Interview with Mikkey Dee: The Problem With Motorhead

It’s funny, for a band that’s been around for 30 years, 20-plus albums, you’d expect the band to rule the world by now.

We kind of rule the world, except for the U.S. That’s the problem. There’s a very, very simple answer to that: It’s because we’re too difficult. We’ve refused to surrender to the business and refused to be some clammy fucking campus band that’s going to be around for a year and then gone. We have written the songs that we feel that we like. Believe me, we have had record companies and people that have tried to persuade us to ‘Please, write a couple of radio songs.’ You know how important it is for America to have the bloody radio songs. And it is, and I realize that, but we used to say, ‘Yes, of course. If we write something that would work, great, but we’re not going to sit around this table and try to create some fucking radio songs just to be played in U.S.’ It ain’t going to happen. And that is the problem.

I’ve always thought they were radio songs, personally.

Yeah, for us it is (laughs). But to mainstream radio in this country, it isn’t. And that’s why we stopped doing videos as well. To be played on some little, little station, three o’clock Sunday morning, it isn’t really worth it. That’s the negative side of it, but there’s a lot of positive side to the U.S. I see a change actually happening here. A lot of the kids starting to act more like they can actually like more than one type of band. That’s why I think that the hard rock, bands—not only us—but bands with a few years on their belt actually are doing way better today than they did maybe four or five years ago.

I saw you guys when you played New Jersey, and there was a good amount of people there—at least, they knew ‘Ace Of Spades’ and ‘Overkill,’ anyway.

I think a lot of people are very curious, tell you the truth. I can’t say that we don’t have a good crowd because we do have a good crowd. A couple of minutes of starting our show, people seem to really come and see us. There’s nothing wrong there. I think a lot of them know Motörhead and know some of the old stuff, but they haven’t really been into it. I’ve read a lot of reviews of the tour and a lot of people are saying, ‘Oh my god, I gotta go and check out some new Motörhead stuff because they were great.’ And they admit in their reviews, they kind of only recognized some of the older stuff. Which is fine, yes, that’s cool, but we’ve been doing what I consider really good albums for many, many years, and they’re definitely worth checking out.

As far as the new album, tell me about recording it. Was this the first time you recorded at Dave Grohl’s studio?

Yep, this was the first time I was in his studio, it’s a fairly new studio. Great drum room and great atmosphere. Lemmy and the guys didn’t want to do their stuff there because it’s quite a ways from where Lemmy lives and from where we are actually based when we are in L.A., and the L.A. traffic, you could be hours and hours on the freeway. So they choose to do their guitar and bass and vocals in a different studio. I cut my drums there, and it was great. The album was recorded again with Cameron Webb, and it’s really not much different than the other couple of records that we did with Cameron. The writing process and the recording process and the arguing process, all that shit is pretty much the same. Sounds boring (laughs).