The UK-based band Motörhead is among the most famous, long-lived, and influential groups in the heavy metal genre. Fusing aspects of punk rock with heavy metal, they are often noted for their contributions to the styles now known as speed metal and thrash metal. Their peak of popularity and success came in the early 1980s, but the band is still actively performing and recording today.
Motörhead was founded in 1975 by bass guitarist and vocalist Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, who became interested in forming his own group after being let go from the progressive rock band Hawkwind. Kilmister recruited and worked with a number of different guitarists and drummers while trying to develop the sound he was looking for in the new band, usually playing with only three members, but sometimes four. By the late 1970s, Motörhead's classic lineup of Kilmister with drummer Phil Taylor and guitarist Eddie Clarke was established, and the trio landed a recording contract with the British record label Bronze Records.
When the band began touring and recording, they made waves with their ground-breaking sound, which captured the speed, energy, and aggression of punk music and combined it with heavy metal volume and elements of biker culture, appealing to punk fans and metal fans alike. This sound had a significant influence on the evolution of speed metal, so much so that Motörhead is sometimes credited with creating that genre. Although Motörhead is usually classified as a heavy metal band, Kilmister has said he does not care for that label, preferring to call his music nothing more specific than "rock and roll".
In February 2010, the band announced they would record a new album and go on tour in support of it. The current members of the band are Kilmister, guitarist Phil Campbell, and drummer Mikkey Dee.