Thin Lizzy interview with Ricky Warwick: "It's impossible to even think about replacing Phil Lynott"

31/10/2012 @ 13:17
The decision of re-activation Thin Lizzy, without Phil Lynott, had provoked intense debate among the fans of the band, with most of them considering such a move inappropriate. Eventually, there was an announcement that the forthcoming tour will be the last and that the band will continue with a different name. The interview with Ricky Warwick, held prior to this announcement, so even if there is no longer the question 'is right to continue without Phil?' it is interesting to know the opinion of the man who was asked to replace him. Read below the interesting things we discussed about Thin Lizzy, The Almighty and for the upcoming performances of the band in our country.

You have been in Thin Lizzy for a couple of years now. How you've made such a decision? Was it hard for you to decide to make such a move in your carrier?
Well, actually, you know, the decision was really made for me when Scott Gorham called me up and asked me. Basically he told me he was thinking to get the band back together and asked me if I was interested in singing with them. You know it's been really one of my ultimate favorite bands of all time, it was just such a wonderful opportunity and I'm so honored to be asked and I said yes certainly.

Have you seen it coming or it was a surprise for you?
No, it was right out of the blue, I had no idea at all that it was gonna happen, I really didn't expect anything like that, so that was a real shock for me.

Thin LizzyHow are things in the band now? There are some rumors about recording some new material. Is there a chance to have a new Thin Lizzy album in the near future?
Yeah, that's true. We're actually recording in the studio next month with Kevin Shirley producing...

Ooh, the 'Caveman'...
Yes, the 'Caveman'! (laughs). We have recorded some new tracks with Kevin, and we're all very excited about it. So the rumors are true. (laughs)

So do you see a new album perhaps in 2013?
I think that's the idea... What we’re hopefully looking to do, yes.

And what is your part in this new material, are you going to write some stuff or are you going to sit back, enjoy the ride and sing some lyrics?
No. It's all written, all the band has written all the music, and I've written all the lyrics for everything,
so I'm very involved in it.

Thin LizzyOk, how do you perceive Thin Lizzy? As a real band or as a tribute band and...
Definitely, as a full band...

Ok then, how it feels to step into the shoes of a great musician such as was Phil Lynott? know, I always said you can't step into Phil's shoes, it’s impossible to even trying to think about replacing him, you know.  All I can do is stand beside those shoes and hope to feel the greatness and you know I don't even try to go there because it's just a silly idea. At the end of the day I'm Ricky Warwick. People need to hear the songs the way they know and love them, and I try my best to sing them that way, but at the end of the day it's Ricky Warwick that singing them and I have never dreamed of trying the made them mine, or anything like that. You know, that would be wrong. Phil and Lizzy were a huge influence on me all the time, for my whole life. I love the songwriting, I love the singing, lyrics, everything. That’s always been the truth, even before I was ever in Thin Lizzy but, you know that tribute  band thing is wrong. We're not trying to go out there and replace anything. This is the living, we're moving forward, we're, acknowledging the past and the great tradition Thin Lizzy have, but we are moving into the future.

Thin LizzyWhat you have to say to all these people that criticize your move to continue the band without its leader?
Everything you do in life, no matter what it is, some people would criticize it. For people, it's just like that. What I always find funny is when people try to speak for Phil, and whether he would like this. So, how do you know? How do you know what Phil would like? I think that people know well that Phil was like out of thought, that the guys that he was in the band with are very close friends with his mother, and his family. They knew Phil, they grew up with him, they spent a lot of time with him, they knew what kind of guy he was and the thing I always say is that people die, but music doesn't. Music lives on and time lives on, and that's just the fact, and you know you can look to the past  and you can try to live in the past, for me that's a great negative thing to do, I think you should embrace the past, acknowledge the past, learn from it and live forward and that's what we're trying to do with Thin Lizzy, and we certainly acknowledging all the great songs, legacy and everything what was wonderful about Phil I said we're moving it forward, and we're playing with a lot of passion and a lot of integrity, a lot of honesty and anybody that comes to the shows have seen that and I understand that. You know, time moves on and I look a lot of little kids coming to the show that were not even born when Thin Lizzy were active and Phil was still alive, so they get in to see the band for the first time and hearing about Thin Lizzy for the first time and then they're going back and checking out all the great stuff with Phil and it's, you know, It's keeping the legacy alive and bring the music to new generation. Honestly, I can't see anything wrong with that I think it's a positive and a great thing.

Thin LizzyI know what you saying about your live performance because I saw you live last year in Download Festival and you were pretty amazing you know, I didn't expect to perform so well.
Thank you very much.

