On August 18, Mike Brierley of Rock N' Load conducted an interview with BLACK STAR RIDERS frontman Ricky Warwick at the Picturedrome in Holmfirth, United Kingdom. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the departure of bassist Marco Mendoza and addition of Robbie Crane (RATT, VINCE NEIL, LYNCH MOB):
Ricky: "Robbie is a phenomenal guy. He came out on the road with us the last week of the U.S. run just to hang out and play soundchecks and get the vibe. And he just fits right in. He's one of us — the same sense of humor. He's one of the gang. A smart guy, a really easy guy to get along with, and a hell of a bass player. And [he's] very excited to be a part of BLACK STAR RIDERS. It's been seamless; it's just been perfect. He's come in and he knows the stuff inside out. And again, he's a completely different character than Marco, but he's a big character, a big personality, as Marco is. So we've obviously lost Marco, but we've gained Robbie."
On the progress of the songwriting sessions for BLACK STAR RIDERS' forthcoming second album:
Ricky: "It's pretty much together. It's like a jigsaw; we have all the pieces. We need to start putting them together, which is what we're doing over the next six weeks before we start. Some songs are totally finished, other bits still need a choris or what have you. But I'm very excited with the stuff that we've written; I think it's very strong. And I can't wait to get started to record it."
On the recent announcement that DEF LEPPARD singer Joe Elliott was going to produce the next BLACK STAR RIDERS album:
Ricky: "We haven't got Joe Elliott producing it. We did have Joe Elliott producing it, but he's not doing it anymore. Yeah, Joe's, unfortunately, had to pull out of doing the album, just due to the fact that LEPPARD have gone insane [with their schedule]. They're out with KISS and there's loads of stuff going on, so he, unfortunately, had to pull out. Both of us are very sorry… It's a real shame, 'cause it would have been great with Joe, 'cause he's such a friend and such a champion of the band. But he's gotta look after his boys, and DEF LEPPARD's obviously his priority. I would have done the same thing, had it been the BLACK STAR RIDERS. So it's just the way it worked out, but we have somebody else lined up who we're gonna announce very soon."
Marco was a founding member of BLACK STAR RIDERS alongside fellow THIN LIZZY alumni Ricky Warwick (guitar, vocals), Damon Johnson (guitar) and Scott Gorham (guitar). The band's lineup is completed by Jimmy DeGrasso (ALICE COOPER, MEGADETH, DAVID LEE ROTH, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES) on drums.
BLACK STAR RIDERS' sophomore album will be released in early 2015 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment.
The band's debut CD, "All Hell Breaks Loose", sold around 2,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The effort 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.