Jethro Tull vocalist Ian Anderson recently reflected on the late Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister when talking about the usage of umlauts in the title of their new album, “RökFlöte,” for Finland’s Chaoszine. Anderson discussed how Lemmy’s interest in the military and fighting, as well as his demeanor, may have erred on the unhealthier side of normal.
Lemmy Kilmister was renowned for his unusual singing voice, manner, and musical philosophy, yet he had interests outside of the performing arts. He was fascinated by German military uniforms, and he gathered Nazi artifacts because he thought they were attractive. However, suspicions of Nazi connections resulted from this. Ian Anderson claims that Lemmy’s interest in that era is tied to the use of umlaut in Mötley Crüe.
Anderson talked about the significance of the umlauts in “RökFlöte” and how they linked to Lemmy’s usage of an umlaut in the name of Motörhead throughout the conversation. He asserted that the usage of umlauts in “RökFlöte” is justified. Lemmy famously referred to the umlaut in Motörhead as the “Nazi dots,” and Ian reflected that if he did so now, he would likely face criticism for it.
Ian Anderson stated the following in an interview with Finland’s Chaoszine:
“If you’re going to bring an umlaut into the world in a rock album — not just one but two in the title alone — then you’ve gotta be sure of your ground. And it’s, to me, kind of important that there’s a real reason for those umlauts, partly because ‘Rök,’ in old Icelandic, is spelled with an umlaut, a word meaning ‘destiny,’ and ‘Flöte’ in the German language has an umlaut over the ‘O’.
So they are legitimate; they are correct — unlike Motörhead or Mötley Crüe. There are those sorts of use of the umlaut, which is suggestive of something that has to do with an era of history that I think we should put behind us. We shouldn’t forget it, but we shouldn’t be, in some way, showing any infatuation with that world today.
Lemmy once referred to the umlaut in Motörhead, he referred to it as the ‘Nazi dots.’ I mean, he did that many years ago — obviously, when he was alive — but if he were to do that today, he’d probably be finding himself vilified for some fascination with that Nazi era. Lemmy, in his simple way, was a bit of a historian about aspects of militaria and warfare, but it might have bordered on the unhealthy side of normal.”
Thus, Ian Anderson asserts that the usage of umlauts on Jethro Tull’s next album, “RökFlöte,” has a legitimate justification. He thinks that Mötley Crüe and Motörhead’s utilization wasn’t appropriate or acceptable. Lemmy Kilmister had previously claimed that Blue Oyster Cult was where Motörhead’s use of the umlaut came from, but Ian’s comments seem to contradict him.