Black Star Riders won’t repeat ‘pressurised’ recording sessions
Pictures: Angus Thomas Photography
Black Star Riders guitarist Scott Gorham admits recording debut album All Hell Breaks Loose was a challenge – because producer Kevin Shirley had them lay down twelve tracks in twelve days.
And he’s recalled how he learned the art of songwriting from Thin Lizzy bandmate Phil Lynott.
BSR played their first-ever show last night in Milton Keynes – pictured here – just days after All Hell Breaks Loose went on sale. The band, fronted by Ricky Warwick, will head out on a UK tour later this year.
Gorham tells Songfacts: “It’s totally different recording a BSR album to any Thin Lizzy album that I’ve ever done. One of the main differences was in the time that we didn’t take to do it – this was literally twelve songs in twelve days.
“That’s because that’s how Kevin Shirley likes to work. He doesn’t like to sit there and put the microscope on this note or that note, or this passage, or this guitar tone. It was kind of a pressurised situation. It was really a fun thing to do it that way.”
He adds: “I’m not sure that any of us are going to do it that way again – but he did catch a lot of what we were all about on stage, especially for the last year and a half. He got some good stuff.”
Gorham, who joined Lizzy in 1974 along with Brian Robertson, says he was very quickly influence by Lynott’s approach to writing.
“We had written songs before, but when you brought them to Phil you could see, ‘Well, you know, that part is okay and that’s all right, but this needs to be changed and that needs…’ I didn’t even know that kind of thing even went on.
“So he taught us how to do this thing called ‘songwriting.’ And until we got better and at it we brought in songs that were either partly finished, or just ideas to put on one of his songs. We might bring in a song that was half finished, or a whole song minus the lyrics. And it was always minus the lyrics, because that was Phil Lynott’s domain. We knew that we weren’t ever going to touch or top his lyrics. So you just let him get on with it.”
The guitarist says it’s the same with Warwick: “Ricky’s such a great lyricist that none of us want to go into that area at all. It was the same with Phil, he was such a master at that side of it, there wasn’t any real point of the rest of us trying to hone in on it.”
Black Star Riders UK and Ireland tour
Nov 22: O2 Academy, Bournemouth
Nov 23: Shepherds Bush Empire, London
Nov 25: O2 Academy, Bristol
Nov 26: Junction, Cambridge
Nov 27: UEA, Norwich
Nov 29: Hard Rock Hell 6, Wales – festival co-headline
Nov 30: Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton
Dec 1: Solus/University, Cardiff
Dec 2: O2 Academy, Oxford
Dec 5: Ironworks, Inverness
Dec 6: Picturehouse, Edinburgh
Dec 7: O2 Academy, Newcastle
Dec 8: O2 Academy, Leeds
Dec 10: Assembly Rooms, Leamington Spa
Dec 12: Rock City, Nottingham
Dec 13: Ritz, Manchester
Dec 14: Academy, Dublin
All Hell Breaks Loose tracklist
01. All Hell Breaks Loose
02. Bound For Glory
03. Kingdom Of The Lost
05. Kissin’ The Ground
06. Hey Judas
07. Hoodoo Voodoo
08. Valley Of The Stones
09. Someday Salvation
10. Before The War
11. Blues Ain’t So Bad