BLACK STAR RIDERS vocalist Ricky Warwick recently spoke with "The Metal Teddy Bear Experience", a program on Montclair State University's student radio station WMSC 90.3. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On BLACK STAR RIDERS' success:
Ricky: "I can't retire just yet, but things are good. I like to keep working, and we love to play. We love to tour, and I think no amount of money would ever stop us from doing what we love."
On the group's new album, "Another State Of Grace":
Ricky: "This is our fourth record, and I think that's a testimony in itself. We're seven years into BLACK STAR RIDERS now. I get excited before we put out every record — this one especially, for me. I just feel it's our best work yet. I feel the band has really evolved into something that I hoped it would when we started the band. I think the band's really firing on all cylinders on this record. I think when people check it out, they'll hear that... The chemistry that we have within the band is very strong, and the songwriting is very strong. We've all been in different bands — we've all been doing this a long time — so when we go into the studio, we've got a fair idea of what we want to achieve and what we need to achieve... The guys in the band are wonderful musicians, so there's no messing around when we get into the studio. We get right down to it, and usually, a lot of stuff is done in the first or second take. For me, it's doing your homework. If you've done your homework and you've got your stuff prepared before you go in, that's more than half the battle. There's a lot to be said for those first couple of takes, because that's where the freshness and spontaneity is. By the time you're into your twentieth take, you've maybe lost the spontaneity and the spark that you had and the enthusiasm that you had. For us, it's all about getting the vibe, playing together as a band in the studio, eyeballing each other, connecting with each other. You're capturing a moment, and you're trying to capture an emotion. That's very important to us."
On whether the material on the album was written freshly:
Ricky: "The title track of the album is a lyric that was left over from a previous album. We completely rewrote the music for it, but kept the lyric. Sometimes, that can work out in your favor, but we're more about quality over quantity. We try to get the songs demoed up to as high a standard as we possibly can, so we don't really feel the need for 30 or 35 ideas. If we have 15, 16 really strong, great songs demoed to the best of our ability, that usually works the best for us."
On the group's 2018 U.S. tour with JUDAS PRIEST:
Ricky: "Obviously, their crowd is real partisan — [a] real heavy metal, PRIEST crowd. To play in front of those crazy fans every night was unbelievable for us. They really took to the band, which was very, very satisfying to see how well we went over every night. Obviously, a lot of those people in that crowd were seeing BLACK STAR RIDERS for the first time, so to win some new fans over every night, that's what it's all about. You get a great sense of achievement in knowing that you're connecting and your songs are connecting. With a different crowd that's there to see the headline band, they don't have to give you the time of day, and the fact that they do and appreciate you is always really cool... Obviously, we are quite different than PRIEST, but at the end of the day, we're still both very hardcore rock 'n' roll bands, and I think the people at the show appreciated that. PRIEST were magnificent to us and looked after us really well. It was really amazing to be part of that tour."
BLACK STAR RIDERS' fourth album, "Another State Of Grace", will be released 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). The album will be made available on CD, vinyl and vinyl picture disc, limited-edition boxset and limited edition light green vinyl.