In honor of Motley Crue’s Dr. Feelgood hitting as DLC, we’re proud to present last September’s interview with bassist Nikki Sixx…now in expanded form! At the time Sixx shared some nuggets about the making of that classic album, which we couldn’t share when DLC impending release was still under wraps. But with the album now set to hit, all can be revealed!
Q: We’re releasing Dr. Feelgood as an album this fall. I think that will give people a chance to rediscover the whole album, beyond the songs that were hits.
A: And isn’t that what’s missing in 2008? People only want to get one or two songs from a band, and I think what’s missing are albums. We need artists to make full-length albums and CDs that take you on a journey, and I believe we did that with Dr. Feelgood.
Q: Any non-hit tracks on that album you’re especially proud of?
A: You know, I haven’t heard that album in so long. I feel like Mick Jagger—He did an interview once where someone asked him about a song and he said, ‘Was that one of mine?” It does get to a place where you forget what songs are on what record. Unless somebody starts mentioning the titles—“Time for Change,” yep, that was good. “She Goes Down,” that was a cool track. The obvious ones were pretty good too.
Q: What kind of memories do you have of making that album?
A: I remember we were living in Vancouver. We were just being brothers and making a record. We’d meet up for breakfast, go to the studio together. Then we’d hang out in strip clubs afterwards; bands would come into play and we’d hang out and watch the bands play. That kind of camaraderie is a healthy thing when you’re making a record.
I don’t think anyone from the label ever came down to tell us what to do. Except this one time: Tom Zutaut worked for Elektra, and he was a really good guy. The label asked him to come to the studio to see what we were up to. And I took him aside, not too gently, and said to him: “To keep our friendship intact, you need to never come in here again.” You don’t want to force us to be something we don’t want to be, and nobody ever tried that again. Can you imagine being a non-artist, coming in and telling the artist what to do? That’s poisonous and disrespectful.
I’ll tell you what else: Just recently we were playing this big festival in England and a guy asks me, “Isn’t it weird that you don’t really fit with the other bands on this show?” And I said, “It would be really weird if we did.” And everyone laughed at the guy. I’ll tell you, the last thing I would ever want to listen to myself is a band called Motley Crue. I’m already in that band, so why would I want to hear any more of that kind of music? I’d rather listen to Tom Waits, Sigur Ros, or Queen. You take all the music that inspires you, and hopefully you can make something exciting out of it.