Black Star Riders have announced the departure of founding member (and lead guitarist) Scott Gorham. The news comes as the band also announced a multi-album record deal with Earache Records and plans for an extensive world tour to support their upcoming fifth record.
Gorham isn't entirely out of the fold however, as he will continue his work with vocalist Ricky Warwick in the reformed Thin Lizzy.
Speaking of the legendary guitarist's departure, Warwick said: "We are very sorry to see Scott go but we discussed a very heavy world touring commitment on the new record and Scott decided he wanted to concentrate just on Thin Lizzy — and being the legend he is, none of us can blame him.
"We all wish him the best and he will be looking to put Thin Lizzy back out on the road from 2022 onwards with a busy schedule, so he won't be missing me too much!"
Gorham formed Black Star Riders at the tail-end of 2012, initially as a way to create a distinction between his work touring with a reformed Thin Lizzy and material written for new studio albums. Whilst admitting the records would 'always sound like Thin Lizzy', BSR established a reputation of their own with each of their four Nuclear Blast released records placing in the Top 30 of the UK charts.
Discussing their departure from the label, Warwick says, "[We] had an amazing eight years with Nuclear Blast and I want to thank everyone there for their commitment and dedication during this time, but it was time to part ways and Earache have well and truly stepped up to the plate! We can't wait to start the new relationship with the great team there."
While Earache made their reputation in the 80s and 90s with their roster of extreme metal bands, in recent years they have assembled a number of hard rock groups including Blackberry Smoke, Buckcherry and Massive Wagons.
Gorham's departure means his last record with the band was 2019's Another State Of Grace, as the band will enter the studio on October 14th to start recording the follow-up with long-time producer Jay Ruston (Stone Sour, Steel Panther, Uriah Heep). The band will not be replacing Gorham and will remain a four-piece going forwards, with guitar duties split between Ricky Warwick and Christian Martucci.
The band's fifth record is not expected until early 2023 with live shows expected to be announced closer to release.
Martucci comments: "We have decided to let the abundance of rescheduled shows in 2022 blow over so we can come back in full force in 2023 without any distractions. We can't wait to see all our fans and followers again after what seems like an eternity off the road and we appreciate no end their continued support and loyalty to BSR."