Lemmy Kilmister is a truth fanatic. He detests lies and hates it even more when the press do injustice to him and his mission. But Lemmy also has a sense of humour, and a disarming one at that. He loves to take the mickey out of all those who are totally off the mark with their stories. An example? A satirical magazine in Ireland recently claimed that Lemmy had tied a groupie to his sofa for three days of sex and bondage games. The rock icon from Wales was outraged by this claim and asked his lawyer to set the record straight: “It wasn’t six days, and she wasn’t tied to the sofa. It was seven days, and she was hanging from the ceiling.”
So anybody wanting to pick an argument with Lemmy had better prepare themselves for the worst. At the same time, he has always been a reliable partner and loyal friend to his band mates, Mikkey Dee (drums) and Phil Campbell (guitar). Lemmy, Dee and Campbell are Motörhead, the most authentic and charismatic rock’n’roll act worldwide. The group have been on a never-ending high for years and are about to prove with their new album, due out this summer, that no other band forge their rock as raw and unpolished as Motörhead do.
In 2006, Motörhead’s musical world continues to consist of spirited rock riffs, cutting guitar solos, thundering drum grooves and the raw voice of the band’s figurehead, Lemmy. “That’s how it has always worked with us. Those who know Motörhead know what to expect,” Lemmy admits. The sexagenarian doesn’t like to talk about his music, he just makes it. Not in a calculating manner, not with any particular aim, but simply because he can’t help it. Mind you, Motörhead don’t need a lot to create their very own sound. Their equipment, a studio, a few microphones, and the air is set on fire. With the added bonus of producer Carmon Webb in the director’s chair, the result is bound to be amazing. That’s the way it was on their 2004 release, Inferno, and that’s how it will be this summer. So let’s all look forward to an album that will present Motörhead at the zenith of their creativity - in the 31st year of their existence! Kiss of Death!!!
He´s just like superman, but he doesn´t even fear kryptonite. Ian Fraiser Kilmister, known as Lemmy, is simply indestructible; a huge, iconic alliance of hell-raiser, cult-figure, and rock-animal. Ever since the mid 70s he is the one and only, the über-persona of loud, hard and aggressive rock.
Even at the landmark age of 60 he has by no means mellowed out, has never taken part in any commercial adventures, nor has he played the music-industry´s twisted “game”. Lemmy has always done his thing, according to his own rules, and in his very own words. And yes, while doing so, he has always worn those black clothes, which he claims he loves cause he doesn´t need to wash them so often – and that he will not change until they come up with something “darker than black”.
Apart from that, there is, of course, always that heavy, metallic power-horse called Motörhead. It’s a perpetuum mobile that has run on full power for over 30 years, 24/7. And that consists of your classic power-trio, including not only Lemmy, but also the widely underrated guitar-genius that is Philip Campbell, and the energetic Michael “Mikkey Dee” Delaouglou on drums.
“Kiss Of Death” is their 23rd album. And according to Lemmy what a fine one it is: “It’s better than “Inferno”, and “Inferno” seems to be the favourite of the later years so far”, claims the man who lives on a steady diet of Jack Daniels and Marlboro. “It´s better songs. Better arrangements and a better performance from me vocally, and a better performance from Phil Campbell on the guitar, he plays great on the songs.”
Lemmy is proud of what he has achieved with “Kiss Of Death”. And he has every reason to be so, with these 12 tracks, recorded at LA´s Paramount studios and produced by Cameron Webb, Lemmy, the Californian by choice and self-declared king of “The Rainbow Bar & Grill” (the only one allowed to smoke indoors!) sets a new standard for himself.
It all starts off with the wild, over the top, aggressive “Sucker”. A brutal piece of biker-rock with dirty killer-riffs, heavy double bass-drum, and a voice you will never forget – ever. It´s Lemmy, of course, ranting about his very own private mission as the dangerous rock-psychopath you should not mess with. And he delivers that threat with a manic voice full of hatred and rusty steel. It´s Motörhead at their sickest best.
Same goes for the following “One Night Stand”, which is classic British power-rock from the 70s. That´s not only because of the music, their lyrics, too, pay tribute to the daily insanity of life on the road – as we all image it to be. There´s your quick´n´dirty sexual encounters with “em birds”, your streams of whiskey and vomit, but there´s also true friendship and camaraderie. Not to mention that confession that we´ve all been waiting for: “I love American girls.” Lemmy, the lonesome wolf, always searching, sometimes lucky, but still lonely and sad. A character that he embodies like no-one else.
Simply because he lives it to the fullest – like it´s meant to be. Lemmy is the classic underdog, the unwanted son of a vicar that abandoned him three months after his birth. A background that fuels his hatred against any form of organized religion and makes for classic Motörhead-songs like “God Was Never On Your Side”. “Fucking ignored is what you want by God”, rants Lemmy on that subject. “That´s why it´s “God Was Never On Your Side”, you know, just sending out a message to people in case they still believe in God: Wrong! God is not gonna help you, God is not answering your prayers, you can pray all your life and you never get a fucking thing. God is deaf, blind and stupid. I don’t like the devil either, they can both get fucked.”
That is the message that he also sends out to critics, nay-sayers and self-proclaimed hipsters alike, all of whom claim that Motörhead have been recording the very same record over and over again for decades and are only good at one sound, one style and one speed-volume. A theory he revises with his very own personal wit and with his musical ability.
“Kiss Of Death” offers a variety of influences that surprises even the most notorious of Motörhead-fans. Mind you: It´s not all hymnic rock-songs like “Devil I Know”, but the former Hawkwind guitarist-turned-bassist also dwells on the blues (“Under The Gun”), good old Boogie Woogie (“Christine”) and powerful NWOBM from the early 80s (“Trigger”). In addition to that, “God Was Never on Your Side” allows a quick look at Lem´s soft, gentle side that is usually well hidden. But here you experience the great balladeer that can in fact play a wonderful acoustic blues – even if it´s just for 40 seconds. After that, it´s Motörhead taking over again, electrified, rude, and real.