Nikki Sixx Says ‘The Dirt’ Movie Saved Motley Crue’s Friendships
Nikki Sixx said the experience of making the Motley Crue biopic The Dirt saved the band members’ friendships and took them back to the “old days” after they started feeling disconnected during their 2015 farewell tour.
The movie, which was released in March, is based on the band's 2001 memoir of the same name and illustrates as many downsides as upsides of its career. They recorded four new songs for the soundtrack, and Sixx suggested there was at least the possibility of more music to come.
“I didn’t have any physical challenges,” Sixx told Billboard about the band's farewell tour. “I think I was just detached in a lot of ways. I wasn’t detached onstage, but it just didn’t feel like a camaraderie backstage. We would do our meet-and-greets and we all would be cordial, but it just didn’t feel the same. Since the movie, it has felt like it used to in the old days.”
He noted that when his daughter Ruby was born in July, "the first presents – crazy, amazing presents – were from the members of Motley Crue. They were the first things that showed up. We were a little bit late, and Mick was texting me like, ‘When’s that girl coming?’ This is from guys who didn’t talk to each other.”
Drummer Tommy Lee and guitarist Mick Mars said "it’s possible” and “I’m unsure at this point,” respectively, when asked about new music. For his part, Sixx reflected that he doesn't "know what the future holds musically, but it’s the best feeling to at least know that we’re brothers and friends through all this. Rock ’n’ roll tears your fucking heart out sometimes. It’s hard.”
Sixx also recalled the making of Crue's groundbreaking 1989 album Dr. Feelgood, which also rekindled relationship as the band fought off addiction issues to concentrate on studio work.
“It was a collaborative, collective, constant sober gang mentality,” he said. “It almost realigned us back to the way we were when we were a club band fighting for a little bit of notoriety on the Sunset Strip. We were a gang again -- we weren’t just a rock band. We talked on the phone every day or we were in rehearsals. I have really fond memories.”
In a separate Billboard article, longtime band manager Allen Kovac praised the members for working so well together. “A board of directors meeting with all your representatives in one room limits the gossip and chaos,” he said. “The challenge comes when in a business of gossip, which I think is poison, there are no real facts. And facts are whoever talks to someone last. When everyone's in a room, there's really nothing much you can do other than look at reality. Smart artists know that to have positive outcome they need to have a focus view of what they're doing. Those are the artists I gravitate towards.”
He also said The Dirt had changed the band’s fan demographic: 64 percent were in the 45 to 59 age group before the movie’s release, while 62 percent were in 18 to 45 group afterward.
“We didn’t want to mask the era,” Kovak said. “We wanted people to learn what you would do to yourself, your family and friends if you were dealing with excess. That was important. Whether it was violence or drunk driving or opiate abuse, this band had the courage to put it up there. Courage is very important to satisfying an audience. When they see you have the courage for truth, they know the difference.”