Search this site:


James Christian – Vocals for House of Lords

Date: 11/17/08
Interviewed By: Rich Catino


James Christian


1. How long was the resurrection on House of Lords in the works?

JAMES: Well it wasn't that long after we recorded "The Power and the Myth". After we recorded that album I noticed there was definitely a change in the direction with the members that I was with. Some can say it was change for the better, I say it was not. That's probably the main reason after to move on and find people wanted to do the kind of material that House of Lords is known for. Look, I'm not locked in the past but I still do believe in my roots and that's what I do best. "The Power and the Myth" was our return record with the original lineup but the problem with that record was it didn't sound like House of Lords. When it came out it really shocked people and we really didn't get any good reviews. The musicianship was great because it had top notch players but for some reason it didn't sound like House Of Lords which is why I moved on, repackaged the band with new players. I wanted to keep the sound on the band intact. We could update the sound by production and not by changing our writing style.

2. Do you know the reason why "The Power and the Myth" did not sound like House of Lords?

JAMES: Well the songs just didn't have the big grandiose chorus', songs that lent themselves to my kind of vocal. They were really geared more for an alternative singer. I mean I really need a melody to sing and if I don't have that I sound like everybody else. So that's one of the criticisms of the record, that it didn't do me any justice and that made me upset because I'm usually really comfortable with the records I sing on and that didn't happen on "The Power and the Myth". But the last two "World Upside Down" and "Come To My Kingdom" are back to what House of Lords should sound like.

3. Was Greg Giuffria (keyboards) involved with any of the songwriting or keyboard arrangements on "World Upside Down" or "Come To My Kingdom"?

JAMES: I consulted Greg on some of the arrangements and keyboard parts but I played the keyboards on both albums. Greg hasn't been involved with the band much since "Demons Down" which was a record that was mostly written by myself and my then partner Mark Baker. Gregg is more involved in the casino business at this time. As always I wish him the best.

4. Who owned the House of Lords name in the 80's and what was Gene Simmons (Kiss) involvement?

JAMES: Well Gene put the band together. Gene signed Giuffria, the band Greg Giuffria was part of, to his record label "Simmons Records". He changed the band's name to House of Lords and replaced the band's original vocalist with me for Lords. So Gene owned the name at the time.

5. Did Doug Aldrich (former guitarist for Hurricane, Lion, Dio, now with Whitesnake) play on "Sahara"?

JAMES: Yes, he played about 99% of the guitars. He made a great contribution to the band. Wonderful player and still a great guy.

6. How much of the music and lyrics did you write?

JAMES: The music for “Come to My Kingdom” was written with my guitarist Jimi Bell who wrote the riffs. I collaborated with Jeff Kent, a really talented writer, who worked with me on the melody lines.

7. Do you write guitar, keyboard, or melody lines first?

JAMES: First, we come up with a great groove and try to arrange a song around that. Then Jeff Kent comes in and helps arrange the songs with melodies.

8. Do you find post 80's House of Lords very consistent with those first three albums?

JAMES: Yes absolutely. I think they are very much in the spirit of those albums and an extension of them. Its important to maintain consistency with style and sound without repeating yourself. It’s very possible to keep a classic sound without dating yourself.

9. Are "Come To My Kingdom" and "World Upside Down" more guitar oriented?

JAMES: Absolutely. Jimi Bell is a great guitar player and he needs room to do his thing. Unfortunately, I think he even doesn't get much of a chance to show off his talents with House of Lords music. But yes, the guitar riffs are the driving force to the songs now more so than the keyboards which were a big part of House of Lords in the 80s.

10. Plans to release a DVD with all the House of Lords promo videos and some concert footage?

JAMES: I have one in the can finished but it's a matter of clearing all the legalities with the former members of the original lineup. I think you may see a DVD with a performance of the new lineup before the other comes out. But yes, the other one with the classic lineup will feature all the promo videos, some TV appearance footage with Gene Simmons introducing the band, and concert clips.

11. Plans to tour the U.S. in support of "Come To My Kingdom"?

JAMES: Well we did a lot of touring earlier in the year over seas because the album technically came out around March. We did play Rocklahoma in the States this past summer which was great but unfortunately we got caught in the rain storm. So since we did a decent amount of touring already this year you won't see House of Lords, in the States at least, until the next album comes out.

12. Fans and critics response to the new lineup?

JAMES: It has been totally positive. Everyone really likes this more guitar oriented direction this new lineup has taken the music. The keyboards are still there, but just not in the forefront like before. The guitars carry the songs more.

13. Some of your favorite House of Lords songs and why?

JAMES: Wow, there are many but I really like the first record. That album has a special place in my heart because it was the first time I went into a real studio and recorded a professionally done record. I'd say “Jealous Heart" from the first album, "Remember My Name" and the title track to "Sahara", "Can't Find My Way Home" also, from "Demons Down"..man.that's a great one. From "World Upside Down" "These Are the Times" and the title track to our latest "Come to My Kingdom".

14. Who are some of your favorite hard rock/metal bands? Do you like any of the melodic European bands like Stratovarius, Edguy, or Gamma Ray? Reason I ask is you can hear that House of Lords have some common melodic qualities to some of those bands.

JAMES: I really like the bands that can deliver a good chorus, a melodic hook. I think Whitesnake's '87 album is just perfect. Just killer guitar riffs and great hooks, excellent singing. That's the kind of stuff I like. Of the harder more metal bands I like an AC/DC. As simple as their music is and even though they kinda make the same record over and over the music stands the test of time. Those European bands you mentioned, I don't know much about. You will have to give me some songs to check out. I have heard Stratovarius.

Official website: http://www.jameschristianmusic.com

© 2017 MetalAsylum.net