Troy Sanders from Atlanta progressive metallers MASTODON played bass for iconic rockers THIN LIZZY during their summer 2019 run of European festival appearances to commemorate 50 years since the formation of the original band and 40 years since the release of the seminal "Black Rose" album.
Sanders joined guitarist Scott Gorham, Darren Wharton on keyboards, Ricky Warwick on lead vocals, Damon Johnson on guitar and JUDAS PRIEST's Scott Travis on drums for several shows in late July and early August, including an August 10 slot at Alcatraz Hard Rock & Metal Festival in Kortrijk, Belgium.
Asked by U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine how "cool" it was getting asked to play bass with THIN LIZZY, Sanders said: "I was in Hamburg, Germany in February, having just finished a show, when my guitarist got a message from Damon Johnson, asking if he could have my number because Scott Gorham was firing up the band for a few shows over the summer, and they wanted me to play bass. I had to sit down for a second and ask if it was real. I've known Damon for a long time, but I never take anything like that for granted. MASTODON will be 20 years old [in 2020], but every time we get together to rehearse, I still feel that fire in my belly as a band. That's special. But to be actually asked to play for THIN LIZZY is a different kind of special. It's humbling on a personal level, too, because I know there are hundreds of excellent bass players out there they could've asked. How and why my name got called first, I don't know. They're one of the greatest rock bands ever, so it really warmed my heart to get that call."
Sanders went on to say that his performance with THIN LIZZY at the Steelhouse Festival was the "best" show he played in 2019. "That first night with THIN LIZZY, on a mountaintop in Wales, was hard to beat," he said. "It was this beautiful setting, this special occasion with maybe 5,000 people watching, and I got to go out, have a good time and smile while watching thousands of people smiling back. The intangible circle of musical magic that's created from a band into a crowd and back felt like it culminated on that mountaintop. I was grinning ear to ear. It was like a dream."
THIN LIZZY peaked in 1976 with its "Jailbreak" album, which went gold in the U.S.
The band's frontman Phil Lynott died on January 4, 1986, at the age of 36.
Gorham launched a new touring version of THIN LIZZY in 1994 with latter-day LIZZY guitarist John Sykes. Several personnel changes followed until Scott finally brought singer Ricky Warwick (frontman for the Scottish band THE ALMIGHTY) and guitarist Damon Johnson (formerly with Alice Cooper) into the fold.