The new issue of the Swedish magazine Close-Up features an interview with the writer and author Neil Strauss who co-wrote several tell-all rock autobiographies including MÖTLEY CRÜE's "The Dirt" and MARILYN MANSON's "The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell". An excerpt from the chat follows:
Close-Up: How important do you think "The Dirt" and its success was in getting the original MÖTLEY CRÜE lineup [with drummer Tommy Lee] back together and being succesful at it?
Strauss: "I definitely think it was a big factor, because when I was touring with them while working on the book they were playing gymnasiums in Canada. I definitely think it was a factor in bringing the other side of the audience out, people who had either forgotten about the band or they were never fans to begin with. Also overseas. I don't think they were ever as big overseas as they are now in the U.K. and other places. Another thing I think it has a factor in is that nobody knew Mick Mars and now he's kind of like this unsung hero of the band because people know that he's the soul of the band. It introduced people to his personality. It's weird, I feel almost guilty!"
Close-Up: After the success with your books, and the effect they've had on the artists' careers, have you been approached by a lot of rock artists wanting you to tell their story?
Strauss: "Tons, all the time. Not just artists, all sorts of crazy characters. I definitely say no a lot because it takes a certain type of people to meet the criteria. You don't have to be famous, I don't care about that. You have to be willing to tell me EVERYTHING, even things that make you look bad and even things you regret doing. You have to not be afraid to tell the dirt and share the warts and in the end hope that you turn out to be a good person. Another thing is I gotta choose people who stood for more than what they did. Like SLIPKNOT wanted to do a book. I think SLIPKNOT are important, I love their music and I think they're really interesting people. But I always chose people who stood for something bigger than what they are. Marilyn Manson is like the bogey man of a certain era. MÖTLEY CRÜE kind of embodied '80s decadence. [Porn star] Jenna Jameson embodies the tartiness of porn. SLIPKNOT — maybe they embody nu metal at the most, but I don't know if stand for something bigger than what they are."