Thirty years old? Still pretty young right? But if you're thinking of the life expectations of a rock band, it's a helluva long time. Brace yourself, but Motorhead, once Guinness-certified as the loudest band on earth is 30. In album years, they've released 21.
In America they remain part of the Underground scene in many ways, though if you start to look around they've infused the mainstream (They have a song in the SpongeBob Squarepants movie for Chrissakes. They sing wrestling star Triple H's theme song, "The Game."). And their influence and collaborations with more familiar rock bands is wide. Overseas, in Europe especially, they remain very much a part of the mainstream consciousness.
These days the "they" is Lemmy Kilmister vocal/bass, Phil Campbell, lead guitar and drummer Mikkey Dee.
Motorhead are, for the third time, up for a Grammy for Best Metal Performance. As a band they have not won, but Lemmy has won for writing four Ozzy Osbourne songs on his "No More Tears" album. Whether they win or not this year is decided Feb. 13. [Update, they won their Grammy for Whiplash]
Seems like a good time for an interview. This was done Feb. 3, 2005, 1:12 to 1:31 PST.
At work I told them to pass the telephone to me in an adjoining office ext 108, just off the Casa Grande (AZ) Dispatch newsroom. Lemmy called in a little late and I was waiting patiently (yeah that's it, not nervously) and then the phone rang. Usually the ladies up at the front say, "Hi Temple, so and so is on the phone. I'm putting you through now OK? So I say. Yep, hi there. Is it the call I've been expecting? And I get this guy's voice in return.
Temple Stark: Lemmy?
(Ian) Lemmy Kilmister: Hello? Yes?
TS: Can I record this I'm going to try some way to get it on the Internet.
TS: How long have you got?
LK: Um about 20 to 25 minutes
TS: Ok, that's time. You're probably just doing the rounds here today?
LK: Yeah. We're doing a few, yeah, because we're going out on tour
TS: Well I'll start with this one: There's a "My Generation" moment in Ace of Spades that begs the obvious question ...
TS: ..... Here's the verse, which loses something in the reading:
You know I'm born to lose, and gambling's for fools,
But that's the way I like it baby,
I don't want to live for ever,
And don't forget the joker!
LK: Now see instead of don't forget the joker nowadays on stage I say, Well, "but apparently I am." [laugh]