Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister Talks Upcoming Mayhem Festival, Legacy + More
Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s radio show this past weekend. The heavy metal icon talked all about the his time on Gigantour, his thoughts on the Mayhem lineup and more. If you missed Jackie’s show, check out her interview with Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead below:
Did you have a good time on Gigantour, 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.
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.
I did four shows after that and then I really lost it.
You missed the last few Gigantour dates; when you’re sick what’s the deciding factor to shut down and not play?
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].
How do you feel when you have to cancel a show?
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.
Well I’m glad that it’s back and obviously the most recent announcement was Motorhead is going to be part of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival this summer. The lineup, which is huge, Slipknot, Slayer, Motorhead, 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.
It’s gonna be a mess backstage.
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?
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.
You recently just put out a live DVD release [‘The World Is Ours’] and there have been a few live Motorhead releases over the years, what’s best about this new one?
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.
What do you feel is the different reaction from fans overseas as opposed to here in the States?
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.
What do you enjoy most about the comradery packages like Gigantour of Mayhem Festival?
You meet everybody the first few days then you figure out who’s gonna be 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 s—t 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.
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?
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 ‘til I can’t do it anymore. It’s quite simple.
If you weren’t doing Motorhead and everything you do, what do you think you’d be doing?
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.”
Are there any people in the music business that maybe early on, passed on Motorhead 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?”
Many many journalists, everybody [Laughs].
Are there still people you come across in your travels that thought this wouldn’t continue as it has?
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.
What could we expect for the rest of the year, after Mayhem?
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.
So you’re going to be quite busy.
Yeah, yeah, we’re usually quite busy.
Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.