MIKKEY, THE LAST ALBUM “INFERNO” CAME OUT JUNE 21ST THIS YEAR, AND THE CRITICS AS WELL AS THE FANS BOTH AGREE THAT THE ALBUM SOUNDS A LOT FRESHER THAN YOUR PREVIOUS ALBUMS. CAN YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY COULD MEAN BY SAYING THAT? Not really, because “fresher”… It’s a really good album, that’s what it is. Yeah, maybe fresher. Some people think it sounds like going back to older days which I totally disagree with. It’s more like maybe moving forward, now that’s what I kind of think we do. It’s just a very good album, you know. It came together easy, and we did everything right this time, you know. But there is no difference in how we write songs or how we approached this album. It’s the same as every year, but you never know, you know. YOU SAID, YOU DID EVERYTHING RIGHT ON THIS ALBUM. ARE YOU TRYING TO INSINUATE THAT YOU’VE DONE SOMETHING WRONG BEFORE? No, no, it’s not that we did anything wrong. It’s just that it seems to be right, the timing, the songwriting, everything came together very easy. Sometimes it’s not that easy, you know. You have to work harder to come up with good stuff, you know. RIGHT. WHAT I WAS TRYING TO SAY IS, THAT THE ALBUM SOUNDS A LOT MORE VERSATILE. ON ONE HAND IT HAS THE SGNATURE MOTÖRHEAD ROCKERS, AND ON THE OTHER HAND THE ALBUM CONTAINS TWO SONGS WHERE YOU COOPERATED WITH GUITAR HERO STEVE VAI… That was just a coincidence, you know what I mean. It wasn’t planned at all. It was like Lem met Steve at Rainbow, and he said: “Well, if you want me to play on anything…!”, “Well, just come and play then, because we’re doing the album right now!” And he did, so… STEVE VAI IS A MOTÖRHEAD FAN!? Yeah, yeah. He likes us. He’s great, Steve, you know. THE OTHER SONG “WHOREHOUSE BLUES” IS A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT AS WELL… Well, I wouldn’t say it was written like a joke, cause it’s not. But it was not planned either, you know what I mean. It just got popped on in the end. ACTUALLY, TO ME IT SOUNDED LIKE AN OUTTAKE OF THE LEMMY, SLIM JIM AND DANNY B. ALBUM WHICH CAME OUT IN 2000. WOULDN’T YOU AGREE? Yeah, it’s a little bluesy thing, you know. It’s cool, we like it. It’s flavour to the album “INFERNO” ENTERED THE OFFICIAL GERMAN ALBUM CHARTS AT NUMBER 10, WHICH IS LIKE THE HIGHEST CHART ENTRY MOTÖRHEAD HAS EVER HAD. DO YOU EVEN CARE ABOUT THAT OR IS THAT SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T REALLY BOTHER YOU? Of course we care about all that. That’s great, but I’m doing records year in and year out. You know, you care but you don’t put so much weight on it, because you’re gonna go crazy if you try to speculate and if you’re gonna try to follow either a record that’s not selling or an album that is selling. So, it’s great when we get that information that it’s doing great, and that’s fantastic. It’s kind of rewarding, you know, but it’s not like we make a make-or-break over this kind of news. So… But it’s great, it’s welcome, you know. OBVIOUSLY YOU ARE VERY BUSY WITH MOTÖRHEAD. BUT YOU’RE KNOWN AS A FIRST-CLASS DRUMMER. HAVE YOU EVER FELT TEMPTED TO HAVE YOUR OWN LITTLE SIDE-PROJECT GOING, THE WAY CERTAIN OTHER MUSICIANS DO? Well, I do certain things. I mean, I did Helloween’s last record, you know, the “Rabbits don’t come easy” album, I did that one. And… But we don’t have time really, you know. Motörhead is the band that, as long as it’s fun I will stay with this band. Of course, I mean, that’s the key thing, is that we enjoy each other, to play together, which is no problem. We have a great time, so I got no reason to leave, and that’s where my heart is. But when it comes to side-projects, it’s a lot that happens that I can do, but I don’t have time for it. We do 200 shows a year with Motöhead almost, you know, that’s insane. (chuckles) THAT IS PRETTY INSANE