NIKKI SIXX On Mixed Response To MÖTLEY CRÜE's 'Dogs Of War' Single: 'Everybody Has Turned Into A Critic'

July 6, 2024

In a new interview with Janne Innanfors of the Swedish radio station Rockklassiker, MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx addressed his recent tongue-in-cheek comment that new music from his band had been described as "a powerful cross between country and hip-hop". The 65-year-old CRÜE bassist, who is the band's chief songwriter, said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "When we were doing some interviews, when we were getting ready to drop the ['Dogs Of War'] single, I said to Tommy [Lee, MÖTLEY CRÜE drummer], I said, 'You know…' 'Cause we kept getting asked that question [about the sound of the new CRÜE music]. And I said, 'Man,' I go… I'm the most sarcastic human being I know. And that sometimes doesn't always come across in a tweet or something. And I said we got so much media because it was such a lark, such a weird thing that was a joke. And I'm, like, God, that's really kind of fucked up where we're at today. No media checked, nobody called the office and said, 'What's going on? I hear they got new music. It sounds like country and hip-hop.' I mean, everybody at the label and management company would have just started laughing. They would have gone, 'You fell for one of Nikki's jokes.' But the irony is, isn't that how people get pressed now? People just love negativity. And I find it interesting. I don't wanna play in to it, to be honest with you, but that was a fun one… People run with whatever they think they can get some juice out of, and it's okay. Hey, if you're talking about our band, that's a good thing, negative or positive."

Regarding the mixed response to "Dogs Of War" from the MÖTLEY CRÜE fans, Nikki said: "We like the fact that there was kind of a knee-jerk reaction, because at least people were listening. It's a very strange time now where, whether it's a news cycle or socials, everybody has turned into a critic. And I always say, they've never erected a statue of a critic. It's never happened, right? It's always the artist. But now everybody's a critic. So within a short amount of time, we get, 'We love it.' 'We hate it.' 'You're over.' 'You've reinvented yourself.' 'It sounds like 'Shout At The Devil'. 'It sucks.' And we just kind of sit there and go, 'That's cool, guys, but we didn't really ask for any input from you.' We're just artists writing music, and we're pretty cool. I'm happy with it. I like it."

The "Dogs Of War" music video, which can also be seen below, is an animated, all-CGI affair directed by Nick DenBoer.

During an appearance on SiriusXM Fight Nation's "Busted Open" show, Sixx spoke about "Dogs Of War", which was made available on April 26 via MÖTLEY CRÜE's new deal with Nashville's Big Machine Records. He said: "A lot of people said it's a different sound, but I'll be honest with you, I don't necessarily agree with that. If you listen to the verses, they're very similar to a lot of stuff that we've done — that simple, grinding thing with those almost CHEAP TRICK melodies. And the riff, I mean, it could be off of 'Dr. Feelgood'. So I don't really feel like it's that different. I think what's different for people is that when we were working on the song, Tommy [Lee, CRÜE drummer] had the idea to just let the bottom fall out in the verses, which is not really what we do. We usually go for it, and [it's] really unique for Vince [Neil, CRÜE singer]."

Vince chimed in: "I don't ever sing like that. But it works in the song." He added that "Dogs Of War" "was very easy to sing."

Nikki elaborated on the CRÜE songwriting process, saying: "I think what we do together is we all kind of know each other so well, we know each other's strengths and weaknesses. And for me as a lyricist, I'm always thinking about Vince and his tempo as I write. So it's not like out of the wheelhouse, but it's nice to know each other so well, if that makes sense."

When "Dogs Of War" was first released, Neil described the track as "like old school meets new school. It's got that old-school vibe about it, but it's new music. Nikki came up with it and he sent me the music and I thought it was really cool. So I started singing it and we got in the studio and it turned into the song I think the fans are really gonna like it."

MÖTLEY CRÜE's new deal with Big Machine Records sees the band working together again after making the 2014 project "Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute To Mötley Crüe", which featured CRÜE tracks covered by country stars RASCAL FLATTS, FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE, Darius Rucker and more. Big Machine also partnered with MÖTLEY CRÜE guitarist John 5 for the release of his 2021 album "Sinner".

MÖTLEY CRÜE's last studio album was 2008's "Saints Of Los Angeles", which was followed by a 2009 "Greatest Hits" compilation.

In 2018, MÖTLEY CRÜE recorded four new songs for "The Dirt" movie, including the single "The Dirt (Est. 1981) (Feat. Machine Gun Kelly)", "Ride With The Devil", "Crash And Burn" and the band's own spin on Madonna's "Like A Virgin".

John 5 joined MÖTLEY CRÜE in the fall of 2022 as the replacement for the band's co-founding guitarist Mick Mars. Mick announced his retirement from touring with MÖTLEY CRÜE in October 2022 as a result of worsening health issues.

"John brings a lot," Neil told Billboard. "He's an amazing, creative guitar player. He hears stuff us normal people don't hear. He brings a lot to the song and a lot to the band, and we're just so happy to have him."

John 5, who previously collaborated with Sixx on various songs for SIXX:A.M. as well as other projects, and co-wrote the three new songs on "The Dirt" soundtrack, said about his addition to CRÜE: "I love MÖTLEY and I've known Mick, Tommy and Nikki for so long, it's just like playing with your friends, Their music is something I care about. I care about the history and I care about the future of this band, so I want to do things with the utmost respect and make sure everything is done right and execute it to the ability it deserves."

Photo credit: Ross Halfin

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