BLACK STAR RIDERS' Scott Gorham and Ricky Warwick have slammed America's "ridiculous" gun laws, saying the country "has to get some sort of handle on their love of guns."
To celebrate the release of BLACK STAR RIDERS' new album, "Another State Of Grace", Ricky and Scott stopped by Planet Rock studios on September 6 for a live acoustic session and a question-and-answer session in front of an ultra-intimate audience of competition winners.
Asked what's their favorite track on the new album, Gorham and Ricky Warwick both named "Why Do You Love Your Guns?" Gorham discussed the song's lyrical message, saying: "I don't consider us a really political band in that sense… You know, you sit in the back of the tour van and you start discussing things. And especially when you're in America, you start hearing about the mass shootings, and it seems to be constantly going on almost on a daily basis.
"Ricky and I agree on this — that America has to get some sort of handle on their love of guns, for God's sakes," he continued. "For me, I'd say, 'Take the guns away,' [but] Ricky's not so much that. To me. it's a song that really means a lot. I love the sound of the track also — I thought everybody did a great job recording it."
Warwick, who was born in Northern Ireland but now lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their four children, chimed in: "All these guys [gun owners] quote the Second Amendment. And it's funny that they can quote the Second Amendment, but they can't quote any other amendment. [shakes fist] 'My God-given right, it's the Second Amendment!' Okay, well, what's the fourth amendment? Well, they can quote the fifth, 'cause the fifth amendment is pleading the fifth."
He continued: "Growing up in Belfast and seeing what gun violence did back then, and living in America… My daughter was the same age when the Sandy Hook [massacre] went down. And I was actually back home in Belfast playing a show with Damon Johnson, and we were in good spirits and we came back to my cousin's house. And my wife phoned me in bits: 'Turn on the news, turn on the news.' And we saw the Sandy Hook thing. And, like I said, my daughter, she was seven at the time, and I think there was 21 little kids [who were] six, seven years old, brutally murdered. And I thought, 'Something now will be done. It has to be. If this doesn't change [things], I don't know [what will].' Here we are seven years later and there's been 250 mass shootings in the United States of America this year."
Ricky added: "I drop my daughter off at school. There's now a 10-foot fence erected around her middle school. There's armed security guards, there's policemen outside. It's like I'm dropping her off at a prison, not a place of learning.
"My own brother-in-law, who shouldn't have had access to a gun, was able to move to another state, buy a gun and he ended up turning the gun on himself."
Calling America's gun laws "ridiculous," Warwick went on to say: "You can walk in now… Walmart are making steps to change now… But you could walk into pretty much any store and buy a high-velocity rifle and no questions are asked. It's just, like, 'There you go. There's your potatoes and there's your AK-47. Have a good day.' They're banning plastic straws, which is great, but you can now sip your Coca-Cola through your AK-47, but not a plastic straw. And it's so wrong, and something has to be done. And I think writing this song was a way for me to get all that anger and what I felt about it, out."
Ricky said that he is thrilled with how "Why Do You Love Your Guns?" turned out. "The [other] guys [in the band] played so great on it," he said. "The song's just everything I imagined it would be — it's powerful, it's meaningful. And we've been in touch with Sandy Hook Promise, which is the charity set up by the parents of some of the kids who were so brutally killed, about what we could do to help with this song. So if it can make a little bit of difference, then I guess that's something."
"Another State Of Grace" was released on September 6 via Nuclear Blast. The follow-up to 2017's "Heavy Fire" was recorded in February 2019 at Sphere Studios in Burbank, California with producer Jay Ruston (STONE SOUR, ANTHRAX, URIAH HEEP).