Nikki Sixx Interview Jan. 2006
RAG – Were you surprised at how well the tour has been received and by the number of tickets you’ve sold?
Nikki Sixx – Yeah. I am. But, I really had no expectations. I really didn’t know what to expect. I was trying to not really have any expectations. Everybody would have liked to have seen things go good. Personally, I thought I would go out and play – just see what happens. It surprised me and I think it surprised everybody – both band and fans.
RAG – When it was announced that Motley was getting back together, you seemed to be the only one who was 100 percent committed to it. The rest of the band seemed like they needed some prodding to commit. I would say that everyone in the band appears to be happy now. Do you think that the warm welcome back has recharged the other guys? I mean they appear to be having fun…
NS – I think everybody was just concerned that they were coming back into the old ways of how the band operated before. The rest of the guys came in and realized how easy and fun it can be. We’ve all really grown up and changed for the better since we were last together.
RAG – Motley Crue seems like they are always in the public eye – even when the band was down. Now the spotlight is even brighter and even with Motley’s success, why do you think there are critics out there who still feel like they have to seek out the negative issues of the band and not bring out the positives?
NS – Our whole career has been crazy and it is what it is. We sort of ride the chaos and I’ve kind of learned to not pay attention to what’s going on around us. Everyone’s kind of googling at the band – like hoping for a car crash. Which I think is exciting! When you go to a car race, you want to see a car crash. It’s not very fun though if you’re the driver of the car! I prefer not to crash for awhile, enjoy the race, and not worry about who is saying what about the band.
RAG – Well, this next question…you know I have to ask. Originally, Motley was just going to do the tour and that would be it. I assume the good reception changed your attitude because plans are in the works for a new studio release. Any insight into the new release?
NS – After this tour, we’re going to go into the studio and we’re going to start writing songs. We’ve been doing some stuff on the road – but we’ll see if we have some strong material and if we don’t have enough good material, we’ll start from scratch.
RAG – So the new songs will be new? No old material that was left lying around?
NS – Yes. All new material. Nothing old will be used. It would sound dated anyhow if we used any old material that was laying around.
RAG – Is there a working title? Release date? Any clues you could give me as far as how the new material you’ve been writing on the road sounds?
NS – Well, I think we’re going to shoot for a mid to late 2007 release. If not then, definitely in 2008 and we’ll follow up the next cd with another big tour. As far as new material or working title goes, I don’t know! That would ruin the surprise for both us and you. We just want to keep writing, run with it and see what happens. I really don’t know how the material will sound so I can’t really share any “inside info” (laughing)
RAG – Out of that group of bands that Motley Crue came out with in the early to mid-80’s Motley is the only band that can still play big arenas and still have a big draw. Regular radio dropped a lot of those 80’s bands when the next hot style of music came around. It seemed like those other bands had a chip on their shoulder and refused to play for smaller crowds and less pay – especially at the height of the grunge movement. I think that by those bands doing nothing really hurt their cause because their fans simply lost interest. Motley however, lost Vince and Tommy for one cd respectively, toured smaller venues, tried different sounds – always moving forward and never looking back during the 90’s. I think that helped by never giving in. It seemed like you were always one step ahead of the industry to stay “in the game” so to speak. Granted, you weren’t enjoying huge success during those lean years, but you did enough to keep the band alive and retain your core fans until it was Motley’s time again to shine in 2005. The structure of the music industry as a whole seems to really be falling apart now – labels continue to slim down and the smaller venues are drying up. You’ve already survived one lean decade, have you thought about the state of the music business and how it will effect Motley Crue (or any other bands for that matter) in the future?
NS – Wow. You said a mouthful. (laughing) Well, it’s a changing time for radio. We have satellite radio now and I know that’s intimidating for regular radio. But if you look to the past, it’s kind of like everything that happened decades ago is happening again. It’s the same way now as when there was only one band on regular radio. It has to change and it has to evolve. Artists and record labels have to evolve. We have to keep doing it because people love music. Music will never die. I think it’s just a matter of how you get the music to the people. I think that will be the key – that’s what it is. As musicians, we need to ask ourselves a lot of questions. What technology do we use to get our songs out there? Do we use I-Tunes for marketing? Satellite radio for stuff that’s a little bit out there and you can say things that you can’t say on regular radio? At the same time though, you still have to be on regular radio. With that being said, you understand what the elements are and you understand how to work within them to take your music to as many people as possible. That’s how it is now and that’s the way it is going to be. It’s not like “Oh my God, it just sucks now.” It’s different. The music industry and people were very different in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. Each decade presented new situations. It’s always going to change. Ten years from now the template that we all know as the music industry won’t be the same as it is now. It’s the people and bands who can roll with the changes, who will still be around. I don’t think we will ever see live shows presented on such a large scale as they were in the 70’s and 80’s. I don’t think those days will come back and I’m not so sure it’s even about the money. It’s costing us a fortune right now to stay out on the road and we’re getting some good crowds in return. How do I put it? We’re just one band though. It seemed everyone I knew back then went to shows. It was almost a culture within itself to attend every show you could get to back when I was growing up – almost like a badge of honor to say you got to see this band and that band, etc. Now there are so many other things to do in todays world that I don’t think that culture I grew up with exists today. I’m not sure how I can explain it. Hopefully, everyone gets my point.