Why Lemmy Kilmister said Radiohead are “not Rock and Roll”


Although Lemmy Kilmister is sadly no longer with us, he left the world as a legend in rock music. He was a powerful figure in speed metal and had a truly captivating career. His journey led him from being a roadie for Jimi Hendrix to venturing into space rock with Hawkwind and eventually cementing his status as one of the all-time greats with Motörhead.

Considering his deep involvement in the evolution of modern rock music and his association with some of the industry’s finest, Lemmy had every right to voice his opinions on the state of contemporary artistry. In fact, his presence was so imposing that even Slash, the lead guitarist of Guns N’ Roses, admitted to finding the Motörhead frontman “intimidating.”

During an interview with Stay Thirsty Media, Lemmy was asked about his thoughts on whether rock ‘n’ roll was making a resurgence after a period on the sidelines of the counterculture. Lemmy’s response emphasized that rock ‘n’ roll was a genre that couldn’t be extinguished. He believed that despite efforts to bury it, rock ‘n’ roll always resurfaces because there will always be people who crave loud, raw music.

He remarked, “Rock ‘n’ roll always comes back, you know. There’s no fighting it. And these people think they can kill rock ‘n’ roll, they might as well try and stop the flood, you know. There’s no way. It always comes back because there’s always people who want to hear loud, raucous music, you know.”

Lemmy went on to express his dissatisfaction with what he considered uninspiring music promoted by magazines. He singled out Coldplay and Radiohead as examples. Lemmy claimed he could distinguish good rock music because he had been listening to it since he was 12 years old.

In a humorous and somewhat defiant tone, he stated, “It’s exciting, you know. And all the shit that these magazines like is not exciting. Like, Jesus, Radiohead, you know. Fuck me, you know. Coldplay. Jesus. These are not rock bands. These are sub-emo, you know.”

He concluded emphatically, “I mean, they did some good stuff. Fair enough. But it’s not rock ‘n’ roll. I know fucking rock ‘n’ roll when I hear it. I’ve been listening to it since I was 12, you know? So fuck off!”

In another interview with Consequence shortly before his passing in 2015, the subject of Radiohead resurfaced. This time, Lemmy was less diplomatic in his response. When asked about a band like Radiohead, known for evolving their sound with each album, Lemmy simply stated, “And they’re not very good.” When asked if he liked them, he gave a straightforward “No.”

Leave a Reply

You May Also Like