Black Star Riders Were ‘Cheesed Off’ When Joe Elliott Backed Out of Producing ‘The Killer Instinct’
If you read the liner notes to the new Black Star Riders record and thought, "Hey, wasn't Joe Elliott supposed to produce this?," don't worry — the band found itself asking the same question at one point.
Frontman Scott Gorham tells Classic Rock Revisited that it was Elliott's idea to produce their latest album, The Killer Instinct, but Def Leppard obligations ultimately ended up getting in the way of the band created by former members of Thin Lizzy.
"During the embryonic stage of the album Joe came to us," recalled Gorham. "He said, ‘I would love to produce – I’ve got the studio, I’ve got the know-how and I’ve got the kick-ass engineer. What do you think?’ We said, ‘That sounds great.’ We’ve all been friends with Joe for decades and we knew it would be a kick-ass situation."
Unfortunately, once things really started heating up with Def Leppard's new album, Elliott had to bow out. "What happened is, the guy’s band – you may have heard of them – got the first record deal they’ve had in years. The company threw a boatload of cash at them and told them they needed a release by such-and-such a date. They needed to record in our timeframe."
Admitting that "we were a little cheesed off" and saying Elliott was incredibly apologetic over the conflict, Gorham pointed out that it all ended well, with the Black Star Riders hiring Nick Raskulinecz, a Grammy-winning producer whose previous efforts include albums for Rush and Mastodon — and who was, as Gorham put it, "a killer find."
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