Exclusive: Thin Lizzy confirm new name and lineup
Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham has confirmed to Classic Rock that the band will release their album of new music under the title Black Star Riders.
And he’s explained why original drummer Brian Downey and long-standing keyboardist Darren Wharton won’t remain in the outfit as they move into the future.
Lizzy said earlier this year that, after having started work on a new record, they’d decided to retire Phil Lynott’s band name.
In the next edition of Classic Rock, on sale January 3, Gorham says: “Thin Lizzy is a partnership between Brian Downey and myself and the estate.
“If the estate had said, ‘This is a kick-ass idea,’ we would have had to rethink. But because they were feeling uncomfortable about it, that put a full stop to it.”
But Lynott’s widow Caroline wasn’t the only person unsure about the new direction – Gorham had his own concerns. “As we were writing these new songs, I started to feel uncomfortable,” he says. “I just felt, ‘This isn’t quite right without Phil.’
“So this is a new album by a new band. And I think it’s the right decision.”
Downey has decided not to be part of the Black Star Riders because he doesn’t want to be on the road as frequently as the others do. And Wharton wants to concentrate on his AOR band Dare.
Instead, the new outfit will continue with former Megadeth and White Lion drummer Jimmy DeGrasso, and work without a keyboardist. The band have composed 15 songs. In January they’ll start recording with star producer Kevin Shirley, and the album is due for release in May.
But Gorham says it’s not the end of Lizzy. “We have to play Thin Lizzy songs. People will expect it. Lizzy isn’t going to die.”
Asked why the band’s recent UK tour was billed as a farewell, the guitarist says: “I was so against that. It just looks like you’re slamming the last nail into the coffin with that one word.
“It’s like we’re never going to play again – when all we’re doing is resting this whole thing for a while.”
FInd out what Gorham’s bandmates Ricky Warwick and Damon Johnson think of the band’s changes, who named the Black Star Riders and why, and of the veteran guitarist’s doubt over what their new material sounds like – Classic Rock No.180 is on sale January 3, 2013.