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  1. Motorhead

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Black tee-shirts may fade but British rock behemoth Motorhead's indestructible juggernaut just keeps on keeping on. And for the trio's veteran guitarist Phil Campbell, his rock n' roll geezer lifestyle couldn't possibly get any better - or more surreal.

Phil Campbell:
"I think it was the Christmas before last and we came back from this gig in this hotel in Germany and there was this life-size stuffed reindeer there," says Campbell, clearly in a war story-telling mood on the phone from Wales. "So I jumped on the back of this reindeer and pretended to have sex with it. But it was on wheels and it rolled about 20 feet across the foyer of this posh hotel and smashed into the hotel Christmas tree. So this 30-foot high Christmas came down!"

All in a day's work for Campbell, 60-year old frontman Lemmy and drummer Mikkey Dee who remain dutifully committed to the leather-clad hedonism of the 1970s and 80s. And there are few signs their distortion pedals are slated for retirement any time soon.

Phil Campbell:
"It's a stupid answer really but just not givin' in really," shrugs Campbell, 46, in reference to the band's 30-odd-year career. "Once you give up then you stop so we just keep going by doing 200 gigs a year and writing fresh material every 18 months. Luckily we've been honoured to have a long, successful career. But it's been hard work along the way.

Phil Campbell:
"One of the things I've tried to do quite well is music, I'm pretty crappy at most other things so it'd be stupid for me not to carry on really. I enjoy music anyway, I love it, so there's some life in us old geezers yet."

Was there ever a moment you considered throwing in the towel?

Phil Campbell:
"We never thought of that, even when we had record company troubles," Campbell confides. "We just went out and did shows and that kept us going. Breaking up never came into the conversation. I think if the time comes when we can't write anything decent anymore and we don't want to tour then I'm sure it'll come like a tablet from God or something."

In a nod to their own stubborn longevity, Motorhead are proud to pound away on their instruments for as long as their rock n' roll constituency needs them. Last year's rollicking Kiss Of Death marked their 23rd album.

Phil Campbell:
"There's a special feeling when we finish the recordings - we think 'thank f#@k for that!'," laughs Campbell whose personal post-gig ritual always involves a glass of iced milk, a cigarette and an hour to catch his breath. "I have a studio at my house so I try to put as many ideas of rough songs together as I can before jamming. Then we all meet up in Los Angeles. I'll take my ideas over and I might have 57 half songs and then we all start working collectively. Lem might have his own songs too so it's a proper band thing.

Phil Campbell:
"Sometimes we'll blast away in the studio for two or three days and nothing comes out. It's frustrating and you're throwing guitars against the wall and then other days you can go in at ten o'clock in the morning and ideas will come straight away. The best thing is to always have a tape recorder running because if the magic appears you don't want to forget it."

Certainly etched in Campbell's memory is Motorhead's 2005 Grammy gong for Best Metal Performance, due reward for the band's blood-thinning cover version of Metallica's early classic Whiplash.

Phil Campbell:
"We won it third time lucky, it was very pleasing," says the chuffed guitarist. "When I started in this business I didn't expect to have a Grammy sitting on my mantle that's for sure. I'm quite happy with just the Grammy, I don't need to get any more. It's a great honour."



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