Black Star Riders play The Middlesbrough
Empire this month so Damian Robinson
caught up with the band to talk about
working hard, their new drummer, and
You’re back on the road with the ‘Coming
Under Heavy Fire Tour’. With Black Star
Riders’ (BSR) on-going touring schedule
and music releases since you formed are
you trying to take James Brown’s “hardest
working musical act on the planet” title
That’s a fair assessment. We believe the
work we are doing is righteous work and
that our fans deserve a band that they
can feel is committed to authenticity. And
with that effort comes hard work. It has
become a sort of mission statement for
We will be seeing you shortly when the
tour hits Middlesbrough, so what can we
expect from the show?
We’re changing the set up from the tour
we did in the UK back in March of this
year. BSR is fortunate to have a cache
of songs that our audience is passionate
about and expect to hear every night –
and they love it when we surprise them
with some deeper tracks from the three
albums we’ve released, so expect that.
You’ve got your new drummer Chad out
with you for this tour. What difference has
he made to the band?
Chad is a huge force of positive energy:
he brings as much of a love of connecting
with people as he does a love of playing
music. He’s amazing in that way as this
business so often breeds an almost
understandable amount of cynicism and
frustration. And he has come to make all
our songs his own as a player. We’re very
proud to have Chad onboard.
Your band name was taken from
a collection of outlaws in the film
‘Tombstone’. Where is the band acting
outside of the law at the moment?
This band consumes what should be an
illegal quantity of coffee, daily. And mine
gets blacker as I get older.
This year’s ‘Heavy Fire’ album was really
well received in the music press. Were
you happy with the reaction you saw for
We are certainly pleased when our
efforts get validated by our fans and the
music press. With humility, we all felt
confident upon completion that we had
truly delivered something special with this
batch of songs. ‘Heavy Fire’ is our most
complete body of work thus far.
You’ve released three albums in four
years, so can we assume that you are
already beginning to write songs for the
Indeed. Ricky and I had breakfast together
while we performed in Japan recently and
he confirmed his usual growing supply
of lyrics and title ideas. And we’ve all
begun sending riffs, melodies and chord
progressions back and forth.
There’s a track on your new album called
‘Who Rides the Tiger?” In your mind,
what is the tiger and who is riding it?
Good question. The tiger is the fear of
the Boogieman coming in the front door
of our homes in the USA, such that the
2nd amendment to our Constitution
becomes an almost religious mantra that
gets trotted out as a reason any of us
should have access to the assault rifles
that are present in the never-ending
mass shootings we have in our country.
Where will this merry-go-round take us?
Common sense says “nowhere new” as
long as the status quo continues