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Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee Talks Vegas Residency, Possible New Album + More

Tommy Lee
Tenth Street Entertainment

As most of the rock ‘n’ roll world now knows, Motley Crue are set to take over Sin City with their upcoming residency Feb. 3-19, 2012, at the Joint at Hard Rock Casino. The band is promising a show of epic proportions, like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

The band is hoping to give Vegas the rock infusion it desperately needs, so move over Celine Dion and Wayne Newton, Dr. Feelgood’s moving in.

Shortly after the announcement, Motley drummer Tommy Lee caught up with Loudwire to talk about the details of their residency, as well as some other pressing Crue topics like when we can expect new music from the band and whatever happened to that film adaptation of the band’s notorious book ‘The Dirt’?

Congratulations on the Vegas residency! When some people think Vegas, Cher and Celine Dion come to mind. How are you planning to change that mindset with this groundbreaking run?

I guess people should probably lose all preconceptions, because we have set up to make it something that nobody’s ever seen or participated in before. It’s going to be something that’s very interactive; by the time we’re done with this, you’re going to see the show, wear the show, drink the show.

It will definitely be an experience, we’re taking over the entire Hard Rock, and the show won’t only be inside The Joint, if you know what I’m saying. That’s our mission here, to do something really different, that no one else has ever done. So don’t even think about those other things; those are terrible! It won’t be anything like that, I guarantee you!

You’re asking fans for feedback on your website; any chance the band would open up the set list up to fan participation to mix it up a bit?

We’ll have to switch up the set a lot since we’ll be doing several shows in a row, we’ll have have to change things up because on the weekend people might come see us a few times. Some maniacs that I know will probably come every night, so we’ve already talked about making some different portions of the show that will require a lot of change; that’s probably going to happen, I’d imagine.

Production-wise, I know you guys are keeping things under wraps, but can you tell us if we’ll be seeing the return of your 360 roller-coaster kit?

Just know that there’s going to be a roller coaster, yes. The answer is yes.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard new music from the Crue and I think a lot of people were hoping the announcement might include that. Are you planning on recording new music together?

I saw a lot of people’s tweets and Facebook comments guessing that we were making a new record, I saw those. I’m sure we’re due for one. All of us have been writing individually, I write, Nikki’s been writing, and Mick as well, at some point here, we’ll pull all of our ideas together as we always do, and then we’ll start sorting through it at that point. But we haven’t gotten to that point yet. I would imagine we’ll probably get there some time in the next year and start working on that.

You all have your own solo projects, and you mentioned that you’ve been writing individually. When you write for Motley Crue, do you bring in those collective ideas and go from there, or do you go in with a clean slate?

You know what’s weird, I just write to write, with no intention, I just write. For me personally, I’ll write something and think, “Wow, that’s crazy, that’s good for ‘this,’ that sounds like it might be good for Motley.” It just depends what comes out, and then they kind of find homes. I don’t specifically sit down to write a Motley Crue song, so for me that’s how it works. The things that sound like they might be Crue, I put aside on my hard drive and keep them in that pile.

What can you tell us on the status of the movie version of ‘The Dirt,’ (the band’s 2001 autobiography) because we’ve been teased with the possibility but it hasn’t come to fruition just yet.

I know that we’ve got a director on board; we’ve got storyboards out now that we’ve all looked at. It’s definitely on its way, its way closer than it’s been. I would imagine we could tell people that will also be under way in the next year.

You were honest about when you reunited with the band and went in for pre-production for ‘Saints of Los Angeles’ back in 2008 and wondering how Mick Mars would do out on the road, given his medical condition. I don’t think he’s missed a show since then. Are you blown away by what he does night after night?

Yes, I totally am. I have a lot of respect for him. I know he has good and bad days where if you were to look at him or talk to him you wouldn’t see or feel that anything was wrong with him. Then he has days when he’s in a lot of pain … but yet rather than sitting at home, I think he prefers being up there doing what he does. It’s good, I think this upcoming residency is going to be cool for him, and it doesn’t require a ton of traveling so I think he’s going to be happy about that. He’s a f—ing trooper, isn’t he?

For more from Tommy Lee, including his thoughts on Motley Crue matching the longevity of the Rolling Stones and Aerosmith, visit Ultimate Classic Rock.

Watch a Promo Clip of Motley Crue’s Las Vegas Residency

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