Mick Mars, the guitarist for MÖTLEY CRÜE, recently filed a lawsuit against the band. The lawsuit claims that the band widely used backing tracks during live performances, and accuses bassist Nikki Sixx of manipulating Mick into thinking that he had lost his cognitive abilities and guitar skills.
Mick alleges that MÖTLEY CRÜE reduced his share of earnings from 25 percent to a mere 5 percent after he revealed his decision to withdraw from touring. Furthermore, he states that the group’s attorneys made him feel like he should appreciate this minimal portion, as they believed they had no obligation to provide him with anything. Mick also asserts that a complete band gathering took place where they chose to “unilaterally” exclude him from MÖTLEY CRÜE.
According to Mick, Nikki Sixx was “gaslighting” him by suggesting his guitar abilities were declining, despite Sixx not “playing a single note on bass” throughout a recent tour. Mick claims that all of Nikki’s segments were pre-recorded.
In a new interview with Planet Rock, Sixx spoke about the lawsuit, and how band recruited new guitarist John 5.
“I’ve been friends with John forever and I would make jokes ‘as long as you’re a 5, I feel good being a 6.’ Y’know, stupid best buddy jokes,” Nikki said. “Me and that guy have been either hanging out at each other’s houses, writing songs… he plays [guitar] all day long. So, he comes over here and he grabs one of my guitars or brings his own and we just sit around and play and talk about the 70s and how great LYNYRD SKYNYRD and Scooby Doo was.”
“My wife just said that when Mick told us he was leaving the band and I told her I’d talked to Tommy [Lee] and Vince [Neil], and everybody feels that John would be a great fit, and I hadn’t called John yet because you had to be sure we were doing everything correctly. My wife said ‘well, that’s great.’ I said ‘what do you mean by that?’ She goes ‘well, you’ll be going on stage and you’ll be on the phone to John.’ And they’re like ‘you gotta go on stage!’, and he’ll be like ‘ok, call me back in an hour and a half.’
“So we’re always chatting and jamming and the friendship is so wonderful. Him and Tommy are really close, Vince loves him. He’s just a great guy and a great musician and he gives us a great opportunity as a three-piece so to speak to really lock in. He’s just such a great guitar player.”
Speaking about Mick Mars, Sixx added: “It’s nothing against any other musician that you play with, just that when you play with new musicians you play differently. We’re still playing the same songs that people wanna hear but it kind of like re-inspires you. And I’m sure the same thing would happen if they got a new bass player. They’re like ‘oh wow, he’s attacking it differently.’ So it’s never about how bad anybody was.
“It’s a nice time [for MÖTLEY CRÜE] and it’s kind of inspired us to write a little bit. We love our history, we’re very proud of everything we’ve done. We’ve always been really supportive of Mick no matter what Mick was going through. We’re just happy with where we’re at right now.
As for the Mick Mars‘ lawsuit against the band, Sixx said: “If a member of a band tells you that they can’t tour because of health reasons, you have two choices. You can quit as a band (after) 42 years of work. Or we could look at each other and go ‘are we done yet?!’ We’re really peaking and we understand (Mick’s) health issues.
“We wish him the best and we know that he’s a little bit confused and being misled by representatives right now. But we still have to stay focused on why we’re here.”