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Phil Campbell (musician)

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Phil Campbell
Campbell performing in 2011
Campbell performing in 2011
Background information
Birth namePhilip Anthony Campbell
Also known asWizzö
Löřd Äxŝmïth
Born (1961-05-07) 7 May 1961 (age 63)
Pontypridd, Wales
Years active1979–present
Member ofPhil Campbell and the Bastard Sons
Formerly ofMotörhead, Persian Risk, Phil Campbell's All Starr Band

Philip Anthony Campbell[1] (born 7 May 1961)[2] is a Welsh rock musician, best known as the guitarist in Motörhead from 1984 to 2015. The band disbanded upon the death of founder and frontman Lemmy. He currently tours with his own band Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons, featuring his three sons: Todd, Dane and Tyla.

Early life and career[edit]

Campbell was born in Pontypridd, and started playing guitar when he was 10 years old, inspired and influenced by guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi, Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, Jan Akkerman, Michael Schenker and Todd Rundgren. At the age of 12, Campbell met Lemmy after a Hawkwind gig and asked him for an autograph. By the age of 13, Campbell was playing semi-professionally with a cabaret band called Contrast. He later played with a pub-rock band called Roktopus (not to be confused with Rocktopus) at gigs in and around South Wales. He bought his first Les Paul in 1978 at a New Year's Day guitar sale at a shop on Ealing Broadway, London. The guitar was later stolen but returned.

In 1979, Campbell formed the heavy metal band, Persian Risk, playing on their 7" singles, "Calling For You" (1981) and "Ridin' High" (1983). Compilation albums have been issued which feature some of his work with Persian Risk.


Phil Campbell live at Reds, Edmonton, 2005

On 8 February 1984, following the departure of Brian Robertson, Motörhead held auditions for a new guitarist, narrowing the candidates down to two guitarists: Michael "Würzel" Burston and Philip Campbell. Though Lemmy had first planned on hiring only one guitarist, he hired both Würzel and Campbell upon hearing them play together.

On 14 February 1984, Motörhead were the musical guest for The Young Ones episode "Bambi". One of the band's most popular compilations, No Remorse, followed shortly, it was released on 15 September. Campbell subsequently toured the world with the band and remained a constant member of Motörhead until they disbanded.

On 28 December 2015, band founder and sole constant member Lemmy died. The following day, drummer Mikkey Dee announced that Motörhead had disbanded, stating: "We will not be doing any more tours or anything. And there will not be any more records. But the fire survives, and Lemmy lives on in the hearts of everyone."[3]

In April 2020, Campbell opened up about how hard it was to see Lemmy struggle towards the end of his life saying that Lemmy “wasn’t quite himself” and that he had been “ageing a little bit more” on Motörhead’s final tour. He also admitted that the end of Motörhead was not easy to adjust to at first.[4]

Debut solo album[edit]

In February 2016, Campbell entered the studio along with former Slipknot percussionist Chris Fehn to record a new solo album.[5][6]

Campbell’s first solo album Old Lions Still Roar was released on 25 October 2019 and features guest vocals from Alice Cooper, Rob Halford, Dee Snider and Benji Webbe.

Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons[edit]

The second Motorhead's Motorboat was a themed 5-day cruise from Miami to the Bahamas and featured Phil Campbell's All Starr Band - one of the many support acts to headliners Motorhead, Anthrax and Slayer - who became Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons.

In November 2016, his new project Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons released their first recording, a self-titled EP.[7] The band has subsequently performed in supporting slots with Guns N' Roses, Hawkwind, Saxon, and Airbourne.

In August 2017, Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons announced that they were to start recording their debut album.[8] On 26 October 2017, Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons announced the title of the debut album as The Age of Absurdity, which was released on 26 January 2018 on Nuclear Blast Records [1]. The album was produced by Romesh Dodangoda.[9]

The band's line up for the first album featured Phil and his three sons, together with former Attack! Attack! vocalist from South Wales Neil Starr. Neil was replaced with vocalist Joel Peters in late 2021. [10]

  • Phil Campbell – guitar
  • Todd Campbell – guitar/harmonica
  • Dane Campbell – drums
  • Tyla Campbell – bass
  • Joel Peters – vocals
  • Romesh Dodangoda – percussion and keyboards on 'Into the Dark'
  • Dave Brock – guitar and vocals on 'Silver Machine'[11]

Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons released a cover of Hawkwind's "Silver Machine" on 21 April 2018 for Record Store Day. The track was previously available as a bonus track on some CD versions of The Age of Absurdity.[12]

The second album "We're The Bastards" was released in 2020 again featuring Neil Starr on vocals.

