Wacken regulars Motörhead were once again among the most anticipated acts at the heavy metal festival in northern Germany. DW sits down with the band's drummer, Mikkey Dee, to ask about the festival and a new album.
DW: You were here for the 15th anniversary of the festival - how does it feel to be back for the 25th anniversary of Wacken Open Air?
Mikkey Dee: It feels great. We've been here since the first year almost, you know. We feel like the house band. We've seen it grow and grow and grow. It's not just the size that is impressive here. It's the organisation and of course the bands that every year keep coming back and playing here. And the fans, most of all. They don't want to miss Wacken.
DW: After more than 30 years in the music business, how do you motivate yourself so that it feels fresh when you go on stage?
It's not easy of course. You motivate yourself by yourself. That's what I keep saying. Me and myself is the motivation. If I play well, it motivates me in the future. I just know how it feels when I am playing well. How nice it feels. And that keeps me going.
DW: How do you rehearse? Do you rehearse like a classical musician - say, eight hours a day?
No, not any more. I used to rehearse a lot. In the old King Diamond days, I rehearsed maybe six hours a day. It's more how you rehearse. That's the important thing. And today I'm rehearsing at the sound checks. When we rehearse with the band, I try to be there a couple of hours before the band every day and just come up with new stuff and, like you said before, motivate myself. I have to think of good stuff that I did before and how I can develop that.
DW: What is the creative process like in the band?
Most of the time Phil (Phil Campbell, the band's guitarist - Ed. note) and I try to write the music as far as we can. We get to maybe 80 to 90 percent of writing the songs, putting them together as good as we can. And Lemmy is meanwhile writing lyrics and melodies and then we piece it all together. Then we change the music and the lyrics and piece it together again. And at the end of the album, I would say that we've done 33 percent equally.
DW: What are the plans for the future - what about a new album?
Maybe next year. It's about time to do that. We usually wait one and a half years between the albums. It should be next year, but we don't know.
DW: How is the current situation with band? Lemmy had some trouble with his health.
That was mostly last year. The doctor said: You have to take care of yourself a little better and rest, and he has been doing that. And now he is getting a lot better. We've been touring over the summer, and it has been great. And we're just getting better and better.
DW: So you're not doing that crazy rock'n'roll stuff every night anymore?
No, we can't do it - it's impossible. We didn't do that before Lemmy got sick either. We just had to take it a little bit easier, you know.
DW: And apart from the music, what fascinates you in life? I heard, you are a big ice hockey fan.
Oh, yes! I play a lot of hockey. I play hockey all through the winter. Actually, the season starts soon here. I love sports in general and try to keep up with a lot of sports. But hockey is great.
DW: Do you have any solo projects going on at the moment?
Well, I am going to do a solo thing when I have time to do it. But I had put a little fun thing together now when we had some time off. That is just a little side project with two of my friends from the band Europe, John Norum and Mic Michaeli, and then my old bass player from King Diamond, Hal Patino, and Age Sten Nilsen, a singer from Norway, and we call it "Nordic Beast." We have been doing some shows together - five or six shows. I have the next show with them the on the 16th of August, and that is the last one for the summer. And we're just doing some old stuff that we all can play, and that's been great.