James and the Cold Gun’s self-titled debut album will be released in January. It’s no secret that the band have gone from strength to strength in the last few years. From rocking in a garage to being declared ‘South Wales’ Loudest Group’, James and the Cold Gun are unstoppable as they keep moving forward. Dan Carver spoke to James Joseph, front man and guitarist for band, and the discussed where the band had come from and the words of wisdom that guide them to this day.
Covid lockdown was a tough time for the music industry. It was probably the worst time in the world to start a new band. But for James Joseph and James Bliss, Covid lockdown provided a rare opportunity for them to do something that would help give them direction for the future.
It gave them the opportunity to rock out in a garage (owned by James Bliss’ parents) and rediscover what it meant to rock.
“We purely started jamming for fun,” James Joseph explains, “We would go to the garage, he’d jump on the drums, and I’d jump on the guitar. We’d play awful versions of Foo Fighters songs, Queens of the Stone Age and really bad versions of Nirvana and stuff.
“And then we both kind of realised, ‘Oh, this is so much fun’. It reminded us of when were in high school, in a practice room just hashing it out!”
From there, the two James’ stumbled upon a way to have fun during a scary time in the world’s history. The two of them decided to make James and the Cold Gun, a band dedicated to rocking out and rediscovering the ingredients of rock music… namely loud guitars, loud voices and loud music.
When Covid lockdown measured were eased, it was an intense day for the band. They’d spent all that time preparing to be unleashed upon the world. James remembers vividly the first time his feet touched that stage in Cardiff’s Club Averback after lockdown…
“It was amazing… and it was nerve wracking for me because it was my first time ever fronting a band and it was my first time ever singing, fronting and playing guitar.
“In my previous band, I played bass so it almost felt like there was a little less pressure on me during some of those shows. But fronting a bad was a totally different experience! So it was surreal for mt even be doing that for the first time, let alone two or three years of not doing anything.”
Three years later, their self-titled debut album is coming out. It’s an introduction to those who haven’t yet heard the band that has been declared South Wales’ Loudest Group. It’s an exciting time for the band.
“I’ve been wanting to show people these songs for the best part of the year now,” James says grinning, “So it’ll be like a massive relief to just get them out in the world and see what people think.
“The whole point of this band was just to try and do something that I liked, so I already feel like we’ve kind of succeed.”
Everything about James and the Cold Gun is about playing the music they like, including James J’s favourite song in the track, Headlights.
“It feels like a nice mix of everything that we try and do as a band,” he says, “It’s a bit chaotic, but it’s also got a bit of rock’n’roll swagger to it. It’s not too serious and it’s a good driving tune as well, which I always kind of like when it comes to rock music!”
It’s also been noticed, by those who have been watching, that James and the Cold Gun have achieved so much in their short time. They’ve shared the stage with rock legends Gun N’ Roses and The Darkness. It’s a heck of an achievement for a new band to do that but James has a secret to achieving all of this.
It’s to be a little bit cheeky and take the risk.
“Where I’m at in my life at the moment, I’m in the mindset where you don’t ask, you don’t get. Like the Guns N’ Roses, slot for example, I just took a screenshot of the poster and I sent it to a couple of people. I was like, oh, this, this would be cool for us to get on.
“So then when we actually got the official offer to play it. It was mind blowing that it came through. The fact that they were even paying us to play is pretty mental. I’d have played for free in the car park!”
But perhaps one of the biggest achievements of the band is the fact that their name is getting out there, along with some gnarly legends about the band. At a house party, James overheard someone chatting about the band and they told a wild story about how they rocked so much, they made the speakers explode!
James never interrupted him or corrected him. In fact, he hopes there’s going to be more urban legends about the band. Such as the time when they James Joseph got onto the stage, played one riff on his guitar and sent the crowd back several feet from the soundwave from the speakers!
But when it comes to what to do next in the band, James J. remembers the best piece of advice he’s heard. It comes from Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl in the form of an interview he gave.
“When you’re playing music that you love and you’re enjoying it… then you’ve succeeded,” he says, smiling at the thought.
“I’ve been in projects before where maybe I wasn’t as into the music, but the music was doing well, so to speak.
“It didn’t really bring me as much joy as, you know, as a small song that I’ve done with this band that that I love. Playing a song that I love to 10 people beats playing a song that I’m not bothered about to 1,000 people.
“So, any musicians who are reading… just make music for yourself. That’s the best advice.”