Jim Kaz of IGN Music recently conducted an interview with MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
IGN Music: How long have you been officially clean?
Nikki Sixx: I've been clean for six years. On December 23, 2007, it will be the 20th anniversary of my death. I would like to tell you that I've been clean, but relapse is the reality sometimes. Six years ago I relapsed and realized that something I was doing wasn't right. Since then it's been very easy to be sober. As human beings we tend to want to close the door on our pasts. But for me, this book and soundtrack reveal what's down the hallway, and go deeper. For me, it's a good thing.
IGN Music: The new album is very epic sounding and orchestral. It's a departure from what we've come to expect from Nikki Sixx.
Nikki Sixx: We've created something that hasn't been done before, a soundtrack to a book. James (Michael) said his interpretation was that of a rock opera, like "Jesus Christ Superstar". It was very organic and the three of us just let our ideas flow. It's very exciting to have complete freedom with no expectations from outside people.
IGN Music: On that note, are you affiliated with a major label?
Nikki Sixx: Absolutely not (laughs). We have a distribution deal, which is what the major labels do best. Now, it's all changed. You can make a record in your bedroom and cross-market it on MySpace.com, reaching millions of people in no time. We didn't need a major label.
IGN Music: And you own all the MÖTLEY master tapes?
Nikki Sixx: Yes, we own the masters and then license the music to the major labels, and market them ourselves. It's much better than having [the labels] as the banks.
IGN Music: Going back a bit, at one point during the '80s it became really trendy — especially in L.A. — for bands to emulate the low-down, back-alley junkie antics of people like Johnny Thunders and the NEW YORK DOLLS. Although MÖTLEY CRÜE was known for its excessive lifestyle, on the surface it didn't seem nearly as deviant as that. Did you make a conscious effort to conceal your drug use?
Nikki Sixx: We really didn't. I didn't try to conceal anything. It's just that I was a millionaire, living in a mansion and could buy whatever drugs I wanted. Imagine being in the most pain you can be in, where your bones ache, your skin feels like it's peeling off, you're shaking uncontrollably and shit's running down your leg, and then knowing there's something in arm's reach that'll make it all go away. Look at laboratory rats; they always go back to the source of relief.
IGN Music: You've stated that your third album, "Theater of Pain", was not your favorite. Did having been immersed in drugs at the time have anything to do with the way it came out?
Nikki Sixx: Kind of. That was a weird time. The accident Vince had that killed Razzle (drummer of HANOI ROCKS) really struck through the heart of the band. The brotherhood we had now had a stake through it. It definitely killed the party atmosphere we had going within the band because of our success. We weren't unified. But, there still were a couple wonderful songs on there.
IGN Music: Conversely, what about "Dr. Feelgood", which many consider to be your best work? Was everyone clean?
Nikki Sixx: Absolutely. We made a conscious effort to all be really together on it. [Producer] Bob Rock really brought the best out in us.
IGN Music: A few years later during the mid '90s, how did it feel to be out of step with pop culture, with the rise of grunge and alternative music? MÖTLEY was suddenly public enemy number one, with the media and music world against it…
Nikki Sixx: I was so happy about it. There needed to be a change. You could lump us in with all the rest, but only the shit went down the toilet, the imitators. Bad imitations. The same thing has happened with rap-rock. It's just the industry, it happens every decade. But the great ones will stick around.
IGN Music: So what's going on with MÖTLEY CRÜE, are you going to do another record?
Nikki Sixx: Sure, but it's gonna take some time. I've been very respectful of MÖTLEY CRÜE and don't do my projects on top of it. But, yeah Mick and I are gonna get together soon and work on some riffs and we'll see where it goes. Right now, I'm just focusing on "The Heroin Diaries" book and soundtrack, plus the clothing line I've got with Kelly Gray called Royal Underground that's doing really well.
IGN Music: You have your hands in so many different projects. What was it that bolstered your spirits after the all the chaos you've been through? Did the success of "The Dirt" play into this strong sense of motivation?
Nikki Sixx: I've always been driven, but I just haven't known where I was going. I have a very entrepreneurial brain, and sometimes I have to stop myself. I literally could have up to 20 projects going at once, but my quality of life would go to hell if I did that. First and foremost, the most important job in my life is raising my children. After that comes my career. MÖTLEY CRÜE is something I'll do for a very long time. With all the things I'm doing, I have a pretty full life. It's hard work but it's exciting, and enjoyable.
IGN Music: And what about "The Dirt" movie?
Nikki Sixx: We're in no rush to make a bad movie. We had a few directors that didn't see eye to eye, so MTV and Paramount are working to find the right situation to make the right movie. It'll happen, I know that much. Whether it's the other musicians I work with, my management or Simon & Schuster, I know these things will happen 'cuz I only surround myself with the best people.
IGN Music: Lastly, any thoughts on "Rock Star: Supernova"?
Nikki Sixx: You know what, I saw a couple of [the episodes]. I don't watch too much TV, but I heard some of the songs and there was some pretty cool stuff there. You always have to give thumbs up to any musician who's making music outside of what they normally do.
Read the entire interview at IGN Music.