1. How did you get in to music?
I grew up hearing the sounds of classic rock from my parents. To be honest, I never really cared much about the guitar at first! I want to be a drummer! When I turned 15, all of my friends we’re getting guitars. I remember borrowing a drum set from my brothers friend and my parents hated it! My dad was a construction worker and when he got home from work the last thing he wanted to hear was me playing a drum set. Shortly after my drummer dreams died, I ended up messing around with an acoustic guitar and I quickly fell in love with it. I remember the moment I plugged in a loud electric guitar, it changed my life!
2. Who inspired you?
My early inspirations were all classic rock guitar heroes. Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, and Tony Iommi. The first guitar riff I ever learned was ‘Electric Funeral’ by Black Sabbath! Shortly after, I discovered the blues. I grew up right down the street where Stevie Ray Vaughan played his famous last concert and died in the helicopter crash. When I found blues guitar it was as if I unearthed gold! I was obsessed, moving forward I was like a sponge with anything blues or guitar related. My biggest guitar heroes are Leslie West, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Eric Clapton.
3. Toughest challenge on the road?
Honestly, I love the road and touring so much! I don’t have many challenges on the road! If there is one challenge, it’s a funny one, staying CLEAN! Haha. I remember being on tour with another one of my heroes, Zakk Wylde and he actually bought me shampoo and soap! Imagine THAT!
4. Favorite road story?
Oh man, too many to decide from! I would still say one of the coolest moments was jamming with Lynyrd Skynyrd in a sold out arena show while I was supporting them across Europe. We jammed Sweet Home Alabama and I took the solo and RIPPED! Otherwise, I have a TON of road stories…not sure if they are appropriate for THIS?!?
5. Who are you listening to now?
I am listening to a ton of different artists and genres. As of lately, my big thing is bootleg recordings. I have been digging deep in some incredible performances from some of my favorite influences. Everyone from the Allman Brothers, Derek and the Dominos, and Mountain. As far as newer stuff, I’m loving jamming new Rival Sons, BlackBerry Smoke and Reignwolf.
6. How are you utilizing your “Stay at Home” time?
Writing and practicing! Honestly, I never thought I would have this amount of time again in my life to focus on my craft. I spent 308 days on the road straight last year, so this is a total 180! I am loving the quiet time, I am getting ready to record a new album so songwriting has been a top priority. Also, just digging into playing and trying to get to new levels! I’m taking complete advantage of this time.
7. What are your top 3 go to guitars?
That’s easy! Haha. I’d have to pick my favorite three Les Pauls. What else???
My signature Epiphone ‘Old Glory’ alongside my dream guitar, a 1953 Gibson Les Paul Standard ‘Ole Red’ and let’s not forget an incredible 1956 Les Paul Jr. just like my hero Leslie West.
8. Why Calton?
Calton is KING! Honestly, after touring so much I have lost guitars due to airlines, broken guitars due to handling or shipping, and completely trashed guitar cases along the way. Like everyone who is super serious about touring and playing music, I want the best tools to get the job done. Calton is THE BEST! When I am traveling with guitars that are priceless to me, and pretty rare in their own right, I want to rest assured that they are completely protected. I will never use anything else, PERIOD! Calton forever!
9. What’s next for you?
I am beyond excited to record my album and get ready to get back out on the road and touring as soon as possible! Stay tuned for some incredible news coming up on the guitar front as well…!
10. How did the Old Glory with Gibson come about?
I am still so blown away over the whole experience! Long story short, I had an old Les Paul custom that I had modded to be comparable to a Les Paul Junior. It turned into a single p90 with a wraptail bridge, kinda a Frankenstein Les Paul! People started to associate me with this guitar, and were very curious about it. It got to the point where players were calling Gibson and asking to custom order them! It was a complete honor for me to partner up with the greatest guitar brand in the world to release the Old Glory signature guitar to the world!
11. What I am not asking and what’s the answer to that question?!
I know what you’re not asking…how I have these dashing good looks and how I can be just so damn cool! And that my friend, is an absolute mystery! Lol.
12. Where can we send people to stay up to date with what you are doing?
I am always online posting everything BLUESPOWER!!! Find me on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and twitter all at @jaredjamesnichols you won’t be sorry!