“All Hell Breaks Loose”, the debut album from BLACK STAR RIDERS, the new band formed by THIN LIZZY alumni Ricky Warwick (guitar, vocals), Damon Johnson (guitar), Scott Gorham (guitar), Marco Mendoza (bass) with new addition Jimmy DeGrasso (ALICE COOPER, MEGADETH, DAVID LEE ROTH, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES) on drums, sold around 2,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 5 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.
The “All Hell Breaks Loose” artwork features a painting by Gil Elvgren (March 15, 1914 – February 29, 1980), the legendary U.S. painter best known for his work on pin-up girls, advertising and illustration.
“All Hell Breaks Loose” was recorded and mixed by producer Kevin Shirley (LED ZEPPELIN, IRON MAIDEN, AEROSMITH, RUSH) at his The Cave studios in Malibu, California. Mastering duties were handled by Bob Ludwig (JIMI HENDRIX, RUSH, KISS, LED ZEPPELIN) at Gateway Mastering Studios in Portland, Maine.
The album was released as a standard CD and also as a special-edition digipak featuring a bonus track, “Right To Be Wrong”, and a “making-of” DVD.
“All Hell Breaks Loose” track listing:
01. All Hell Breaks Loose
02. Bound For Glory
03. Kingdom Of The Lost
05. Kissin’ The Ground
06. Hey Judas
07. Hoodoo Voodoo
08. Valley Of The Stones
09. Someday Salvation
10. Before The War
11. Blues Ain’t So Bad
The artwork ties directly to the origins of the album title. Warwick explains: “I was watching a documentary about World War II bombers and saw the name painted on the side of one of the aircraft. The name just resonated with me and it seem to encapsulate the turmoil that we, as a society, are currently experiencing. The past few years have been such a wild ride and now with the release of the album, it sounded like a bad-ass album title that summed up what BLACK STAR RIDERS is all about.”
About the single, Warwick states: “‘Bound For Glory’ — a song for the lost but never lonely, walking tall in the face of everyday adversary. Everyone has a story to tell. Revolution begins in the mirror!!!” Gorham adds: “When it came time to pick one of these songs as a single, we had a really hard time. There are so many really great tracks here and everyone had their favorites. But in the end, we all agreed that ‘Bound For Glory’ is the perfect choice and represents what BLACK STAR RIDERS is all about.”
In October 2012, THIN LIZZY announced that they would not be recording new material under the THIN LIZZY monicker. The last incarnation of the band — Gorham, Brian Downey, Wharton, Warwick, Johnson and Mendoza — would be looking to form a new project.
According to a press release, Brian Downey decided to not become involved with BLACK STAR RIDERS because he didn’t want to commit to the touring cycle a new album would entail and Darren Wharton wanted to concentrate on DARE and other music and film projects.
“Brian and Darren just don’t want to be on the road 150 days a year. anti that’s completely understandable,” Warwick tells Classic Rock magazine. “But we do. We work very well together, and there’s no better man than Jimmy to gel it together. This is a kick-ass band.”
The BLACK STAR RIDERS album will feature material the band wrote while touring as THIN LIZZY and the sound retains that classic feel but is very much its own as well. The BLACK STAR RIDERS record is the next step in the evolution of the THIN LIZZY story.
“There’s no way it could sound like THIN LIZZY with [late THIN LIZZY frontman] Phil [Lynott],” Gorham tells Classic Rock. But Johnson disagreees. “I think Scott is too dose to it,” he says. “Ricky or I would bring in a song idea, and as soon as Scott starts playing on it, it sounds like THIN LIZZY, whether Scott realizes it or not. Everybody who’s heard the new music says it has that dassic THIN LIZZY vibe. No, it can’t sound like the original band. But that classic LIZZY vibe is absolutely there.”
“I’m not gonna pull any punches here,” says Warwick. “It sounds like classic THIN LIZZY brought up to date. l’ve been singing Phil‘s songs every night for two years, and although it sounds a bit crass because the man’s not here, I feel like I’ve had these lessons from getting so deep into his work. Phil‘s songwriting, his lyrics, his phrasing, his pitching, his delivery — it’s genius. And that’s really helped me as a writer.”
It was Warwick who named the new band BLACK STAR RIDERS, after an outlaw gang in the 1993 western movie “Tombstone”. As Johnson tells Classic Rock: “Scott said from the very beginning that we did not want a name that was specifically related to THIN LIZZY, because this band has to stand on its own.”
BLACK STAR RIDERS made its live debut on May 30 at The Marshall Theatre in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.
The set featured a mix of music from BLACK STAR RIDERS‘ debut album, “All Hell Breaks Loose”, along with classic THIN LIZZY tracks.