Motörhead are an English hard rock/heavy metal formed in 1975 by Lemmy (real name Ian) Kilmister. Often considered a precursor to, or one of the earliest members of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (stylized as NWOBHM), Motörhead are one of the few bands of that period that are still active, releasing albums, and maintaining relevancy in the heavy metal scene.
In their nearly 40 years of existence as a band, Motörhead has released 20 full-length albums (they’ll release their 21st this year, 2013), and almost innumerable live albums, compilations, EPs, singles, bootleggers, and videos.
Best known for the single Ace of Spades, the band has solidified it’s place in rock ‘n roll history by exemplifying, both lyrically and in their real lives, what many have, for better or worse, come to associate the lifestyle of a rocker as. That being one of sex, drugs, gambling, driving fast and playing their music loud. Ace of Spades has gone on to appear in movies, commercials, video games, and television in addition to being covered by numerous bands both live and on studio albums.
First mentioned in an August 2012 interview with Motörhead drummer Mikkey Dee, it was announced during the summer of 2013 that the band had been working on a follow up album to their 2010 release The World is Ours. Titled Aftershock, the new album is expected to drop September 21 in Germany and early October elsewhere.
Aftershock will be the band’s 21st album in their (at the time of this writing) 38-year history.
Motörhead’s original line up consisted of Lemmy Kilmister on vocals and bass, Larry Wallis on guitar, and Lucas Fox on the drums. After having gone through numerous roster changes as of 2013 Motörhead is Lemmy, Phil Campbell on guitar, and Mikkey Dee on drums. Though the years the band has collaborated with many bands and musicians, most notably Slash of Guns n’ Roses, C.C. DeVille of Poison, Doro Pesch of Warlock, and Ozzy Osbourne.
According to numbers retrieved in 2012, Motörhead have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and show no sign of slowing down. Ace of Spades, the band’s fourth effort and best selling album by far, was first released in 1980. The album’s title track peaked in the UK singles charts at number 15 as the album peaked at number 4 in the album charts and was certified gold (500,000+ units sold) in 1981.
Since their inception the band has made use of a very recognizable logo, a bore’s head with tusks, fangs, and chains dubbed War-pig or, in some cases, Snaggletooth. Motorhead fans often adorn themselves with this image or that of an Ace of Spades to show support. Some fans have gone so far as to tattoo the logos on their body; pictures of those tattoos and other fan art/dedications are showcased on the official Motörhead website.