Interview: Lemmy & Wurzel, Motorhead

Despite the collapse of the tour, the Heads' Lemmy and Wurzel remain unrepentently optimistic about their March or Die album, as Riff Raff's Joe Mackett and Mark Liddell discovered in a heavy-metal tag team interview.


Motorhead are still keeping abreast of rock n' roll. Their latest album March or Die has their unique authority stamped all over it. So, we wound our way down to a respectable West End hotel to hold discussions with band lynch-pin Lemmy and axeman Wurzel.

Having moved out to Los Angeles a couple of years ago, does Lemmy consider the musical style of Motorhead to have changed as a result of different locations?
"No. Do you think so?" he begins. "If anyone started getting ideas above their station in this band the other three would chop their fuckin' legs off!"
Taking the album as a whole, March or Die is particularly heavy.
"It is a very heavy record. I was toying with the making the vocals really loud, but at least we had freedom of choice."
On the new album there is a cover of Ted Nugent's absolutely classic Cat Scratch Fever, which has been given a storming new breath of life.
"It's a song about cats," laughs Lem. "I wanted to do an older rock n' roll song, but I always had trouble with those two (guitarists) with twelve bars. They think it's beneath them!"
Both Wurzel and Phil Campbell are extremely underrated. Both put in fine performances on March or Die and Lemmy is at pains to praise them.
"They are incredible guitarists. They should be in thise polls that they have at the end of each year. It's truly not fair. You Better Run has two of the best solos I've ever heard."
Wurzel is also bursting with enthusiasm for the new songs, many of which originated from him and Campbell.
"Yeah, we'd write together and the songs that we thought suited Lemmy's voice would be sent over to him in L.A."
Wurzel was particularly ecstatic about Asylum Choir, which showcases some nimble, pacey fretboard work from the underrated one.

"That's probably one of my favourites on the record," he proudly beamed, despite his hangover. And on a more general level, let's hope Wurzel gains the true recognition that he deserves, without forever being looked upon as Lemmy's erstwhile, amiable sidekick.

As I go under the hammer of a new track on Lemmy's personal stereo, the Crow picks up the thread of conversation and turns it around to that of guest musicians. Slash from Guns N' Roses appears as does Ozzy. Slash makes an appearance on the aforementioned You Better Run, whereas both guests make appearances on the album's most peculiar but best offering, the ballad I Ain't No Nice Guy.

Many of you may be having heart palpitations at news that Motorhead are attempting a full scale ballad, but the tune harnasses an inner strength. It's also a style which Lemmy's voice compliments perfectly.
"So does Ozzy's. He sounds really good on it too. It only took ten minutes to write. It seems working like that is good for me. Orgasmatron was five minutes and We Are the Road Crew was only four."
However, Lemmy doesn't hold out much hope for Motorhead recording in Britain again.
"I don't think we'd do another record here. The two we've done in the US have turned out so much better. It's like another band."

"It's not the technology so much. It's mainly because we're away from home," adds Wurzel, before Lemmy continues...

"We're like a band out there. There's no distractions."
As talk moves to the weirder elements of fan worship, from being sent voodoo dolls to 'standing still, not moving man,' myself and my feathered friend make our exit with one last question. Does Lemmy consider March or Die to be vastly different to their last opus 1916?
"I really don't know. I'm too close to it, and it's too soon to make any judgment. Every time I think about the past, it brings back lots of memories."

Mark Liddell + Joe Mackett
Riff Raff
May, 1993

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