Four albums in, current masters of anthemic rock ‘n’ roll Black Star Riders let loose the fifth incarnation of their unique musical prowess on new album, Wrong Side Of Paradise.
Black Star Riders entered the studio in Autumn 2021 with their Grammy-nominated long-term producer Jay Ruston (Stone Sour, Uriah Heep, Anthrax, Steel Panther) to record the follow-up to 2019’s blistering Another State Of Grace in Los Angeles at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 (“a fantastic experience, a wonderful studio with an amazing sounding live room. The rock ‘n’ roll history that is well documented and ingrained in the vintage Neve Console there is spine tingling,” enthuses lead vocalist, Ricky Warwick) and at Christian Martucci’s Toochtone Sound in Bend, OR.
In discussing the spirit of the album, Warwick states: “As with all BSR albums, Wrong Side Of Paradise is an anthemic statement of intent, driven by ferocious guitars and thundering drums. I can only write about my own personal experiences, my families, my friends and how I see a world that is unravelling and changing faster than we can comprehend. That being said, I’m a firm believer in the power of positivity, something that echoes throughout this album.”
Wrong Side Of Paradise includes some incredible contributions from the likes of Joe Elliott (Def Leppard) adding vocals to the album’s first single, “Better Than Saturday Night,” and Fred Mandel (Alice Cooper, Queen, Elton John) who stepped in to play keyboard on the album, as he has for the band’s previous three albums.
Throughout Black Star Riders’ history, the band’s personnel have included some rock luminaries including bassist Marco Mendoza (ex-Whitesnake), drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Ex-Megadeth, Ex-Alice Cooper) and of course, the legendary Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy, 21 Guns). Scott left the band in 2020 to focus on his duties in Thin Lizzy and to work on new music from his side project, 21 Guns.
“One of the things I am most proud of about Black Star Riders is our relevance. We make music because it matters and it matters because it’s a universal language,” concludes Warwick.
The current line-up of the band sees founding member Ricky Warwick (vocals and guitar) lead a pack of killer musicians: long-time member Robbie Crane (bass), Sam Wood (guitar) and Zak St. John (drums), the latter two of whom are welcome new additions to the band.
Robbie Crane comments: “We have known Zak a while from the LA session scene and I know he will blow everyone away when you see and hear him.”
Ricky comments: “I first saw Sam back in 2019 when Wayward Sons were guests to BSR and I was absolutely blown away! I had Sam join me for a few Fighting Hearts dates a few months back and knew he was the guy for us. If ever there was a new guitar hero waiting in the wings then it’s Sam! Black Star Riders have had some of the world’s finest guitar players in their ranks and Sam is truly up there as one of them. We couldn’t be happier!”
It was back in 2012 that Black Star Riders was first formed by four members of Thin Lizzy – Scott Gorham, lead vocalist/guitarist Ricky Warwick, co-lead guitarist Damon Johnson, and bassist Marco Mendoza – plus former Megadeth and Alice Cooper drummer Jimmy DeGrasso. The band’s debut album All Hell Breaks Loose was released in 2013, and drew widespread acclaim in Classic Rock, MOJO, Metal Hammer, and Kerrang!