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Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons

'The Age Of Absurdity' is the title of the fantastic first album by Phil Campbel And The Bastard Sons. With this album Phil proves that there is absolute life after the death of his Motörhead companion Lemmy. He made the album together with his three sons Todd, Dane and Tyla and singer Neil Starr. To check what is going on, we contacted singer Neil and guitarist Todd. We discussed the album and the upcoming tour that brings the band also to the Netherlands. They are looking forward to that!

By: Henk | Archive under hardrock / aor

Hey Guys, how are you doing?
Todd: Yeah we're doing fine getting ready for Christmas. Looking forward to some relaxing, eating and drinking.

It's just a month before the album comes out. Are you preparing for the release?
Neil: At the moment we are doing a lot of interviews. It is nice to see that so many people are interested in hearing from us, so we are really busy with that side right now. As soon as the new year is here we will get into the rehearsal studio and start working on the set list for the tour we have coming up in Europe and starts in February. For now it is concentrating on the promotional side but in a few weeks we will be working on getting the live set together and obviously also the release of the album and whatever promotional activities come from that to. But it is exciting for us!

It is of course a great record that you guys made. So how are the reactions so far from the people who heard it?
Todd: Literally the last two days we see the reviews coming and they all seem to be very positive. It is a rock album but with some new sounds and ideas on it. People are picking up on it. And that is great because everyone is excited and enthusiastic about it which is good news for us. It really is steering us on to next year to kick-off the album and promote it as much as we can.

There are a lot of different songs on the album. Mostly hard rock but there are also some metal influences and even blues things on it. How did the songwriting for the album go?
Todd: We don't set out with a plan for the writing. We all bring different influences to the music. Even if you listen to Motörhead albums, they did heavier songs and bluesy songs where Lemmy's voice was the glue that held it all together. We are still finding ourselves and experimenting with different sounds. It is our first album at the end of the day. It is an exciting time for us and we are still developing our own sound which is great.

I think the album has already a lot of common ground between the songs. Of course they are different and some have Motörhead influences but the one that really stands out for me is 'Into The Dark'. Can you tell something about that song?
Todd: Well we don't have a clue anymore which songs to play because everybody has a different favorite one! (laughs)

Neil: Sometimes you expect that the favorites are the more heavier or faster songs like 'Ringleader' or the more Motörhead style songs. But you are not the first who points out 'Into The Dark' as their favorite one. The last three interviews in a row all gave that same song as the stand out song. When we recorded it we were not even sure if that song would make it onto the album. We recorded more songs than we needed so we had a choice to put the best songs on the album. The ones we more most happy with. With 'Into The Dark' if felt when wrote it, as an album closer. We never thought so many people mentioned that as a stand out track.

Another great track is 'Dropping The Needle'. A great short tune about Rock and roll!
Neil: When the boys played me the music to that song they got me really excited. I was over the moon that would be a song on our album. It's kicking ass and a lot fun to write the lyrics to that one. It is a song that you would play over and over again once it ends because it is so short. It kind of leaves you wanting to hear more.

So Neil, did you write all the lyrics to the album?
Neil: I wrote all the lyrics. When recording the vocals there were some things changed but I was completely free to write about whatever I wanted to write about. I don't think there were any titles given to me except for 'Gypsy Kiss'. Phil was the one that gave me the melody to that one just as with 'Spiders' on the EP.

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'Gypsy Kiss' is the most Motörhead like song on the album. I don't think you sound the same as them at all especially because of the vocals. So how is your feeling about that? Do people still compare you to Motörhead?
Neil: Not really. A lot of people comment on the fact that I'm not like Lemmy and I will never try to be as Lemmy which is good.

Todd: For us it was never that we should find someone that sounds like Lemmy. That would not have worked and Phil loves the way Neil sings with his own voice and character and that is the way it should be. Of course Motörhead will always be a part of our band because Phil was with them for so long. You wouldn't be surprised if more bands would do a similar thing in the future. All these great rock and metal artists are getting older unfortunately and some will carry on that great legacy they made. So I will not be surprised if we are the first sort of band who does it like this.

I think for you Todd it is a great kick to stand there with your dad and your brothers on the stage?
Todd: It is really cool and not that crazy because we always have been a musical family who played in various projects together and things. Obviously not at this level of course but to us it feels completely normal. That is basically what I can say on that subject. it is cool to spend time with my dad because he was so much on the road when I was younger and now he is on the road with me. The difference is we call him Phil nowadays because that is easier on stage.

And how is it for you Neil to be the only non-family member in the band?
Neil: I have known Todd and his brothers for so long that we are really good friends first and foremost. I've got to known Phil overtime and being in a band with him I got to know him a lot better. It is just a relaxed group of people to be in a band with. We all have the same goals, having fun playing and writing music with no other agendas really. We are doing it all for enjoyment and for no other reason.

What can we expect of the upcoming tour?
Todd: We will play stuff from the EP also, we are still proud of that EP. Also there will be some Motörhead songs but that will probably be less and less as the band carries on. The focus will be on promoting the album and Phil digging into his catalogue of Motörhead songs. Phil likes to play the more unknown songs so it will be an interesting set list in the new year. Also as soon as Christmas is over we will be announcing more about what we will do during summer I think.

Now we are at the end of 2017 what would you say was the best and the worst thing that happened to you this year?
Todd : The Guns N’ Roses show were the best thing definitely. These were the biggest shows I played in my life. Even to Phil they were gigantic. Further nothing to complain about with his band.

Neil: We had a flight canceled to a show in France but if that is the worst thing that happened you know you've got a pretty good year.

So with all the interviews you have had so far what would you like to add? What was the one question no one asked?
Neil: The worst question we had was that one guy asked us why Phil did not ask Todd's mom as a singer (laughs). That was really the worst question ever. But in general it was good and interesting to see that so many people are interested in us.

Is there anything left that you would like to say to our readers here at Lords Of Metal?
Todd: Thank you for checking us out. We hope you enjoy the album and come see us on tour in the Netherlands. We are looking forward to come over there because you have some of the best venues in the Netherlands. Thank you again and have a good Christmas and new year!

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