If you thought tensions between Mick Mars and the rest of Mötley Crüe had simmered, I’ve got some bad news for you. As it turns out, everyone is still mad and the war of words is getting more ugly by the day.
When Nikki Sixx was asked by UK publication Metro about the funniest thing he’se ever read about the band, the Crüe bassist responded: “I mean, the silliest thing I’ve ever read about ourselves was from Mick Mars’s attorneys. I’m just really sad at what’s happened… They put out that the band doesn’t play live. We’re, like, who is playing the bass then? It’s literally one of the funniest things.
“Imagine being in a rock’n’roll band for 42 years and some guy in a suit puts out that the band doesn’t play,” continued Sixx. “The silliest thing is, because of the way a lot of media is these days, they don’t cross-check. They just run with headlines and we call it clickbait. I mean, that’s about as silly as it gets.”
As a result of worsening health issues, Mick Mars announced his retirement from touring duties with Mötley Crüe last October. However, he claimed that he’d still be a member of the band, although John 5 would take place on the road. Needless to say, things did not go according to plan. In a lawsuit filed in April, the guitarist said that the rest of the band tried to remove him from the group’s corporation and business holdings after his announcement. Mars also alleged that he was the only member of Mötley Crüe to play completely live during his last run with the band, claiming Sixx “did not play a single note on bass during the entire U.S. tour.”
Mötley Crüe manager Allen Kovac told Variety that these allegations are intended “to gain leverage in a smear campaign on Mötley. He’s attacked the band, and he’s done it in a slanderous way, with false accusations and misrepresenting the facts to the fans. Mick is not the victim. The victims are Mötley Crüe and the brand, which Mick is so prideful of.” He continued, “What’s upsetting to me is not Mick, but his representatives, who have guided Mick to say and do harmful things to the brand he cares about so much, Mötley Crüe. He has a degenerative disease and people are taking advantage of him. It’s called elder abuse.”
Kovac added: “Mick’s representatives have no idea what they’ve created, but I’ve stopped the band from speaking about this, so they’re not gonna turn the fans against Mick. But I am going to make sure that people understand that Mick hasn’t been treated badly. In fact, he was treated better than anyone else in the band, and they carried him and they saved his life.”
As for Mick’s claim about the rest of the band not playing live, Kovac said: “Everything is live with Nikki’s bass playing and Tommy‘s drum playing. When they’ve used loops, they’re still playing. There are augmented vocals, which were (recorded) in the studio and are backgrounds behind the two ladies who are singing and (other background vocals by) John 5 and Nikki Sixx, and before that Mick and Nikki.” He then elaborated about the process of pre-recorded vocal layering as where “you multi-track and you do gang vocals with, like, 20 people, just like all the other bands do with background vocals. They’ve got background vocals in the mix. That’s the truth.
“But Nikki played his bass and always has. Vince was singing better than he was before (on the latest tour). That was in reviews. Now, John 5 is playing like who John 5 is. I’ve heard John 5 perform and I heard Mick perform. Both are great guitar players. Unfortunately, Mick is not the same. He hasn’t been the same for a long time. Which was in reviews! You see that the professionals knew. Def Leppard (which alternated headlining spots on tour) knew. And (Mars) caused a train wreck up there, because he would play the wrong songs and the wrong parts, even with the guide tracks. When he played the wrong song, it wasn’t Nikki Sixx that had a tape; it was the soundman bringing it into the mix so the audience could hear a song, even though the guitar player was playing a different song.” He says audiences “would hear it at first, but (sound engineers) would fix it so that we could keep the song going. I heard it. I’d go to the soundboard.”