Former Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing recently joined an interview with Rhys Bowler and stated that Lemmy Kilmister and Motörhead played a crucial role in creating thrash and speed metal.
Speed metal originated in the early 1970s and was created from the fast tempos of traditional heavy metal. On the other hand, thrash metal developed in the mid-1970s and was more aggressive than speed metal. The two emerging genres certainly changed the face of metal music. Motörhead, formed in 1975, was undoubtedly one of the defining acts of this period.
The band has often been credited for its heavy influence on thrash and speed metal. The speed and aggression of Motörhead were very influential on Metallica and many other metal bands that emerged in the thrash metal scene. Led by Lemmy Kilmister, the band created a unique sound different from the traditional heavy metal tone.
During his latest interview, KK Downing also credited Kilmister and Motörhead for creating thrash and speed metal. The guitarist stated that many notable bands like Metallica and Machine Head made the genre more popular. Still, they should firstly thank Motörhead for their significant contribution to this process. For Downing, Motörhead played a vital role in creating these two metal subgenres.
KK Downing’s words on Motörhead’s influence on the thrash and speed metal:
“Other than heavy metal, I think thrash metal, obviously because around about the time in the ’70s and early ’80s, we saw some very good stuff coming around from the U.K., with bands like Venom, but obviously we had Metallica, which had a great relevance and great bands like Machine Head.
Motörhead, to me, I have to say Motörhead was to blame for all of that, I think. Well, I say ‘to blame,’ I’d change that to ‘thank’ for that because I think Lemmy and Motörhead were responsible for the creation of thrash and speed metal, definitely. And obviously, we can’t leave out Megadeth. And obviously, we had the likes of Pantera coming through in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
And we had a lot of great bands in the early ’80s that were kind of, ‘Okay, we’re the new kids on the block. Move aside.’ So us bands that had been around through the late ’60s and ’70s, we had to listen up and go, ‘Hang on. Not too fast, you guys.’ But you can’t keep good bands down; they’re going to push their way forth. But the thing is that was a very, very healthy thing.”
You can watch the interview below.