Interview conducted June 8 2017
Interview published June 23 2017
"He doesn't like to practice."
The British rock outfit Phil Campbell
And The Bastard Sons comprises former Motörhead guitarist Phil
Campbell and his 3 sons, Todd,
Tyla and Dane
on guitar, bass and drums respectively, as well as frontman Neil Starr.
As they were visiting the festival grounds of Sweden Rock in the Southern
parts of the country earlier this month Metal Covenant got the opportunity
to quickly talk to one of the band's sons before the band had to leave
in a hurry for their next adventure.
Tobbe: The Bastard Sons have so far only
released one EP, in November last year, so which is its strongest characteristics?
Todd: I think we were still figuring out the
sound of the band at that point. We used to be the All Starr Band and
I think we wrote the EP before we were The Bastard Sons and then we
changed the band name. I think the album is gonna be more of a one direct
sound and I think the EP has been more of an experiment to see what
worked sort of thing, so. It's cool and it's got a good range of songs
on it and stuff.
I think, maybe besides the song No Turning Back, the music is kind of
far from what Motörhead did and do you think that people did believe
that this music was gonna be more similar to what Motörhead did,
because of Phil's background?
Todd: The funny thing is: No Turning Back, I
think I wrote that one more, whereas the non-Motörhead ones are
more Phil influenced, which is kind of not the way around you would
think. You know, obviously he's got his roots with Motörhead and
how he writes the songs, but I think we'll branch out a bit. If he was
a clone I don't think it would have worked sort of thing. So, you know,
he's Phil, he's gonna do what he wants to do pretty much. [Laughs]
Tobbe: So is he, like, the dictator of the
Todd: Not really. Maybe I'm the dictator of the
band? [Laughs] I don't know. I run, like, the studio, so I produced
the EP and things. So I'm, like, in charge of getting everyone together.
I think Phil has the last say of everything, d'you know what I mean?
He has the veto; like: normally we all have to agree, but if Phil says
we ain't doing it we don't do it, you know what I mean?
Tobbe: When being family, is it hard to
contribute equally to the music?
Todd: No, I don't think so, 'cause we've all
played in bands together for years, different groups and things, so
it comes quite naturally. You know, we grew up listening to the same
music and with dad playing all the classics and things. So we all come
from the same place, apart from Neil, our singer. He's more from grunge
and classic rock is quite not his era so much, but we're teaching him
Tobbe: So does each of you guys try to put
your own mark to the music?
Todd: Yeah, I think so. Tyla is on bass with
this band, but he's a really good guitarist. He plays kind of country
music and stuff. We're still just discovering things. With most bands,
I guess, you get to, like, write songs, play local gigs, and have scrappy
songs and, you know, no one hears you growing as a band, as we're kind
of growing in front of everyone, do you know what I mean? 'Cause stuff
gets released sort of thing.
But the goal is always to at least separate yourselves a little bit from
Todd: Yeah, yeah, totally. You know, we play
Motörhead songs in the set, and people enjoy it and stuff, because
when we play our headline shows, like 90 per cent of the people got
Motörhead t-shirts on, so you gotta, you know
And we enjoy
playing the songs and we grew up listening to them and, you know, it's
nice that Neil doesn't sound like Lemmy, you know what I mean? It's
totally different voices. You know, we're not going in with that sort
of thing. So yes, I think as we release more music we're gonna be able
to play more of our own songs pretty much, which is the goal, I think,
in the long run.
Tobbe: So are you kind of in a hurry now
to release new material, so you can play less Motörhead stuff live?
Todd: No, Phil won't rush anything. So if it's
not right he won't release things. But I think it'll be a single now,
in autumn, a new song, and then the album after Christmas. So February
time maybe. I think that's the scale.
Tobbe: About the Motörhead songs that
you play live. Do you guys take any advice from someone outside the band?
Todd: No, we just decide. I think we try to
do the ones that they haven't played for years, trying to rework it
so it's cool for the fans coming. We're doing Silver Machine at the
moment as a little tip the cap for Lemmy and things, 'cause we played
with Hawkwind a few weeks ago and stuff and he's always influencing
what you do basically. Some songs, if Phil has played them for years
and years, he'd rather play
There's so many songs to choose from,
d'you know what I mean? I think sometimes he enjoys finding those ones
that they, like, never played.
Tobbe: How on Earth do you guys manage playing
with your own dad without getting pissed off at each other all the time?
Todd: Obviously, I've been in bands when you're
not family and, like, you keep things bottled up. You know, if someone's
pissing you off you don't say, d'you know what I mean? And then eventually,
two years later, you have a massive argument. But with a family you're
gonna be like "Sounds fucking shit today." and they'll be
like "Fuck you!" and then 10 minutes later you forget about
it. Water under the bridge, d'you know what I mean?
I think it's good, 'cause you can just get things out in the open really
quickly. I think people see us argue sometimes and they're like "Oh,
they're going at it.", but 'cause it's your family you can say
what you want.
Tobbe: So what's the most negative, in a
musical aspect, by having your father in the same band?
Todd: He doesn't like to practice. [Laughs] He's
like "I know this one. I don't wanna practice.". Apart from
that it's not a problem, really.
Tobbe: So when you rehearse stuff you press
play on tape with his parts?
Todd: No, we don't use tape. There's no backing
tracks for us. He'll do it once and he's like "I'm going home now."
and we're like "All right. We'll practice without you for a bit.".
[Laughs] He knows the songs a lot better than us.
Tobbe: Where do you guys see yourselves
in, like, 10 years?
Todd: I don't know. I think Phil wants to do
solo stuff as well, so maybe we'll play that stuff live, do you know
what I mean? As well as The Bastard Sons stuff. We gotta make sure we're
enjoying it and as long as Phil's enjoying it we'll keep doing it. But
if he doesn't enjoy it he doesn't have to do it, because he's done his
time with Motörhead and this is more fun for him. You know, playing
with his kids and that. So yeah, as long as it's fun we'll keep doing
it, but if it's not fun then we won't do it anymore.
Tobbe: You played a new song today and how
does that one fit in the Bastard Sons catalogue?
Todd: Well, that's written with Rob Halford,
that song is, for [Judas] Priest. We just decided to play it in our
set 'cause we think it's a cool song and things. Rob Halford said it
was cool and we don't know if that song's gonna be on a solo album,
or on our album, or on both maybe, 'cause we think it's a really cool