Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister Talks Health Status, New Album Plans + More
The legendary Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead was the guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show. Lemmy took some time to speak with Jackie about his health, the band's new album plans and more. The conversation took place a few days before Motorhead set sail on the Motorboat Cruise, which actually just completed its journey over the weekend. Check out the chat below:
Lemmy, the one and only, on the show once again. How are you?
So far so good, you know.
Happy to hear your voice, thanks for being on the show.
Lemmy, there’s a famous anecdote about Motorhead reviving someone from a coma. In what ways has Motorhead been a source of healing for you personally throughout your own health concerns.
Well first of all I had to get out of bed and go play. [laughs] That was good therapy, to go on tour. We’ve done two tours since I was sick.
What was it like being back out there and playing with the health problems?
My legs are still a bit stiff, you can’t help that. That’s just old age creeping in. I’m alright though, I can still belt it out.
There are over 20 studio albums in the Motorhead catalog, over 30 if you count live albums. How much does your opinion change over time about how much you like or dislike any of your albums?
I liked nearly all of them. I didn’t like side two of 'Iron Fist' but I liked the rest of them. [Otherwise] I’m pretty [sure] ... we wouldn’t have put them out.
Do you look at the albums differently over time? I’d imagine after all these years when you look back at older records, you feel differently about them?
I feel a little better these days about 'Hammered' 'cause I thought we had some sort of bad collaboration when we released that. As time goes by, listen to it again and it doesn’t sound that bad.
It’s coming up on a year since the release of 'Aftershock.' Any thoughts about the next Motorhead album? Any amazing lyrics or riffs ready to go?
No, nothing. [laughs] We’re never ready. We go into the rehearsal studio about a month before and rehearse songs and then we go in the studio. I write the words in the studio, mostly. We’ll go in the studio in January to start.
So you’ll just go into the studio and start writing and see what happens?
We don’t have a plan. We never had a plan, [laughs].
You’ve always told me that, there is no plan. Motorhead is one of the few bands that maintains a consistent timeless quality to its music. What’s the key element to something sounding good 5, 10, even 40 years later.
I really couldn’t tell you. It’s one of those things we’re looking at. Our stuff lasted. A lot of people stuck with us, a lot of loyal fans and that’s been a really big thing. Lately, a lot of new ones, too. Younger kids coming along, we get 15-year-olds and 10-year-olds at our shows. That’s really great too. We’ve infected another generation.
How does it feel when you see parents bringing kids to shows now and introducing Motorhead to young audiences?
I just hope they brought earplugs with them [laughs].
You’ve got to bring earplugs to a Motorhead shows.
Definitely for kids.
I think some older folks should wear earplugs as well.
I do. I think it’s never too late to get started on protecting that hearing.
It hasn’t affected mine, it’s fine.
You’ve never worn earplugs ever?
No hearing problems?
I think you’re an anomaly, you’re superhuman.
Apparently not, I’ve been in the hospital twice this year.
I think you’ve lived through a lot more than most. I’m happy you’re doing better.
I’m happy too, I’m lucky.
The first Motorhead Motorboat Cruise sails shortly. What needs to happen for this to become a regular annual event?
None of us have to get seasick. I don’t know if it’s going to be a regular thing, I wouldn’t have thought so. As far as I’m concerned it’s a one-off to me. Who knows, I don’t know.
Have you ever played on a cruise or a boat situation before?
Are you looking forward to it? Are you nervous at all?
No. Not nervous. I’ve been on the channel ferry lots of times. Ferries up to Finland too.
Is there anything that worries or scares you?
Except if the boat rolls and my stack falls on me. [laughs] Aside from that, no.
[Note: The Motorboat set sail on Sept. 22 and completed its journey on Sept. 26.]
Some people look at you as a role model because of your tenacity, straight shooter honesty and matter of fact wisdom. Who were your role models and why?
My mother always told me to tell the truth. When you’re asked a question, answer it. Don’t avoid the truth. She taught me too well. In this business, people aren’t ready for the truth a lot of the time as you’ve found out yourself.
Were there any musicians that you’ve looked up to that you would have liked to follow in their footsteps?
When I started, there wasn’t any rock and roll. It just started with Little Richard, Eddie Cochran, Fats Domino. Buddy Holly. All them guys are my influences.
I really appreciate you being a guest on the show and happy to hear you’re feeling better and looking forward to seeing you soon.
Maybe we can get some fishing.
You’re going to fish off the side of the boat?
Thanks to Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister for the interview. Pick up the 'Aftershock - Tour Edition' at iTunes. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.