As they get ready to release their fourth album as Black Star Riders — Another State of Grace, whose lyric video for “Tonight the Moonlight Let Me Down” is premiering exclusively below — Scott Gorham and Ricky Warwick are feeling like the band has become its own entity and not just Thin Lizzy by another name.
“It really does feel that way,” Gorham, who was with Thin Lizzy from 1974-83 and returned during 1996, tells Billboard. While it initially worked under the Thin Lizzy name, Black Star Riders adopted its moniker for 2013’s All Hell Breaks Loose so that the group’s original music would exist outside of the Lizzy legacy. Black Star Riders does still play as Thin Lizzy for certain festival appearances and select shows, however.
“Especially on that first album you had the Thin Lizzy overtones to it, and we’re getting tagged for that all the time,” Gorham says. “And if people want to associate us with Thin Lizzy, I’m fine with that. But that’s really another career, the past, and Black Star Riders is what we are now, and I really like what we do in this band.”
Produced by Jay Ruston and recorded in Los Angeles, Another State of Grace is the first Black Star Riders album to feature drummer Chad Szeliga, who joined after 2017’s Heavy Fire, and guitarist Christian Martucci, who expands the group to a quintet. Gorham says Ruston “brought a sense of fun and kept the atmosphere kind of light,” which glued the troupe together in a different way.
“We’re all loose with each other,” Gorham says. “For the first time in Black Star Riders history we dove into this one together, and I hope people can hear that on this album. It really felt like we produced this as a band; We were trading ideas — ‘How about if we add this or that?,’ just everybody as a collective, or ‘I’ve got an idea here. Let’s see if this works.’ There was no heaviness or weird vibes. We were just having a great time.”
Gorham expects that bonhomie to carry over to Black Star Riders’ live shows, with tour dates starting Oct. 10 in the U.K., following Another State of Grace‘s Sept. 6 release. The group will play in Europe through early November, and Gorham says that management is “furiously booking things for the rest of the world,” with hopes of some 2020 dates in the U.S. “We’re going to wait until we get into rehearsals and see which of the new songs actually make it on stage,” the guitarist adds. “We’re not going to walk out there and play the whole album right off the bat. We’ll figure out which ones from the album will go best and slot them in, and hopefully once people start to hear the album we’ll be able to add more.”