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MOTÖRHEAD – The Dogs Of War

Hot Flashes

Posted on Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 11:50:53 EST

By Aaron Small

Much more than just another new album, The Wörld Is Yours serves as a milestone in MOTÖRHEAD’s career as it’s the band’s 20th studio album, marking their 35th anniversary. “Not bad for being given six months to live in 1975,” quips iconic frontman / vocalist / bassist Lemmy Kilmister. Somewhat surprisingly, the special significance associated with The Wörld Is Yours didn’t faze Lemmy or his bandmates – guitarist Phil Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee. “We don’t care about shit like that. It’s another album; they’re all as good as we can get them.”

During the recording of The Wörld Is Yours, Motörhead experienced an unexpected fork in the road when Campbell’s father got sick. As such, Phil flew from Los Angeles to Wales to attend to his Dad, who unfortunately passed away. According to Lemmy, “Phil wanted to go say goodbye; that’s fair. You couldn’t deny the guy that obviously for a bloody album. So that was okay. The Internet’s a great thing for that. Phil has a small studio in his house (in Wales).We sent him tracks and he put lead guitar on them over there and sent them back. He only had to do it once; he did pretty well.” Listening to The Wörld Is Yours, there isn’t the slightest inkling that the Atlantic Ocean separated the guitarist from the rest of his band. “Yeah right,” jokes Lemmy. “We couldn’t get a good screen in the studio so…”

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The thread of continuity between The Wörld Is Yours and the previous three Motörhead albums: Motörizer, Kiss Of Death and Inferno, is undoubtedly producer Cameron Webb; Lemmy wholeheartedly agrees. “Man, that guy’s fucking excellent! I work with him so well. He’s one of the few people that actually went into the studio for the first time with Motörhead and told us to sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up. That’s what a producer has to do you see. Producers can’t do what the band wants because you’ve got three people telling you different things. He has to put his own stamp on it and he has to get the band’s ideas all amalgamated into one thing. That’s really difficult but Cameron’s good at it.” A case of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? “Yeah, exactly; I’ve always been a believer in that. I’ve seen countless bands fuck with their stuff and come up with nothing, just to be popular or trendy.”

Opening track on The Wörld Is Yours is a song called ‘Born To Lose’. If that phrase seems familiar, it should; Lemmy has ‘Born To Lose, Live To Win’ tattooed on his forearm. “Well we had a song called ‘Live To Win’ on Ace Of Spades, so I thought it was about time we had one called ‘Born To Lose’ finally.” LA Ink Star and owner of High Voltage Tattoo, Kat Von D, retouched Lemmy’s artwork in 2008. “You can read it again now, it’s great. I got that in 1978 or ’79, a long time ago. That’s why it was all blurred. They (the letters) run into themselves after a bit.”

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First single and video, ‘Get Back In Line’, really showcases Lemmy’s distaste for corporate greed and super rich CEOs. “Right, they get on my nerves. This recession is not a recession; it’s a fucking blunder by the banks and the businessmen. The money hasn’t suddenly gone down without a reason. All those assholes have been playing with each other and now here it comes again. We have a recession about every two years in fact. They buy themselves out of it.” ‘Get Back In Line’ contains an absolute classic lyric: ‘If you think that Jesus saves, get back in line.’ “Well his savings probably got taken off him by the banks at the end of the last one. Jesus might save; I think he’s with Mutual of Omaha,” laughs Lemmy.

‘Bye Bye Bitch’ tackles the subject of infidelity. In this particular case, it’s the woman cheating on the man. “Well that does happen, contrary to popular feminist opinion. The man can’t be the asshole all the time. You think this can’t happen? Everybody’s been telling me all these years that women are a pristine, untouchable, wonderful pedestal that we’ve always looked up to. She can’t be cheating on me ‘cause they always accuse you first.” Although Lemmy does have a son, he’s never been married. “So I’ve been cheated on more often, by more different people.”

The question beckons, is staying faithful to one woman a difficult proposition, or does Lemmy just not want to be with the same person for the rest of his life? “No I don’t really. It seems like a terrible commitment when you know you can’t keep it up. If I could find a woman that’d stop me looking at all the others, then I would marry her in an instant. But I never found a woman that could stop me looking at the possibilities all around. I’m not going to fucking cheat and pretend and lie. I know what I’m doing and if you don’t like it, too bad. I ain’t going to say I’m going to be faithful and then run around. I think if you get married, you should get fucking married – end of story. And I can’t do that, so I don’t do that. It’s misery when one of you cheats. Given that we (Motörhead) are out of the country seven months of the year, both of you are going to cheat eventually.”


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The Wörld Is Yours is not the name of a song. When asked why that was chosen as the album title, Lemmy replies, “It’s funny you should say that. I guess the stock reply would be, it just sounds like a good phrase and it was in Scarface. But it’s not as easy as that. I felt like having an upbeat name for a change, ‘cause we’re always like Sacrifice or Inferno and all that. The Wörld Is Yours if you can get it fucking cornered.” To play devil’s advocate, it could have just as easily been The Wörld Is Ours. “Yeah, I didn’t think that was very good. I didn’t like that ‘cause obviously it isn’t. It belongs to the fucking bank.”

