The other day I had the pleasure of speaking to Damon Johnson of Black Star Riders, the new version of the legendary Thin Lizzy. We talked about the up coming Black Star Riders album Heavy Fire which comes out on February 3rd as well as Thin Lizzy’s enduring legacy.
How did the writing process for the upcoming Black Star Riders album go? How would you compare the style to the other two?
The process was similar to The Killer Instinct in that we worked again with Nick Raskulinecz, who we love. One of the biggest differences is that Ricky and I showed up with 22 completed songs: full lyrics and arrangements. We felt we wanted to give ourselves as many chances of delivering a quality album as possible. Our work ethic is very good, and we love the songwriting process.
I see that for Thin Lizzy you celebrated both the 40th anniversary of Jailbreak and 30 years since Phil passed. How did it go and what was the setlist like?
Thin Lizzy’s first two albums are normally considered to be bad albums by fans. Do you agree with this or feel they are mis judged and why?
Those albums showed a band in development. Phil was finding his way as a writer, a singer, a bandleader. They are still impressive recordings in my opinion as they show the band were fully committed to experimentation and not afraid to attempt a diversity of styles besides just hard rock. It’s ultimately the characteristic that would eventually separate Thin Lizzy from the other groups of the day.
On the last few Thin Lizzy albums the band took a heavier more metal sound. Has Scott said what inspired the band to go in this direction?