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Motorhead - Ace Of Decades

Author: Steve Tauschke
Thursday, 20 September 2007
Black T-shirts may fade but British rock behemoth Motorhead’s indestructible juggernaut just keeps on keeping on, and for the trio’s veteran guitarist Phil Campbell, 46, his geezer life couldn’t possibly get any better, as he tells Steve Tauschke on the phone from Cardiff in Wales.

I believe you’re enjoying some down time right now-
Yeah, just walking my dogs and catching up on correspondence and just relaxing. But I’m looking forward to coming to Australia because I’ve got some family in Perth who I haven’t seen for a couple of years.
The band’s been chugging along for more than 30 years...what do you see as the key to its longevity-
It’s a stupid answer really but just not givin’ in – really! Once you give up, then you stop. So we just keep going by doing 200 gigs a year and writing fresh material every 18 months. Luckily we’ve been honoured to have a long, successful career.
So what would constitute giving in-
Just packing Motorhead in really and saying we don’t want to be musicians again. One of the things I’ve tried to do quite well is music, I’m pretty crappy at most other things so it’d be stupid for me not to carry on really. So there’s some life in us old geezers yet.

The roar of a huge crowd must be enough to inspire you surely-
Yeah, it’s great! We come off stage wringing and soaking wet and it takes about three or four hours for us to wind down.
Do you have a post-gig ritual-
If it’s really, really hot, I have a large glass of milk with ice in it. It’s the only thing that quenches my thirst. I’ll sit there and have a cigarette and some milk n’ ice - sometimes it takes me an hour to get my breath back!

Is there a special feeling releasing a new record-
There’s a special feeling when we finish the recording. We think ‘thank fuck for that!’ It’s a relief.
So tell us how a Motorhead song comes together-
I have a studio at my house so I try to put as many ideas of rough songs together as I can before jamming. Then we all meet up in Los Angeles. I’ll take my ideas over; we all start working collectively. Lem might have his own songs too so it’s a proper band thing. Sometimes we’ll blast away in the studio for two or three days with nothing coming out. It’s frustrating and you’re throwing guitars against the wall.
What did a Grammy award mean to you in 2005-
We won it for a cover of Metallica’s Whiplash and for some strange reason that got nominated for a Grammy for Best Metal Performance. We won it third time lucky, it was very pleasing. When I started in this business I didn’t expect to have a Grammy sitting on my mantle that’s for sure.
Lastly, a guy of your experience must have the odd war story to share-

Here’s one for you; I think it was the Christmas before last, we came back from this gig in this hotel in Germany and there was this life-size stuffed reindeer there so I jumped on the back of this reindeer and pretended to have sex it. But it was on wheels and rolled about 20 feet across the foyer of this posh hotel and smashed into the hotel Christmas tree and this 30-foot high Christmas tree came down!

WHO: Motorhead
WHAT: Play Enmore Theatre Sydney / Play Newcastle Entertainment Centre
WHEN: Friday 5 and Saturday 6 October / Sunday 7 October