MICK MARS Announces 'The Other Side Of Mars' Solo Album, Shares 'Loyal To The Lie' Single
October 31, 2023
MÖTLEY CRÜE guitarist Mick Mars has released the lead single from his solo debut titled "The Other Side Of Mars". To official music video for "Loyal To The Lie" can be seen below.
"The Other Side Of Mars" will be released on February 23, 2024. A pre-order is now live in the new merch storefront launched at shop.mickmarsofficial.com. Available configurations include a 180g LP and CD, signed and unsigned. "The Other Side Of Mars" will be released via Mick's own label 1313, LLC, in partnership with MRI.
Mars says about "Loyal To The Lie": "I wanted to do something that was just big and mean." But no matter what direction he's going in on "The Other Side Of Mars", what ties it all together is "that people are going to hear my tone — my sound," Mars says. "I am what I am. Nobody else can do it. And like everyone, I've got a limited number of years. So, I'm gonna do all I can to do a lot of stuff."
When Mars stepped back from touring with MÖTLEY CRÜE — the band he co-founded more than 40 years ago — following their massive summer 2022 "The Stadium Tour", it seemed like the end of an era. Really, it was the beginning of a new one.
The legendary guitarist, whose riffs, solos and overall devastatingly heavy sound powered the L.A. icons through four decades of world-conquering, multi-platinum sonic mayhem is, as he demonstrates on his debut solo effort, still a serious force to be reckoned with. Only now, listeners are reckoning with more Mars than ever before. "When it comes to my playing, there's the MÖTLEY side and the Mars side," the guitarist says. "Either way, I always have a very clear vision of what I want to do."
On the aptly titled "The Other Side of Mars", fans get that vision in its full, multifarious glory. To be sure, there are plenty of characteristically riff-tastic, tough-as-nails hard-rock anthems. The album also presents the guitarist heading into new and uncharted territory, tearing through caustic, modern metal, conjuring gothic-tinged soundscapes, and digging into anguished, slow-burning power balladry alongside unspooling bluesy, cinematic instrumental workouts. The music throughout the collection is otherwise studded with slide guitars, violins, violas, keyboards, glitchy freak-outs and all manner of sonic surprises.
"There's a lot of ideas that I have that, I don't want to call them 'left,' but they are, you know what I mean?" Mars says. Regarding those stylistic turns, he continues, "My feeling has always been, I might gain some fans, I might lose some fans. But what they're hearing, it's all me."
The guitarist enlisted a crack team of musicians to help him along the way. A key contributor to the project was WINGER and former ALICE COOPER keyboardist (and, like Mars, Nashville resident) Paul Taylor, who, in addition to performing on the record and assisting Mars in co-writing many of the tracks, introduced the guitarist to powerhouse vocalist Jacob Bunton. "Jacob came into the studio and it was like, bam!" Mars recalls. "And I just said, 'Yeah, he's the guy.' And most of his vocals were one take."
The supporting band was rounded out by KORN drummer Ray Luzier, bassist Chris Collier and singer Brion Gamboa, who contributed lead vocals to two songs. Mars reflects, "those required a little bit more of an angsty, desperation kind of thing. And Brion really came to the table with that." Alongside playing bass on all songs recorded, Collier mixed and mastered the debut solo album.
But while Mars surrounded himself with a new cast of players for the sessions, there was one figure who represented a significant link to his storied past: Michael Wagener. The much-lauded German producer and engineer worked behind the boards on MÖTLEY CRÜE's 1981 debut, "Too Fast For Love", and his relationship with Mars stretches even further back.
"I had known him for a long time, and I actually brought him to MÖTLEY," Mars says. Working with Wagener this time, the guitarist continues, "he had such an understanding of where I wanted to go with the material. And he never said 'Hey, do this,' or tried to change my mind or anything like that. He was just really adamant about recording what I wanted to record, and making sure we recorded it right."
The result is a record unlike anything Mars has offered up in his more than 40-year career.
To that end, he says that even as he unleashes "The Other Side Of Mars" on the world, he's already working on a follow-up. He offers, "I'm trying to keep growing," Mars says. "Because if you stop learning new things, if you stop playing new things, if you close your mind, you're done. You have to keep moving and creating. Next!"
"The Other Side of Mars" track listing:
01. Loyal To The Lie 02. Broken On The Inside 03. Alone 04. Killing Breed 05. Memories 06. Right Side Of Wrong 07. Ready To Roll 08. Undone 09. Ain't Going Back 10. LA Noir
This past June, Mars told Rolling Stone that he won't hit the road in support of the upcoming LP. "I'm done touring," he said. "If somebody really, really wants a one-off, or a couple of nights, I would probably do it. But all that travel stuff and planes … I'm way over it."
Mick also revealed that he recently sold his share of the publishing rights to the CRÜE catalog. "The deal was just finalized," he told Rolling Stone. "Now I can relax and don't have to worry about anything, since, like I said, I'm probably just going to live another seven or eight years."
When asked how he knows he won't live longer than eight years, the now-72-year-old said: "I'm old enough, man. I'm not going to live to be 85 or 90, I just have a feeling. I don't want to, either. My brain doesn't want this ugly-ass body that's all fucked up to keep going. I wish I could just take the information out of my brain, put it on a chip and into somebody else, or a robot. There's still a lot of stuff going on up there."
Three years ago, Bunton revealed that he was the lead singer on Mars's solo album. Speaking to AL.com, Bunton, who has previously also played with LYNAM, said about his collaboration with Mars: "I can tell you that I'm involved and the past several months we wrote and recorded a record and Michael Wagener produced it. The great Michael Wagener from [mixing 1986 METALLICA album] 'Master Of Puppets' and all that kind of stuff. He worked with MÖTLEY CRÜE on their very first record 'Too Fast For Love', when they did it themselves they recorded the record and then Michael Wagener mixed, and then when they got the record deal with Elektra, [QUEEN producer] Roy Thomas Baker ended up going back and remixing it. But on all of their self-released copies, it's Michael. But to make a long story short, Michael's producing the record because that was the first producer Mick worked with in MÖTLEY CRÜE, so he wanted to do his solo album, so it's been really cool. We've been recording it in Nashville."
Regarding what fans can expect from Mars's solo CD, Bunton said: "The songs are really cool, the record is really cool. He's such an inventive player and his riffs are insane and it's definitely going to be what people are expecting. When they hear it … It's really cool."
In September 2019, Mick told Billboard about the musical direction of his solo material: "[It's] not like today's music, which to me is pretty much pop metal and more growly guys. It's all cool and it's all good, and I'm just searching for something that's just a little different than that. I [also] don't want to be living in '85. It's hard to reinvent yourself, but that's what I'm doing now. I'm trying to reinvent the way that I approach music writing. I've got a lot of crap, and I've got a lot of good stuff too."
At the time of the Billboard interview, Mars said that he had been working with a vocalist named Jacob, leading some fans to speculate that he was referring to Bunton. "[He] can be a lot of different voices, and it's pretty amazing," Mick said. "I go, 'I want this kind of voice here,' and he'll pull it straight off."
In a separate interview with "Talking Metal", Mars said that his debut solo record will not sound like anybody else. "Well, I guess it's my own style," he said. "It isn't really blues. My playing has a blues element to it, of course, but it isn't what you would call a blues record. It's more of a heavier rock thing, but I don't wanna even try to 'outheavy' the heavies, you know what I mean? It's just something hopefully just a little different than what's going on now. You're not gonna hear a MÖTLEY-flavored song, except for the guitar, [because] that's me. They're gonna be a bit harder than that, but not as hard as the heavies, like MINISTRY and some of those guys."
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