RICKY WARWICK Says THIN LIZZY's PHIL LYNOTT Is 'Best Frontman That Ever Lived'

January 21, 2017

Barbara Caserta of Italy's Linea Rock recently conducted an interview with BLACK STAR RIDERS and THIN LIZZY frontman Ricky Warwick. You can watch the full chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On the need to keep creating new music in BLACK STAR RIDERS versus playing shows as THIN LIZZY:

Ricky: "BLACK STAR RIDERS is not THIN LIZZY. THIN LIZZY keeps the THIN LIZZY name alive. We keep BLACK STAR RIDERS alive, so we separate the two. We love to write. We love to play; there's no other agenda. It's not a need or necessity, we have a lot of ideas, and a lot of energy, and a lot of inspiration, so we're always writing, we're always coming up with ideas, so that's why we've been so prolific in the last four years. We're very lucky; we don't struggle to write songs. It's not a case of like, we need two years or three years to make the next record. We're always writing and working, so we're always ready to go in…we were joking last night, we can go into the studio next week and write another ten songs because we've always got material."

On BLACK STAR RIDERS being called a "classic rock" band:

Ricky: "I just don't like it. We're in a band that's relevant and making new music. I feel we've got a lot more to say than so-called younger and newer bands, so when people say 'classic rock,' I don't think we're classic rock. It's just rock and roll. It's current to me; it's not classic, it's not dated, it's brand new, it's vital, and it's important and relevant. I feel very passionately about that, as you can tell. To say, 'You're an old classic rock band,' we're not. We're prolific, we're writing new songs, we're pushing forward, we're relevant. Okay, we may not be as young as we used to be, but that ain't our fault."

On the band's work ethic:

Ricky: "We're all working-class, from working-class backgrounds. We never forgot where we came from. We never forget we have that in our work ethic and what we do. We write about reality and what's going on in the world and how we see it, what's going on with our family and friends in real life and their struggles, and our struggles. It comes from the heart. It comes from the soul, you know? But, we want to get out there and play to as many people as we can and reach for the stars."

On the fact he's the only Irish member in BLACK STAR RIDERS:

Ricky: "I've never felt so detached from a bunch of guys in my life… No, not at all! Not at all. People are people and you're a good person or you're a bad person, and I'm in a band with four terrific guys who I love dearly and are my friends, and I look forward to hanging out and working with them. I've lived in the U.S.A. for 12 years, so, culturally, I have a good taste of the country. They're just good people and very open-minded. Where we come from doesn't have any bearing on how we get along as friends. We have a good understanding. Culturally, absolutely, Damon [Johnson, guitar] is from the deep south in America, grew up in Alabama. I think that makes him what he is and it comes out in his writing and guitar playing. Me being from Northern Ireland and being Irish, that certainly comes out in my writing and my influences. Culturally, you're a product of where you're from. I don't think you can help that. You should embrace it. It doesn't cause any friction, where we're from."

On if living in America changed his outlook on being a musician:

Ricky: "Traveling is the best education you can ever get. Meeting people, going to new cities, experiencing new things, and meeting people from different countries and cultures and understanding them and them understanding you. There's no better education, there just isn't. I've never forgotten where I'm from. I'm very proud of where I'm from. I grew up in a rough time for Northern Ireland with what was going on back in the '70s and '80s, it was definitely strange. I'm fiercely proud of being Northern Irish. I'm very happy living in America. I love Americana culture. America is a country with an insane history. There's so much rock and roll and so much art in America. It's so vast and every state is different. I've taken a lot of road trips in America and just gone out there and looked at the scenery. Traveling from state-to-state is very inspiring as well. I try to soak it all and use that."

On if his Irish background helps maintain the legacy of deceased THIN LIZZY frontman Phil Lynott:

Ricky: "We have an expression in Ireland since we are a nation of great storytellers, it's called 'spinning the yarn.' 'Spin the yarn' is something you would do in the pubs, you would tell stories. It seems to be ingrained in Irish culture for thousands of years is that's what we're good at. I think that comes out in the music from the country. Phil was a phenomenal storyteller, a big influence on me as a kid growing up, my hero. He is the best frontman that ever lived in rock and roll. That's influenced me a lot. I've tried to aspire to some of that myself. It's culturally who you are. Ireland has got a great musical tradition, so many great musicians have come out of the country. It just seems to be ingrained in who we are and our blood."

Nuclear Blast will release BLACK STAR RIDERS' third studio album, "Heavy Fire", on February 3.


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