SCHEDULE I ADMIT. BUT SINCE YOU’RE SO MUCH ON TOUR – WHAT DO YOU HATE MOST ABOUT THE ROAD? The time off! THE TIME WHERE YOU’RE FORCED TO HANG OUT AT THE VENUE FOR HOURS BEFORE THE SHOW ACTUALLY STARTS? Yeah, all the dead time you have. That’s the worst. But you cope how to deal with it. I mean, we’ve done it so many years. I’ve been trying to find out things to do and I still haven’t, after 25 years, you know? (laughs). It’s tough but it’s ok. It’s the backside. And the travel, actually, it’s terrible. BUT 200 SHOWS A YEAR… IS THERE A CHANCE THAT YOU’LL EVER GOING TO SLOW DOWN, IN THE WAY YOU WILL BREAK IT DOWN TO A COUPLE OF FESTIVAL SHOWS A YEAR PLUS TWO SHOWS WHICH ACCOMPANY EACH NEW ALBUM, LIKE OTHER BANDS DO? Naaah.. (gives a disgusted look) No, we wouldn’t do that. Then it wouldn’t be Motörhead. “00 is a lot, it’s maybe a little too much, but it will always be a lot shows when it comes to Motörhead, you know. MOTÖRHEAD HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR 30 YEARS NOW, AND NOW – MORE THAN EVER – YOU ARE ATTRACTING A LOT OF NEW, AND A LOT OF YOUNG FANS. HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THAT YOUR MUSIC APPEALS TO ALMOST EVERYONE THESE DAYS We have done a lot of things which I think is attracting the young kids. You know, all this WWF, that Tony Hawks stuff. We got a song out now on the Spong Bob movie.And Sponge Bob is huuuge. (laughs) It’s ridiculous, but it’s huge. People love it! And it’s cool, Avril Lavigne and Motörhead, we’re the only ones in the movie, actually. And it’s great, and it’s going through the roof in the U.S., you know. So there you have it. And a lot kids – that’s what they dig, you know. Not my fault… But we’re sticking to our guns basically, we do what we do best, and what we’ve been doing the whole time, is to play hard Motörhead music, and we keep touring, and we keep doing what we do best, you know. And that is coming across to a lot of young kids that come to the show. The British now – we’ve done 18 shows in England, we’ve never played that much. And it’s sold out for months. And a big portion of those people were first-time goers. These were kids. I mean, young, young kids. Some of them couldn’t even reach the barrier, it was fantastic. And nothing bad to the older crowd, because they carried us all this time, but it’s very important that we pick up a new generation, too, to be able to continue. So it’s good for everyone, you know. “STICKING TO YOUR GUNS” IS A GREAT THING. BUT ON THE OTHER HAND YOU KIND OF ESTABLISHED INTO A BAND LIKE AC/DC, YOU WOULD PROBABLY GET SHOT IF YOU TRIED OUT SOMETHING NEW. DO YOU SOMETIMES FEEL TRAPPED IN YOUR OWN GENRE? No… well, we are trapped in that same category of bands, but… See, we’ve been doing a lot of different things, at least since I joined the band. Every record has got some kind of odd thing. You know, when we did “Sacrifice” people would go: “What the hell is that? That’s not a Motörhead song!” And we had a Latino song, we had ballads, we always do something that I’d say…Then the fact that we’ve been doing music for WWF and stuff like that, you know. So, it’s not so new anymore that we are sticking out our nose here and there. Because first time Motörhead made a ballad on”1916″ people almost fuckin’ died. But they got used to the idea that there will be something going on, you know. RIGHT, I REMEMBER WHEN “LOVE ME FOREVER” CAME OUT, AND IT WAS KIND OF STRANGE IF YOU WERE A MOTÖRHEAD FAN BACK IN THE DAYS! But not today.You know, we write the stuff for us first, and the fans are number two. We do what we like, cause it’s our records, you know. We don’t sit around and try to wonder what people would like to hear. Then it’s over, you know..
THIS INTERVIEW WAS DONE AT THE DRESSING ROOM, HALLE GARTLAGE, OSNABRÜCK BEFORE THE SHOW WITH SEPULTURA