SCOTT GORHAM: How THIN LIZZY's Twin-Guitar Harmony Sound Was Born

July 18, 2019

BLACK STAR RIDERS and THIN LIZZY guitarist Scott Gorham was recently interviewed by the "Australian Rock Show" podcast. During the chat, which can be heard in its entirety below, Gorham was quizzed on how THIN LIZZY's twin-guitar harmony sound was born and whether it was inspired by any other artists.

"Hand on heart, there was no other band… Obviously, there were other bands out there doing it, [but] not a lot of it," Scott said. "The main difference between ourselves and the other bands… You had THE EAGLES — they threw a little bit in there — and THE ALLMAN BROTHERS, but that was more of a country-based system, arena that they were in, which is all basically major chords. And then THIN LIZZY comes along and we're using the minor chord arena. And that really hadn't been heard before. And I hadn't really thought about that — major, minor chords, blah blah blah. It wasn't a thought process. That's how we wrote the songs — with a lot of minor chords — and we kind of laced the harmony guitars around those chord sections.

"If I'm gonna be totally honest, the harmony guitar thing was really more of an accident than anything else," the 68-year-old rocker continued. "We were in the studio, and I think Brian Robertson had gone out just to record a single line. And the engineer had kind of a multi-second tape delay on his guitar. So when we heard it back, it fed back on itself in harmony. And, of course, he was going, 'Oh my god. I'm sorry.' Me and Phil [Lynott] went, 'Wait a minute. That sounds really great.' So I quickly learned the harmony to it. [I] went out and did the harmony line, came back and listened to it, and thought, 'You know, that sounds really cool. I've got another guitar line. Why don't we try that same thing on that line also?' So it just kind of went from there."

Gorham added: "It wasn't like a premeditated kind of thought process that we were going through. It's just something that we heard [and] we really liked. It was a really cool way to present the guitars and all that — here was another thing the guitars could do. And then it just kind of kept going and going and going until I actually read one day in the papers, it actually said, 'Yeah, THIN LIZZY and that patented harmony guitar sound that they've got.' I thought, 'Wow! We've got a sound! Cool.' So then we just kept going with it. We just loved doing it."

After Lynott's death in 1986, Gorham continued to carry the torch for THIN LIZZY, reviving the band and performing with various lineups. In December 2012, Gorham formed a new band, BLACK STAR RIDERS, as an offshoot of THIN LIZZY. The quintet released its debut album, "All Hell Breaks Loose", in May 2013.

BLACK STAR RIDERS' fourth studio album, "Another State Of Grace", will arrive on September 6 via Nuclear Blast. The follow-up to 2017's "Heavy Fire" was recorded in February 2019 at Sphere Studios in Burbank, California with producer Jay Ruston (STONE SOUR, ANTHRAX, URIAH HEEP).

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