PETE GILL (MOTORHEAD): "It was guitarist Phil Campbell who got me into Motorhead"

Another exclusive interview, this time with ex-Motorhead drummer PETE GILL, famous by his appearance on their 8th studio album - ''Orgasmatron''.

Objavljeno: 31.08.2019. 18:30

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How did you enter in music world and when did you start to play some instrument?


I was about 14 when I got my first drum kit.


What music did you listen as young man?


Music that was popular when I was young man was the Beatles the Rolling stones the Mersey sound it was called I loved it then and I still love it now.


When did you decided that you want to be in some band?


I suppose it just becomes naturally for a musician you pick up your chosen instruments and take it from there so my first proper band I would be 16.


Where did you hang out? What was your best concerts with friends what you saw?


When we were growing up we were all crazy about music and the places for live music was local youth clubs or music halls. Then of course we would sneak into pubs to watch bands  we'd only be 16. The legal age to go in a pub is 18 but we was so obsessed with music it became our lives and I think you can say that about every true musician. Of course living in a big city we had a city hall and all the major concerts of the time would stop off and play here so our earliest ones would be journey Rush black Sabbath Van halen. That was an amazing time.


So, how did you met people from Saxon?


I was working as a session musician in Germany and I came over to England for the weekend to watch the  Zeppelin film song remains the same. I bought a melody maker magazine from a street vendor and there was an advertisement in there for a seriously heavy rock drummer. I phoned immediately and the next Monday we all had a rehearsal at the local grammar school and the atmosphere was absolutely amazing we just looked at each other and said fucking hell let's do it.


Did Saxon had same problems like Motorhead with record labels?


Saxon didn't have any problems with the record labels whilst I was in the band.


What story do you remember from any of those sessions of first 4 albums?


The first four albums were recorded very quickly and it made us very famous and popular there was quite a lot of hit singles and at the same time we had bands like Judas priest and  Iron Maiden they also had amazing success and released hit singles from their albums.


Why leaving Saxon?


I injured my finger really badly whilst playing I had to have 6 weeks off for physiotherapy and when I was fit to come back the band said they didn't want me to come back. I was devastated I had joined what was then a local band gave my full input and Co wrote all the songs. It later transpired that byford got together with another person and got rid of me and sacked the present management then later sacked Oliver and Dawson. Absolutely disgraceful.



How did you met Lemmy? I heard you knew him from before?


Yes I already knew Lemmy from before because Saxon had supported Motorhead on the bomber tour so we spent a lot of time together we got on really well.


Who's idea was to invite you in the Motorhead? Phil Campbell? Or?


Yes I think it was Phil Campbell because I met Phil in Cardiff when I was going out with a girl called Sally who Phil knew. So I've been to see Phil's band Persian risk a few times.


What were first tracks you learned from Motorhead and do you remember your first show?


When we decided to meet at nomis studios in London the management sent everybody eight songs to learn. We played them one after the other to make sure that they sounded exactly like they were recorded and it sounded amazing. We did a few shows in Scandinavia Low key and then return to England and did a headline show at Hammersmith ODEON now the Apollo sold out an amazing show.


You played a lot before 'No Remorse' was recorded?


Yes we played quite a lot before No Remorse was recorded.


You recorded 'No Remorse' in 1984 which had 4 new songs on it (Killed By Death, Snaggletooth, Locomotive and Steal Your Face) and two songs with same name 'Under the Knife'. What were your favorites and why 'Under the Knife' was not on first release?


Yes my favourites from the no remorse session were killed by death and steal your face I also like locomotive it was a good chance to show off my double bass drum skills. I can't remember much about under the knife it was so long ago.


What can you remember from photo session for Killed By Death single? Who's idea was that theme? Wurzel on cross? I always liked Motorhead attitude toward artificial human cult's like religion and nation. This one reminds me on Monthy Python 'Life Of Brian'. Did you have any problems with media because of this?


Yes the killed by death sessions were real good fun to make it was the idea of the photographer fin Costello we didn't have any problems with the press because of it they loved it. Did you see the official video 4 killed by death it was filmed in Arizona it's on YouTube.


Vic Maile was producer. Did you know he also produced great record of their only album Michael Moorcock Deep Fix band in 1975? Almost all Hawkwind guys were on it. I also have Vic only release, his single 'Not Fade Away' 1981. What can you tell us about Vic?


Yes I loved Vic Maile he was a great producer and also very good fun I have very fond memories of him.


