MOTÖRHEAD founder, bassist and principal songwriter Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister was interviewed on last weekend’s (April 6-8) edition of Full Metal Jackie‘s nationally syndicated radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
To see a full list of stations carrying the program and when it airs, go to FullMetalJackieRadio.com.
Full Metal Jackie: Did you have a good time on Gigantour, Lemmy?
Lemmy: Yeah, yeah, it was alright. The Los Angeles gig was especially good, I think it was the best gig we ever did in L.A.
Full Metal Jackie: That was such a great show and your son came up and played a song; it was super cool. It was just a great response from the crowd, so much energy and considering the fact that you had pretty much lost your voice. I can’t even imagine how you were able to pull that off that night.
Lemmy: I did four shows after that and then I really lost it.
Full Metal Jackie: You missed the last few Gigantour dates. When you’re sick, what’s the deciding factor to shut down and not play?
Lemmy: If I can’t do it, if one of us can’t do his job, then we just don’t do it, because that’s selling people short. We could have gone on and played all the songs instrumental, but I don’t think it’s the same thing, really. [Laughs]
Full Metal Jackie: How do you feel when you have to cancel a show?
Lemmy: It’s terrible. We were already in Dallas and we had to cancel it. I mean, it was just a drag, you know. We had to cancel Denver before that, but I was hoping I’d be okay for Dallas, Austin and Houston — then it wasn’t, so we had to give it up.
Full Metal Jackie: Well, I’m glad that it’s back and obviously the most recent announcement was MOTÖRHEAD is going to be part of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival this summer. The lineup, which is huge — SLIPKNOT, SLAYER, MOTÖRHEAD, ANTHRAX, AS I LAY DYING, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, ASKING ALEXANDRIA, WHITECHAPEL and HIGH ON FIRE. The tour goes from June 30 to August 5.
Lemmy: It’s gonna be a mess backstage.
Full Metal Jackie: I can only imagine. That is a great lineup. When they first came to you and talked to you about that bill, what was your first thought?
Lemmy: Hell, Corey [Taylor] himself from SLIPKNOT asked us, you know, so yeah, he’s a good guy — a friend of ours and of mine. So I said, “Sure.” We haven’t toured in America that many shows, that big of a show for a long time, it’s just been us — boring. The Gigantour wasn’t bad, but this is bigger.
Full Metal Jackie: You recently just put out a live DVD release [“The Wörld Is Ours Vol. 1 – Everywhere Further Than Everyplace Else”] and there have been a few live MOTÖRHEAD releases over the years. What’s best about this new one?
Lemmy: This is live DVD and live CD and it’s three shows in Chile, in black and white, bits of Manchester and bits of New York, so all around the world, so it’s good.
Full Metal Jackie: What do you feel is the different reaction from fans overseas as opposed to here in the States?
Lemmy: I’m really shallow that way, I don’t care as long as they say “Hooray.” As long as they’re not throwing things, I’m all for it.
Full Metal Jackie: What do you enjoy most about the camaraderie packages like Gigantour of Mayhem festival?
Lemmy: You meet everybody the first few days then you figure out who’s gonna be your mates and who’s gonna be too busy to talk to you underlings. You just figure out who’s the kindred spirits and you hang with them but you can get into some outrageous shit on those tours. I mean, that’s going to be a big tour, there’s going to be a lot of kitchen sink stuff. [laughs] There are going to be a lot of people wondering where their daughters went. No doubt, it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Full Metal Jackie: You’ve been doing this for such a long time. How does it feel to still be doing this after all these years and outliving most of the people in the business and in life from when you first started?
Lemmy: Yeah, most of the people that gave us six months to live had six months to live, it’s funny. I’m just doing what I’m doing, I don’t look upon it like that. I don’t look upon it as any kind of achievement really and then I’m just an idiot bass player who sings a bit. I’m just enjoying whatever I can get out of it ’till I can’t do it anymore. It’s quite simple.
Full Metal Jackie: If you weren’t doing MOTÖRHEAD and everything you do, what do you think you’d be doing?
Lemmy: I’d probably be in jail. [laughs] I’d probably be in the center of some nefarious scheme. I mean, I’m not qualified for anything; I’d probably be a grave digger, or a roach sweeper — I’d be retired by now anyway, wouldn’t I? I’d be on my middle-aged pension. “Ah yes, mate, not the same as the old days, ya know. Listen to an old soldier, son.”
Full Metal Jackie: Are there any people in the music business that maybe early on, passed on MOTÖRHEAD that you remember and that you could get to say, “Hey, I’m still here doing this. Remember that time when you said we weren’t going to last?”
Lemmy: Many many journalists, everybody. [Laughs]
Full Metal Jackie: Are there still people you come across in your travels that thought this wouldn’t continue as it has?
Lemmy: People vanish. This isn’t a deal known for its longevity. The life expectancy of most bands is about five years. Lately it’s gotten older because everybody’s bloody reformed. They found out you could make a lot of money. Believe me, they’ll travel in separate buses or separate station wagons or whatever.
Full Metal Jackie: What could we expect for the rest of the year, after Mayhem?
Lemmy: I mean, we’re doin’ festivals before Mayhem, in Europe, and then after Mayhem, I guess we’re going to go back to Europe and do the usual winter tour there — tour Britain and several countries, probably including Belgium.
Full Metal Jackie: So you’re going to be quite busy.
Lemmy: Yeah, yeah, we’re usually quite busy.