Revolver has teamed with Motörhead for limited-edition colored vinyl pressings of the band's classic albums plus a new Motörhead collector's issue and exclusive official band merch. Get yours before they're gone!
Motörhead occupy rarefied air in the heavy-music world. Led by the inimitable Lemmy Kilmister, they emerged out of London's early Seventies heavy-psych, space-rock scene (epitomized by Lem's acid-drenched previous band Hawkwind) and quickly secured their mythical reputation as speed-fueled, road-worn rock & roll icons thanks to their tireless touring and god-tier songs like "Ace of Spades," "Overkill" and more.
Motörhead's uncompromising outlaw spirit and singular hard-hitting sound appealed to punks, NWOBHM fanatics, thrash kids and beyond — and many of these fans would go on to become rock stars themselves, including the Metallica guys, Max Cavalera, Lzzy Hale and Dave Grohl to name just a few. For 40 years, from their 1975 formation and 1977 self-titled debut to 2015's swansong Bad Magic, Lemmy led his band through all types of ups and downs … but Motörhead never let up, until the day Lemmy passed away on December 28th, 2015 (only weeks after he performed his final live show).
Motörhead left the world with so many great songs that continue to inspire generations of heavy-music fans — including Matt Pike of High on Fire and Sleep, who also has some prized personal memories of Lemmy and his band. Below, the singer-guitarist discusses his favorite Motörhead songs, recounts what it was like touring with Motörhead and reveals the "weirdest shit" Lemmy said to him the first time they met.
DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIST TIME YOU HEARD MOTÖRHEAD?
MATT PIKE I think it was "Iron Fist" or "Ace of Spades," and that was on MTV when I was a kid. [But maybe] Motörhead "Motorhead" might have been the first thing I ever heard. I'm pretty fucking old. [Laughs]
WELL, YOU COULDA SAID HAWKWIND "MOTORHEAD" AND DATED YOURSELF EVEN MORE…
Well, that's what I mean, they came from that song! [Laughs]
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE MOTÖRHEAD ALBUM?
Oh fuck. I like the Ace of Spades one — that's my favorite. I love Orgasmatron, too, I love the early stuff. He's great with [guitarist] Fast Eddie [Clarke]. But yeah, I'll go with Ace of Spades.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE MOTÖRHEAD SONG?
Fuck dude. It's so hard to fucking say. I was always impartial … obviously everyone will say "Ace of Spades," so I don't want to go with that one. I always loved the song ""(We Are) the Road Crew," really, because it's about tour and being a roadie and getting through and all the bullshit you run into. And I can totally relate to that.
HIGH ON FIRE'S LAST ALBUM, ELECTRIC MESSIAH, WAS INSPIRED BY A DREAM YOU HAD ABOUT LEMMY. CAN YOU TALK MORE ABOUT HOW MOTÖRHEAD INFLUENCED YOU IN TERMS OF MUSICAL CREATIVITY OR COMMANDING A STAGE OR …
Yeah, as many time as I got to see them and play with them … before that, in my early teenage acid-head days — you know I did all sorts of drugs back then — but I got a hold of a couple different Motörhead albums, you know, the first two [1977's Motörhead and 1979's Overkill]. I was listening to them, and I remember tripping really hard and thinking about how Lemmy sings, and the whole persona of that and the way Fast Eddie Clarke plays on that shit. I was trying to play guitar to it … I never thought I'd end up being a singer when I was a kid like that. It just happened, and I ended up with a very Lemmy-esque voice. So I guess some of his biggest influence on me is my voice, because I already have a voice like that. So I'm like, Well, I might as well go with what is already known. [Laughs] I'm good at doing Motörhead karaoke, that's for sure.
YOU COVERED A COUPLE MOTÖRHEAD SONGS FOR THE UPCOMING TRIBUTE ALBUM LÖVE ME FÖREVER. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR TAKE ON "IRON FIST"?
It was like really easy for us. We had that song together and we already knew how to play it almost. I just had to kind of go through little details, like the leads, and I could sing and play it immediately. It's set up for a singer/guitar player, which is what Lemmy really was: he was a rhythm guitar player and singer. It was a lot of fun. And then, with Blackwater Holylight, I did "Please Don't Touch" with those girls too which was fun. … From the Girlschool days, you know. Motörhead did a whole fucking album with Girlschool.
I HAVEN'T HEARD THE "PLEASE DON'T TOUCH" COVER. ARE YOU THROWING GUITAR INTO THAT, OR SINGING …
I sang and I threw a couple leads in with … [Pauses]
Yeah, Mikayla, thank you … they're totally rad. Sorry, I keep having these Joe Biden problems, except I have an excuse: I do drugs. [Laughs]
WELL, YOU NEVER KNOW ...
Dude, he's fucking dumb. That dude is so far gone. It's not his fault, it's like dementia, and they're just fucking using him. It's so fucking bad. He's the single worst president I think we've ever had. I didn't think they could top Trump, but they went ahead and did that. [Laughs]
I GUESS WE'LL WAIT AND SEE WHO COMES NEXT…
I almost want to step up and try to fucking do that bad. But then again, I wouldn't want to be President of the United States, fuck that shit. That's the worst stress job; it'll age you like a 100 years in a day.
SO, BACK TO MOTÖRHEAD. I KNOW YOU'VE TOURED WITH THEM AND YOU SPENT SOME PERSONAL TIME WITH LEMMY OVER THE YEARS. ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR MOMENTS THAT STAND OUT FOR YOU?
I don't know, man. When we were on this little tour they allowed us on with Dwarves. And the Dwarves basically got kicked off. They were like, "If you don't play for your 45 minutes …" And I stepped up and I was all, "Hey I'll be glad to take my 20-minute set and make it 45 so the Dwarves can play 15. No problem." [Dwarves singer] Blag [Dahlia's] all, "Yeah, you should do that!" And the Motörhead crew is like, "Fuck no. No. That's not how it runs around here. You don't funking get to do whatever you want." [Laughs] And I'm like, "Well I'm just saying dude I have plenty of material, and I'm eager and hungry for this shit!"
ACTUALLY, DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME YOU MET LEMMY?
The first time I met Lemmy he walked up and said the weirdest shit, so I started keeping a little book. [Laughs] One quote, he was like, "I used to want to be in the Navy fellas. I wanted to be a torpedo, but I wasn't born with a propellor on me nose." I was like, Dude, what the fuck did that even mean! [Laughs]
[LAUGHS] IT'S SO GOOD THOUGH.
So good! Then I did a shot or something, and was like, "This is the coolest thing ever. Thanks Lemmy!" I [also remember] sitting next to him on the Motörboat, and — which is weird because I won $5,000 yesterday — he won 5 grand on the Motörboat, like right next to me. And I was like, "Fucking nice job bro!" I probably spent that in piña coladas. [Laughs]