RockOverdose and Zisis Pekanas had the chance to chat with Ricky Warwick on his new solo album “When Life Was Hard & Fast” scheduled to be released on February 19th via Nuclear Blast. Moreover, he commented on the situation on the music scene during the pandemic as well as plans of Black Star Riders - and shared memories from "The Almighty" era.
It's always a pleasure to talk with musicians and artists that are such creative and productive.
Listen, Read & Enjoy!
RockOverdose: Hello Ricky and welcome to RockOverdose! How would you comment on the current situation on the music industry due to the covid lockdown? How did it affect you and your music plans?
Ricky Warwick: It’s frustrating! I haven’t been playing live for over a year now, as all artists! It’s difficult to comprehend but I’ve been able to play some online live stream shows, which went pretty good and helped. I’ve been writing a lot, work a lot on demos and writing a lot of material. I’m trying to stay positive and healthy get through this, and of course I’m looking forward to get back to normal and play when it’s safe to do so!
RockOverdose: That’s what we all pray for and wait for! But I don’t think it’s going to be this year!
Ricky Warwick: I will agree with you, I think it’s going to be 2023-2024, to really get back to live shows happening. It is what it is! This thing is bigger than any of us and we have to be safe and get through it! It’s tough, it’s frustrating, but the nice thing is that I could be back with my family at home for a year and it’s really really nice to spend some time at home! I think we should stay positive!
RockOverdose: We could say that the title of your new solo album “When Life Was Hard & Fast” is quite predictive of the current situation, due to the covid-19 lockdown. Would you like to tell us the story of the making of your new album, did you face any difficulties or the process was easier?
Ricky Warwick: I didn’t face any difficulties because the album was recorded before the pandemic. It didn’t affect the recordings or the process at all! It was back when the life was as it used to be; the title is about when we were growing up, me and my friends. About our experiences, back in the 70s-80’s in Belfast. It was before the internet, before the cellphones, when we used to play on the streets, it’s about all the dreams and aspirations we had for our future, when we wanted to be soccer players or rock n’ roll stars! Is nice looking back on these days and seeing where we are now.
RockOverdose: I see, so those days were hard but you lived fast and nice!
Ricky Warwick: Exactly!
RockOverdose: What are your expectations from this album?
Ricky Warwick: People to like it! That’s what I expect, to appreciate it and like the music and why not like to hear more! That’s what you do with every record you make, to put it out there and people discover it! I’m really looking forward for everybody to get a chance to hear it! The release day is on 19th of February! There are 2 new videos out there for the tracks “Fighting Heart” and “You don’t love me”, and on the 29th of January another one is coming out.
RockOverdose: Would you like to speak about the many collaborations on this album , e.g. Andy Taylor (Duran Duran , Joe Elliott (Def Leppard), Dizzy Reed (Guns n Roses), even your daughter… How was it working with them?
Ricky Warwick: I’ve been friends with those guys, Andy, Joe, Dizzy forever; I’m a huge fan of them! They are great artists! When you make a solo record is nice to reach out and play together. It’s wonderful for me to have those people in my record and I’m much honored, they played great on there!
RockOverdose: And of course the greatest collaboration is with your daughter!
Ricky Warwick: It is! That’s a proud father moment! My little girl Pepper, is a great singer! She’s really into music, she plays guitar and piano. She’s 13 years old, but she was 11 when she first recorded the song. We had a really nice day on the studio together, she did a really great job!
RockOverdose: That’s good parenting! Parenting doing well!
Ricky Warwick: I hope so! I have 3 other kids, they are all grownups! Being a parent isn’t easy. Kids can be crazy at times, but I’m proud of all of them, they are an inspiration and if they are happy, I’m happy too.
RockOverdose: I have 3 daughters! I know… That’s really good. So, many artists, like you, tried playing online shows during the pandemic. How do you see the future of live shows?
Ricky Warwick: I think is good, I think I’ll keep doing it even if we get back playing live because it’s a great way to connect with people. I really enjoyed it! It was amazing to be able to do that. It’s something that I focus on and look forward to and of course a chance to play. I’ve probably keep doing it even if we get back to normal, maybe one or two online shows. Of course you can never replace the live shows and you’re there physically.
RockOverdose: What about the next step of the “Black Star Riders” after their successful release back in 2019?
Ricky Warwick: Well, we’ve never had the chance to tour that record the way we wanted to, because it was some months before the pandemic. Last year was supposed to be touring all year with Black Star Riders but didn’t happen. We have a new album written and we just wait the OK to move forward when the pandemic is over and get in the studio to record it! I hope that’s going to be in the summer some time and then in the end of 2022 – early 2023 to release it!
RockOverdose: You started as Thin Lizzy and I suppose you had to change your name….
Ricky Warwick: We did it on respect Phil’s legacy and Thin Lizzy. We felt it wasn’t good to put our songs under the Thin Lizzy name. Playing live is another thing for people to come and hear us, but to record new material as Thin Lizzy without Phil it’s wrong. That’s why we keep on with Black Star Riders! It was the right decision.
RockOverdose: I agree. Lately lots of bands reunite for touring or return to discography. Is “The Almighty” chapter closed for you forever or are there any thoughts of coming back to the scene?
Ricky Warwick: I will answer that question as NO and YES. No is because I never close anything. I never say “That’s it! I’ll never going to do this again!” because you don’t know what’s going to happen a year from now or 15 years from now. But I don’t thing “The Almighty” are going to play together again. You ask me for it now, I can’t see it happening. Nobody in the band wants to do it. We are all very proud of the legacy and what we’ve created but we don’t really want to go back. Everyone is happy, I don’t really want to reform a band. I’m so busy doing my solo staff, Black Star Riders and I’m going forward! I don’t think the intensity the Almighty had would be the same and that worries me. So the memories are good for the people who remember us, everything that we stood for, now we are older, so many years have passed and I don’t know if that would be the right thing to do. It’s better to leave it the way it is. It was an amazing band, I’m proud for being a part of it. Still love the songs and play some in my solo shows.
RockOverdose: It’s been 11 years since you joined “Thin Lizzy” – how your relationship with the band developed through this decade?
Ricky Warwick: Great! I love those guys, they’re amazing! Scott Gorham is a legend! He’s a friend of mine and I love sharing the stage with him, he’s brilliant!
RockOverdose: Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy, still remain popular in our days even in younger generations. What do you believe is the element to achieve acceptance and recognition throughout the decades?
Ricky Warwick: The songs are just amazing and fantastic! Phil is an iconic, unique and brilliant frontman. Their music stood the test of time, it’s timeless!
RockOverdose: Are there any other news that you’d like to reveal through this interview?
Ricky Warwick: I’m excited about the new record, that’s where I’m focused right now! Looking forward for people to hear it and get feed back!
RockOverdose: What are your memories from Greece?
Ricky Warwick: Good! I ‘vent been there enough but the few times that I’ve been there it was really good. We had a really nice time. I need to visit more and hope to do that in the future!
RockOverdose: Send a message to our readers and listeners!
Ricky Warwick: First of all I hope everybody is safe and well! Stay positive and thank you for your support, I really appreciate it! I can make it rock and you can make it roll!
RockOverdose: Thank you very much for your time!
Questions, Edit & Transcript : Vivi Zapantiotou