Rocking At Las Rageous with Black Star Riders
Las Rageous took place over a two day period in Downtown Las Vegas, featuring the touring package of Judas Priest, Saxon, and Black Star Riders on a hard rocking Saturday night. A continuation of the mighty Thin Lizzy legacy which many of the members are participants of, Black Star Riders has been travelling all across the nation in support of their latest and greatest Heavy Fire manifesto on Nuclear Blast Records. Highwire Daze Online caught up with Black Star Riders’ charismatic front man Ricky Warwick backstage at Las Rageous to find out more about their tour with Judas Priest and Saxon, discussing a few of the songs from Heavy Fire, recent addition Chad Szeliga from Breaking Benjamin, and a whole lot more. Read on…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in Black Star Riders.
Hey this is Ricky Warwick and I’m the lead singer and guitar for Black Star Riders.
How is this tour with Judas Priest and Saxton been going so far, and what have been some of the highlights?
It’s been amazing, the highlights being the whole thing. There hasn’t been a bad show or a bad day. It’s just a great honor to be a part of a tour with these two great bands.
It’s like a dream package.
Yeah, it’s a great bill. It’s definitely got something for everyone. We’re delighted to be a part of it, very honored to be a part of it as well.
Had you toured with either band before in the past?
We have toured with Thin Lizzy. Us as Thin Lizzy, we had opened up for Judas Priest back in 2011 in The States. Back in my very old band The Almighty, we did a couple of shows with Saxon back in the UK way back in the day.
So its like touring with old friends.
It is, yeah. Three or four of the Priest crew are old Almighty crew guys. It’s like family, it’s great.
What can one expect from a live Black Star Riders show on this tour?
Attitude, energy, soul, power, intensity. Full on rock and roll show. We’re out there to make people feel something and try and move them. Hopefully put a smile on their face as well.
Since recording Heavy Fire, Chad Szeliga from Breaking Benjamin has joined up with you guys. How did that all come about?
Jimmy DeGrasso left to go play some shows with RATT and we said, well if that’s the case then we’re gonna have to get somebody else, and we did. We got Chad and he’s been a revelation, he’s been in the band about a year now. We love him to bits. He’s brought so much to this band, he’s a fantastic drummer and a great person. We’re very, very happy that he’s part of Black Star Riders now.
With Heavy Fire coming out in early 2017, how close are you to releasing any new material?
We’re not that close. We’re gonna record the next record in February of next year. But it probably won’t come out until the fall of 2019. We’re on it, we’ve been pretty prolific in the five years we’ve been putting records out. Like, three records in five years is good going, I guess. But, we’re gonna take a little bit longer on this one. Like I said, we’ll record it in February and probably put it out probably in September of next year.
I’m gonna ask you about two of the songs on your record. Dancing With The Wrong Girl, tell me what inspired the lyrics to that song.
There’s kind of a triple threat meaning behind that. You can take the poppy meaning, where it’s just a love song about forbidden love and hook up with the wrong person and cheating. Or the girl is a reference to drugs – to heroin. It could be about that or it could also be inspired by Texarkana serial killer murders from the 1940s where he was never caught in the town of Texarkana in Texas. This guy went out and killed young lovers after high school dances. It’s sort of a triple barreled meaning behind that song and I wanted to sort of write a sweet kind of catchy rock/pop song but with a very dark lyric behind it.
Cold War Love.
That was written for a buddy of mine that was going through a bad time, a very close buddy, really saying hang in there and think about what you have and don’t give up on it. Try and work things out, you know.
Pick any other song on the album, what inspired the lyrics for you?
Obviously the lyrics – always say you want to know our political leanings or what we think about certain things is read the lyrics. A song like Who Rides The Tiger is obviously very much aimed at the NRA and the medieval gun laws that we have in the USA. I’m saying, hey look, at the end of the day it’s common sense. We’re not telling you, people, to get rid of your guns but let’s look at this, let’s think about it methodically. Do people really need to get their hands on hardware military ammunition and guns? No. They don’t. So that tune has a message in there.
A song like Testify Or Say Goodbye is basically about saying what’s on your mind, speak the truth. Get off your soapbox and say what you believe or shut up and fuck off, basically. Piss off, basically. Every song is about something different, but it’s what we think. If somebody gets a different meaning from it, that’s cool. I’m totally cool with that.
With Black Star Riders becoming so successful, do you ever want to go back and do a Thin Lizzy tour at this point?
Well we did in 2016, we did a few Thin Lizzy shows. We did some festivals, about 6 shows which is really nice with Tom Hamilton from Aerosmith playing bass and Scott Travis from Judas Priest played drums. It was me, Scott Gorham and Damon Johnson and Darren Wharton. We went out and opened up for Ritchie Blackmore for a few shows over in Europe. It was great. I’m sure there will be 4-5-6 shows down the line somewhere but I can’t never see there being a full on Thin Lizzy tour again. That’s really Scott (Gorham’s) thing, it’s up to Scott what we do with that. We’re very much focused on Black Star Riders.
You mentioned The Almighty, any plans for new Almighty or solo material?
No. I’m very happy with where my life is right now. Solo material, absolutely. I’m hoping to get in and record a new solo record at the end of the year. Again, not sure when it’ll see the light of day. I have to base it around what the Black Star Riders are doing. I’d like to get in and do another solo record.
What’s up next for you guys after this tour is over?
We’re going to take a little time off, just write and concentrate on writing a fourth record. We’ve got a bunch of European festivals in the summer in July. Then myself and Damon Johnson are going to go out and do some acoustic runs in Europe, which we’ve done before. Maybe a few more Black Star Riders shows before the end of the year. Then, like I said, start our next year making the next record.
Any messages for Black Star Riders fans?
Thank you. Thank you for making it happen. Without you guys, none of this is possible. None of it. So, thank you for your beliefs, loyalty, your passion and your understanding and letting us do what we do and having the life that we have.
(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)
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