In 1985 was live album 'The Birthday Party'. This was planned to be only video but was released as album too. On this album 'On The Road' was pre-Built For Speed? Guests... What can you tell us about that show and maybe something which we couldn't see, like backstage situations? I personaly think this album is better than 'No Sleep Til Hammersmith'


Yes the birthday party there was a lot of pressure on the band to come up with the goods and we had a fantastic work ethic that we kept all the songs in the original format it was a great show. Great recording. My personal favourite is killed by death. Yes we had the guests on there. All the members of Motorhead and Phil Lynnot popped his head round the  door and said can I join you guys and we said of course. Thank you for your kind words about the album being better than no sleep til Hammersmith. I personally love them both and I think the classic lineup was the best. I always liked that  speed infused energy that the classic lineup produced.


Why song 'On The Road' later become 'Built For Speed'?


I can't remember.


On 'The Birthday Party' you did announced few new songs and finaly in 1986 'Orgasmatron' album was recorded. What was wrong with production on that album?


The management brought in a producer with a great track record he been involved with David Bowie and Iggy Pop. He did a tremendous job on orgasmatron track but!! The rest of the album was not very good in terms of production. Tt has too many effects on it compression and limiters which weren't needed it didn't sound like the way we recorded it, and unfortunately due to time constraints the record company wanted it released and it was mixed whilst we were touring America. So we were told we had no option. I love the songs on the album but I hate the production and so did all of us.


From your perspective, why did Motorhead had all the time problems with record labels?


Nothing personal that's just how some record companies work they want to exploit you.


On 'Orgasmatron' every song is hit song. Do you have any favorites? Title song have one of best and honest lyrics about life and humanity, 'Claw' is great riff and drumming, 'Mean Machine' is a-bomb on album, I tried to play it very very slow its like blues than speed up like that its madness. Built For Speed again great lyrics, drumms.... and what can you tell us how recording sessions looked like?  


I like to play most of the songs my all time favourite is the ace of spades the recording of that was absolutely sensational we did recreate it live as we did all the old Motorhead tracks. I had quite a few offers from big bands but I saw Motorhead as a challenge. The band had lost a lot of fans they weren't delivering the goods live and I just thought that you know I'm sure we can do it and we did and I am so proud of that.



What did you like to play from old Motorhead songs and what did you think of Motorhead before you joined them? Were you surprised when they invite you to join?


This version of Motorhead much more reserved than the classic lineup who did some crazy stuff.. so nothing to report really we just enjoyed playing together.


We know Philthy came back in about February 1987. Many people want to hear your side of the story. What went wrong? Why did you left? Nobody talks about it much.


I've always been very strict in my approach making sure that the rehearsals went proper. We turned up on time we never let anybody down unfortunately Lemmy could be very selfish and sometimes would turn up late and on that particular morning I left. He turned up very late and we had a film commitments which we had to turn up late for I went absolutely ballistic and tried to punch him. The guys pulled me off but I just told him I've fukin had it with you get Phil Taylor back in the band. Ao I walked away and never saw them again. Lemmy said in his book that he fired me. Let me tell you the truth he's a fukin liar.


Then after 10 years in 1996 you were in band 'Son Of A Bitch' recording one album. Why such a long break and why leaving music? I heard you had later some health issues?


I decided to leave the music business. I have had enough I didn't take drugs or anything like that, I just wanted a real professional life in at that particular time a lot of bands were into drugs and I didn't want that scene. I got a phone call from Graham Oliver to do the son of a bitch stuff. I only did it as a favour recorded the album played 2 gigs and that was me done.
At that time I had started to develop arthritis which unfortunately has spread to my hands and my legs and my back. I had a problem with alcohol for 2 years, I went into rehab in 2004 and successfully detoxed. I can now drink socially just lager and beer, I've never drank spirits.


If ever Mikkey Dee and Phil Campbell with other members do some tribute to Lemmy show, would you like to be there, maybe play one or two songs if you can?


As far as a tribute show I'm unable to play any longer because of my arthritis.


What do you do now in your life if not in music profesionaly?


I have a very nice quiet life. I still receive good royalties from my songwriting with Saxon and Motorhead. I spend time with my family. I have a nice house and car and I belong to a really fantastic fitness club where I can go there, I can swim, I can exercise my legs so I keep fit. I also eat very healthily.


Pete, thank you for your time. I am glad you did one of finest studio album of Motorhead ever. Wish you well.


You are very welcome thanks for your compliments. I will send you a few photos from my private collection you can share these if you wish. Best regards.


Darjan Koprivnikar

Proofread by:

Darjan Koprivnikar

Prati autora

Live fast, Play slow, Die old

Pročitaj više o temama: motorhead, pete gill, lemmy, orgasmatron, heavy metal, rock, sasa milakara, darjan koprivnikar


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