James Ward and The Danger Gang are currently musicians James Ward [JW] (on guitar and vocals) and Manny Danger [MD] (on drums). The band have been regularly performing since their formation in 2019. 1 In Music meet with its two main members.
1 In Music: Hi guys. How did James Ward & The Danger Gang start?
James Ward & The Danger Gang [JWDG]: We met at The Little Joy, a bar in Echo Park, Los Angeles, in 2019 at the behest of a mutual friend. After a few Tequilas and one continuous conversation about our adoration of the band The Faces, of the early ’70s British Rock fame; we decided to form a band. Our music is grounded in Blues and Rock, but seeds of Soul, Country, and Bluegrass are sewn throughout our sound.
1 In Music: What is unique about you and your music?
JWDG: We’re not quite Country, we’re not quite Blues, and we’re not quite Rock ‘n Roll, but we do come with a piece of cantaloupe on the side. We combine the best elements of Southern California and Tennessee because that’s where we’re from and that’s what we know.
1 In Music: What or who shaped your music and who supports you?
JW: As far as who, it’s cheesy but my earliest memories of Rock ‘n Roll were on the radio in the car with my Mom. She has always supported me as a musician. But my family overall has been a huge support for me: Dad, Brother, and Mom.
MD: I’m a first-generation American and initially at my house we played Oldies and Hip-Hop. But in elementary school, the Skaters introduced me to The Black Crowes and I fell in love with Rock ‘n Roll. So thanks to the Skaters at EJ Marshall Elementary Chino.
1 In Music: When did you realise you were going to make music professionally?
JWDG: When they paid us for it and hopefully we get paid again next time.
1 In Music: What type of music do you listen to?
JWDG: Everything…and We Mean Everything! Right now Manny is in a Dua Lipa Interstellar Portal and JW is stuck on Roots Reggae from the ’70s, no kidding.
1 In Music: Who, to you, is the most undervalued music artist?
So many artists never made it “commercially” and qualify as undervalued but inspired other artists: be it in their local city or in their specific genre.
For instance, a lot of us know The Stooges and their influence on Punk, but not everyone knows the band Death, who is also from Detroit and of the same time but is not of as much notoriety and yet they are a huge influence on that entire movement and genre.
1 In Music: How do you prepare for your performances?
JWDG: You know the montage in Rocky IV in the snow? It’s basically that every time.
We don’t want to fall on our faces so we both have our show day routines to prepare mentally and physically; but you also don’t want to overthink the whole thing. A little relaxation or meditation somewhere in the day but as far as pre-show, we treat it like work and we go to work! Said Johnny Cash….once, I think.
1 In Music: What do you do when you don’t do music (creative or otherwise) and that you are passionate about?: Manny is a print artist and James is an actor so we both pursue other art forms both as hobby and profession.
1 In Music: Success to you is…?
In music, success to us is getting to wake up every morning and do this for a living.
Doesn’t have to be much, but if it puts food on the table…that’ll do.
1 In Music: What do you wish you were told when you started out and that you think would help anyone who starts out?
Don’t ever stop.
Keep practicing and don’t stop. Don’t ever stop. Keep exploring different types of music too, never stop getting outside your comfort zone as far as exploring music is concerned.
1 In Music: Any upcoming projects?
JWDG: Yes! We’ve got shows lined up for the late summer in Los Angeles (follow our IG) and we’ve got new material to record and release before the fall.
1 In Music: Where do we find you music?
JWDG: We are on Spotify under James Ward (soon to be James Ward & The Danger Gang) for all our releases.
Follow us on Instagram @jameswardandthedangergang to come see us LIVE!