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A Quietus Interview

Watch: Lemmy Interview - Hawkwind To Punk Via Human Crabs
Ben Graham , December 29th, 2015 01:30

The Quietus hooks up with Loud Pixels to present a revealing interview with Motorhead's Lemmy (first published December 2010)

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The shadow of Lemmy Kilmister, clad in tight jeans and jackboots, looms large over British music of the past 35 years, yet he remains a curiously unsung hero. As he says to Ben Graham in our interview, "every seven years it becomes fashionable to like Motorhead again. Another six months and we'll be back in the shade. Been alright, done it before." As a live band, Motorhead outstrip nearly every other group not only in volume but in relentless, convincing energy. This they have both from Lemmy's presence - legs apart, head back, roaring out those songs - and his skill as a bass player. He says that Hawkwind's biggest mistake was to kick him out, because "they fired the engineroom" and suspects that the group never got their due because - "they looked like drug-addled tramps, which is basically what we were half the time anyway. We never had a good organisation to get past that first horrified image. We didn't make commercial records - the best thing we made was 'Urban Guerrilla', but that got pulled off the racks because it was when the IRA bombed Harrods. Went down like a concrete parachute, that".

Lemmy explains that by contrast Motorhead survived for so long because "we sounded like a punk band but looked like a rock band" and it was arguably the cross-pollination between Motorhead's raw power and punk that gave them a late-70s boost. When they played with punk bands "everyone got something thrown at them" Lemmy says, before going on to explain the special relationship that he has with the Damned: "You knew the punks were going to be a big thing because they told you they were. Rat Scabies came up behind me in Dingwalls, this terrible urchin with awful red hair, spots all over him. He said, "Oi, you're Lemmy aren't you?' I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'You think you're a rock star or something?' I said, 'Well if there's going to be one, it might as well be me.' He said, 'Fair enough, I'll buy you a drink.' We've been friends ever since."

Lemmy goes on to discuss how much he loved the Sex Pistols and Nirvana - the guitar "was like scraping your fingers down the blackboard" and why when there's another movement like punk "we won't like it. And that's the way it should be".

Finally, Lemmy talks about how the new, twentieth Motorhead album is shaped by the current political climate, and his anger at the BP oil spill. "You can love the individual, but you can't love the race... we're arrogant bastards. We're like a dose of crabs", and adds that human cooperation could learn from our smaller fellows on this spinning planet: "Talk to the ants, they've got communism working."

Interview conducted by Ben Graham; produced, filmed and edited by Loud Pixels Live: Marc Broussely, Jim Shreim, Keith Craig. Visit the Loud Pixels website,

Motörhead new album The Wörld Is Yours is out January 17th 2011. Lemmy The Movie released on DVD 24 January

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Dec 9, 2010 3:17pm

man i would love to see this transcribed! Internet connection is pretty crappy down here in no man's land. Please, quietus?

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Dec 9, 2010 6:13pm

Dude, it's "guerrilla". Fucking spell check, how does that work?

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Dec 10, 2010 2:10pm

Great interview. Lemmy is a wise man, his songs and lyrics are too good for most people. Nice interview, Thank you Lemmy for your songs.

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Transoniq Johnny
Dec 11, 2010 7:46am

Yeeeeeessssssssssss...The Ace of Spades in a great interview...blast on, mate!

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Dame Hyndman
Dec 21, 2010 3:52pm

As amusing as ever, but Quietus you need to send the interviewer back to interviewing school.

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Dec 22, 2010 10:05am

Being both a Hawkwind and Motorhead fan. how could I not dig this interview?!! Lemmy's words are always sage even when people think he has it in for Hawkwind.....some tend to forget that there would have been no HW without Lemmy:):)

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Dec 23, 2010 5:07pm

Lemmy is a legend
Do what you should be doing not what they want you to do!
Motorhead what a band !!!!
Good interview it states it how it is no bullshit.

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Dec 26, 2010 12:11pm

Lemmy is à cool Guy . Me and my 12 year old Son met him after the Brighton concert in THE UK.
were from Holland and sended An email with the Question if we could meet the band.
Vip tickets And after show tickets were walging for us at the venue they emailed us back.
So we went from Holland to London and Brighton, saw them 2 nights in à row and met Lemmy after the show. It was An experience we Will never forget and we want to thank motorhead for taking THE time and efforts ! We hope to See them again in holland in 2011
Jos and Cas Plenter

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Dec 29, 2010 11:48am

My dad was friends with a guy from Hawkwind and drank with Lemmy at the Alexandra

Here's to the real Rockers !

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Ladislav Weber
Dec 30, 2010 8:40pm

...Lemmy is very good rocker !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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melody von rock
Jan 16, 2011 3:37am

i was going to comment that ants aren't communist, they have a queen ant! but checked and the queen ant is just a reproducer, and ant colonies are indeed quite a communist set up. well done lemmy!

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Jan 17, 2011 9:59am

Lemmy just rules, period. Everyone needs to get past "Ace Of Spades" already & look at the other great songs Motorhead has.

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Jan 26, 2011 12:33am

"that good pulled off the racks"
'to' not 'too'
"his his anger"?
All in four short paragraphs. Very professional.

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Judith Barda
Feb 6, 2011 5:17pm

I really enjoyed this interview. Good Questions that got the best out of Lemmy. Good frames. Lemmy simply gorgeous and touching.

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tiny tim
Feb 23, 2011 4:52pm

great interveiw, Lemmy was spot on,as always. sharp as a tack with his razor wit. the man is a living legend! Baddest 65 yr.old mutha on the planet! Rock till ya drop! Lem. MOTORHEAD LIVE FOREVER! hope to see ya on the road 2011.

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Dec 30, 2015 9:18am

Can you put this interview on Vimeo? YT is banning it over here. Thanks.

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Dexter J Globule
Jan 1, 2016 6:31pm

With Lemmy's passing ends an era that brought us so much great music, so many great characters too but few as splendid as Ian Kilmister. Rest easy now the rock n rolling is finally over, big man, you did your bit and we love you for it.

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Jan 11, 2016 7:54am

For a atheist a lot of people seem to be wishing him a nice afterlife. Missing the point much ?

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Jan 11, 2016 7:58am

I see Bowie snuffed it too. Keeling over left, right and centre at the moment aren't they ?

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