7. maj 2009
Calle: You formed The Almighty back in 1988. How did you guys meet?
Ricky: I moved from Belfast to a small town outside Glasgow when I was 14 and myself, Stump and Floyd met at our last year of school. Tantrum, our first guitarist, was recommended by a friend of ours.
Ricky: I grew up on a farm. So I was a farmer.
Calle: What got you into music in the first place?
Ricky: I went to see Stiff Little Fingers play in Belfast and I knew straight away that that’s what I wanted to do with my life.
Calle: Who are your biggest influences?
Ricky: Life, Stiff Little Fingers, Johnny Cash, Motörhead and my father.
Calle: Name 3 “older” bands and 3 “newer” bands you can recommend?
Old - Stiif Little Fingers, The Rolling Stones and MC5
New - The Gaslight Anthem, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead and Drive BY Truckers.
Calle: The Almighty released their debut CD “Blood Fire And Love” in 1989. How was the response from the fans and critics?
Ricky: I think we all were amazed how quickly everyone took to the band fans and critics alike. We went from playing to 50 people to playing to 2000 a night in a year.
Calle: The second The Almighty album “Blood Fire And Live” was a live CD. Why did you choose to release a live album as your second album?
Ricky: Because we were not entirely happy with the overall production of Blood, Fire And Love. We felt we had become such a force live that we wanted to try and capture it on record.
Ricky: Tantrum is a good guy and a great guitarist. But he just didn’t see eye to eye with the rest of us.
Ricky: Boredom, drink, drugs, fights, record label bullshit and I felt we had gone as far as we could.
Ricky: I had never imagined I would be a solo performer until it actually happened, so I kind of fell into it by accident.
Calle: As a solo artist you have released two albums (“Tattoos & Alibis” and “Love Many Trust Few”). Those albums have a more acoustic-rock sound with some Celtic inspiration. Why the change in style?
Ricky: There was absolutely no point in me doing something that sounded like The Almighty. I have always loved Americana folk and Celtic rock music. I felt I could do it in my own style. It’s something I feel very comfortable doing.
Calle: How did the Almighty fans welcome your solo stuff?
Ricky: Some of them dig it and some of them don’t. If you see some of my solo shows even though I’m armed only with an acoustic I still put on a hell of a rock ‘n’ roll show.
Ricky: We met at a secret David Bowie show in Dublin.
Ricky: It’s all songs of grit, heart and soul. All about experience of mine, family, friends, places all connected to Northern Ireland.
Calle: Where do you find the inspiration for the songs?
Ricky: Life in general.
Calle: If you could name one song you wish you had written, which song would that be?
Ricky: Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen
Ricky: I’m blessed in that I have opened for nearly all the great bands that have influenced me or am a fan off. I would have loved to played with or met Johnny Cash.
Ricky: Quite simply it was record company bullshit!!
Calle: If you could put together your dream band, who would be in it?
Drums: Bun E. Carlos – Cheap Trick
Bass: Lemmy – Motörhead
Lead guitar: Jake Burns – Stiff Little Fingers
Rhythm guitar: Malcolm Young – AC/DC
Lead vocals: Bruce Springsteen
Calle: You have also been a part of Circus Diablo (with Billy Morrison and Billy Duffy). How did that project start?
Ricky: I have known the two Billy’s for a long time. We were just sitting around jamming at Billy Morrison’s place one day and it sort of evolved from that.
Ricky: It’s easier!!
Calle: A lot of people also use the Internet to download music illegally. Do you think that it “kills” smaller bands?
Ricky: It kills all kinds of bands/performers. It’s stealing. End of story!!!
Calle: What’s the best advice you can give to up-coming bands?
Ricky: Work hard. Self believe and determination.
Calle: What was the first CD/LP you ever purchased?
Ricky: Sham 69 – Hersham Boys
Calle: What was the latest CD you bought?
Ricky: And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
Calle: What’s your top 5 CD’s of all time?
1. Inflammable Material – Stiff Little Fingers
2. London Calling – The Clash
3. Ace Of Spades – Motörhead
4. Nebraska – Bruce Springsteen
Ricky: My wife and my children.
Calle: Do any of you have another education?
Ricky: Well as I said, I was brought up on a farm, so I’m quite knowledgeable about agriculture. I’m also a fully qualified fitness instructor.
Calle: What’s your favorite drink?
Ricky: Guinness and coke But not together!!
Calle: What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when I say Denmark, and what do you know about Denmark in general?
Ricky: I love Denmark, always had a great time there. Cool people. I think the countryside reminds me a bit of Ireland at times as it’s quite green.
Calle: Any last words for the fans?