MÖTLEY CRÜE drummer Tommy Lee recently spoke to goTriad.com about the group's "Red, White, and Crüe 2005...Better Live Than Dead" tour and his upcoming reality TV show, among other topics. Several excerts from the interview follow:
goTriad.com: I've heard this [tour] could go on for three years. Is there any truth to that?
Tommy Lee: "No, that's a little crazy. More like a year and a half I think."
goTriad.com: Do you feel like this is a farewell tour, or how are you looking at this?
Tommy Lee: "We're just taking (expletive) one day at a time. I don't think we're really looking at it as anything. We're just having a good time and doing what we do. Looking to far ahead sometimes and it kind of spoils it."
goTriad.com: You can't be surprised that "Red, White, and Crüe" has gone platinum.
Tommy Lee: "Yeah, that's awesome. I'm actually more surprised about how many people are coming to the shows. That's really surprising me."
Tommy Lee: "Yeah, I didn't know what to expect. I've been out of the band for like six years, and I really didn't know what to expect. All these arenas have been completely sold out to the rafters and I'm like, 'Holy (expletive).'That's crazy. That's what's really surprising me."
goTriad.com: Are you guys working on a new album?
Tommy Lee: "Well, Nikki [Sixx, bass] and I both have recording studios on our buses and we both are writing stuff. At some point… it just depends. When you're a songwriter, you write stuff all the time. Sometimes it sounds like it could be a MÖTLEY song. Other times maybe it's a solo song. Maybe it's a song for another artist. We're just doing the writing thing and we'll see what happens."
goTriad.com: You've got a solo album in the works too. Is that done?
Tommy Lee: "That's complete. It's gonna come out at the same time as the NBC TV show in the fall."
goTriad.com: Are there plans for a solo tour when the CRÜE things winds down, or are you thinking that far either?
Tommy Lee: "You know what? I'd love to go do that. That'd be really fun. So maybe when the CRÜE thing slows down I'll go do that. Or, maybe when there's a break, what I'd like to do — because there's a ton of special guests on the record - my dream would be to just, like, — I'm sure it would be a scheduling nightmare with so many different artists — I think it'd be really fun to do seven shows in seven major cities and that way you could get the other guest stars to commit to a week and do seven shows in seven cities and (expletive) nail it."
goTriad.com: I have to ask about some of your relationships. I mean, how are things between you and Vince [Neil, vocals] at this point? Are you guys cool or are you just looking at it as a business thing?
Tommy Lee: "No, we're totally cool, man. A few years have gone by, which is always good. Time passes, people change, people grow new respect for each other. We're definitely having a good time. There's no funk out here right now. I think too, that in the earlier days we were all smashed together on a bus or a plane — no one really had their own space except when we'd get to a hotel. We've just got it set up so people have some space and each guy can kind of do his thing. That's what happens when you're around people a lot. After a while, the way somebody crunches on their cereal (expletive) bugs you. You know what I mean?"
Tommy Lee: "That doesn't get a chance to happen. We've sort of made it so that everybody has their own space and is comfortable. If you're going to have any kind of space on a tour that's this long, you kind of have to do that, otherwise we'd all be at each other."
goTriad.com: I'm not asking for details, but there was talk when this tour started that, "Tommy's the only single guy, so he's going to have the best time." Is that the case?
Tommy Lee: "That's absolutely the case. (laughs) I'm constantly calling all my friends back home and telling them, 'Listen, you've gotta come out here and visit me. I need some help. I can't do this all myself.' (laughs) 'And by the way, bring your (expletive).' (laughs)"
goTriad.com: Do you think there's a different vibe. When you were on the top of the charts, people were coming out because you're on the radio all the time. Do you think there's a different vibe - people coming out because they want to see you and career-long fans?
Tommy Lee: "We're on the radio now, it's just that we've been doing this for 20-something years, so we put in a lot of time with a lot of fans. It's bizarre though. I see 8-year-old kids on the shoulders of their dad, you know? All the way to 45- and 50-year-old people. All the way up - the 14-year-olds to the 38-year-olds. They're everywhere. The 22-year-olds. You look out and it's awesome. It's such a smorgasbord of people. I'm like, 'Wow, check this out. New ones, medium ones and old ones."
goTriad.com: Have you guys had to change the songs up at all to keep it fresh for yourselves?
Tommy Lee: "You know what, for me, I'm always about keepin' it fresh. So, we've done some stuff with a few of the arrangements just to update 'em. Whether it be the arrangement or a little funkier beat or a little heavier beat, because when that stuff was recorded, everybody played a certain way and now people are, of course, much better players."
Read the entire interview at this location.