BLACK STAR RIDERS frontman Ricky Warwick spoke to Ireland's Overdrive about the progress of the recording sessions for the band's follow-up to 2019's "Another State Of Grace" LP. He said: "The album is actually finished right now and is currently being mastered. There are fourteen new tracks on it and we worked with [producer] Jay Ruston who did 'Another State…' here in L.A. and it's sounding great. Of course, this was the first BSR album without Uncle Scotty [guitarist Scott Gorham] which was strange. He's been on the phone every now and again, checking in on things and I've sent him over the tracks to get his approval and whatnot. We definitely missed his presence in the studio, but I think we've adapted and brought everything down to a four-piece.
"I'm very excited about the album, and we're looking to release the first single this coming September," Ricky continued. "We've also signed a new deal with Earache Records and the album is expected to be released in January 2023 and we're gonna hit the ground running."
Regarding BLACK STAR RIDERS' decision to change record labels, Ricky said: "We fulfilled our obligations with Nuclear Blast and they did a great job. We were with them for four albums. I'm still part of the Nuclear Blast family with my solo stuff, which is great. We just decided that with all the change that was happening with the band, particularly with Scott wanting to step back, we just decided to make new changes all round."
Gorham was in BLACK STAR RIDERS for nearly a decade, having formed the band in 2013 with other THIN LIZZY members after deciding to write and record new music under a new moniker. BLACK STAR RIDERS' original lineup was completed by Warwick, guitarist Damon Johnson, bassist Marco Mendoza and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso.
BLACK STAR RIDERS announced Gorham's departure last September, with Warwick saying in a statement: "We are very sad to see Scott go, but we discussed a very heavy world touring commitment on the new record and Scott decided he wanted to concentrate just on THIN LIZZY — and being the legend he is, none of us can blame him."
Gorham discussed his decision to leave BLACK STAR RIDERS in a recent interview with "The Hook Rocks!" podcast. He said: "It was right in the beginning of the whole pandemic thing. I know Ricky wanted to do an album straight off the bat. And I said, 'Well, I can't and I won't get on a plane right now, for god's sakes. We've got this thing raging around all of us. It's kind of impossible.' And I did not wanna do an album by Zoom; I didn't even wanna contemplate on that. Plus, I did wanna start concentrating on THIN LIZZY, to get out there and show people these really great songs. So I thought it would be unfair to try to really put a hundred percent concentration and effort into one and then the other is kind of flailing there on the side. So I thought, well, I've done four albums with BLACK STAR RIDERS. I love 'em and I love the guys. I've proved the point with BLACK STAR RIDERS. Now it's time to concentrate a little bit more on THIN LIZZY and see what we can do."
BLACK STAR RIDERS said that they would not seek a replacement for Gorham and would instead carry on as a four-piece, with Ricky handling a lot of the guitar parts alongside Christian Martucci, who joined the band after album number three in 2018.