Q: Recently you announced you won’t be continuing full time under the Thin Lizzy name anymore, what’s happening with the new band and the new album, is there anything you can tell us?
Ricky: "Well we’re not going to tour as constantly as we have been as Thin Lizzy, there’s a good chance we will do a few shows every year as Thin Lizzy. Basically we’d decided we didn’t want to put the album out under the Thin Lizzy name, it’s something we’d thought long and hard about. We’d spoke to Phil’s estate, friends, family, Scott and Brian and we just came to the conclusion there was something not right about it. I think we made the right decision when we decided to go under a different name.
The people that still want to tour and do 125 shows a year will be in that band and we’ll be playing about 60-70% Thin Lizzy songs in that set with the new material to start with. We’ve got the name sorted, promo pictures taken, the website will go up on Christmas Eve. There’ll be a 4 page spread in January’s Classic Rock and we’ll be heading into the studio on January 3rd with Kevin Shirley and it’ll be out on Nuclear Blast. All the pieces are put together and ready to go."
Damon: "For every single classic rock band there’s still that need to continue to tour and to continue to grow as a band to reach your fans it’s important to put out some new music. In the instance with Thin Lizzy it’s an incredibly unique situation, I mean your talking about a band who hasn’t had an album of new original material since 1983, that’s a long time! And now we’ve changed the direction of the ship a little bit we’re really excited! It’s just right man, it takes a little of the pressure off. There’s no way this new record would be able to stand up to these timeless classic records, that’s such a tall order and Phil was such a massive part of the song writing, he was a song writing wizard. As Ricky said, we’re really elated that everything has just come together in terms of the recording, the schedule and we’re hoping to have it out by May next year."
Q: What keeps you going everyday? What makes you get up every day?
Ricky: "The love of it. The work ethic, knowing what you put into to it is what you’re going to get out of it and wanting to succeed and play great shows. You have to look after yourself if you want to do it well and unless your Keith Richards I truly believe that! (laughs) But for us mere mortals you’ve got to keep yourself in shape. You just strive to write that song, even though you may never write it you have to try and that’s what gets you out of bed in the morning. It’s a great way of life.
People who bitch and moan about being in bands should go back to digging ditches. I mean we’ve certainly done that, we’re both farmers eating shit for years. We know what it’s like to have a real job. There’s nothing I hate more that bitchy, moany musicians, I can’t fucking stand them!"
Damon: "We’re the luckiest people in the world, we’re really lucky and we look forward to continuing on into the future doing what we love."
Click here for the complete interview.
Following is the original press release announcing Thin Lizzy's official name change:
Step forward Black Star Riders…
Today sees the announcement of the new band formed by Thin Lizzy alumni Ricky Warwick (vocals), Scott Gorham (guitar), Damon Johnson (guitar), Marco Mendoza (bass) with new addition Jimmy DeGrasso on drums (ALICE COOPER, MEGADETH, DAVID LEE ROTH, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES). The change in personnel came about as Brian Downey didn’t want to commit to the touring cycle a new album would entail and Darren Wharton wanted to concentrate on Dare and other music and film projects.
Black Star Riders is set to enter the studio in Los Angeles in January to start recording their debut album with the legendary Kevin Shirley (LED ZEPPELIN, IRON MAIDEN, AEROSMITH, RUSH). The album will feature material the band wrote whilst touring as Thin Lizzy and the sound retains that classic feel but is very much its own as well. The Black Star Riders record is the next step in the evolution of the Thin Lizzy story.
"We are all very excited about the music that we have created for Black Star Riders. The synergy between the five of us has been phenomenal and I can't wait for the world to hear these songs." Ricky Warwick
The new, as yet untitled, album will be released in May through Nuclear Blast – the label behind acts such as ANTHRAX, NIGHTWISH and MESHUGGAH. Black Star Riders are one of the first bands signed by Monte Conner – the former Roadrunner A&R guru who has signed acts such as SLIPKNOT, MACHINE HEAD, SEPULTURA and RUSH. Conner recently joined Nuclear Blast as the president of Nuclear Blast Entertainment, a new US partnership he co-founded with Nuclear Blast owner Markus Staiger.
Says Conner: “As a lifelong Thin Lizzy fan, I was floored by this line-up’s new material. Not only do the new songs sound like Thin Lizzy but they sound like CLASSIC Thin Lizzy. Black Star Riders totally captures the essence of what was great about the original band while at the same time adding something totally fresh and modern. Even when I heard the band decided to change their name, my interest in signing them did not waver for one second.”
The band are looking to support their May album release with European festivals shows in the summer of 2013 and follow this up with worldwide touring. The set list will consist of material from the new album and classic Thin Lizzy material.
The official Black Star Riders website (Blackstarriders.com) was launched on December 24th and is now active.