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 Sepultura founder Max Cavalera, who also has some prized personal memories of Lemmy and his band.
Below, Cavalera reveals Motörhead's fundamental influence on Sepultura and recounts how his early "awkward" interactions with Lemmy eventually evolved into profound shared moments that remain "close to my heart."
DO YOU REMEMBER FIRST TIME YOU HEARD MOTÖRHEAD?
MAX CAVALERA It's gonna be early Eighties, probably '81 – '82. The records were released in Brazil, because they were on a major label so you could actually get them in the stores. I remember that we bought Ace of Spades and Iron Fist and No Sleep 'til Hammersmith. My favorite memory of that record is there's actually a Lemmy scream in the middle of the record. It's a live show, and in between two songs he just launches this ungodly scream. [Laughs] It's one of the coolest things ever. I tried to imitate that for years in a lot of Sepultura and Soulfly concerts … but I never got quite as good as he got it on that live record. [Laughs]
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE MOTÖRHEAD SONG?
There are two songs that are meaningful to me, but I don't know if they're my favorite. I'm really partial to "Orgasmatron." We covered that and the heaviness of it … it's just so heavy. And the lyrics are brilliant. I always thought Lemmy was a great lyricist and never got the credit that I think he deserved. He's like a really killer poet. That's like poetry … angry poetry! [Laughs] Dark poetry man. The use of the words on "Orgasmatron" are amazing, man. I love it.
The other is "Dancing on Your Grave" from Another Perfect Day. That's where we got the name Sepultura. I got it from that, translating that record. I didn't know English that well and I was translating Black Sabbath, AC/DC and Motörhead records. I was translating the lyrics from Another Perfect Day and I came across "Dancing on Your Grave." And "grave" [in Portuguese] is "sepultura." And that's how the name was born. … straight-up from Motörhead, which is pretty cool.
CLEARLY MOTÖRHEAD HAD A FUNDAMENTAL IMPACT ON SEPULTURA. CAN YOU TALK MORE ABOUT HOW LEMMY AND THE GUYS INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WRITING MUSIC?
Motörhead showed that you didn't need to be a virtuoso musician to make cool music. Like the punk movement exposed that, and I think Motörhead did that for metal. You really didn't need to be an Eddie Van Halen, born with amazing ability to write good songs. I'm sure they are the main influence on the whole thrash-metal and death-metal movement … the pioneers. The first time you hear the double-bass on "Overkill" it's like, that's the beginning of thrash and death metal to me.
Artistically, visually … I was always fascinated by the way they looked. They looked dangerous. [Laughs] The Ace of Spades cover … you don't want to be in dark street in London and [see them] … those are not the guys you want to meet! [Laughs] They just look awesome. And the little bit that we saw of their character … because they were like cartoon characters a little bit. Philthy Animal was always funny and doing crazy shit and Lemmy was an absolute legend. The way Lemmy carried himself throughout his life is an example to live by man. You can live by that. He always did things on his own terms, gave zero fucks about what people thought of it … It's great, man. Very inspirational stuff.
YOU CROSSED PATHS A FEW TIMES WITH LEMMY OVER THE YEARS. THERE'S THAT FAMOUS STORY OF YOUR AWKWARD FIRST MEETING, WHERE YOU PISSED HIM OFF DURING A PHOTO SHOOT. LOOKING BACK, WHAT MEMORIES STAND OUT MOST FOR YOU?
My relationship with Lemmy was always a little bit tumultuous. It was a little bit awkward at times. The photo shoot [in the early Nineties] at Kerrang! … I had a bottle of wine and I was throwing wine all over and I don't think he liked that very much. The one thing that was cool, I never tried to kiss his ass. I think that made him like me a little bit because of that. I wasn't a yes man around him. I think we had this really weird relationship … After all that happened [during Motorhead's Eureopean tour, which Sepultura opened]: going onstage naked with socks on our dicks, being Brazilian pirates and he got super mad … He brought [Sepultura's manager, and now Cavalera's wife] Gloria [Cavalera] to his dressing room and gave her a whole lecture. [Laughs]
After all that, my stepson Dana passed away in '97. I met Lemmy at some award ceremony in England and he gave me this great hug and told me how he felt so much for me and the passing of my stepson. And that showed the human side. It doesn't matter man, he's got a great fucking heart. He said everything between us was all good. There's no … we don't have any beef or anything wrong with our relationship, it's all good. And I was like, "yeah, killer!" It was cool, I like to think that I had a very different relationship with him than most people. He probably hated me for a while, which is cool. Like, "I pissed of Lemmy!" That's hard to do. [Laughs] And him giving advice to my wife, saying I wasn't going to make it in rock & roll if I kept acting like that. [Laughs] Coming from Lemmy, it's like, "Holy shit that great!" [Laughs] I love all those little things that our relationship had. It's something I always keep close to my heart, especially the one time in England when he gave me the big hug. That was just amazing. … Motörhead for life, brother!