Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 28
was something special. This is special, but in a
different way. It's the same soul and the same
feeling at heart is definitely there with the
music. My kids grew up coming to Motörhead
shows and hanging out with Lemmy.
Which amps and effects do you use?
I've been using Marshall amps, a Bogner as
well in the studio, and Laboga amps. I also use
Gurus amps, which are made in Italy.
Effects-wise, I use delays and wahs. I just
jumble them together and see which one I
fancy playing. Some stuff is better for live work,
and some you don't want to throw in a van.
Of your guitar collection, which is your
My wife bought one for me for our anniversary about five years ago - a '57 Les Paul
Custom Fretless Wonder with a Bigsby and
Alnico pickups. That's my favorite guitar, but
I can't take it on tour because it means too
much to me. I've donated a lot of my guitars
to charities, but still have 20 or 30 vintage
guitars, about 100 in all.
One of your main guitars is an Explorershaped model from LAG.
I was at Frankfurt Music Fair... must have
been in the late '80s, when one of the guys from
LAG showed up. He took the guitar out of the
trunk of his car and said, "Check this guitar
out, Phil." It was a one-off for some guy who
ordered it; it was either that he didn't show up
or didn't like it. I tried it and said, "Nobody's
going to get this one back." I've been playing it
ever since. It's a workhorse, and they've done a
signature model for the last eight years.
and a bit of bass since they were four, five,
or six years old and they're all very musical.
Playing together is just one of those goodchemistry things, so it's great. Apart from
my wife and my dog, I'm the worst musician
in the family (laughs).
Bastards was pretty good - that's my favorite.
I remember using a Nashville tuning on the
acoustic ballad, "Don't Let Daddy Kiss Me."
Howard Benson was producing and he showed
me that tuning. To this day, I'm still not quite
sure what it is. On the second and third verses,
if you listen to the bits in between, you hear
me blasting away.
I tried my best on all the records. I'm not
a heavy-metal player, never have been. I'm a
rock-and-roll player and a blues player, basically, but I like to play it loud.
Recording-wise, it's a little bit quieter.
Musically, I have my son, Todd, on the other
guitar, so we can do a few more things. We're
experimenting with stuff at the moment,
and it all seems to be going down really well.
The concerts have been good and we're really
happy with the EP.
Motörhead was just a unique thing. It's
difficult to put it into words, actually, but it
My favorite players... You've got Satch and
Vai and everyone, and Pagey is amazing, and
Iommi. But I kind of lean towards Alvin Lee -
fast blues. And Johnny Winter. Stuff like Billy
Gibbons on "Thunderbird" is what gets me off.
I can't play it as well as those cats, but that gets
me off much more than playing a doom riff.
I try to achieve some way up to these guys. I
get close on a good night. It's fun trying to get
close after all these years. - Greg Prato
rom 1984 through 2015, Phil Campbell
was the guitarist in Motörhead, and for
the last 20 years of the band's existence was
its sole guitarist, appearing on classic releases
such as Orgasmatron, 1916, and Bastards,
among others. With the 2015 passing of Lemmy
Kilmister, the band came to an abrupt end.
Instead of retiring, Campbell has continued
with music, forming Phil Campbell and the
Bastard Sons, which actually includes his three
sons and recently issued a self-titled debut EP.
The new band is mostly family ...
Yes, it's my kids except the singer. My son,
Todd, has been playing since he was four or
five and knows my playing back to front.
All my kids have played drums and guitar
How does it compare or contrast to
Who are a few of your favorite players?
Phil Campbell: Raymond Ahner/UDR Music.
Which Motörhead album are you most
proud of from a guitar-playing standpoint?