Black Star Riders

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Country USA

Style Hard Rock

Profile Black Star Riders is a rock band formed in December 2012, when members of the most recent line-up of Thin Lizzy decided to record new material, but chose not to release it under the Thin Lizzy name. While Thin Lizzy will continue on an occasional basis, Black Star Riders will be a full-time band, described as “the next step in the evolution of the Thin Lizzy story”. The band’s first album, All Hell Breaks Loose, is to be released on 21 May 2013.

In May 2010, Thin Lizzy lead guitarist Scott Gorham announced the latest incarnation of the group, which had toured sporadically with various line-ups since 1996, after the death of band leader Phil Lynott in 1986. This marked the return of the original drummer Brian Downey and longtime keyboard player Darren Wharton, joining Gorham, bass guitarist Marco Mendoza, and vocalist and occasional guitarist Ricky Warwick. The other lead guitarist role was initially filled by Vivian Campbell, then by Richard Fortus, before Damon Johnsonjoined the band in August 2011. As the band toured throughout 2011 and 2012, they composed new material for possible release as a Thin Lizzy studio album, and demos were recorded in June 2012.

In October 2012, it was announced that the new material would not be recorded under the Thin Lizzy name, and that a new band name would be used for the new songs. According to Gorham, this was “out of respect to Phil Lynott and the legacy he created”, though he confirmed that the new material would feature the classic Thin Lizzy sound. He later confirmed that the decision was taken by himself and Downey, with the support of the other members of the band, and that the Thin Lizzy estate (controlled by Lynott’s widow Caroline) had also been uncomfortable about new Thin Lizzy studio recordings. Warwick has acknowledged that a portion of Thin Lizzy fans were also against the idea of Thin Lizzy studio recordings without Lynott.

As the new material was being written, it became clear that Downey and Wharton would not be involved when the final recordings were made. Downey required a break from the heavy touring schedule, and Wharton wanted to return to his own band Dare, and to work on a film project. Warwick confirmed, “Brian and Darren just don’t want to be on the road 150 days a year, and that’s completely understandable. But we do.”

Gorham has stated that Thin Lizzy will still perform as a band in the future: “Thin Lizzy isn’t gonna die,” he said. With reference to the much-publicised Lizzy “farewell” tour in late 2012, Warwick confirmed, “All that ‘farewell’ meant is that we’re not going to do 150 Lizzy shows a year… those were just the last shows for a while.” Thin Lizzy are due to complete a short tour of Australia in March 2013, with Downey and Wharton as part of the line-up.

After their critically-acclaimed Top 30 debut album, BLACK STAR RIDERS return with the long-awaited follow-up, “The Killer Instinct”. All Black Star Riders members reportedly sat in debate over whether or not to make “The Killer Instinct” a Thin Lizzy influenced album. The end result is part Thin Lizzy and part something original as the band reaches for its own kick. Pooled together, this album is a winner.

BLACK_STAR_RIDERS_AHBL BLACKSTARRIDERS_TKI

– All Hell Breaks Loose [2013]
– The Killer Instinct [2015]

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