MÖTLEY CRÜE's Nikki Sixx has blasted PEARL JAM as "one of the most boring bands in history" after Eddie Vedder revealed that he "despised" the glam-metal scene of the late 1980s.
In an in-depth interview with The New York Times to promote his upcoming solo album, Vedder discussed a variety of topics, including what "ripples" of change he believes the Generation X / alternative rock culture of the early '90s may have been responsible for.
"You know, I used to work in San Diego loading gear at a club," Vedder said. "I'd end up being at shows that I wouldn't have chosen to go to — bands that monopolized late-'80s MTV. The metal bands that — I'm trying to be nice — I despised. 'Girls, Girls, Girls' and MÖTLEY CRÜE: [expletive] you. I hated it. I hated how it made the fellas look. I hated how it made the women look. It felt so vacuous."
The PEARL JAM singer continued: "GUNS N' ROSES came out and, thank God, at least had some teeth. But I'm circling back to say that one thing that I appreciated was that in Seattle and the alternative crowd, the girls could wear their combat boots and sweaters, and their hair looked like Cat Power's and not Heather Locklear's — nothing against her. They weren't selling themselves short. They could have an opinion and be respected. I think that's a change that lasted. It sounds so trite, but before then it was bustiers. The only person who wore a bustier in the '90s that I could appreciate was Perry Farrell."
On Friday (February 4),Sixx took to his Twitter to respond to Vedder's comments, writing: "Made me laugh today reading how much the singer in PEARL JAM hated @MotleyCrue. Now considering that they're one of the most boring bands in history it's kind of a compliment isn't it?"
In response to fans' tweets, Sixx compared Vedder's vocal technique to singing with "marbles in your mouth", and wrote to a PEARL JAM fan who tweeted in defense of Vedder: "Remember there were zillions of brown haired bands for brown haired fans…..Go find them. You will know them by the bored look on their face."
Back in 2019, Sixx spoke to U.K.'s Kerrang! spoke about how the rise of grunge in the early 1990s forced most hard rock bands off the radio and MTV, with album and tour sales plummeting. Asked if it was fair that CRÜE was lumped in with bands such as POISON and WARRANT, Nikki replied: "I have to say that I don't think that NIRVANA and PEARL JAM killed the bands you mention, I think that they killed themselves. They were making copycat music. We, on the other hand, simply imploded."
He continued: "Forget about the lifestyle for a minute — the thing that ultimately allowed us to pull ourselves through was the music that we made, and how good we can be when we really put it together. Every great band has hills and valleys; they start at the bottom and if they're lucky they make it to the top of the mountain. But eventually you have to go down. Very few bands are lucky enough to become popular and stay popular forever. That's just the way music is — it changes, technology changes, fashion changes, and social outlooks change. But again, today a lot of bands are just so fucking safe."
Upon release in September 1991, NIRVANA's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" wreaked confusion upon the hair metal vanguard, putting an end to an era dominated by glamorous, androgynous and sparkly rock stars who absolutely saturated the radio waves and were almost exclusively what aired on MTV.
Former MÖTLEY CRÜE singer John Corabi told Newsday in a 2014 interview that the CRÜE album he sang on was a commercial disappointment because the music scene had changed, with hair metal brushed aside for grunge.
"Everybody was listening to ALICE IN CHAINS and SOUNDGARDEN," Corabi said. "At that point, we were considered passé."
According to Corabi, CRÜE's ill-fated 1994 American tour " was a nightmare. We weren't selling tickets. It was just horrible," he said.
After working with Corabi for two years on a follow-up album, "Generation Swine", CRÜE dropped the singer and reunited with Vince Neil.
Despite Neil's return, "Generation Swine" sold poorly when it was released in 1997.
Nikki Sixx photo credit: Jason Shaltz of SiriusXM / Eddie Vedder photo credit: Danny Clinch