SCOTT GORHAM Explains Decision To Leave BLACK STAR RIDERS
Scott Gorham says that he left BLACK STAR RIDERS in order to «put a hundred percent concentration and effort» into getting THIN LIZZY back on the road.
Gorham was in BLACK STAR RIDERS for nearly a decade, having formed the band in 2013 with other THIN LIZZY members after deciding to write and record new music under a new moniker. BLACK STAR RIDERS‘ original lineup was completed by vocalist Ricky Warwick, guitarist Damon Johnson, bassist Marco Mendoza and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso.
BLACK STAR RIDERS announced Gorham‘s departure last September, with Warwick saying in a statement: «We are very sad to see Scott go, but we discussed a very heavy world touring commitment on the new record and Scott decided he wanted to concentrate just on THIN LIZZY — and being the legend he is, none of us can blame him.»
Gorham discussed his decision to leave BLACK STAR RIDERS in a new interview with «The Hook Rocks!» podcast. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): «It was right in the beginning of the whole pandemic thing. I know Ricky wanted to do an album straight off the bat. And I said, ‘Well, I can’t and I won’t get on a plane right now, for god’s sakes. We’ve got this thing raging around all of us. It’s kind of impossible.’ And I did not wanna do an album by Zoom; I didn’t even wanna contemplate on that. Plus, I did wanna start concentrating on THIN LIZZY, to get out there and show people these really great songs. So I thought it would be unfair to try to really put a hundred percent concentration and effort into one and then the other is kind of flailing there on the side. So I thought, well, I’ve done four albums with BLACK STAR RIDERS. I love ’em and I love the guys. I’ve proved the point with BLACK STAR RIDERS. Now it’s time to concentrate a little bit more on THIN LIZZY and see what we can do. ‘Cause there are so many really great musicians who want to be in this band called THIN LIZZY. They’ve listened to the songs their whole life, and to be able to get up on a stage and for real play the songs… It’s really kind of heartwarming that I know that I can reach out and there’s so many guys who wanna get up there and sit up there shoulder to shoulder with me, paying homage to Phil [Lynott] and Gary [Moore] and everybody else that was in the band. And it’s not an easy thing as you would think to pick who’s going to do it. It really is picking the right person for the right tour when we do THIN LIZZY.»
Asked when fans can expect to see THIN LIZZY back on the road, Scott said: «I’m gonna try for the end of this year. And if that doesn’t happen, it will definitely, definitely be in ’23. There’s still things to work out — different contracts and all that — there’s always some little rut in the road that you’ve gotta bounce over. But hopefully the latest it’s going to be is sort of mid-’23. But hopefully it’ll be latter 22. I think we still have enough time to set up a tour for ’22 in some part of the world, but we’ll see. I know that our management is working hard on it, so it will happen. I just can’t tell you when. [Laughs]»
According to Gorham, THIN LIZZY‘s lineup will continue to include Warwick and Johnson, with the drummer and bassist positions yet to be filled.
BLACK STAR RIDERS said that they would not seek a replacement for Gorham and would instead carry on as a four-piece, with Ricky handling a lot of the guitar parts alongside Christian Martucci, who joined the band after album number three in 2018.
BLACK STAR RIDERS entered the studio in Los Angeles last October with longtime producer Jay Ruston (STONE SOUR, STEEL PANTHER, URIAH HEEP, ANTHRAX) to record the follow-up to 2019’s «Another State Of Grace». The as-yet untitled fifth album will arrive in early 2023, and dates are booked to start within a couple of weeks of release. Los Angeles drummer Zak St. John joined BLACK STAR RIDERS to track the new album.