google5fdb2843fc4f1b5b.html Rock Chic: Ricky Warwick interview

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Ricky Warwick interview

Sunday 16th Jan 2011

In an exclusive, in depth interview, Alaina Henderson talks to Thin Lizzy's frontman Ricky Warwick.

Alaina: Hi Ricky, thanks so much for the interview. I expect you're really busy at the moment?Ricky: Yeah it's good, everybody's wanting to talk to us and it's great you know.

Alaina: I’m really looking forward to the Bristol gig tonight - have you played here before?
Ricky: I've played Bristol before many times with The Almighty and it was excellent, sold everything out.

Alaina: So I know you've been with Thin Lizzy since last year, sometime in 2010...
Ricky: Yeah. Well it was all confirmed that the band was back together in May of last year.

Alaina: What's it like? Were you a fan of theirs before?
Ricky: Yes a huge fan, they're one of my favourite bands of all time, so yeah, it's a huge honour.

Alaina: How does it compare between playing for The Almighty and Thin Lizzy? Is it really different?
Ricky: Oh, it's huge! It's a dream come true. You're playing in a band with your boy-hood heroes with a massive reputation, so it's very different in that you're trying to be respectful and carry on a legacy and keeping the music alive's good and enjoyable, but there's a lot of pressure that comes with it you know.

Alaina: I can imagine. I suppose that's great for them in that they've found someone to sing with them who is such a huge fan. I suppose it makes the whole experience better.
Ricky: Well like I said I was a huge fan of the music and I knew the band really well so I think all those things did help.

Alaina: Do you ever get nervous then, being in this situation?
Ricky: Oh of course, absolutely. Before every show.

Alaina: How many shows have you done so far with them?
Ricky: Tonight will be our 9th.

Alaina: So you're still kind of settling in?
Ricky: Well you know it's like that with any band, with every show they get tighter and better. The first show in Aberdeen was great but ever since it's just getting better and better.

Alaina: Have you got any favourite songs?
Ricky: You know what, it's clich├ęd, I love 'em all! But 'Do Anything You Want To' is probably one of my favourites. I love the lyrics and they mean a lot to me on a personal level, so if I had to pick one that would be the one.

Alaina: So it must be amazing for you to be able to perform it yourself then!
Ricky: Oh, I keep pinching myself you know, I can't believe it, it's a dream come true.

Alaina: Is there any song in particular that goes down especially well with the crowd?
Ricky: I think all of them do with the die-hard Lizzy fans, but obviously 'The Boys Are Back In Town' is a huge anthem – everyone knows that song! And 'Jailbreak' is a huge song. 'Whiskey in the jar'....there's so many it's really hard to pick a defining song where you go: “that's the one”.

Alaina: For anyone who has never heard these songs live, it must be a fantastic experience. I imagine the atmosphere will be amazing.
Ricky: It has, it's been fantastic at the shows. It's just been unbelievable.

Alaina: So, have the songs stayed exactly the same all the way through?
Ricky: Yeah. I mean, you don't want to...screw with greatness, if you know what I mean. People want to come and see the songs how Phil would have delivered them, with all the phrases in the right places, all those little elements in there. So I try to keep it as true in that respect as I can, but it is Ricky Warwick singing those songs and unfortunately not Phil. If it were Phil I would be sitting in the crowd watching the show myself along with you, but all I can do is deliver the songs the way they were written and the way they sound, but at the end of the day it's me singing it you know. You've got to try and strike up a balance between the two.

Alaina: I see. I know your sound with The Almighty is heavier than with Thin Lizzy....
Ricky: Absolutely, it's a completely different thing. Vocal wise, it's a whole different delivery for me.

Alaina: Do you get compared to Phil Lynott when you sing?
Ricky: Well people look and think, ‘They’re really big shoes to fill’, and I sort of think ‘Hang on! Nobody’s filling Phil Lynott's shoes here”. You can't. The man was a lyrical genius and one of the best front-men in the history of rock 'n' roll and nobody's trying to replace Phil here. We're moving it forward by respecting his legacy and respecting what the man did, but obviously there's a different person singing with a different personality. That's one of the strangest things people say to me: ‘It's not gonna be the same without Phil,' and I think, “Well do you think we don't know that?” You know, of course it's not going to be the same, it never will, but that still doesn't mean to say it's not gonna be one hell of a rock 'n' roll show, you know?

