Phil Campbell recalls Motorhead's 3-day fights over songs

Phil Campbell says it was tough to win Motorhead colleagues over in studio
Phil Campbell says it was tough to win Motorhead colleagues over in studio (Image credit: Getty)

Phil Campbell says he and other members of Motorhead would sometimes fight for three days over song ideas.

Though the guitarist wrote the bulk of their material, he admits it often took a while to get frontman Lemmy and drummer Mikkey Dee’s approval.

He tells Metal Forces Magazine: “I could do whatever I wanted in Motorhead, but I’d have to fight for it sometimes, big time.

“I wrote nearly all of the material for Motorhead since I joined with Lem and Mik. Lem did all of the lyrics and he came up with his own songs and his own riffs, but the bulk of it was mine.

“Most of the time I got my way in the end, but it might have taken three days of fighting for it.”

Campbell says he now has a “bit more clout” in his band Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons, with his three sons and vocalist Neil Starr. He says rows over songwriting “sort themselves in 20 minutes.”

He says: “If one of my kids thinks they have a better idea than me or a riff that I’ve got is really shit, they’re gonna say so.”

“Good music is written with passion. When you don’t have the passion and listen to everyone else, that’s when it turns to shit, which happens to so many people these days.”

Campbell recently described his late bandmate as an underrated lyricist – and said that the trio would write for themselves rather than to please their record label.

Meanwhile, the Sunset Strip’s Rainbow Bar And Grill in West Hollywood have announced they’ll re-name their patio Lemmy’s Lounge in memory of the late rock icon who spent much of his spare time there.

Management are seeking a local LA painter to paint a mural in celebration of the singer’s life. Those interested should fill the form at Lemmy’s Lounge. The closing date for submissions is December 24.

The story behind Motorhead's Overkill

Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.