Thin Lizzy: Thin Ice
GW Some great examples of the Thin Lizzy swing are “The Boys Are Back in Town,” “Dancing in the Moonlight,” “Emerald” and “Don’t Believe a Word,” which are all shuffle grooves.
GORHAM Brian Downey was the king of the shuffles. Nobody could do that groove any better. And apparently, playing a great shuffle groove is a really tough thing for a lot of drummers to do. It’s almost like a specialized area. I’ve played with a lot of drummers and, over time, it’s made me realize how great Brian really was, and still is.
GW The harmonized twin guitars, essential to so many Thin Lizzy classics, exemplify the signature sound of the band. How did you guys work out those lines?
GORHAM I think a lot of that came from the influence of Irish music, which probably occurred on a subliminal level for us. We weren’t intentionally thinking of bringing that sound into our music, but being a guitar player you’re like a sponge soaking up all kinds of peripheral musical elements. Because of the way Phil wrote his songs, with lyrics that were very explicit and the strong storyteller aspect, it rubbed off on the guitar players, and we wanted to contribute to the melodic side of the Thin Lizzy sound. We went for the idea of creating signature guitar parts that would work inside the songs. On a lead guitar bit, rather than thinking, Here’s my 15 seconds to rip, we thought about where we were in the song, and how to fit harmonized melodies into the songs in just the right way.
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