Motorhead's Kilmister Talks New HeadCat Album, Beatles Influence
After being reactivated for five years, Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister says the members of his other band, HeadCat, "got to a point where we said we better do a new album 'cause we can't go out playing all the old songs all the time."
The result is "Walk The Walk...Talk The Talk," a 12-song set -- 10 covers and two originals -- recorded over four days in June of 2010 at Sage and Sound Studios in Hollywood. "I thought of most of (the songs)," says Lemmy, who formed HeadCat in 2000 with Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom and guitarist/pianist Danny Harvey (the Rockats, Lonesome Spur) for the Elvis Presley tribute album "Swing Cats..." HeadCat released its first album, "Fool's Paradise," in 2006 and a live DVD a year later.
"You always have your favorites, and you know stuff you shouldn't do," Lemmy says about song selection. "Like, you should never try and do a Little Richard song, 'cause he's done it better, so just forget it. Anybody else is fair game." Instead "Walk the Walk..." includes full-throttle HeadCat versions of Presley's "Trying to Get to You," Chuck Berry's "Let It Rock" and Eddie Cochran's "Something Else," as well as off-genre selections such as the Beatles' "You Can't Do That" and Robert Johnson's Cream-popularized "Crossroads." "The Beatles were my boys," Lemmy says. "Everybody in England was either the (Rolling) Stones or the Beatles. I was the Beatles...I was always very impressed by 'You Can't Do That.' When I heard it, I thought it was a soul group. It didn't sound like white boys."
Of "Walk the Walk's..." originals, Lemmy says "American Beat" was written in 10 minutes, while "The Eagle Flies on Friday" is "just a plagiarized blues, really. I always loved the blues, right from the first time I ever heard it -- probably Jimmy Reed. So we thought we'd do one of those. And then with 'American Beat,' we wanted to write one of those upbeat rock 'n' roll songs."
Any HeadCat fans will likely have to be satisfied with the album only this year, Lemmy says. He expects to be on the road with Motorhead for the balance of the year, though he says that doing more with HeadCat strikes his fancy. "As I'm getting older, it's a lot easier to play with HeadCat," he acknowledges. "I don't have to hit it quite as hard or screech quite as loud. Some of the songs are downright singing, you know? We'll see what happens in the next couple years." But, he quickly adds, "I love Motorhead, too. It's my baby."
Meanwhile, Lemmy says he's also recorded 10 songs for a solo album he's been working on for the past seven years. Guests so far include Dave Grohl, Joan Jett, the Reverend Horton Heat and the Damned, and Lemmy is hoping to finish it soon for possible release in 2012. "It's good. It goes all kinds of directions," he says. "It's either very inconsistent or very eclectic, depending how you look at it." A title has not yet been determined, though Lemmy cracks that, "Maybe I'll call it 'False Teeth for the Deaf.' "