He's just like superman, but he doesn't even fear kryptonite. Ian Fraiser Kilmister, known as Lemmy, is simply indestructible; a huge, iconic alliance of hell-raiser, cult-figure, and rock-animal. Ever since the mid 70s he is the one and only, the uber-persona of loud, hard and aggressive rock.
Even at the landmark age of 60 he has by no means mellowed out, has never taken part in any commercial adventures, nor has he played the music-industry's twisted "game". Lemmy has always done his thing, according to his own rules, and in his very own words. And yes, while doing so, he has always worn those black clothes, which he claims he loves cause he doesn't need to wash them so often - and that he will not change until they come up with something "darker than black'.
Apart from that, there is, of course, always that heavy, metallic power-horse called Motorhead. It's a perpetuum mobile that has run on full power for over 30 years, 24/7. And that consists of your classic power-trio, including not only Lemmy, but also the widely underrated guitar-genius that is Philip Campbell, and the energetic Michael "Mikkey Dee" Delaouglou on drums.
"Kiss Of Death" is their 23rd album. And according to Lemmy what a fine one it is: "It's better than "Inferno", and "Inferno" seems to be the favourite of the later years so far", claims the man who lives on a steady diet of Jack Daniels and Marlboro. "It's better songs. Better arrangements and a better performance from me vocally, and a better performance from Phil Campbell on the guitar, he plays great on the songs."
Lemmy is proud of what he has achieved with "Kiss Of Death". And he has every reason to be so, with these 12 tracks, recorded at LA's Paramount studios and produced by Cameron Webb, Lemmy, the Californian by choice and self-declared king of "The Rainbow Bar & Grill" (the only one allowed to smoke indoors!) sets a new standard for himself.
It all starts off with the wild, over the top, aggressive "Sucker". A brutal piece of biker-rock with dirty killer-riffs, heavy double bass-drum, and a voice you will never forget - ever. It's Lemmy, of course, ranting about his very own private mission as the dangerous rock-psychopath you should not mess with. And he delivers that threat with a manic voice full of hatred and rusty steel. It's Motörhead at their sickest best.
Same goes for the following "One Night Stand", which is classic British power-rock from the 70s. That's not only because of the music, their lyrics, too, pay tribute to the daily insanity of life on the road - as we all image it to be. There's your quick'n'dirty sexual encounters with "em birds", your streams of whiskey and vomit, but there's also true friendship and camaraderie. Not to mention that confession that we've all been waiting for: "I love American girls." Lemmy, the lonesome wolf, always searching, sometimes lucky, but still lonely and sad. A character that he embodies like no-one else.
Simply because he lives it to the fullest - like it's meant to be. Lemmy is the classic underdog, the unwanted son of a vicar that abandoned him three months after his birth. A background that fuels his hatred against any form of organized religion and makes for classic Motorhead-songs like "God Was Never On Your Side". "Fucking ignored is what you want by God", rants Lemmy on that subject. "That's why it's "God Was Never On Your Side", you know, just sending out a message to people in case they still believe in God: Wrong! God is not gonna help you, God is not answering your prayers, you can pray all your life and you never get a fucking thing. God is deaf, blind and stupid. I don't like the devil either, they can both get fucked."
That is the message that he also sends out to critics, nay-sayers and self-proclaimed hipsters alike, all of whom claim that Motorhead have been recording the very same record over and over again for decades and are only good at one sound, one style and one speed-volume. A theory he revises with his very own personal wit and with his musical ability.
"Kiss Of Death" offers a variety of influences that surprises even the most notorious of Motorhead-fans. Mind you: It's not all hymnic rock-songs like "Devil I Know", but the former Hawkwind guitarist-turned-bassist also dwells on the blues ("Under The Gun"), good old Boogie Woogie ("Christine") and powerful NWOBM from the early 80s ("Trigger"). In addition to that, "God Was Never on Your Side" allows a quick look at Lem's soft, gentle side that is usually well hidden. But here you experience the great balladeer that can in fact play a wonderful acoustic blues - even if it's just for 40 seconds. After that, it's Motorhead taking over again, electrified, rude, and real.
All in all, those 12 tracks on "Kiss Of Death" are both: they are typical Motorhead, yet they are surprisingly vital. And they don't mind fresh input, wether it be Guitar-God C.C. Deville or Alice In Chains-bass player Mike Inez, who are both participating in the album, and who Lemmy - obviously - bumped into at his living room, The Rainbow. "I said to Mike: "Do you wanna play on the album?" And he said: "Sure". He was all excited, you know, and he came down the next night, and he nailed it in about three takes, I think. It was really good, and CC did it in one take."
And it won't be long before Lemmy does it all in one take, too. From the end of October on Motorhead will embark on yet another extensive tour of Europe. And you can be assured: they will definitely stop at a venue near you. And, yes, they will perform selected songs of "Kiss Of Death" as well as the collected highlights of a 30-year-career that is in fact far from over. Lemmy himself guarantees business as usual - and nothing less: A loud, aggressive rock-show that will make you sweat your butt off. That's all he wants, and all he delivers.
But he does it with class and style. At the age of 60, but still with lots of passion, lots of idealism, and yes, even more of those sweet Rock'n'Roll-dreams that keep him going like that old steam-train that is Motorhead: "I haven't fucked Halle Berry yet, you know, for a start", laughs Lem. "There's always goals that you haven't achieved, you know, I'd like to have a hit in America before we go, you know, I'd like to have another hit in the UK, too." And "Kiss Of Death" is that one album that can make dreams come true. It's another slice of Motorhead, waiting for you to swallow. For all those you can't wait until the end of August we recommend the Inferno - 30th anniversary edition - that will keep the time until then loud and full of Rock'n Roll.