Alaina: Exactly. You're able to keep the music out there for people to experience live.
Ricky: Exactly, it's still got the intensity and passion, and heart and soul and delivery that Phil would have put into it, so if you wanna see those songs played well and with the same intensity, you're still gonna get that.

Alaina: When I listen to you sing with The Almighty and when I listen to you sing with Thin Lizzy, your voice is really different and you really sound like Phil.
Ricky: Oh, thank you!

Alaina: You do! To listen to it is absolutely amazing.
Ricky: Thank you. Well you know with the Almighty, it's very intense, and things are moving 100 miles an hour, and it's almost shouting, to be honest with you. But Phil was a crooner and Phil had a beautiful voice, you know and with those songs you have to sing them, you've gotta croon, which is something I do in my solo stuff anyway so it wasn't too alien to me.
The register that Phil sings in was the same as my own so it's nothing that I couldn't do really. The genius with Phil is that he never sang the same lines twice in the same way. It was kind of all over the place, which was the brilliance of the man you know, so that was very hard to try and get that down. Like I said before, people want to hear all the words and all the phrases in the right places, I know that I would. That was the trickiest part; actually singing it wasn't too bad. Getting to be laid back and the way that he delivered was the tricky bit.

Alaina: It seems the way your voice sounds comes naturally to you then, because they've managed to find someone with a voice very similar to Phil's naturally, which is the best way to do it. It's not an impersonation, it's your own.
Ricky: No. I mean it would be easy to go and grab someone from a tribute band you know, and Scott, Brian and Darren are Thin Lizzy, you know and they don't wanna be a tribute band, they wanna re-form and they wanna go: we love Phil, we respect the genius of his work, but we wanna move forward. We wanna bring the band into 2011 and you know, not live in the past.

Alaina: That's right. I think that is the perfect tribute as well. You obviously feel the passion for it and that’s bound to come across when you perform live.
Ricky: Thank you. Hopefully it does.

Alaina: Definitely. Are you still doing stuff with The Almighty as well?
Ricky: No, I'm not, no. I haven't done anything with them for quite a while. I'm still working on songs and things like that, but Thin Lizzy are at the front for me right now.

Alaina: This is kind of your permanent thing then, for now....
Ricky: Absolutely, yes.

Alaina: You've released the live albums with Thin Lizzy songs recorded by yourself and the band. Are you releasing anything else soon?
Ricky: Well, they've been remastered, which is something that Scott and Brian have been working on, but there are no plans to record any new material as yet. I'm not sure when that might happen. Well, maybe after about a year and a half after the band have come back and re-established itself and we've got lots of touring under our belts, then it might be something we can think about you know. Who knows?!

Alaina: What sort of crowds do you find coming to the gigs nowadays?
Ricky: Oh, it's a real mixture. You can get die hard fans who have been there from the start back in the day with Phil, or you can get a wee kid. It's a huge cross section of people, which is fantastic. Anything from young kids to people in their 60's which is great you know. It's lovely.

Alaina: Brilliant, and that's proof of how popular the music is, it reaches so many people.
Ricky: Absolutely, it's all good stuff. That's the thing, I mean, unfortunately people aren't timeless but the music is something that lives on forever. If someone is out there still delivering music with the same intensity and passion then that's a good thing, bringing the music to a new generation.

Alaina: So you've got this tour now, what's coming up next for the band?
Ricky: We're finishing this tour in a few weeks and then we're off to Dublin and Belfast until the end of February. Then we've got a few weeks off and we start in America at the end of March. We're off to South America, and then Japan and I think that'll pretty much take us up to the end of the year. It's going be a full year indeed.

Alaina: Which festivals are you doing?
Ricky: I'm not sure yet. I mean there's a few, but we're not announcing them just yet, but we will be very soon.

Alaina: Sounds like an exciting year.
Ricky: I know, I can't believe it, I'm pinching myself.

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