5 Years After Lemmy’s Death: What Motorhead’s Members Have Done
On Dec. 28, 2015, Lemmy Kilmister, the legendary frontman of Motorhead, died following a battle with cancer. His death brought an outpouring of responses from the rock world. Members of Queen, Black Sabbath, Rush, Motley Crue and Foo Fighters were among the many musicians who honored him.
Lemmy's death also brought an abrupt end to Motorhead, as his bandmates made it clear that they'd no longer keep the group going without their leader.
Still, that’s not to say that Motorhead have completely gone silent in the years since Lemmy died. A multitude of special editions and box sets - including reissues of Ace of Spades, Overkill and Bomber - have been released, as was the band’s 2017 covers album, Under Cover. The band finally received its long overdue nomination for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2019, but remaining members Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee - who were in the band longer than anyone except its leader - were initially excluded from the nomination. Fan outcry helped get both men added, yet the band didn’t earn enshrinement as part of the 2020 class.
Below is a look at what the members of Motorhead have done since Lemmy’s death, starting with the late frontman’s posthumous activity.
Even in death, Motorhead's singer and bassist has remained productive. He appeared in two different movies: the 2018 vampire film Sunset Society and a 2019 documentary about his favorite Hollywood haunt, the Rainbow Bar and Grill, appropriately titled The Rainbow. Another movie project, a biopic about Lemmy’s life, is reportedly slated to start production in 2021. Meanwhile, the rocker’s lone solo album has been in the works for years and was rumored to be ready for release in 2017, but the LP has yet to see the light of day. Alice Cooper also provided a Lemmy-related bombshell, revealing in 2019 that the Motorhead frontman would have joined Hollywood Vampires’ all-star lineup had his health not taken a turn.
Following Motorhead’s disbandment, Phil Campbell turned his attention toward a new group, Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons. More than just a catchy name, the band is a true family affair featuring Campbell with his sons Todd, Dane and Tyla (singer Neil Starr rounds out the group). The band released a self-titled EP in 2016, with its debut studio album, The Age of Absurdity, following in 2018. In addition to touring and recording with the Bastard Sons, Campbell released a solo album, Old Lions Still Roar, in 2019. The LP featured guest appearances by many of his big-name friends, including Alice Cooper, Rob Halford, Dee Snider, Joe Satriani and Mick Mars.
In January 2016, Mikkey Dee announced that he’d be playing with Thin Lizzy on a handful of anniversary shows. However, just a few months later the drummer had to rescind his commitment. He’d instead join Scorpions, filling in for James Kottak across a series of headlining dates. What started as a temporary gig became something more, as Dee was announced as an official permanent member of Scorpions on Sept. 12, 2016. The drummer's tenure with the band has included two major globe-trotting treks: the 50th Anniversary World Tour (2016) and the Crazy World Tour (2017-20). The band is prepping a new studio album - their 19th overall and first with Dee - with tentative plans to release it in 2021.