MÖTLEY CRÜE guitarist John 5 has told Illinois Entertainer in a new interview that he and his bandmates are continuing to work on fresh material. “We have recorded some songs with [longtime MÖTLEY CRÜE producer] Bob Rock,” he said. “Just the other day, Nikki [Sixx, MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist] called me and he was playing guitar over the phone and he’ll play a riff, and he’ll sing this melody, and it sounded like it could be something off of [MÖTLEY CRÜE‘s debut album] ‘Too Fast For Love’. It’s just natural for him to write these songs that I have loved and lots of other people have loved. I think we’re always going to make new music, because, man, this guy is pumping out amazing lyrics and great music. When we all get together, it’s pretty magical.”
In December, MÖTLEY CRÜE drummer Tommy Lee told Desert Sun about the three new songs he and his bandmates recorded early last year with Rock, including “Dogs Of War” and a cover of BEASTIE BOYS‘ “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)”: “Wait until you hear it. It’s insane. It’s not a full album, but that might be down the road a bit. We’re always writing and doing stuff, so that’s always a possibility down the road. But we just went to the studio not too long ago and recorded three insane tracks and one of them is called ‘Dogs Of War’. We’re just finishing up the video for it. For those jonesing for some new CRÜE, people are going to bug out. John 5 is playing on it, the guitar work is incredible and it sounds sick.”
In September, John 5 told Meltdown of Detroit’s WRIF radio station about the new MÖTLEY CRÜE music: “I don’t know when it’s gonna come out, but everything is a plan. Everything is mapped out and structured, and everything is, ‘We’re gonna do it here and there,’ and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So the songs are recorded, mixed, mastered. And they’re so good. I can’t wait for them to come out. They’re so good. I’m really excited about ’em.”
He continued: “Who knows what’s going to happen? I don’t know if we’ll just release singles or an album. It’s up to those guys, so I don’t know. We just record and see what happens. But these songs that we recorded are so good; they’re heavy and the melodies and everybody’s just killing it on these songs.”
Asked how much how much input he had during the songwriting process, John 5 said: “We all sat in a room and did it together. ‘Cause me and Nikki have written for years and years and years together. So it was nothing new. And me and Tommy worked in the studio together many times as well. So it was nothing new being in the studio, but it was new with Bob Rock.
“What was so wild was we got in a room… It was like total old school, man,” he explained. “You get in the live room and there’s my amp and there’s Nikki‘s amp and there’s Tommy‘s drums, there’s a mic… ‘Cause I’m so used to just playing in the control room. And it’s, like, ‘Oh no, no, no. We’re all gonna get in this room and we’re gonna play.’ And that’s how we recorded. It was incredible. I’ve never recorded that way. And it was maybe one of the best experiences I had recording. It was so fun. It was a blast. I had to, like, make notes and all this stuff, and we just played through it. It was incredible.”
Last spring, John 5 told Sirius XM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” about recording with Rock: “Bob would come in and [say], ‘Okay, let’s try this here, and that here and this here. It was one of the most incredible experiences ever… I’m thinking, ‘We’ve got so much great technology today’… but we got in that room and it was like being in a garage working on a song when you were in high school… It was incredible, and we documented a lot of it too.”
Regarding the musical direction of the tracks he and the rest of MÖTLEY CRÜE have recorded so far, John 5 said: “The songs are fucking heavy. I sound like a little excited kid right now, but they’re heavy and they’re mean. I can’t wait for them to come out. I’m just so excited.”
When host Eddie Trunk asked John 5 whether the new MÖTLEY CRÜE music can be compared to the band’s breakthrough second album, 1983’s “Shout At The Devil”, the guitarist said that some of the new riffs are “heavier than anything” on that LP. “All I can tell you is that it’s heavy and it’s aggressive, and I think people are going to dig it because, talking as a fan, it’s fucking badass,” he said.
MÖTLEY CRÜE debuted its cover of “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)” during a “secret” June 30, 2023 club performance for 450 lucky fans at the Underworld in London, England.
John 5 joined MÖTLEY CRÜE in the fall of 2022 as the replacement for the band’s co-founding guitarist Mick Mars. Mick announced his retirement from touring with MÖTLEY CRÜE in October 2022 as a result of worsening health issues.
Mars suffers from Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS),a chronic and inflammatory form of arthritis that mainly affects the spine and pelvis. After years of performing through the pain, he informed the other members of MÖTLEY CRÜE in the summer of 2022 that he could no longer tour with them but would still be open to recording new music or performing at residencies that did not require much travel.
When Mars announced his retirement from touring with MÖTLEY CRÜE, he maintained that he would remain a member of the band, with John 5 taking his place on the road. However, in early April 2023 the now-72-year-old musician filed a lawsuit against CRÜE in Los Angeles County’s Superior Court claiming that, after his announcement, the rest of CRÜE tried to remove him as a significant stakeholder in the group’s corporation and business holdings via a shareholders’ meeting.
Photo credit: Ross Halfin (courtesy of Live Nation)
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