A couple of weeks ago, you might’ve heard that cover of Lemmy singing a cover of ‘Stand By Me’ with Dave Lombardo on drum duties. For the first ever Motorhead/Slayer collaboration, it was a bit of WTF-moment to be honest. So we tracked down Baron, the producer somewhat responsible, to get some answers. That’s him up there on the right.
The track is part of the soundtrack album Baron made for Flip Skateboards‘ latest film, Extremely Sorry. See the chap in the photo up top that isn’t Baron or Lemmy? That’s Flip’s co-owner, Geoff Rowley. In addition to the man formerly known as Ian Kilmister and the Slayer sticksmith, other collaborators on the record include ex-Pennywise frontman, Jim Lindberg, and Snoop Dogg. Obviously here at Thrash Hits we’re a bit more interested in Lemmy and Lombardo.
Lemmy covering ‘Stand By Me’ – it’s not the most obvious choice. What was the thinking behind that?
“There would have been no point trying to make a song with Lemmy that sounded anything like Motorhead, you’re never gonna be able to make anything that would even come close to that. Lemmy likes old music and he really likes playing old music so it seemed like a no brainer. Geoff Rowley was instrumental in the decision process on this one also.”
Dave Lombardo is one of the most badass drummers of all time – while ‘Stand By Me’ isn’t exactly the most taxing of tracks. Did you try to get him to do anything more “showy”?
“Dave is a god amongst men, a drumming machine, but again would there be any point in trying to make something that was remotely like Slayer? Dave is an extremely capable musician no matter what tempo and style you throw at him. I think it’s a huge compliment to his musical palette that he would want to attempt something like this. There are a lot of people in metal who wouldn’t.”
Were you ever worried the cover would end up being one of those famously-awful cover songs, like Gene Simmons covering ‘Firestarter’?
“No, it never crossed my mind, but whoever was the producer on that project needs reprimanding I think. Again – why bother covering something like that? It’s too recent.”
When you started talking with Jim Lindberg about getting involved, did you pick up anything that indicated he was thinking of leaving Pennywise?
“I knew that Jim was really into trying out new stuff and that Pennywise had been on a break. I sent him the track which is electronic-sounding and he was all over it, which was great and I was kinda worried at the point I sent it over that it would not work for him because of that. He split with the rest of the band half way through us making this, it was a slightly tentative time, but he came through and the track is mega.”
Look! There’s moving pictures too!
With yourself, the guys from Flip, and the large number of contributors on board, how do you stay in control of the project? Did it ever get into a “too many cooks”-style situation?
“Well that’s where you as producer come should into your own. It could have turned into that, but you have to manage everyone involved and guide the ship. There were so many different genres of music on the soundtrack that anything and everything had to be well thought out and structured.”
Lemmy is often described as “indestructible”. What do you think you would have to do to make him cry?
“Make him unable to play music, I would imagine.”
Next year Baron is going to be working on his own solo album, another soundtrack for Flip, and most intriguing of all, a Dave Lombardo solo album. Go on, tell us that doesn’t excite you. See? You can’t.