Heart of Steel: Interviews

Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx

The New Band and Re-released Catalog

Interviewed by Keith McDonald

Motley CrueMotley Crue exploded onto the hard rock/metal scene, paving the way for other L.A.-based bands to follow in their footsteps. With multi-platinum records and sold tour tours to their credit, the band is still providing great material to hard rock/metal fans around the globe. They gained control of their entire catalog from Elektra Records and started their own label through Beyond Records. After some problems with that label, the Crue has just reissued their catalog via Hip-O/Universal Records. The band, Vince Neil, Mick Mars, Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx, wreaked havoc n the music industry creating a legendary career that still strives today. I had the opportunity to speak with Nikki who gave me the lowdown on his new band and reissued catalog.



What happened with Beyond Records?

Beyond Records had internal problems, so we had to move away from that. We took our masters and we signed a deal with Universal Music. We're still managed by Allen Kovac, he really is a visionary as far as management goes.



Was there a conflict having your record label and management company as one?

Well, they were separate. They were run separately. People would say that's a little bit weird. They weren't our record label but more our partner. We had a venture-ship and it was joint. It actually worked quite well.



Is your deal with Universal a joint venture as well or do you get paid a small percentage like you did with Elektra?

We licensed to Hip-O. We get paid based on a percentage, but it is a joint venture.



Do you feel that this second reissue of your catalog is too much considering you reissued these via Beyond Records in '99?

If the concept was to get people to re-buy (the catalog). But what we're doing is keeping the music in the bloodstream, whether it's licensing deals for movies or stuff that goes on in everyday life that Motley Crue is a part of.



What is the status of Motley Crue?

The status of Motley Crue is hiatus. Based upon our deal with Paramount and MTV Films, who we hired Rick Wilkes; the write of XXX, we'll be releasing a film in 2004. Then I would like to go out and do a Farewell Tour.



Will that Farewell Tour include Tommy Lee on drums?

The idea would be to go out with the original band, do what we do best. Leave the city and have people say 'they'll never be back'. There are certain bands you know you'll never see again.



Do you think Tommy, who is busy with his solo career, will do a tour with the Crue considering his uneasy relationship with Vince?

I think Tommy would like to see Vince pull his act together so he can be the best lead singer for this band to say goodbye.



Do you still speak with Tommy?

Yeah, we speak all the time.



What about his solo career, he seems to be very content doing his own thing?

He's truly a musician, he's always writing music, creating stuff. He always will, labels come and go. None of us really care about record labels. It's about the creativity and who's best to distribute it. So when he's ready he'll find the right people to distribute what it is he's doing and make a deal with them.



What are your thoughts about Vince's solo tour that is all the Crue classics?

With Vince being the voice of Motley Crue he should play some Motley Crue. Play a whole set of Motley Crue? There is already a Motley Crue; we don't need a Motley Crue cover band. It's a little more honorable to play four or five songs, play a bunch of solo stuff and jam songs.



He's got great solo material that he doesn't play live.

He does have great solo material. Look at my new band, Brides of Destruction. We're gonna play some Crue songs - why not? I wrote them. We're not gonna play the whole set because I wanna hear something else that I'm doing musically. A lot of times people want to play just the hits because it feels more satisfying.



What's going on with your new project Brides of Destruction?

We've done a bunch of recording. We're going to start a record in about eight weeks. I'm really happy with the band, it's so fresh. We were up for the KISS/Aerosmith tour, which I thought was really honorable. We're in no rush to find a record deal; we're just in the creative process. To consider us for a huge tour like that with no one knowing who the band is, is saying a lot.



How would you describe the music, I can hear some punk elements in there?

I heard that. You know I have huge punk roots. I think you hear the punk simplicities but I think it's metal, punk and pop. I don't know what it is.



What happened with John Corabi, I hear he left the band?

John wanted to focus on his solo stuff. He's a great singer and songwriter.



Is this band your new baby?

It already is. I'm championing this band. This band is very important to me, whether it sells or doesn't sell. It's a group of people I wanna be surrounded with, no drama or baggage.



What happened to the 58 project?

It was kind of an experimental project. Has a lot of fun with it. (I) wasn't prepared to tour or stand behind it. I liked the record and we'll probably do another one some day.



How did you get the Motley Crue catalog back from Elektra?

Elektra had us sign a disclosure agreement so I can't tell you that. But I can say that we are one of the few bands that do own our catalog and do licensing deals to put our music out there. No drama, I don't have to worry about getting my check from the record label because we are the record label. That's how we'll do the Brides of Destruction record as well.



I see there will also be a few DVDs released as well as your catalog.

We're obviously re-releasing things that have already been out like 'Behind The Music'. The one I'm excited about is the DVD Greatest Hits. There's not a good vehicle out there to see videos from that genre.



Will we see a new studio album released via Universal?

We've got no commitment to do (that).



Will the Farewell Tour be the end all of Motley Crue or is there a chance that if all goes well; there will be more tours?

If it's Motley Crue it's always up in the air.




You've been quite busy writing with others. How's that been going?

We have a Top 10 record with Meatloaf in Europe right now. The Saliva single is doing real well and I have other exciting things going on, doing creative things.



What about your new clothing line?

The clothing line is based on tattoos. We started with a mico-fiber button-down shirt, very comfortable. Same feeling as a Hawaiian shirt. Now we're creating a full line found in stores like Macy.



How has your autobiography coming along?

I signed a deal with Simon & Shuester; it's my diaries from 86-87. VH1 wants to make the book into a short one hour 'The Wall' type thing. That's a work in progress.



What lies ahead for you and the band?

For Motley Crue a Farewell Tour with a serious kick-ass tour, that should be it. Finish it like we began it.

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