Lars Ulrich: 'Motorhead united punks, skinheads and metal kids, they blew away all that division'

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Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich salutes the unifying power of Motörhead in an exclusive interview in the new issue of Classic Rock, which is on sale now.

Once the president of the US Motörhead fan club, Ulrich says of Lemmy’s band, “There was an honesty to Motörhead and it was so fucking transparent. Kids of my generation, we loved Led Zeppelin, we loved Kiss, we loved all these different bands, but they were larger-than-life characters - with Kiss, like cartoon figures. But Motörhead were the guys next door, the guys down the pub. Motörhead were our friends. Motörhead were who we were.”

Recalling the band’s impact as Classic Rock celebrates the 40th anniversary of the deathless Ace Of Spades album, Ulrich notes “The one thing that was different about Motörhead was that they united people from all these different genres. Back in 1980, the music world was way more segregated than it is now. So if you were a heavy metal guy there was a particular look, a uniform. If you were a punk kid it was the same, or an alternative kid, if you liked Joy Division or whatever. Everything was very segregated, especially in England. So all these punks, skinheads, alternative kids and metal kids… fucking everybody loved Motörhead. In a time of division and segregation and ‘Fuck you, you can’t be in my gang’ and ‘I don’t wanna be in your gang’ and ‘We’ll beat each other up, football hooligan-style’, Motörhead were the first band to really unite fans across all these different genres. They blew away all that division. That’s an important piece to remember in the story of Motörhead.”

The new issue of Classic Rock celebrates 40 years of Ace Of Spades, plus we look back at Slade in the 70s, hear why Biffy Clyro’s latest album is a masterful triumph in the face of adversity, uncover the secrets of Guns N' Roses overlooked albums and a whole lot more – including the biggest, loudest rock reviews section on the planet. 

Subscribers receive a limited edition version of the magazine featuring late, great UFO bassist Pete Way on the cover.

Classic Rock 280 is on sale now.

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Classic Rock

Classic Rock is the online home of the world's best rock'n'roll magazine. We bring you breaking news, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes features, as well as unrivalled access to the biggest names in rock music; from Led Zeppelin to Deep Purple, Guns N’ Roses to the Rolling Stones, AC/DC to the Sex Pistols, and everything in between. Our expert writers bring you the very best on established and emerging bands plus everything you need to know about the mightiest new music releases.