‘Rock N Roll Music’ serves as the biggest moment of truth on The Wörld Is Yours as in it, Lemmy sings, ‘Rock N Roll music is the true religion.’ “It has been for me. It never lets you down and you can dance to the rhythm. Two big selling points right there. There’s a great line in an obscure movie called A Ruling Class, where this guy, played by Peter O’Toole, is convinced he’s Jesus, dressed in a fucking smock and a beard and all that. This woman says, ‘why do you think you’re God?’ And he says, ‘Well, it’s because every time I’m praying, I find I’m talking to myself.’ Isn’t that great? You’ve got to try and download that movie, it’s excellent!”

Speaking of God, in the 1994 movie Airheads – starring Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi and Adam Sandler – Lemmy was equated to God. Since then there’s been the Lemmy book - White Line Fever, the Lemmy action figure, and now the Lemmy movie. “It’s fucking ridiculous isn’t it?” What’s next, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? “That would be the logical next step, or a plot at Forest Lawn (Cemetary). It’s all silly. You can’t believe in this shit or else you go nuts. It’s pleasant but it’s funny.”

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In Lemmy’s city of birth, Stoke-On-Trent, England, a petition was recently submitted to city council to erect statues honouring both Mr. Kilmister and former GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist Slash. “Maybe they can combine the two? Save money with a three-legged thing with a hat on one head.” Unfortunately the motion was rejected and these statues won’t be erected. “I’m surprised, ha ha. They always look awful, them statues anyway. That one of Buddy Holly they put up in Lubbock (Texas); is now in one of the worst areas of Lubock there is. When they put it up, it was quite a prosperous area, now the fucking thing’s in the middle of a slum. I’m not sure it’s a good idea, having statues stuck up. Somebody’s always going to cover it with shit – pigeons and people painting all over it.”

Despite these everlasting tributes, we’re all mortal and Lemmy touches on that in ‘I Know How To Die’, especially with the line, ‘If I could find the cure, I wouldn’t have to cry’. “Well I’m diabetic you know. I don’t actually cry but I do have to take pills twice a day which is kind of a pisser. I’m sure there is a cure for diabetes; there’s just more money in treating it than curing it. It’s an epidemic right now. It’s a funny thing ‘cause when I was a kid, diabetes was one of them exotic tropical diseases, that a cousin of a friend of yours had. Nowadays, every family in the union’s got it. It’s really fucking odd. I think it’s the diet because they put sugar in everything out here.”

The equally alarming spike in peanut allergies also comes to mind. “I know. It’s unbelievable isn’t it? Where did that suddenly come from? There’s a lot of experiments going on with that shit – pharmaceuticals and things. I love these adverts on TV where they have to tell you the fucking side effects – ha ha. Monty Python couldn’t write it! Here’s a pill for depression, and it says ‘if you have thoughts of suicide, stop taking it and call your doctor immediately.’ And the FDA approved this? It’s wonderful man; it’s comedy all the time. It’s fucking great. And they say the Americans have no sense of humour .”

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On the road, Lemmy meets countless fans and literally hundreds of them have tattoos of Motörhead’s Snaggletooth logo, as evidenced on the band’s website. “As you see more of them, it becomes less amazing, but it’s still amazing isn’t it! That somebody would mark their own body for life with your logo. It proves we’re doing it right I guess. I’m sure some of them regret it – on the forehead you know (ha, ha).”

In November 2010, Motörhead filmed a very entertaining video for ‘Get Back In Line’, that features the band performing on the rooftop of a skyscraper in London, England. “Yeah, it’s a pity about the skyline. London’s not one of the prettiest cities in the world. It used to be, but they built all this shit all over it. We were on top of one of the worst buildings, so at least you can’t see that one, ha ha.” Although an eyesore was concealed from view, there was no escaping the frigid temperatures. “It was fucking freezing man! You have no idea. The wind went straight through that coat I got on like a knife; it was a joke. I was bitching bitterly all the way through – ‘I’ve got to get off this fucking roof’. But I enjoyed the gambling casino thing.”

A scene from The Wörld Is Yours EPK (electronic press kit) shows Lemmy gambling at the video slots at The Rainbow in Hollywood. “Yeah, I’m, kind of addicted to that shit. On the road you don’t get them much.” Unless you’re playing Vegas. “If you’re playing Vegas, you’re not on the road any more; you’re on vacation – for a couple of hours at least.”

When sitting at The Rainbow playing the video slots, Lemmy has grown accustomed to fans coming up to him and asking for a photo and/or autograph, even wanting to buy him a Jack (Daniels) and Coke. “People come up and do that, that’s okay. If you’re going to go out, you’ve got to expect that. It’s cool, I can deal with it. If you try to be famous all your fucking life, don’t bitch when you make it.” To his credit, Lemmy never tries to hide from people by going out in disguise, wearing a hoodie and sweatpants. “No, I don’t go jogging. And this is not MADONNA we’ve got here. I gave up bicycles a long time ago.”






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