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NIKKI SIXX: “it was never my intention to steal John 5 from Rob Zombie's band”


In a new interview with The Mistress Carrie PodcastMÖTLEY CRÜE‘s Nikki Sixx discussed his band’s decision to hire guitarist John 5 as Mick Mars‘s replacement following the latter’s announcement that he would no longer tour with the legendary rock act. Speaking about how John 5‘s addition to CRÜE came about, Nikki said: “John‘s a great guy. I’ve known John for a long time. I brought John in on a Meat Loaf song that I wrote, ‘The Monster Is Loose’. And then some SIXX:A.M. songs. He wrote a song with me called ‘Lies Of The Beautiful People’, which was a big hit for SIXX:A.M. And I brought him in to do a project that I did for Netflix called L.A. RATS with Rob Zombie and Tommy Clufetos on drums, a Johnny Cash cover. And I wrote ‘The Dirt’ (MÖTLEY CRÜE movie soundtrack) songs with him, and he played a lot of the guitar on those tracks. And so when this moment that we weren’t expecting happened, Mick‘s leaving the band, we were in the middle of ‘The Stadium Tour’. We were in the middle of a huge tour with us and DEF LEPPARD. A world tour, not just a couple gigs. And we had to ask ourselves, like, ‘Do we fold? Do we leave Live Nation in the lurch? Do we bone our partners in DEF LEPPARD?’ And we had to dig deep and we were, like, ‘We’ve gotta do what’s right for the fans.’ And John was the guy. We didn’t even talk about anybody else. We knew John. I knew John. We knew what he was as a guitar player. We knew he was a writer. And it just was like taking a situation we didn’t expect and turning it into something. And now we have new music and we’re having a great time.”

He continued: “The thing with creativity is it’s a circle. And if there’s a break in it, you can’t really get all the energy going. And this new moment has reinvigorated the creativity in the band. And I will attribute that to John and also just change in general sometimes happens.

“I played with a lot of different musicians over the years. And every time I play with a new musician, I have a new interpretation of something,” Nikki added. “And they bring that. So there’s a freshness to having John in the band right now.”

Asked by Mistress Carrie if he had to have a Mafia-style sitdown with John 5‘s longtime bandmate and employer Rob Zombie when he was trying to get John 5 to join MÖTLEY CRÜESixx said: “It was one of those things that I feel bad about. It wasn’t my decision. It was John‘s decision. I had been talking to John as a friend during some of the frustrations with Mick‘s playing, specifically on the tour. And he was my friend. And when I called him and said, ‘Wow, we’re faced with a really bad situation.’ And we talked. And he wanted to do the next-level thing in his life. He’d been with Rob for a long, long time, and they were kind of coming to an end of a tour. And he talked to Rob, and Rob was not happy but understood. I still feel bad about that. That was never my intention, to go out and steal somebody from another band. That’s not what we did. But I have so much respect for Rob. It’s one of those things where I’m really happy and at the same time I’m, like… Sometimes this stuff’s fucking hard. Like making a decision to move on without an original member. It’s not exactly as seamless as people would like it to seem. There’s some little bumps along the way, little bumps in the road.”

MÖTLEY CRÜE has recently released the official music video for its new single, “Dogs Of War”. The track was made available via MÖTLEY CRÜE‘s new deal with Nashville’s Big Machine Records. Created by Nick DenBoer, the visual features the rowdy quartet in an apocalyptic wasteland, full of classic CRÜE debauchery.

Watch “Dogs Of War” below.

“It’s always great getting back in the studio with the guys in the band,” CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx says. “We know you’re gonna like this one.”

Bob Rock, who produced the new single, as well as MÖTLEY CRÜE‘s famed 1989 album “Dr. Feelgood”, adds: “Working with the band on the new song was the easiest session I have ever had with them… The CRÜE is the best they have ever been! And they have plenty of new stuff in store.”

“We want to keep putting out new music, too, so we don’t get stagnant,” CRÜE singer Vince Neil told Billboard. “We recorded ‘(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)’ by the BEASTIE BOYS and we recorded this song, too, and I thought it turned out pretty good.

“There’ll definitely be new music out next year, for sure,” Neil added, “’cause we recorded a couple of other songs, too. Maybe we’ll release one of those by the end of the year, but I can’t say. But we want to keep putting out new music — not, maybe, an album but a few songs here, a few songs there, and that’s good.”

Neil described “Dogs Of War” as “like old school meets new school. It’s got that old-school vibe about it, but it’s new music. Nikki came up with it and he sent me the music and I thought it was really cool. So I started singing it and we got in the studio and it turned into the song I think the fans are really gonna like it.”

MÖTLEY CRÜE‘s new deal with Big Machine Records sees the band working together again after making the 2014 project “Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute To Mötley Crüe”, which featured CRÜE tracks covered by country stars RASCAL FLATTSFLORIDA GEORGIA LINEDarius Rucker and more. Big Machine also partnered with MÖTLEY CRÜE guitarist John 5 for the release of his 2021 album “Sinner”.

MÖTLEY CRÜE‘s last studio album was 2008’s “Saints Of Los Angeles”, which was followed by a 2009 “Greatest Hits” compilation.

In 2018, MÖTLEY CRÜE recorded four new songs for “The Dirt” movie, including the single “The Dirt (Est. 1981) (Feat. Machine Gun Kelly)”“Ride With The Devil”“Crash And Burn” and the band’s own spin on Madonna‘s “Like A Virgin”.

‘The Dirt’ movie got us a whole new generation of fans,” Neil said. “We want to keep putting new music out. We don’t want to stagnate.”

“We self-released ‘Too Fast For Love’ on our own Leathür Records label,” Neil added of the band’s 1981 debut. “It cost $3,000 to make and was done in three days. It was a glorified demo tape, but we were the record label until we got signed by Elektra. We haven’t been on a record label for 20 years. But Scott shares our philosophy and he’s a brilliant guy.”

Photo credit: Ross Halfin (courtesy of Live Nation)

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