A member of Motörhead for over thirty years, guitarist Phil Campbell didn’t have to look far when assembling a new band of brothers to perform with, following the end of the band in 2015. Enlisting his very own offspring, Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons, sees the Welsh Wizzö keeping it in the family for debut release ‘The Age Of Absurdity’. With the disc due for release at the end of the month, we sat down with Phil for a chat about the album, as well as the end of days for Motörhead. The one to sing the blues; Eamon O’Neill.
Hi Phil, how are you today?
Very good, thanks. I’m just getting ready to leave for a show in France!
How did you see in 2018?
I just stayed in and watched TV with my wife, nothing too exciting!
After such a long career in Motörhead, how does it feel stepping out under your own banner?
It took a bit of getting used to at the beginning, but I would say it all feels pretty normal now!
Following the end of the band, former Motörhead drummer Mikkey Dee was approached by Thin Lizzy, and The Scorpions; were you approached by any other bands?
There were a few offers for collaborations, but to be honest I didn’t see the point when I already had something good going with my sons.
Was it fortunate that you had a ready-made band in the family?
In one sense I guess you could say so, yes! I would definitely say that everyone contributes to the band and everything feels natural when on we’re onstage or writing in the studio.
Do the band look to you as just another member, or does the old man still crack the whip?
To be honest, I let them do most of the work! There’s no real leader; we all just say what we need to say which is exactly what you need in a band.
The new album ‘The Age Of Absurdity’ has had some great reviews; does that encourage you, given the fresh start?
It really does! I don’t normally pay much attention to reviews, but with this being our debut album there was a part of me thinking; “I hope people like it”. But pretty much as soon as I heard it in its entirety I knew we had a fantastic album!
I wanted to ask a little about the end of Motörhead ; did it come as a shock, or did you take it for granted that things would go on and on?
We knew Motörhead wouldn’t go on forever, but we were all obviously saddened and shocked when we found out about his [Lemmy’s] passing. It was only two weeks after a stormer of a show in Berlin!
It's been two years since Lemmy's passing; how do you look back on events now that time has passed?
My time with Lemmy and Motörhead will always be full of great memories, and I will cherish that time always.
Did you realise how ill he really was?
We knew he wasn’t 100%, but it was his choice to carry on. It was a shock to us all.
The album features a tribute to Lemmy in 'Silver Machine'; was it difficult to choose the right track to honour him by?
Well, I’ve loved that song since I was a kid and we had recently been playing it live so it just made sense.
You recorded the set in Rockfield studios; did you choose that location because of some of the fantastic albums that have been recorded there over the years?
I was having some problems with my house because of a recent flooding and didn’t want to be too far away. Luckily we had a world class recording studio within an hour’s drive from my house, so it was ideal. I had never been there before, either, so it was an awesome experience recording the drum tracks there. I later found out my wife and I stayed in the same room there as Brian May!
You had Dave Brock guest on that track. Is there anyone you'd fancy guesting in the future?
It was an honour having Dave Brock guest but I’ll save the rest of the guesting for my solo album!
At Bloodstock in 2015 you were joined on stage by Twisted Sister's Dee Snider; how did that come about?
Well, Twisted Sister were playing the night after and I’ve known Dee for a long time. I guested with them at Hellfest a couple of months prior on ‘Shoot ‘Em Down’ and ‘Born To Raise Hell’ which was great, so I thought I’d ask Dee and he said yes! That was a great night.
Finally, looking forward, what does 2018 hold for you?
Lots of rock n roll shows!
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Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons' 'The Age Of Absurdity' is released on 26th January, via Nuclear Blast. Order the album direct, on CD, coloured vinyl and more, here.