Earlier this year, Thin Lizzy announced that they would be releasing their first new album in 30 years, albeit under a new name. Now, speaking to Classic Rock, guitarist Scott Gorham has announced that the group will be going out under the name Black Star Riders, and that original drummer Brian Downey and keyboardist Darren Wharton have decided to move on from the group.
According to Gorham, the name change came about because the Thin Lizzy estate was uncomfortable about using the name for new material:
"Thin Lizzy is a partnership between Brian Downey and myself and the estate. If the estate had said, 'This is a kick-ass idea,' we would have had to rethink. But because they were feeling uncomfortable about it, that put a full stop to it."
Gorham also had his own reservations about using the name:
"As we were writing these new songs, I started to feel uncomfortable," he says. "I just felt, 'This isn't quite right without Phil.' So this is a new album by a new band. And I think it's the right decision."
Downey has left the band because he doesn't want to be on the road as frequently as the others do, while Wharton wants to concentrate on his AOR outfit Dare. Former Megadeth drummer Jimmy DeGrasso has joined the outfit, who are now working without a keyboard player.
Work on the new album, which is being produced by Kevin Shirley, starts in January. The record is due for release in May.