About Black Star Riders
Black Star Riders is a hard rock band formed in December 2012. The band began 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 continues on an occasional basis, Black Star Riders is 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, was released on May 21, 2013, and the follow-up album, The Killer Instinct was released on February 20, 2015. The band's third album, Heavy Fire, was released on February 3, 2017, and reached number six on the UK Albums Chart.
Black Star Riders is fronted by Ricky Warwick, and originally featured lead guitarist Scott Gorham and bass guitarist Marco Mendoza. Mendoza was replaced by Robbie Crane in 2014. Drummer and founding member Jimmy DeGrasso left the band in March 2017, and was replaced a few weeks later by Chad Szeliga. Another founding member, lead guitarist Damon Johnson, left the band at the end of 2018 to be replaced by Christian Martucci. Gorham and Szeliga left the band in September 2021, the latter being replaced by Zak St John. Gorham was not replaced, leaving the band as a quartet. Martucci left in June 2022, and was replaced in November by Wayward Sons guitarist Sam Wood.
On September 20, 2021, the band announced a new worldwide multi-record album deal with Earache Records and that they would be entering the studio in October 2021 to begin recording a new album.
On June 6, 2022, the band announced their new album Wrong Side of Paradise, as well as a 10th anniversary UK tour. Scott Gorham and Jimmy DeGrasso are rejoining the band for the UK tour dates as part of the 10th anniversary commemorations.
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 Johnson joined 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 had also been uncomfortable about new Thin Lizzy studio recordings. Warwick has acknowledged that a significant portion of Thin Lizzy fans were also against the idea of Thin Lizzy studio recordings without Lynott. He later confirmed that he had been troubled by the idea of using the Thin Lizzy name, and that as a fan, had the band recorded an album under the Thin Lizzy name with another singer, he would have been against it.
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