In-person interview with Lemmy from MOTORHEAD
By Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal
January 25th 2011, House Of Blues, Anaheim CA
Motorhead were about to embark on yet another North American tour in Anaheim tonight. As much as I was looking forward to the show itself, a face-to-face interview with Lemmy was something I'd been waiting for and anticipating ever since I stepped into this industry as a media person. The day had finally arrived for me, and a few minutes after we got to see the band doing their soundcheck, we were led into the Motorhead dressing room by one of their tour managers. Here's how the conversation went. I am sure you'll enjoy the read.
Andrew: Lemmy, how are you doing today?
Lemmy: So far so good, you know. Thank you. How are you?
Andrew: I'm doing good! I was listening to your new album "The World Is Yours", and I would say it's exactly what people expect from a Motorhead album. Would you agree?
Lemmy: Almost exactly. There are a couple of surprise bits on it. It is what it is, you know.
Andrew: There is a song on the album called "Rock N Roll Music", with a line that says Rock N Roll Music is the true religion. There cannot be a better line to sum up what you've believed in throughout your life, don't you think?
Lemmy: Yes (laughs). It's a simple question and a simple answer. Religion always lets you down.
Andrew: There's a movie about you that just came out ..
Lemmy: Oh yeah, I know! (laughs)
Andrew: What did your band mates think about it? The movie is about you but the camera crew also followed them around.
Lemmy: I know, yeah well they weren't being as much followed around as I was, but all three of us were followed around for months, you know. I think they are putting together stuff for another movie they're not going to tell us about, and put it out later (laughs). Lemmy the sequel, possibly.
Andrew: That would be cool! Is there a plan for a sequel then?
Lemmy: Naah, I think they're just going to put it all on the extras DVD along with the movie.
Andrew: There was a premiere in LA this month. How did people react to the movie? Did everybody see the funny side of it?
Lemmy: Yeah they seemed to like it, you know. Everybody was praising it in the end. It wasn't too embarrassing for me because I didn't have to leave the theatre before the lights came on. Yeah it was ok, you know.
Andrew: There are other ways through which you are being honored. Did you hear about the statue of yours that was supposed to be erected in England, but didn't quite work out?
Lemmy: Yeah, right! The city said no, because that's just where I was born and it ain't where I live.
Andrew: I saw a video in which people in the industry were being asked who they thought would do a good job at playing the role of Lemmy, if there was a movie made about you that was not a documentary. Let me ask you the same question. Who do you think would do a good job as Lemmy?
Lemmy: Meryl Streep (laughs). Well it would be interesting now wouldn't it? Her with my moustache on? And Tom Araya would do good I think.
Andrew: Tom Araya! Yes, that would be cool. Anyway, I was reading an interview that Phil Campbell did, and he was saying that the next album might be an all covers album. Do you think that would be the case, or you just don't know yet?
Lemmy: We both always wanted to do it, me and Phil. I think Mikkey likes the idea too, but we just never got around to it. We've always done covers like "God Save The Queen" [The Sex Pistols], "Cat Scratch Fever" [Ted Nugent] and all that. So yeah I'd like to do that, you know. I don't know if people would like it or not. It'll depend on which songs we choose.
Andrew: The previous live DVD "Stage Fright" was released in 2005. I think it's about time for another one. Are there any thoughts in that regard?
Lemmy: Yeah well, live DVDs are very expendable really. The record company always wants a live one. We do a studio album every two years, and then they are desperate for a live one as well. They want all your money.
Andrew: This year Judas Priest announced that they're going to retire. When you heard that, did you think of your own retirement, even for one second?
Lemmy: Not yet. Why should I? We're still the best band in the world. How can I retire and deprive everybody of that?
Andrew: That's the perfect answer. A friend of mine, Neil Turbin [ex-Anthrax vocalist] told me a very cool story about when you were on a plane with him and it almost crashed. Do you remember that?
Lemmy: Oh yeah, we were going to Mexico, landing in Monterrey. That was funny.
Andrew: So, was that one of the scariest traveling experiences you ever had on tour?
Lemmy: No, no. I've had a lot better ones than that. But it was quite amusing. Every "heavy metaller" on the plane went 'aaah' like a bunch of girls. It was pretty funny, you know (laughs).
Andrew: The movie also deals with your collection of Nazi paraphernalia. How do you actually go about collecting those things?
Lemmy: Well, you offer people money and they give you the stuff, you know (laughs). But yeah I get catalogs. There is a catalog that comes out every six months or so. I mean, it's not skinheads collecting this shit. It's doctors and lawyers that collect this stuff. The starting price before the bets for one such item was 100,000 dollars. This is not Nazi kids' stuff, you know. It's for people with a lot of money. Your friendly doctor!
