An Interview with Ricky Warwick (Frontman of The Almighty, A Member of Circus Diabolo and also a Solo Artist). Interviewed by Glenn Milligan, early September, 2007
How was it
living and growing up in Newtownards, County Down, Northern Ireland
& how did it effect and prepare you as a future musician/frontman?
It was tough and by a lot of people’s standards a very abnormal environment to grow up in.
Bands would not come and play there very often because of the conflict, so I discovered music through my sisters and parent’s record collection, all kinds of stuff like Bowie through to Johnny Cash.
My father bought me my first guitar when I was 13. At age 14 the family moved to a town called Strathaven in Scotland. It was there that I met Stump and Floyd at school and the rest as they say is “history’.
What bands and artists in general influenced
you there and in what way?
How would you say that Northern Ireland was similar
and/or different to the UK with regard to live music and radio?
Were/Are many of your family musical and did
that influence you to become a musician?
What made you to decide to become a performer?
What sort of jobs were you doing to make ends
meet before you made it in The Almighty?
What were your thoughts of the music business
when you first became part of it?
I manage my own career and I guess have learnt that the music business is what you make it, like anything in life once you give it up to someone else to control it’s no longer yours.
I used to hate that when we finished an album we would hand it over to someone at our record label because at that point a large percentage of the destiny of that album is no longer yours.
With my solo albums I only do licensing deals , so as I can retain the rights to my albums.
What are your thoughts of the music business
now with regard to finance, family, fans and social life?
I am very happily married with 3 kids and another on the way. I live in Beverly Hills California, I have worked very hard to have the life I wanted and never take it for granted for a moment.
I am and always will be a fan. I go to lots of shows and buy lots of music. To make music that means something to other people and maintain a way of life to be able to continue to do that is a God send.
What are your favourite Almighty songs and why?
I also love the heavy groove of Addiction !
Do you find that some songs you get sick of playing
but have to, to keep the fans happy - which songs come to mind?
Did you enjoy the promo-video making process
and what momentous things come to mind of these times in the Almighty?
The video for “Do You Understand” is interesting for the fact that me and Stumpy both dropped a Ecstacy pill at 8-30 in the morning before we started filming. That was a very strange day indeed.
In the initial Almighty days what would you
say are your great memories,
What road stories do you have that are worth
What memorable people would you say you had the
chance to meet and what made them stand out as individuals?
Honest, Polite people always stand out as individuals. I don’t give a f*ck how famous you are.
Since some people are sadly no longer with us,
out of people you have met, who would you like to bring back if you
had the chance and why?
What are your memories of playing Monsters of
Rock - either at Donington and/or beyond and what are your thoughts
of Donington these days since it has turned into a 3-day and now called
I played Download solo in 2004 and really enjoyed it. Seems like a pretty good festival to me.
Is there a particular Almighty album that you
call your favourite and why is this the case?
We holed up in a rehearsal studio for 2 months just outside Brighton writing the album and learning the songs, by the time we came to record it, we knew the songs inside out. It’s the one Almighty album that I still listen to on a regular basis.
When you went solo, what made you decide to go
I have always been a fan of Americana and bad boy Country music, like Johnny Cash, Steve Earle etc and found and still do writing those kind of songs very natural.
The hard part was going out on the road armed with just an acoustic guitar, something I had never done in my life before.
To be honest it was a revelation for me and I believe made me improve as a singer/guitar player and songwriter. I love it. It saved my life, at that point in time when I was writing the first solo record, I was on the verge of quitting music all together. It was a very black period in my life and the album Tattoos & Alibis helped get my, love, passion and confidence back for making music and I have never looked back since !
What is your pereference both on-stage and in
the studio - acoustic or
But going out on stage alone with just a guitar is for me the ultimate challenge and high.
I can’t even compare playing live to being in the studio, it’s a whole different vibe and mindset. But one that I enjoy very much, hearing a new song recorded for the first time is like letting your ideas out of prison.
How did your album come to be produced by Joe
Elliott of Def Leppard?
What was it like working with Joe Elliot and
what would you say were the
What songs are you most proud of on the solo
album and why?
What made yourself and Toby Jepson decide to
go out there and do a couple of tours together a few years ago - what
were the highlights of the tour? Did you get the opportunity to duet
on any songs - what were they, how did they go and in whose sets?
Funnily enough we never did jam on any of each others songs.
What made you decide to reform 'The Almighty'
last year, release a
I still believe in the songs as much now as I ever did. We enjoy kickin out the Almighty jams and doing it on our own terms with no management, or record company to please!!!
What were the standout gigs and highlights for
How was it playing with guys again?
Will you be doing it again sometime in the future
or was it a one-off Tour
Next year is the bands 20th anniversary. I think its fair to say we will be celebrating that fact in some style!!!
How was the recent UK Tour supporting 'Riders
On The Storm' like for you? What were the highlights for you personally?
How did the support slot on the 'Riders On The
Storm' UK Tour materialise? Would you say working with Brett Scallions
(ex-Fuel vocalist and now also 'Circus Diabolo' member) make an impact?
It was fun being on the road with my buddy Brett. He is a hell of a singer.
How did the band 'Circus Diabolo' come to be?
How was your recent jaunt on Ozzfest in the USA
with 'Circus Diabolo'? What were the hightlights?
How was it for you support Def Leppard? How do
you go over in the USA with the fans there? Do you find them much different
to the UK fans and in what ways?
You have just had an Acoustic UK Tour confirmed
with Keith Caputo (Life of Agony Frontman) - what made you both decide
to do this as its gonna be one
Are you planning a new album soon? If so when
and on what label or are you going to release it off your own back with
a decent PR company and distributions company involved?
What do you enjoy doing when not involved in
What would you say your favourite tipple is and
why (Irish or otherwise)?
What would you find on a Ricky Warwick Tour Rider
(do you have a disliking to brown M&M's - just kidding dude!!) What
would you say the most far out thing you have asked for and has the
venue been able to deliver?
What have been your favourite venues and countries
to play in - do you have a preference at all or are you happy anywhere
as long as you have an appreciative crowd?
It’s hard to beat my hometown gigs of Belfast and Glasgow though !
What would say has been the wierdist gig you
have ever played and why?
Have you ever been mistaken for anyone else and
who were you mistaken for?
Where is the most out-there place or strangest
place that you have been
eventually go to the great gig in the sky, what do you most want to
be remembered for?
Nice One Ricky, see ya at
a gig shortly