one. Yeah, you know what, honestly I need to see who’s all playing and when they’re playing.
There’s 82 amazing bands, you’re one of those 82.
– Oh my God. That’s insane.
It’s really insane to me. It’s like, you ever have that feeling where your head’s just kind of spinning, and you’re just like … so yeah, I definitely want to hang around. And as far as it goes, we have some friends in Sweden, so they’re going to be making the trip for the show, so we’ll be hanging out.
JARED JAMES NICHOLS SPELAR PÅ ROCKKLASSIKER STAGE, LÖRDAG 8 JUNI, 13:00
Sweden Rock Festival äger rum i Sölvesborg den 6-9 juni. Klara band för i år är bl.a KISS, Def Leppard, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, ZZ Top, Slayer, Tenacious D, Disturbed, Saxon, Styx, Dream Theater, UFO, Krokus, Amon Amarth, Hammerfall, Easy Action och många många fler.