BLACK STAR RIDERS' SCOTT GORHAM Talks Name Change, Upcoming Sophomore Album

June 18, 2014

Tony Conley of Rock Guitar Daily recently conducted an interview with BLACK STAR RIDERS and THIN LIZZY guitarist Scott Gorham. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On what difference, if any, he had observed in fan reaction since the change of names from THIN LIZZY to BLACK STAR RIDERS:

Scott Gorham: "The only size is the actual size of the audience! And that's what I'm talking about, you know? As far as the reaction? No. The people who know who we are and where we come from, the whole THIN LIZZY thing — they expect us to play the THIN LIZZY songs. Most of the people also have the BLACK STAR RIDERS album, so they've got the lyrics down, they know what parts of what songs are coming when, and all that, so everybody seems well versed. Now, it's just spreading the gospel as far as we can on this trip."

On whether BLACK STAR RIDERS' debut album, "All Hell Breaks Loose", would have turned out differently if it had been recorded and released as a THIN LIZZY record:

Scott Gorham: "Well, maybe a little bit of the outcome of the album, because we initially started to write it thinking we were going to keep on with the name THIN LIZZY, so you're kind of racking your brains trying to keep going down that same trail. But amazingly, as soon as we decided that that wasn't the right thing to do, it started to open up a bit. The writing style became a bit different after that, because you could do that, where if we kept the LIZZY name, you'd always be thinking about, 'Well, what are people going to expect to hear from us.' This way, it's like we don't think anybody's going to expect anything after this point… I think it took a lot of pressure off all of us, really. The main reason we changed the name was, myself in particular, I was feeling uncomfortable with recording under the name THIN LIZZY without Phil [Lynott]. Everything that was recorded under the name of THIN LIZZYPhil had always been there, so to do it again without Phil just wasn't sitting right, particularly with me. So yeah, I think pressure-wise, it took quite a bit of a load off Ricky [Warwick, guitar/vocals], although he loves to sing the LIZZY songs — he just loves doing those."

On BLACK STAR RIDERS' plans to record its sophomore album in October with Joe Elliott (DEF LEPPARD) as producer after recording "All Hell Breaks Loose" with Kevin Shirley:

Scott Gorham: "Kevin is a great record producer. The only thing that kind of threw me for a loop was to do it all in twelve days. I wasn't expecting that. I had never done an album like that before. It was fun, it was different, but we won't do one like that again. This time, Joe Elliott from DEF LEPPARD, and their engineer (longtime LEPPARD sound guru Rohan McHugh),they came to us — they knew we were doing a second album, and they pitched for the job. I've known Joe now for over 35 years, we're great friends. So, it'll be kind of like taking this little family/community thing over to Dublin — to make the bitchingest album we possibly can… This time around, instead of twelve days, we'll probably spend around three and a half weeks in the studio. Also, we'll be going into rehearsals for 7-10 days, working out guitar parts, harmonies, the drum parts. I felt bad for Jimmy DeGrasso on the last one because there's a couple of songs he was hearing for the first time in the studio, so he's trying to work out his drum breaks with no memory of the song — he's working it out on the spot. A lot of people think of Jimmy DeGrasso as MEGADETH — and I did, too! Jimmy is the one guy in the band who I didn't hand pick myself. All the other guys picked him. When Brian Downey said he didn't want to go out and do a new project, everybody else said, 'You've gotta get Jimmy DeGrasso. So, there's no way I could say fuck that, and besides, I didn't even know the guy. But because I trusted these guys so much now, this guy Jimmy DeGrasso, he's in the band, right? And the first time that I heard him, and that he could do all the LIZZY songs, and how he played them.... Once again — Jimmy was a huge fan of THIN LIZZY, and he keeps trying to get us to do these really deep cuts off the LIZZY albums. Jimmy — I love ya, buddy, but we can't go that deep because nobody's heard these songs! But that just goes to show you how into it Jimmy DeGrasso is. He can play all the swing beats, the shuffles, and all that stuff — and when it's time to get really hard, like on 'Bad Reputation', the fucking guy just lets it rip. He's amazing — a really great drummer! So when we were doing the record, Joe Bonamassa was going in next after us, and he was doing his record in four days! It's like, what the fuck? I guess a guy like Joe can do that. I guess he's got everything so worked out in his head. The guy is a fucking great player, I love that guy."

Read the entire interview at Rock Guitar Daily.

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