Mark Taylor recently got on the blower to Ricky Warwick for a chat. The pair talked about the excellent debut album from Black Star Riders amongst other things.
1. Where did the album title 'All Hell Breaks Loose' come from?
The song came first,lyrically the song was written but i was watching the History Channel about a documentary on B-17 bomber crews in the Second World War and they had graffiti on the nose of the planes and they also put pin up girls on there underneath and i saw the slogan 'All Hell Breaks Loose' and i thought that's great, that's the title of the album and it also became the cover of the album as well.
2. That's great, who did the artwork for the album cover?
That's from an old vintage style pin -up artist whose name has just gone from right out off my head, but we asked if we could license it and they agreed and there it is.
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3. The album has been produced by Kevin Shirley who seems to be the top man for the job these days. Did he get the band to work in a certain way or push you in a new direction?
Well he didn't to be honest with you.He really liked the demo's arrangement wise , but Kevin's got a great technique of the way he mic's up stuff in the studio, he works extremely quickly, he wanted to capture the energy and attitude of the band and we all played live, the songs were cut live and the overdubs were kept to a minimum with just the backing vocals and some guitar.The whole thing was done extremely quick.Just 12 days.
4. Black Star Riders is formed from the ashes of Thin Lizzy. Was it important to keep the sound of Lizzy in Black Star Riders?
Well Black Star Riders is a continuation of that. There's always going to be a part of Thin Lizzy in Black Star Riders and that's because of Scott Gorham, because of his time with Lizzy he has that style of play and myself and the rest of the guys in the band growing up listening to Lizzy have the sound in our DNA make up. We've all got our own identity in Black Star Riders but there will always remain a part of Lizzy in the sound.
5. There is one song on the album that i absolutely love and that is 'Kingdom Of The Lost', can you tell me more about the subject matter of that track?
Yes, that was inspired by a story my father told me about my great grandfather, who ran away from his home in Belfast when he was just 14 years old at the start of the First World War and he enlisted but became ill and had to lie about his age in hospital . He re-enlisted when he was sixteen but by then the war was pretty much over in 1918 and it sparked this idea in me of how for centuries people have been trying to leave Ireland in search of a better life in either America,Europe or Australia or beyond or whatever and it amazes me how often when i'm drinking in a bar here in California and people tell me how much they miss Ireland and i often say ''Then why don't you go back to Ireland , if you miss it so much.'' and that got me thinking,the problem it's not so much the country that where you live, but with yourself and what and where you want to be in life. It's not to blame the country where you are living, i really believe it's not where you're living it's how you live.
6. I believe you're the same as me as neither of us saw Phil Lynott with Thin Lizzy but we did see him live with his post Lizzy project Grand Slam who never got to release an album before he passed away. Some songs were recorded like 'Military Man' with Gary Moore and 'Dedication' was released posthumously , but was there any discussions for Black Star Riders to record some of the Lynott material that hasn't seen the light of day?
Yes i did see Grand Slam , but you know, that's really up to Scott to decide because he is so close to that, but i think with Black Star Riders we are trying to establish the band , we have a lot of great song writers in the band and it's best to establish our own board.
7. What are your favourite songs on the new album
Oh! That changes from day to day but 'Kingdom Of The Lost' does it for me, 'Bound For Glory' because that was the first song we did and 'Bloodshot' i like a lot at the moment, that's a great track too.
8. You've got a big tour coming up throughout Europe and the UK. What percentage of songs in the set will be Lizzy and Black Star Riders ones? We've got a lot of material to chose from , but i think half of it will be Black Star Riders and Half Lizzy.Obviously we've only done one album with Black Star Riders, we don't have enough material for a whole headline set but there will always be some Lizzy in a Black Star Riders show , but on this tour it will be 50/50.
9. You're also doing a solo tour with Tony Wright of Terrovision in July and August.
Yes, I havn't done a solo tour in about three years because i have been so busy with Thin Lizzy, but i have a little bit of spare time before the Black Star Riders tour starts and i'm just itching to get out there to this co-headline tour and i'm really looking forward to it.
10. And will you be tempted to slip in some Black Star Riders numbers for this solo tour?
Yes absolutely , I will be doing some Lizzy, Black Star Riders, Almighty as well as solo stuff
11. With you time with Thin Lizzy / Black Star Riders, what's been your highlight so far?
You know , there's been so many, it's been incredible , but playing Slane Castle in front of 85,000 , where Thin Lizzy had played before with Scott Gorham , Brain Downey and Darren Wharton was something really special.
12. There are a lot of people out there who say the band shouldn't be doing this or doing that, but generally the vibe has been positive and the music does live on dosn't it?
Well life is about opinions, and at our shows, there's a lot of guys bringing their kids along who are hearing these songs for the first time, seeing how great the band are, hearing about how great Phil was and getting into the back catalogue and that opens so many door for them . How can you not like that?
13. Ricky, it's been great talking with you, all the best for Black Star Riders and the album 'All Hell Breaks Loose'
Thank you very much.
Black Star Riders will be appearing at the Download Festival this weekend.
You can also watch an interview Mark Taylor conducted with Damon Johnson of Black Star Riders just before the name change last December right here.