Black Star Riders were formed by members of legendary Irish rock group Thin Lizzy, including charismatic front man Ricky Warwick and guitar virtuosos Scott Gorham and Damon Johnson. The band decided to release new music under a different name out of respect to Thin Lizzy’s inimitable late frontman, Phil Lynott.
Formed in 2012 and taking inspiration for their name after a gang of outlaws in the 1993 western film Tombstone, the bandquickly signed a record deal with A&R guru Monte Conner’s label, Nuclear Blast Entertainment. Their debut album, “All Hell Breaks Loose” (produced by Kevin Shirley) was released in May 2013. The release drew widespread acclaim from the world’s press and fans alike. Praised by AllMusic for its “aggressive attack, melodic sensibility, and deep groove consciousness”.
In 2015 came The Killer Instinct, of which Classic Rock stated: “All ten tracks here would sound glorious blasting from a jukebox in the best spit ’n’ sawdust bar in town.” And in 2017 there was Heavy Fire, a top 10 hit in the UK, acclaimed by MOJO for its “glorious, free-roaming twin-lead guitars”, “jubilant songs”, and the band’s ability to “distil hard rock to its elemental state”. 2019 saw the release of the band’s fourth album “Another State of Grace”. The album’s related tour was cut short due to the worldwide COVID pandemic.
Four albums in, Black Star Riders have let loose the fifth incarnation of their unique musical prowess with their new album, ‘Wrong Side Of Paradise’. The band entered the studio in Autumn 2021 with their GRAMMY-nominated long-term producer Jay Ruston (Stone Sour, Uriah Heep, Anthrax, Steel Panther) to record the follow-up to 2019’s ‘Another State of Grace’ in Los Angeles at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 (“a fantastic experience, a wonderful studio with an amazing sounding live room. The rock ‘n’ roll history that is well documented and ingrained in the vintage Neve Console there is spine tingling,” enthuses Warwick) and at Christian Martucci’s Toochtone Sound in Bend, OR.
In discussing the spirit of the album, Warwick states: “As with all BSR albums, Wrong Side Of Paradise is an anthemic statement of intent, driven by ferocious guitars and thundering drums. I can only write about my own personal experiences, my families, my friends and how I see a world that is unravelling and changing faster than we can comprehend. That being said, I’m a firm believer in the power of positivity, something that echoes throughout this album.”
“One of the things I am most proud of about Black Star Riders is our relevance. We make music because it matters and it matters because it’s a universal language.”
The album also includes some incredible contributions from the likes of Joe Elliott (Def Leppard) adding vocals to the album’s first single, “Better Than Saturday Night”. Fred Mandel (Alice Cooper, Queen, Elton John) also stepped in to play keyboard on the album, as he has for the band’s previous three albums.
‘Wrong Side Of Paradise’ is out now via Earache Records at earache.com/blackstarriders.
Warwick enthuses of the signing: “We are extremely pleased to announce our new deal with Earache Records. We had an amazing 8 years with Nuclear Blast and I want to thank everyone there for their commitment and dedication during this time but it was time to part ways and Earache have well and truly stepped up to the plate! We can’t wait to start the new relationship with the great team there.”
Throughout Black Star Riders’ history, the band’s personnel have included some rock luminaries including bassist Marco Mendoza (ex-Whitesnake), drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Ex-Megadeth, Ex-Alice Cooper) and of course the legendary Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy, 21 Guns). Scott left the band in 2020 to focus on his duties in Thin Lizzy and to work on new music from his side project, 21 Guns.
The current line-up of Black Star Riders sees founding member Ricky Warwick (vocals and guitar) lead a pack of killer musicians: long-time member Robbie Crane (bass), Sam Wood (guitar) and Zak St. John (drums), the latter two of whom are welcome new additions to the band. Robbie Crane comments: “We have known Zak a while from the LA session scene and I know he will blow everyone away when you see and hear him.” Ricky comments: “I first saw Sam back in 2019 when Wayward Sons were guests to BSR and I was absolutely blown away! I had Sam join me for a few Fighting Hearts dates a few months back and knew he was the guy for us. If ever there was a new GUITAR HERO waiting in the wings then it’s Sam! Black Star Riders have had some of the world’s finest guitar players in their ranks and Sam is truly up there as one of them. We couldn’t be happier!”
2023 will also see the band celebrating its 10th Anniversary. The band announced that they will be doing a special tour of the UK to celebrate this milestone. Joining the band on this tour will be original members Scott Gorham and Jimmy DeGrasso.
Tour dates are below:
Saturday 11th February – Belfast, Limelight
Monday 13th February – Nottingham, Rock City
Wednesday 15th February – Norwich, UEA
Thursday 16th February – Ipswich, Corn Exchange
Friday 17th February – Manchester, O2 Ritz
Saturday 18th February – Wolverhampton, KK’s Steel Mill
Sunday 19th February – Leeds, O2 Academy
Tuesday 21st February – Cardiff, Tramshed
Wednesday 22nd February – Bristol, O2 Academy
Thursday 23rd February – Glasgow, SWG3
Friday 24th February – Newcastle, O2 City Hall
Sunday 26th February – London, O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
‘Wrong Side Of Paradise’ is available for pre-order worldwide at earache.com/blackstarriders on limited coloured vinyl (including green, blue, red and black/white split), black vinyl, signed CD, cassette and digital download. A special edition of the album containing two bonus tracks can be found on CD (which comes with a 24-page song booklet) and USB stick formats. Various collector bundles are also available, including one with an exclusive 12”.
Official site –https://www.blackstarriders.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BlackStarRidersOfficial
Twitter – https://twitter.com/BlackStarRiders
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/blackstarriders