Jeb Wright of Classic Rock Revited recently conducted an interview with MOTÖRHEAD founder, bassist and principal songwriter Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Classic Rock Revited: One of my favorite scenes in the [“Lemmy”] movie is where you talk about how you love your son. His face just really lit up and you can tell that he was shocked that you said that.
Lemmy: I thought it was great. I thought he should know. I’m not very good at saying things like that to people. I just thought I should say it. British people keep it pretty close to the chest, you know what I mean? That is kind of why I like Americans; they are keen. They are eager to get out there and they want to get the most out of things. They want to find out how things work. It is certainly different than the British, as they are so fucking stuck on their manners. Manners do not make for progress.
Classic Rock Revited: I always have to bring up the odd way of playing bass that you have… Did your odd style cause problems with any of the bandmembers?
Lemmy: I play rhythm guitar bass. Brian Robertson had problems with it because he was always bitching about it. He used to say, “There is no bass. How can I do this? Can we set up another bass drum? I need bass.” I said, “What makes you think that I wanted bass?”
Classic Rock Revited: Why not just be a guitar player?
Lemmy: I was a guitar player, but I was so fucking mediocre, I switched to bass.
Classic Rock Revited: You’re a man that enjoys a drink. Tell me about Motörhead Vodka.
Lemmy: Well, the company takes care of the business end and all I have to worry about is the quality. I am not going to sell shit to people, you know. We have a wine as well, that is very good. It was really simple how I got into it. This guy came up and said, “You know, you could make money if we make this wine.” I said, “Okay.” I think it is a California wine or it might be Spanish, I don’t know. The vodka is Swedish.
Classic Rock Revited: I talked to Fast Eddie [Clarke] and I interviewed him and he said to say hello to you. I told him that I would try and put the band back together. Would you ever consider a tour with the original three?
Lemmy: The thing is that I’ve had this band together with these two guys now for a lot longer than the original band. They have been through a lot harder times than the first band. I don’t see why I should put this band on hold for a bit of nostalgia. I don’t see why I should put these guys out of work while I go and tour with the old guys. I don’t think its fair of us to do that. I don’t know if Eddie and Phil [Taylor] can still do it at this point.
Classic Rock Revited: I think MOTÖRHEAD has had success because you have never tried to have a hit.
Lemmy: I never did see the point in it. I am not going to throw my heart away for money. You may be able to do that but you will lose all of your original fans because they will know you’re selling out.
Classic Rock Revited: MOTÖRHEAD has a worldwide fan base. You transcend language and governments.
Lemmy: Rock and roll has always done that. When PINK FLOYD did that Berlin concert at the wall, there were kids on the east side getting fire hosed because they were trying to get up close to listen to it. They just kept coming back until they stopped doing it.
Classic Rock Revited: What is it about MOTÖRHEAD that appeals to so many people?
Lemmy: It pisses your parents off. The best rock and roll has always pissed off parents. The best stuff makes them go, “Turn that rubbish down.” If they are saying that, then you’re on the right track.
Read the entire interview from Classic Rock Revited.