In a new interview with Guitar World, MÖTLEY CRÜE guitarist Mick Mars reflected on his decision to retire from touring due to his battle with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS),a chronic and inflammatory form of arthritis that mainly affects the spine and pelvis. Asked if he is proud of his many achievements in MÖTLEY CRÜE, Mick said: "In terms of that body of work, I'm very proud of it. I have all my plaques hanging around. For me, it became too much of a burden for me to tour. I tried to be as upfront as I could with them, saying, 'I just can't do this anymore' because of my AS condition. It stunk, but yeah… I'm proud of everything MÖTLEY CRÜE did and everything we achieved together."
Asked if he is still on speaking terms with John 5, the guitarist who replaced him in MÖTLEY CRÜE, he said: "Well, I've never disliked John. I've always liked him and still do. He's been a really good friend of mine for a long time. So I think they've made a very, very wise choice with John."
This past May, John 5 said he and Mick had a "great respect for each other," and that Mars even contacted him after John 5 was officially named MÖTLEY CRÜE's new guitarist.
"Me and Mick, we talk all the time," John 5 noted during an appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk". "We exchange Christmas gifts and things like that. When I was announced as the guitar player, he was one of the very first texts I got. He said, 'You're gonna kill it.' It's good, because it's not like some stranger coming in. We have a great respect for each other."
Over the summer, Mars revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine that the last time he and his MÖTLEY CRÜE bandmates really talked was the premiere of "The Dirt" movie in 2019.
"Nobody spoke to me in 2022 [during CRÜE's 'The Stadium Tour' with DEF LEPPARD]. A lot of the time felt like I was just playing by myself. You know how you can be in a crowd of people and still feel alone? That's how I felt that whole tour. I felt used, sad and inferior. When we played the last show [in Las Vegas on September 9, 2022] I felt relieved. A lot of the pressure was gone. But I was very emotionally wounded. They weren't just shallow wounds. They were deep ones; the kind you can't get over."
Mick went on to say that he hopes to never talk to his bandmates again. "I think all of us would be okay with that," he said. "And I don't just mean me with them. I mean them with each other. I don't plan on having a funeral. If I did, I think maybe they'd show up for that just out of courtesy. But for me, there's no funeral. There's no nothing."
When Mars announced his retirement from touring with MÖTLEY CRÜE last October as a result of worsening health issues, he maintained that he would remain a member of the band, with John 5 taking his place on the road. However, he has since filed a lawsuit against MÖTLEY 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. In his lawsuit, Mars also alleged that he was the only bandmember to play 100 percent live on their most recent tour, claiming bassist Nikki Sixx "did not play a single note on bass during the entire U.S. tour."
Mars said that when he refused to sign the papers reducing his share of touring royalties to only 5%, the band commenced an arbitration. His original filing said the group took it to arbitration "rather than a public lawsuit so that the public would not be aware of the deplorable manner in which they treated their 'brother' of 41 years."
Mars — whose real name is Robert Alan Deal — served as MÖTLEY CRÜE's lead guitarist since the band's inception in 1981.
Mick's debut solo album, "The Other Side Of Mars", will be released on February 23, 2024 via the guitarist's own label 1313, LLC, in partnership with MRI.