All Hell Breaks Loose

Album: All Hell Breaks Loose (2013)

Songfacts®:

  • After frontman Phil Lynott's death in 1986, Thin Lizzy's guitarist and songwriter Scott Gorham spent years debating whether to record new studio material under the band's storied name. Eventually, a decade later, Gorham, along with co-guitarist John Sykes decided to reactivate thegroup, persuading drummer Brian Downey and keyboardist Darren Wharton to return to the fold with Marco Mendoza continuing in Lynott's role as bass player. Various hired guns were brought in, including vocalist Ricky Warwick (the Almighty) and guitarist Damon Johnson (Alice Cooper), However, the post-Lynott Lizzy never issued a studio album, just a lone concert set: 2000's One Night Only.

    Eventually, when it came to recording new material, Gorham decided it should be done under a new moniker, Black Star Riders, out of respect for Phil Lynott's memory. The record, All Hell Breaks Loose, was recorded with the line-up of Scott Gorham, Ricky Warwick, Marco Mendoza , Damon Johnson plus drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Alice Cooper, Megadeth). Scott explained to us why he chose to forgo the Thin Lizzy name in favor of Black Star Riders: "Well, I think it was more guilt than anything else," he said. "We started to write the album just a little over a year ago, and after about three months of us thinking, 'Okay, the next album is going to be the next Thin Lizzy album,' I started to feel uncomfortable about the whole thing - about writing and recording an album under the name Thin Lizzy and Phil Lynott not being there. It just didn't sit right with me after a while.

    I went to Brian Downey, the drummer, explained the situation, how I was feeling. He said he was feeling the same way. We went to both Ricky and Damon and they were feeling it. So independently, without anybody wanting to say anything, we were all thinking the same thing, feeling the same thing.

    So now that we've come to the conclusion that this, in fact, will not be the next Thin Lizzy album, what do we do with these songs? Because we really loved this start that we had on writing this new material. That's when one of the management said, 'Well, the only thing you guys can really do, what we have to do at this point, is find a date on the calendar, X that off, that will be the last Thin Lizzy show, and that will be the beginning of the new band.' And that's what we did."
  • The band made its live debut on May 30, 2013 at The Marshall Theatre in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom. This was the first song they performed.
  • The album title was inspired by a documentary about World War II bombers that Ricky Warwick viewed, where he saw the name painted on the side of one of the aircraft. "The name just resonated with me," he explained, "and it seemed to encapsulate the turmoil that we, as a society, are currently experiencing. The past few years have been such a wild ride and now with the release of the album, it sounded like a bad-ass album title that summed up what Black Star Riders is all about."
  • The artwork in All Hell Breaks Loose features a painting by Gil Elvgren, the legendary US artist best known for his work on pin-up girls, advertising and illustration.

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