Nikki Sixx: "Lady Gaga Is Like Madonna on Steroids and Elton John With Boobs and High Heels"
We already dished a load of rocker (and emerging photo lecturer) Nikki Sixx's impressive workaholic credentials in this Q&A that appreared in this week's print edition. But that's not all we got. The endlessly quotable Sixx had a few more stories to share with us, including one about how fucking awesome Cee-Lo is, that we couldn't fit.
You recently released a new album, This Is Gonna Hurt, with your other band, hard rockers Sixx:A.M. What do you have to do to get back into the Crüe mindset?
They don't really have anything to do with each other, so I don't think it's definitely a mindset; I think it's just that you're a musician, you make music. It's about the chemistry of people you're with, so if I sit down with three guys and a rap guy in a room, we're going to come up with some crazy combination of music because we all come from different backgrounds. If I sit down with James and DJ, it sounds like Sixx:A.M. When I'm with Mick, Tommy, and Vince, it sounds like Mötley Crüe. That's just the nature of the beast. It's a beautiful thing too. You can just let it be real; you don't have to force it.
What is the most mind-blowing thing you've seen while touring with Mötley Crüe?
The whole thing's been mind-blowing. The whole experience. You can only imagine being teenagers and young adults and doing the things that we've done and whether it's jail or drug overdoses, marriages, divorces, kids, tens or tens of millions of seats in arenas sold out around the world in every country that you can name. And we're still going strong, and we're still the original four members. For me, that's mind-blowing. We stand on stage at night; us four have seen more than you will ever know. There's not enough paper out there to tell the stories that we've seen, and to me, that's a blessing.
Crüe was honored this year with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Revolver magazine, and you will be honored with another one (in August) at the SunsetStrip Music Festival. Since Crüe has always been anti-establishment, how does it feel to get recognition from the industry?
It's nice, you know. I don't really pay much attention to it. It's nice to get them. It's not really as big for me; what's big is the show, the fans, the output of energy. I've never heard a guy get a Grammy and say, I don't accept this Grammy, goddamn it. Fuck, man, we work our asses off, but in the end it doesn't really matter. We're still together.
Since you've been thinking about your life and legacy lately, what do people misinterpret most about you these days?
I got this thing where what other people think about me isn't my business, so I don't really know what other people think about me. I try to be really kind, generous, and giving and give 100 percent, but I'm also the first one to stand up and fight for what I believe in. So in the end, I imagine I have as many friends as I do enemies, but I don't really know. I don't keep a compliment very well, I can tell you that.
For your current tour, Tommy Lee is using his 360 drum riser again. It looks dangerous. Has he ever had any close calls with it?
Not yet. When we were in preproduction, he had the brace and harness, working on the solo, and he was upside down, and then he came down. He said, "Oh, by the way, the harness thing isn't tight enough, and I almost slipped out of this thing." His tech was like, "Really? Is there something wrong with you? Like most people would be like freaking out." He's like, "Why?" And he goes, "'Cause you would DIE!" Tommy's like, "No, dude, it's OK." [laughs] Tommy loves danger.
I wanted to ask about your collaboration with Cee-Lo for with the mashup of "Girl Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)" and "Fuck You."
It's funny, cause I was at an event, and there were these kids, and they were playing in a band, they were playing [sings] "Girl, don't go away mad..." and was like, no way, and I looked at my girlfriend, and I was like, this is one of our songs. And then they started doing the Cee-Lo thing, and I was like, "Oh, my God, it's the same exact chords." Then Tommy, in minutes, texted me: "Dude, wouldn't it be great if we mashed up 'Forget You' and 'Don't Go Away Mad' live?" And I go, "Dude, I'm sitting in this place and just heard someone play it," and so, we went to rehearsal, and we dropped it in after a second chorus, and we just started playing it live that way. And Tommy had run into Cee-Lo and hit him up and said, "Hey dude, do you want to go to the Hollywood Bowl?" He's a huge Mötley Crüe fan. So he came down and did it on stage with us -- it was really a blast. He's a nice dude. Supertalented. You've got some talent out there, on the top level. For me, Lady Gaga is like Madonna on steroids and Elton John with boobs and high heels -- but Elton John actually did high heels too -- but to me, it's like superfuckingtalented, pushing the envelope. Cee-Lo at the Grammys, he came out in that like freaky feathered outfit, and he had Gwyneth Paltrow singing with him; he's like pushing it Gnarls Barkley, and I'm like, come on dude, we need some fucking rock bands that are doing that too. You know?
Mötley Crüe, with Poison and New York Dolls. 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 5, at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost $100. Click here.
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