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Hot Press meets Black Star Riders

As they prepare to release an album of new material under the moniker Black Star Riders, Thin Lizzy men Scott Gorham and Ricky Warwick talk to Hot Press about the impending collection, plans to return to Ireland and the future of Thin Lizzy...

Roisin Dwyer, 23 Apr 2013

I was expecting that. It was always going to happen,” says Scott Gorham. Black Star Riders’ first single ‘Bound For Glory’ has just been unleashed and the comparisons with legendary outfit Thin Lizzy – Gorham’s other group – are coming thick and fast. “It’s inevitable that we will sound like Thin Lizzy because I’ve been in the band for 40 years. Ricky has been hugely influenced by Phil and Damon [Johnson, guitarist] grew up on Thin Lizzy. We’re the three main players and writers who make up the bulk of the sound. There is always going to be an element of Thin Lizzy in us.”

The last incarnation of Thin Lizzy was undeniably the most popular since Lynott’s demise. When they announced last year that new material would be released as ‘Thin Lizzy’ the response was mixed. Various pressures led Gorham & Co. to change the name of the group to Black

Star Riders.

“I think what this change has done for us is that we don’t have to sound like Thin Lizzy. We can go in any direction we want to,” he attests. “If we'd been recording as Thin Lizzy, there's a definite path we'd have to have cut to satisfy everybody. So it is a good thing.”

The Kevin Shirley-produced long-player All Hell Breaks Loose will get its European release May 24. The band have already lined up a slew of festival dates across the continent. Happily Gorham states an Irish visit is definitely on the cards.

“We start the European tour in October so we will be across,” he confirms. “Come on, us not play Dublin or Belfast?! That’s just not going to happen. I think we’d get thrown in jail or fined or something!”

The Black Star Riders shows will comprise mostly new material but the classics will also get an airing. In addition, Thin Lizzy will be back on the circuit, most likely in 2014 when the BSR schedule allows.

“We know people want to hear the Thin Lizzy songs so of course we will be featuring them in the Black Star Riders set,” he says. “We are not abandoning Thin Lizzy at all. In fact there will probably be a run of dates or Thin Lizzy mini-tour next year.”

The Lizzy shows will see the return of drummer Brian Downey and keyboard player Darren Wharton who decided not to proceed with the new troupe due to other commitments.

“They definitely want to come back and do this. It will be a great opportunity for us to get back together,” affirms Scott.

However, Black Star Riders is a long-term prospect, as vocalist Ricky Warwick explains.

“We are already writing and working on new material to keep the energy going,” he says. “We want to release this album and tour the hell out of it, but keep the momentum going so then get straight in and do album number two.”

All Hell Breaks Loose is out on May 24.

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