SCR: How’s the tour going so far?
RW: Tour is going very well thank you! We’re having a lot of fun and the attendance has been great, considering it was all put together last minute. What happened was, we were out doing stuff for Black Star Riders and there were some gaps and myself and Damon looked at the itinerary and we thought do we really want to fly back to the states, then back again, and back again and deal with the ket-laground the ring roads y’know, so we asked our agent to get us some acoustic gigs and we’ll stay over and make the most of the time here.
SCR: How many dates has there been on this acoustic tour?
RW: This is the tenth date, it’s the final one but we’ve got a Black Star Riders date in Holmfirth tomorrow and Download on Saturday, so we’re looking forward to that! We played download in 2013, it was our sixth ever gig and we did it once as Thin Lizzy as well in 2011.
SCR: Do you find the big festivals or arena shows your comfort zone? or the most enjoyable setting?
RW: We really enjoy it just because the vastness of it and the amount different people there. It’s nice to see the other bands and theres always a good vibe backstage and it’s just different. Download is special because as a kid, you grow up with Donington, so thats always a bit special for me.
SCR: How do you find the cross over? From playing an acoustic set tonight, to playing to thousands of people at Download on the weekend with the full band?
RW: You just do it. we love to play and it doesn’t really matter too much about the setting, we just want to get up, play the songs, sing and entertain people. Thats what we love, thats why we do it and thats basically why we’re here. if it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be here.
If its 60 or 60,000 we’re just as happy because we’re still getting the music out, still playing and making people happy.
SCR: Great point. I think people want to hear Black Star Riders and both your back catalogues in any format they can catch.
RW: I really hope so. The great thing about this acoustic stuff maybe that we wouldn’t get to play in a Black Star Riders set or even some Lizzy songs that we haven’t played.
SCR: Do you bring much of the new album into this set?
RW: Yeah! We’re both very proud of both Black Star Riders albums and it’s who and what we are and Damon and I wrote the majority of the songs on that album, so it’s just natural to carry it through, y’know.
SCR: We’ve read that the band works pretty seamlessly, when one comes up with a nice riff and melody, the other has lyrics for it and it just gels together
RW: Yeah, we’ve all got a great worth ethic and we are very aware that what you put into it is what you get out of it and it’s like anything else. If you’re lazy about it, you’ll struggle. Im always jotting down ideas, Damon is always coming up with riffs, we’re always working on new stuff, always talking about music and we’re always comparing notes so it’s an on-going thing so we’re never caught out going “s*** we’ve got no material, we’re struggling” or anything like that. Song writing should be organic and it should be an ongoing thing as far as I’m concerned - “okay, we need to go to a cottage in the country for two months to find inspiration” if you can’t find inspiration naturally in any situation you’re in, you’re not gonna find it in a cottage in the middle of nowhere, you know?
SCR: Do you make a conscious effort to get together as a band to get the writing down?
RW: No, we can’t. We live all over the place and to get us all together is the price of a small car before we start! Damon and I will get together, he’ll come to me or i’ll go to Nashville for a week but most of it is done on the road and some of it is done on Skype or FaceTime. We’ll go on FaceTime for a couple hours and see what we’ve got and we’ll get something we’re happy with and we’ll show it to the other guys in the band or Scott will give us a riff and we’ll work on that and present it back to Scott with lyrics and melody and ask if we’re going in the right direction with it.
SCR: The albums sound is pretty seamless, it does’t sound like you’re all based in different locations.
RW: We do all get into one space together, but not until we have a sting body of work to show the other guys. The great things about the other guys is that they’re great musicians and they can inter prate something straight away. Robby is the kind of guy that can her a new melody and he’ll not come up with one bass line, he’ll come in and say “heres four bass lines’, and they’re all fantastic! “which one do you like best?” and Jimmy is just a phenomenal drummer and he gives us options and he can fix a song. Thats the great thing about everyone being around for so long.
SCR: The Killer Instinct great even thought you have that distant writing process it doesn’t just sound like Damon, Ricky or Scott, it just sounds like Black Star Riders. I imagine a lot of bands struggle with that.
RW: Of Course. Everyone put’s their heart and soul and influence into it and I think it shines through in the music.
SCR: We heard there was plans to move away from the authentic Lizzy sound with the latest BSR album?
RW: Not really. You know, Scott Gorham is in the band, we’re always going to have that Thin Lizzy sound so that will always be a part of who we are, which is great! But with this album, we knew we were going into it writing a Black Star Riders album where as the last album was still “is this going to be a Thin Lizzy album” we didn’t know if we were going to change the name so that was certainly a big difference that we went into this knowing we are writing a Black Star riders Album! We didn’t have to strictly go for that Lizzy Sound.
SCR: Is there any particular songs that you enjoy playing the most in a live setting?
RW: Yeah, some of them work great. Finest Hour always sound good and you see, the thing is, most of them were written on acoustic guitars so they’re always gonna kind of work. The Killer Instinct sound great acoustic, Charlie I Gotta go sounds great… Writing on acoustic, that’s the beauty of it.
SCR > DJ: How do you find the cross over from playing onstage with a full band to being on a smaller stage in a live acoustic setting?
DJ: Oh I love it. Ricky may have mentioned this already, but he and I, individually have done lots of acoustic stuff. Some of my most fulfilling musical experiences have been just me and an acoustic guitar, and now i’ve got something with this guy! I mean just in the last two weeks the gigs have been amazing. There’s been moments where the crowds have been just as intense as the festivals, or you could hear a pin drop because they were listening so intentively, so I think I speak for both of us when I say we love it just as much as we do with a full band.
SCR: Thank you very much for your time guys! Short but sweet!