In October 2012 Thin Lizzy announced that they would not be recording new material under the Thin Lizzy monicker. The last incarnation of the band – Scott Gorham, Brian Downey, Darren Wharton, Ricky Warwick, Damon Johnson and Marco Mendoza – would be looking to form a new project.
Step forward Black Star Riders...
The new band formed by Thin Lizzy alumni Ricky Warwick (vocals), Scott Gorham (guitar), Damon Johnson (guitar), Marco Mendoza (bass) with new addition Jimmy DeGrasso on drums (Alice Cooper, Megadeth, David Lee Roth, Suicidal Tendencies). The change in personnel came about as Brian Downey didn't want to commit to the touring cycle a new album would entail and Darren Wharton wanted to concentrate on Dare and other music and film projects.
Black Star Riders entered the studio in Los Angeles in January 2013 to record their debut album with the legendary producer Kevin Shirley (Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Aerosmith, Rush). The result was the band's debut release "All Hell Breaks Loose". The album features material the band wrote whilst touring as Thin Lizzy and the sound retains that classic feel but is very much its own as well. The Black Star Riders record is the next step in the evolution of the Thin Lizzy story.
"All Hell Breaks Loose" was released in May 2013 through Nuclear Blast – the label behind acts such as Anthrax, Nightwish and Meshuggah. Black Star Riders are one of the first bands signed by Monte Conner – the former Roadrunner A&R guru who has signed acts such as Slipknot, Machine Head, Sepultura and Rush. Conner recently joined Nuclear Blast as the president of Nuclear Blast Entertainment, a new U.S. partnership he co-founded with Nuclear Blast owner Markus Staiger.
Says Conner: "As a lifelong Thin Lizzy fan, I was floored by this line-up's new material. Not only do the new songs sound like Thin Lizzy but they sound like CLASSIC Thin Lizzy. Black Star Riders totally captures the essence of what was great about the original band while at the same time adding something totally fresh and modern. Even when I heard the band decided to change their name, my interest in signing them did not waver for one second."
In June of 2014, Marco Mendoza decided to pursue other musical avenues. Enter Robbie Crane taking over as a permanent member on bass. Ricky Warwick chimes in, "From the first moment he took the stage with us it just felt right. Robbie is an awesome guy and an amazing musician. We are very happy that he is now a part of the Black Star Riders family".
September of 2014 sees the band entering the studio to record a follow up to "All Hell Breaks Loose". Sitting in the producers chair for this album is noted producer Nick Raskulinecz. Nick chimes in, "I was a fan of the first album, and I'm really excited about the songs they've written for their new record. I'm really looking forward to getting into the studio with them to help bring those songs to life."