MSN speaks with Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue
Nikki Sixx is a rockstar if there ever was one. Only Keith Richards might be able to say he’s lived the rockstar life harder then Nikki. As not only the bass player for Mötley Crüe, Nikki Sixx has written or co-written almost all of the band’s material over the course of their 32 year career. The man who was clinically dead for 2 minutes back in 1987 is busier than he’s ever been. He’s currently writing a tenth and possibly final Mötley Crüe album, his band Sixx: A.M. is working on new material, he hosts not only a nightly radio program ‘Sixx Sense’ but also a weekly ‘Side Show Countdown’ radio program, his 2006 autobiography is being turned in a broadway play, and Mötley Crüe is gearing up for a full on cross-Canada tour starting April 20th in Penticton, BC. MSN caught up with Nikki via phone from Los Angeles to discuss just a slice of the busy life he leads.
Your book, ‘The Heroin Diaries’, is being turned into a Broadway play. What’s going with that?
It’s so interesting. You write a book. Then you create a soundtrack to that book. Someone comes to you and says, “This would make a great play.” Then you start working with directors, and producers and writers. You realize you have so much of the music already written. It’s already setting the tone. This whole creative wave is happening off something that’s a private and personal diary. It’s just so interesting to me. So much has been documented about how that book has reached a lot of people who are in the throws of addiction, and how it brought awareness to how far addiction can go. This play is obviously going to connect again with a lot of people. Just like the book did, and just like the album did.
You said recently that the Mötley Crüe record you’re writing for at the moment will likely be the last one and then you’ll do a farewell tour and call it quits, why?
Mötley Crüe has been the core of our live. It’s been the reason we have anything at all. The four of us made Mötley Crüe, and the four of us want to leave it in a way that we feel proud, and not be one of these bands, where we’re sitting around going, “Why are those guys doing that? There’s two versions of that band? Why are they doing it? The lead singer is dead. Why are they touring?” We don’t ever want to be like that. Through the years we talked about when we’re absentee, let’s call it. Leave it where everyone’s like, “That was an awesome experience.” We can always forever feel proud about that. We’re not there yet. We’re going up to Canada. We’re doing shows. We’re writing music. We’re getting everything in line for the movie [based on the last album]. We’re cool. Don’t freak out yet.
Speaking of the Canadian tour. How will you guys choose set lists for the shows?
It’s up to the fans. Fans in general want to hear the hit songs. I’ve seen bands where they didn’t play their hits songs, and I think they’re just idiots. You have to play new stuff. You want to play the hits. That’s how it rolls. I always want to play ‘Kickstart My Heart’. I always want to play ‘Dr. Feelgood.’ You don’t have to play them, but I think if I’m a fan, I’d be bummed out if I saw my favourite band and they didn’t play some of their hits.
Mötley Crüe’s been known for the staging and the production of the shows. What can we expect later this month?
100%. It’s something else. You’re going to love it.
You’re not going to give us more than that?
Unfortunately with technology, as soon as we play our first show, someone with an iPhone is going to blast it up on YouTube. It kind of ruins the vibe. We try and keep it as confidential as we can, at least until our own show.
Could Mötley Crüe have done what you did, and been who you were in the eighties if everyone had cellphone video cameras and the 24-hour news cycle world that we live in today?
We would have been in jail. [laughs]
Five quick questions. One word answers.
Road or Studio?
Lennon or McCartney?
When you hear a song, what usually hits you first: lyrics, melody or rhythm?
Song you’ve written that you’re the most proud of.
‘Kickstart My Heart.’
And in one word, Mötley Crüe.
Mötley Crüe is on tour across Canada April 20th through May 14th.