So how you feel when you perform all these great songs live?
It's just like...a dream come true, it’s the greatest gift in the world. Such wonderful songs, such brilliant lyrics, there's such a joy to sing, and it's fan upon the stage with the guys and turn around and see that logo behind Brian’s drum kit all lit up. Every time I get chilled. It's such an amazing feeling to know that you wake up in the morning and you are in Thin Lizzy and you getting to go out and play those songs to the people and it's an honor. It’s a huge, huge honor and it never stops being like the first time for me, every show, even though I've been doing it two years now. Every show is like the first show, it's really incredible.

And what do you think that a band like Thin Lizzy has to offer to music in 2012?
Well, you know, I think that Thin Lizzy have a very, very recognizable sound and style. I think a lot of bands over the years have been very influenced by Thin Lizzy. I know that my band was and my solo stuff was very influenced by Thin Lizzy. So, I think that's a good thing to offer to kids today that are getting to music and stuff like that. Great songwriting, great musicianship and great stagecraft. I think it's a really good rock n roll show I think which is very relevant today, you know, it's the real deal. People, who come along to see six real rock n rollers getting up there, play from the heart, play with passion and putting on a hell of a rock n roll show and I think a lot of younger kids can come along and see that and learn from it.

Thin LizzyAnd what is your vision about Thin Lizzy? Do you see perhaps recording another album in the future?
I'm just happy as long as Brian and Scott and Darren are happy, you know the original guys. I'm happy to keep playing and keep writing and working with those guys as long as they want me with them. I mean they're great guys and I love them dearly and they're very good friends. I'm really  enjoying it and I like to think we'll record some new songs, we'll keep touring, obviously we're coming to Greece for the first time, that's a big thing and I you know we just wanna keep playing, we're really enjoying it and we're really having a good time.

So, let’s talk about the Almighty chapter now. Is it over or should we wait for some news coming from that direction?
Hmm, there's not too much to tell you. It’s real that next year is 25 years since the band started. Obviously, we haven't really done anything since 2008, we just did some shows. There is this talk that Universal might be putting out some reissues with the old stuff next year, so that would be cool. I really can’t tell. Everybody's very busy with their own lives, but maybe we get a chance to do a couple of shows to mark the 25 years of the band. Sure, that would be nice. I don't see if a full reunion is ever really happening, not for the foreseeable future anyway.

Rick Warwick (Thin Lizzy)By the time of "Powertrippin'" everything was going fine for you. What, in your opinion, was the thing that prevented almighty from being more successful?
I think we were very young, very naive, we argued a lot (laughs) and we did a lot of drugs. The usual things... We had the problems with the record labels, with people leaving and crank up the relationships. I think that all happened too fast and that nobody was there for us to say "hey guys, slow down, have a little look on what you're doing, even take a break". All of us were a little bit crazy and I think looking back on it, a little bit of better planning would have been good. We lived  eight very intense years and  like I said we were all very young when, we put our first record and we were still in mid to late 20's when the band split up so, it was just we burnt out I think...

And what about you, I know you are a great composer, you like to play your guitar, so how you going to put all this, are you going to plan a solo album or something like that?
Yeah, I'm still writing all the time, I've written a lot of stuff for a solo stuff and maybe some other project, But there is the Thin Lizzy thing, we're still busy and it's very hard to get anytime to concentrate on something else. Thin Lizzy really demand pretty much all my concentration which I'm more than happy to do right now, so maybe when we get a break and somewhere on the line I'm certainly planning up to do some record out, it's just a question of when.

Do you listen to any new music? Is there something that caught your eye?
I'm Listen to, I really like the band, The Gaslight Anthem... I like bands like Shinedown, quite a lot, great band, really cool... I like a lot of Jack White stuff, White Stripes, Raconteurs, all that stuff, so yes I’m listening to some new music.

What you want to say to your Greek fans for your upcoming show here?
We're just delighted, I think it's the first time ever that Thin Lizzy. That's a huge thing and we're all really excited about coming to play. It's the first time I'll ever play there ever so, personally I'm really excited. I've been to Athens before and I remember the people being really friendly and very hospitable. We're just really excited to come down in and bring the show. We can't wait for everybody to see...

Thin LizzyDo you have any spoiler, teaser you know, what to expect...
Oh man yeah you know... the setlist is ...everybody's gonna be happy, it’s all the classics, all the songs from the great back catalogue and you know we play all the hits, I think everybody gonna be happy with the songs that we play.

Is there any chance we listen to any new material?
Yeah, there's probably a good chance. I would certainly think that we'll be doing at least one new song.

OK, thank you very much for your time Ricky.
You welcome, thank you very much.