Mikkey Dee Feels Pride + Not Sadness When Remembering Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister
Legendary drummer Mikkey Dee was the latest guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio program. The in-demand skinsman, who currently plays with Scorpions, spoke about Louder Than Noise... Live in Berlin, which is the latest release from the Motorhead archive, showcasing the band at a 2012 arena gig.
Dee, who first joined Motorhead in 1992, expressed joy in the band's ability to continuously mine their archives and selecting a 2012 performance proves just how viable the band was so late in their career, meaning they don't just have to rely on vintage performances from decades long past.
Although he misses his bandmate, the iconic Lemmy Kilmister, Dee urged that he doesn't dwell on the rocker's absence and that looking back on the memories makes him happy and fills him with a sense of pride.
Read the full chat below.
There's a Motörhead live album Louder Than Noise: Live in Berlin. It was recorded back in December of 2012 at the Berlin Velodrom, during the band's 'King of the Road' tour. It is the seventh live release from Lemmy, Phil Campbell, and yourself. What are the nuances that defined different Motörhead live albums, particularly this one?
I remember this show being a little special because we did Germany every year and normally, we played up to 20 shows a year so obviously the venues were a little bit smaller and sized down from this Velodrom arena. This time we played Berlin and it was a sold out Velodrom which was fantastic for us. Germany has always been behind the band.
Motorhead, "Over the Top" (Live in Berlin)
Motörhead set lists drew from such a wealth of great material. What was particularly important when trying to create a set list that had a dynamic flow?
That was not easy. We had so much material that it was almost ridiculous to try to get something together.
Personally, I put this checklist into three categories; you have the old classics, which you always have to play, and then you had old songs that maybe were not super classics and then the third category would be the newer songs, or at least since I joined the band.
From there we have to pick and try to get a base down, and then from year to year, we might remove two to four songs and switch with other songs.
You, Lemmy, and Phil Campbell were together for many years. What made that combination of personalities and musicianship ideal for a band the caliber of Motörhead?
We work so well because we were three different personalities and three different wills or ideas, but it clicked really well. We worked fantastically together.
We had our discussion, but it all ended up in great camaraderie and respect for each other, so it was very easy to work together because we all wanted the same thing. We had almost the same vision all the time, so we pulled in the right direction and the same direction. Every year, we got tighter and tighter.
It's been over five years since Lemmy passed away. Do posthumous Motörhead releases, such as this one, bring you joy, sadness or perhaps both?
Not sadness, because we had great years together. I'm proud and to have memories from all this. I miss Lemmy tremendously, of course, but we all did so much good stuff.
When we release a new thing like this, it's just a great thing. I listen to the record and go, "Wow, we played that song and this song..." We kind of forget what the set list was exactly and you get surprised yourself at how good the show is and you can actually smell the arena.
It's all good, I have to say. You get reminded of Lemmy and how good we had it. It doesn't give me sadness but it makes me miss it.
We all do.
I like to think about Lemmy in a totally positive way. We had so much fun and so much together that I really cherish the memory and the history we've created. If I walk around feeling sad every time we mention his name or do anything about the old Motorhead, it will be terrible.
So, I put a smile on when I listen to this and I can actually see and hear Lemmy right in front of me and that brings me happiness instead of sadness.
You're regarded as a world-class drummer who has played with King Diamond, Don Dokken, Motorhead of course, and now Scorpions. How has playing with such diverse bands benefitted you most as a musician?
It's just different kinds of music and different approaches to music both for me and to my bandmates and that creates a challenge. It's not easy, but that's the challenge and that's what I like.
When you are happy in a band and with whatever music you play, then you play well if you really enjoy what you are doing. That's what I did with King Diamond, later with Don and of course Motörhead and now with Scorpions.
Where I feel I can make a difference, that's important to me. I don't want to just sit in the back and tag along — I want to take my space and give it my all and hopefully, people appreciate that and enjoy it. It's really fun and it gives me a lot and I love it.
Thank you so much for being on the show. It was really great to talk to you.
Thank you very much and please, everyone, check out the new record.
We really do enjoy releasing bits like this. It gives our fans an opportunity to hear something new again — "new" old stuff but we have so much that we still want to present to the fans because I feel that there's demand for Motorhead still and it's always going to be like that. I'm sure Lemmy is proud.
Thanks to Mikkey Dee for the interview. Follow Motorhead on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify and get your copy of 'Louder Than Noise... Live in Berlin' here. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show here.