MÖTLEY CRÜE's MICK MARS: 'I Feel That I'm A Better Performer Now Than I Was' Before

ARTISTdirect recently conducted an interview with MÖTLEY CRÜE guitarist Mick Mars. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow.

ARTISTdirect: Was the intention heading into this album to really get back to the sleaze that's been missing in music in recent years?

Mars: Instead of us doing just another MÖTLEY album, we wanted to have some conceptual thing to it, so we tied it in loosely to "The Dirt" [the band's best-selling autobiography] and it is loosely based on what we did starting in 1981, getting in fights, waking up messed up and drunk in strange women's beds, landing our first record deal, heroin addiction, alcoholism… You know, all the stuff that you do [laughing]… If you're a real rock band, anyways!

ARTISTdirect: You mean it's all the stuff you used to do!

Mars: Oh, I don't do it anymore! I'm completely straight now. But in those days, when you're young… I grew out of it quicker than the other guys.

ARTISTdirect: I find it fascinating that Nikki [Sixx, bass] would keep a diary while he was doing heroin. Just doesn't seem like the thing most people would want to do on that drug!

Mars: Maybe to make sense of it! You tend to write in circles on stuff like that… They gave me the quick fix because of my AS — because I was touring and needed something to get me through the pain — and when the addiction came I felt like I was on a tricycle going around in a circle. It wasn't fun.

ARTISTdirect: The last time we talked, it was prior to your reunion tour, and Tommy [Lee, drums] expressed concerns to me about your health at the time. How do you feel heading into this tour, as opposed to the last one?

Mars: The only thing that's really changed for me is that since I'm unable to move because my body has become very rigid and fused, it's allowed me to concentrate on what I'm playing more, instead of having to run over here or there around the stage. Just like when a singer runs and their voice wavers, running with a guitar does the same thing, I don't care how great you are. I'm able to concentrate more on my playing and technique now.

ARTISTdirect: So you're not moving around onstage, but you feel like you're playing a lot better?

Mars: I feel a lot better because I can think more! I'm not having to think about everything else, running around and moving around, and I can concentrate on playing. I thought I did okay, but I feel that I'm a better performer now than I was then, when my body could move more.

ARTISTdirect: You had a big part in the writing of "Saints of Los Angeles", where Tommy and Vince didn't. Did you know that was going to happen heading into the writing process?

Mars: It was a different way of recording, actually, because James [Michael] and DJ [Ashba, co-writers on the album] would come up with ideas, as I would, and they would send me the songs, I'd listen to them, and think of stuff that I would do with them to change them. I'd do solos, I would go to DJ's house, James', and in the beginning even Nikki's, and do what I do to the songs. They called it "Mars-izing" them. Having so many good song ideas allowed all of us to collaborate like that. We had timeframe to write the songs and put them together, record them, so on and so forth, and both Tommyand Vince had prior commitments, so they didn't have a lot of time to contribute to this particular album. That doesn't mean the next album they won't, but on this album the timeframe didn't match up with what they already had scheduled. The songs were passed around to different studios. It was a different way of recording, but it came out very well.

Read the entire interview at ARTISTdirect.

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