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K.K. Downing says Motörhead created Speed and Thrash Metal

KK Downing
Images from KKs Priest and Motörhead

Classic Rock

K.K. Downing says Motörhead created Speed and Thrash Metal

The influential ex-Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing, who now has the band KK’s Priest, said in an interview with Rhys Bowler (Transcribed by Blabbermouth) that Motörhead was the band responsible to create the Speed and Thrash Metal, since they were the ones who first did a sound that would later evolve to those styles with bands that were influenced by Lemmy Kilmister’s group.


In the same interview, Downing said that Judas Priest was also a big influence on Thrash Metal bands at the time.

K.K. Downing says Motörhead created Speed and Thrash Metal

“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, ’cause 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].”

“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 kind of listen up and go, ‘Hang on. Not too fast, you guys.’ But you can’t keep good bands down; they’re gonna push their way forth. But the thing is that was a very, very healthy thing.”

Motörhead and Judas Priest were two bands who were labeled as being part of the New Wave Of The British Heavy Metal that begun in the late 70s and early 80s with also bands like Diamond Head, Iron Maiden and Saxon.

Metallica was heavily influenced by Motörhead

When Metallica drummer and co-founder Lars Ulrich was a teenager he was a big Motörhead and many, many years before he got together with James Hetfield and formed the famous Thrash Metal group he managed to hang out with Lemmy Kilmister and talked with him for hours. Almost two decades later, the Motörhead leader covered Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” with Zebrahead for the compilation album “Extreme Championship Wrestling: Extreme Music” (1998).

Metallica covered four Motörhead songs “Overkill”, “Damage Case”, “Stone Dead Forever” and “Too Late Too Late” on their 1998 covers album “Garage Inc.” Lemmy eventually played some of those songs live with the group a few years before his death.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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