An English guitar virtuoso who also operates his own six-string academy, Andy James is known for his blazing picking, online video lessons, and original musical output, both as a solo artist and as a member of British heavy metal ensemble Sacred Mother Tongue.
Citing a wide array of influences that include John Petrucci, Lamb of God, Steve Vai, Symphony X, and Greg Howe, just to name a few, James cut his teeth in the early 2000s with Northampton-based melodic death metal and later heavy metal/hard rock outfit Sacred Mother Tongue, who issued two full-length albums (2009's The Ruin of Man and 2013's Out of the Darkness) and an EP (2012's A Light Shines) before ceasing operations in 2013. During his time with the group, James began releasing his own instrumental material, beginning with 2007's In the Wake of Chaos. A showcase for his advanced lead techniques — he would go on to establish the Andy James Guitar Academy — subsequent outings like Machine (2009), Andy James (2011), Exodus (2017), and Arrival (2018), as well as the release of his own signature ESP guitar (the LTD AJ-1), helped to further establish him as one of decade's most influential shredders. ~ James Christopher Monger