The third album was a live album called "Live In The North" featuring Joel Peters on vocals recorded in Sunderland in 2021 and released in March 2023.

The fourth album "Kings of the Asylum" was released on the 1st of September 2023 and the release was supported by three video releases in the buildup to the album release featuring the tracks "Schizophrenia", "Hammer and Dance" and "Strike The Match" which was recorded at a special invite only event in Cardiff.

Personal life[edit]

Campbell resides in Pontypridd, Wales with his wife Gaynor and their three children.[13]


Campbell at Wacken Open Air 2013 with Framus guitar

Campbell uses an LAG Explorer Signature model[14] guitar both live and in the studio, fitted with two Seymour Duncan humbuckers[15] and a single (volume) control. He also uses DBZ, Charvel, Caparison, a couple of Framus Custom Shop guitars on stage,[16] with an occasional acoustic Dean. He has also been known to play ESP, PRS, Minarik Infernos, Tokai Love Rock (Les Paul copies) and a Parker Nitefly guitars.

He also uses guitars built by luthier TC Ellis. So far, Ellis has built him a Les Paul-styled,[17] a Stratocaster-styled,[18] and one modelled after Lemmy's custom-built Rickenbacker 4004.[19]

Like Lemmy, Campbell uses Marshall Amplifiers and Cabinets when playing live, currently using Marshall JVM410H, JVM410H-JS, JCM 900 4100 and 1959RR heads. In the studio he has been known to use Line 6, ENGL, Bogner and Laboga Amps. Earlier in his career he occasionally played Gallien-Krueger amplifiers.[20]

He mainly uses Dunlop pedals (Micro Amp, Micro Chorus, Phase 90 (Script or EVH), Carbon Copy, Smart Gate, Slash Octave Fuzz & 95Q wah), strings (10–46) and picks (.88).



  1. ^ "Philip Anthony Campbell". AOL Music. Archived from the original on 30 June 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2008.
  2. ^ "Philip Anthony Campbell". Allmusic. Retrieved 20 December 2008.
  3. ^ "Mikkey Dee: 'Motörhead Is Over'". Blabbermouth.net. 29 December 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  4. ^ "54: The one with Motörhead's Phil Campbell". CATtales. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  5. ^ "Slipknot's Fehn guests on Phil Campbell solo album". TeamRock. 9 February 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  6. ^ "MOTÖRHEAD Guitarist PHIL CAMPBELL's Solo Album To Feature Guest Appearance By SLIPKNOT's CHRIS FEHN". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 8 February 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons". www.facebook.com.
  8. ^ "MOTÖRHEAD Guitarist's PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS Begins Recording Debut Album". 18 August 2017.
  9. ^ "WATCH: Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons premiere 'Welcome To Hell' video".
  10. ^ "PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS – Nuclear Blast". www.nuclearblast.de.
  11. ^ "WATCH: Phil Campbell gets emotional 'every day' about past members of Motörhead".
  12. ^ Day, Record Store. "Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons – Record Store Day". recordstoreday.co.uk.
  13. ^ "The Big Interview: Phil Campbell". South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales). 12 October 2002. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  14. ^ "Phil Campbell – Motorhead (Legend!)". LAG Guitars. Archived from the original on 24 November 2007. Retrieved 20 December 2008.
  15. ^ "Phil Campbell". Seymour Duncan. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  16. ^ Moseley, Willie G. (November 2002). "Philip Campbell – Decibel Level Be Damned". Vintage Guitar. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  17. ^ "Phillip Campbell of Motorhead Playing a TC Ellis Guitar www.tcellisguitars.com". YouTube. 1 July 2009. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  18. ^ "Phil Campbell Time Solo on TC Ellis Guitar". YouTube. 26 January 2010. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  19. ^ "Phil Campbell of Motorhead playing a TC Ellis Lemmy Inspired Guitar". YouTube. 26 January 2010. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  20. ^ "Interview with Phil Campbell – Motorhead". motorhead.ru. Archived from the original on 29 May 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2008.

External links[edit]