Motorhead Members Nearly Quit Over ‘Pop’ LP ‘Overnight Sensation’
Mikkey Dee recalled how Motorhead nearly split because of disputes over their 1996 album, Overnight Sensation.
The drummer said he’d walked out at least twice, as he and guitarist Phil Campbell believed leader Lemmy Kilmister was replacing their trademark heavy style with a more pop-oriented sound.
“I like Bastards and Sacrifice,” Dee told Campbell’s son Dane in a new episode of Drum for the Song (clip below) as he reflected on the records he made with Motorhead. “Overnight Sensation is a very good album. But at that time … that was the toughest time of the period with me in the band because Lemmy got fairly soft.” He continued: “Me and Phil, we were looking at each other. [Lemmy] wanted to have an acoustic guitar, and the melodies were almost fucking pop melodies. We would go, ‘What the hell is this?’”
He said they continued “arguing a lot” into the album mixing process. “I believe I left the band two, three times on that period,” he recalled. "And I think your dad did the same thing. We said, ‘Fuck it, Lemmy, you can do this fucking record yourself. We don’t give a shit anymore.’ It was a tough time.”
Overnight Sensation was Motorhead’s first album following the departure of guitarist "Wurzel," leaving the three-piece lineup that continued until Lemmy’s death in 2015. In Joel McIver’s 2011 book, Overkill: The Untold Story of Motorhead, Dee said of the record: “Wurzel, I used to say, was more Motorhead than me, Phil and Lemmy put together. … He wrote super-hard songs and riffs, and I miss that sometimes.” He added: “[M]e and Phil, we might sometimes write a little too…not soft, but maybe too musically correct songs, where Wurzel was very simple, straight, very hard riffs. Nothing complicated with him whatsoever.”
Mikkey Dee Discusses ‘Overnight Sensation’