About half a year before his death in 2015, Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister finished what would be his last solo recording, a collaboration with guitarist Chris Declercq. The song, “We Are the Ones,” bears all of Kilmister’s trademarks: gritty vocals with lyrics like “I can escape the feeling/I know just what I’m needing,” a revved-up tempo and, of course, his rumbling bass playing. The song, which is premiering here, is also now available on iTunes and Spotify.
“You opened a door no one else wanted to open for me,” Declercq tells Rolling Stone in a statement addressing Kilmister. “You allowed me to share precious moments with you as a composer, musician and friend. By helping me, you showed that you were the most generous, humble and honest man. I am honoring your gift every day and you are forever in my heart.”
Declercq met Kilmister in 2005 after he moved from his native Switzerland to Hollywood and approached the Motörhead singer at the Sunset Strip’s Rainbow Bar and Grill. He gave him a copy of a demo CD and the two musicians eventually worked together on “We Are the Ones,” which features Josh Freese (A Perfect Circle, Guns N’ Roses) on drums and co-producer Martin Guigui on synth. They began tracking it with co-producer Cameron Webb in 2014 at Paramount Studios and Kilmister recorded the bass part in March 2015; they did a final mix this past January.
“I focused on cracking the code to the song’s truth, which is Chris’ artistic ability to craft a lyric and melody for Lemmy’s rock & roll persona, and then Lemmy’s soulful vocal delivery which is the heart of the song,” Guigui says of his production role. “Ultimately, my role was to stay true to Chris’ vision, and complete perhaps what Lemmy would have envisioned as well. It is really an homage to Lemmy, with his participation, which is wild. The studio vibe was electrifying and inspiring throughout all our sessions. You could feel Lemmy’s spirit hovering, which is why each decision and every step we took was creative stylistic instinct with respect to Lemmy’s originality, sound and legacy.”
In a mini documentary about the making of the song, Declercq says he finished the song earlier this year in Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 because it felt like the right home for the song. He also recalls how, on the night before Kilmister’s death, Lemmy’s girlfriend was trying to call him to arrange a photo shoot with the two musicians.
Declercq is currently working on his debut album with former members of Iron Maiden and Alice Cooper’s band, among others.