Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx took to social media earlier today, May 13th, with the following updates regarding new music with guitarist John 5:
“Recording in London England where so many of my hero’s are from ain’t a bad way to start the day.”
“Hit the studio with Vince Neil today here in London. The new Motley Crue songs are 100% officially done and ready for mix.”
In October 2022, it was announced that John 5 would join Mötley Crüe as their new guitarist, replacing Mick Mars who had been struggling with health issues. John 5 had previously been a member of Rob Zombie’s band. The announcement of the split seemed to be amicable, and fans were excited to see what John 5 would bring to Mötley Crüe.
However, last month, Mick Mars sued the band for his share of the profits, citing accusations of “gaslighting” by bassist Nikki Sixx. Mars claimed that Sixx had convinced him that his mental faculties were declining, and that memory loss was preventing him from playing the songs properly. Mars also alleged that Mötley Crüe extensively used backing tracks during their performances, something that he was opposed to.
The issue caused a division among fans and musicians, with many taking sides between Mars and the rest of Mötley Crüe. In response to the allegations, the band released a statement reiterating that Mars was not fit to perform and denying the use of backing tracks during their shows.
The situation has raised questions about the use of backing tracks in live performances and the ethical implications of using them. It has also highlighted the importance of communication and transparency in band dynamics, particularly when it comes to the health and well-being of band members.
Now, in a new interview with SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk, John 5 addressed some of the controversies surrounding his joining the Crüe.
When questioned about his current relationship with Mars in light of the massive lawsuit, the guitarist said (via Loudwire):
“Me and Mick, we talk all the time. We exchange Christmas gifts and things like that. When I was announced as the guitar player, he was one of the very first texts that I got and he said, ‘You’re going to kill it.’ It’s good. It’s not like it’s some stranger coming in. We have a great respect for each other.”
When asked about how the sessions had gone, John 5 compared the experience to how Metallica was seen working with Rock, all together in a live room, which was new for him because he normally recorded in the studio control room.
“Bob would come in and [say], ‘OK, let’s try this here, and that here and this here,’” 5 noted.
“It was one of the most incredible experiences ever. … I’m thinking, ‘We’ve got so much great technology today’… but we got in that room and it was like being in a garage working on a song when you were in high school. … It was incredible, and we documented a lot of it too.”
Turning to the new material, he said, “The songs are f*cking heavy. … I sound like a little excited kid right now, but they’re heavy and they’re mean. I can’t wait for them to come out. I’m just so excited.”
When Trunk asked if they compared to Crue’s work on their second album, John 5 replied that “there’s some riffs that are heavier than anything that’s on Shout at the Devil.”
John 5 went on to say that although he wasn’t aware of release details, he was certain they’d come up with a “handful” of “f*cking killer tracks.” “I don’t know if they’re completely done but I would say they’re like probably 98%,” he explained. “It has to mixed; it has to be mastered. … All I can tell you is that it’s heavy and it’s aggressive, and I think people are going to dig it because, talking as a fan, it’s f*cking bada*s.”
On the subject of Crue’s upcoming plans, the guitarist noted, “Hopefully we’re going to keep rockin’ this … they seem to be on fire. … There’s talks for a lot of things in the future. Hopefully, we just keep going and going and going and going until – who knows – maybe the 50th anniversary? … I think that it’s going to keep going because no one has talked about slowing down.”
John 5 also addressed the claims that Nikki extensively uses backing tracks, with the guitarist denying this, claiming instead:
“Not 99 percent, not 98 percent, but 100 percent, Nikki is playing every single note on that stage.”
When questioned specifically about footage that shows the bassist with one hand in the air while playing, John 5 went on to say that Nikki is simply playing open notes and doesn’t need both hands on the bass, adding:
“It doesn’t mean you’re not playing bass. Nikki plays 100 percent. Here’s what makes me crazy… well, it doesn’t really make me crazy because when people say we’re playing to backing tracks, I take it as a compliment because we rehearse so hard.”
“We even have penalty flags if someone messes up at rehearsal — we throw a penalty flag at them. We rehearse so much and I take it as a compliment because it means we sound that good live. In my heart of hearts, I know that we’re playing live.”
The guitarist concluded:
“Do you really think that we would put a mistake on a track or something? No, it’s crazy. It’s so crazy, but 100 percent he plays every single note on there. Just listen to the shows before you make these statements, because you’ll hear mess-ups and that’s what rock ‘n’ roll is.”
“Yes, we do rely on technology for backup vocals, for intros, for outros, sirens, horn hits, things like that. Of course, they’ve been doing that since Dr. Feelgood. I’m not saying we don’t rely on technology for things like that. Backups, intros, outros, things that we can’t replicate ourselves. But me, Nikki, Tommy [Lee] and Vince [Neil], we’re all live up there.”