Andrew: As somebody who's interested in history, have you ever been to India, a place of great culture, history and tradition?
Lemmy: There are three places we haven't played that I want to play, China, India and Africa. We never played any of those. When I play those three, I will have the complete set (laughs).
Andrew: You should definitely go to India. You will enjoy it there.
Lemmy: Yeah I know there's a good rock audience there. Girlschool, friends of ours, played there years ago and they told us it was like crazy, big crowds and all going nuts. They love rock n roll and people aren't bringing rock n roll to them. I don't know why. Do you know why? Are the promoters there kind of conservative?
Andrew: Yeah, exactly. It's just the promoters really.
Lemmy: Yeah, it used to be the same in places like Italy and Romania. There weren't any promoters there. So they used to get somebody from outside doing the shows. Those outside people didn't really care about the people in that country, you know. For them it was like, bullshit one more time, you know.
Andrew: It's funny you asked me about why bands don't play in India. They used to have an annual festival called "Rock In India", and last year it was headlined by the Backstreet Boys.
Lemmy: Oh dear! Not much for people like you then? Let's see what we can do about that.
Andrew: Right! Talking about touring, is there a band you would really love to tour with, before Motorhead retires?
Lemmy: ZZ Top. That would be a good tour wouldn't it? And AC/DC. That would be great. But they are fucking retiring now aren't they? Everybody's retiring. Poor old devils can't keep it up anymore.
Andrew: Yeah I think it'll be just Motorhead to keep carrying the flag in the end and everybody else would retire by then.
Lemmy: Just Motorhead and two Motorhead cover bands (laughs).
Andrew: You have another band called The Head Cat which is a rockabilly supergroup ..
Lemmy: Yeah we played last night!
Andrew: Yeah I know, I was going to ask you about that. How was that show with Camp Freddy?
Lemmy: Yeah, Camp Freddy are great. Me and Phil went on with Camp Freddy and did Bomber and Ace Of Spades, and then we did the Head Cat set. Before us was the Darling Stilettos. Very cute, Matt Sorum's lady.
Andrew: I heard about a new Head Cat album coming this year ..
Lemmy: It's been finished for six months now, just waiting for a release.
Andrew: Finally, from being Jimi Hendrix's roadie to releasing 20 studio albums, having your own movie, your own wine, action figure, and may be even a video game coming up, is there anything left for you to achieve in life?
Lemmy: Yeah I'd like to have a sex change but I don't know what to turn into. Won't be a woman, because I know how we treat women. I'll have to invent a third sex and become that. I'll have to probably shave off the moustache for that. I don't know, it's strange. I'd probably like to have a time machine. that's what I'd like to do. That's a good ambition. Go back and fuck everybody over, say, "Hii! Remember? I'm not sixty anymore!"
Check out Motorhead's official website.
Catch Motorhead on their North American tour!
01/28/2011 - Reno NV - Knitting Factory
01/29/2011 - Las Vegas NV - House of Blues
01/31/2011 - San Diego CA - House of Blues
02/02/2011 - San Francisco CA - Warfield
02/04/2011 - Seattle WA - Sodo
02/05/2011 - Portland OR - Roseland
02/07/2011 - Vancouver BC - Vogue
02/09/2011 - Edmonton AL - EEC
02/10/2011 - Calgary AL - Flames Central
02/12/2011 - Winnipeg MT - Burton
02/13/2011 - Fargo, ND - The Venue
02/15/2011 - Minneapolis MN - 1st Ave
02/16/2011 - Milwaukee WI - Rave Ballroom
02/17/2011 - Kansas City MO - Midland Theatre
02/19/2011 - Chicago IL - The Congress Theatre
02/20/2011 - St Louis MO - Pops
02/22/2011 - Grand Rapids MI - Orbit
02/23/2011 - Detroit MI - Royal Oaks
02/25/2011 - Kitchener ONT - Elements
02/26/2011 - Toronto ONT - Koolhouse
02/28/2011 - New York NY - Best Buy
03/01/2011 - Boston MA - House of Blues (Avalon)
03/03/2011 - Sayerville NJ - Starland Ballroom
03/04/2011 - Atlantic City NJ - House of Blues
03/05/2011 - Charlotte NC. - Fillmore Charlotte
03/08/2011 - Austin TX - Stubb's
03/10/2011 - Tempe AZ - Marquee Theatre
03/11/2011 - Los Angeles CA - Nokia LA Live