The Man Behind Motley: Nikki Sixx
Mike Hess
5/2/2003 10:53:29 PM

"I play chess with the industry and I feel I win every time."

During an interview with the brains behind Motley Crue, I was hampered by one nagging problem – too many questions and too little time. The story of journalism. You see, Nikki Sixx is a busy, busy man. He has a new clothing line, a new band, a biographical band movie in the works and much more. As for me, well, I could keep busy with questions until George W. Bush hijacks another election.

Nikki Sixx once hung immortally as an idyllic poster on my childhood bedroom wall -- leather pants ablaze, of course… Given my ten minutes with a man that's sold 40 million records, been in the game for 20 years and laid more pipe than every American plumber's union combined – here’s what I mustered up for our 9a.m. phone interview:

Firstly, what the hell are you doing up so early?

Man, I have five kids and ten businesses. 9a.m. is nothing.

So give me the scoop on this clothing line. What kind of product is it, what’s the targeted age of shoppers and tell me about the style of it.

Basically the concept came out of me having a meeting and running into Edward Dada who owns Dragonfly clothing. We started talking about a clothing line based on tattoos, which is a passion of mine. To me, tattoos aren’t just something that just happened in the 80s and to bikers. There’s so much to draw from the artwork and imagery, and it dates back thousands of years. But anyway, he wanted to call it N. Sixx by Dragonfly.

We’ve been for trying for the last year just to catch up to demand with buyers, distributors and stores. Hot Topic and Macy’s sell out of whatever we give them. We’re just excited about taking it farther and farther. We want to do everything……not just shirts. You know, jeans, jackets and stuff.

Gotta make some thongs for the ladies. They love that stuff.

Oh, no doubt.

And you’re still working on the new band, right?

Yeah, Brides of Destruction. We went into it, me and Tracii Gunns, both of us said we’ve done so much stuff out of passion, now we just booked a rehearsal room and just jammed. We’ve got this amazing 25 year old singer with so much talent he doesn’t even know it, and we’re working with John Corabi, and this drummer that’s one of the best drummers I’ve ever played with, and he’s also a lead singer. I mean, I’ve played with Tommy Lee who’s one of the best rock drummers of all time, but this kid is great.

So we’ve been demoing songs and the buzz is starting. It’s just starting to grow organically, and then we got the feeling it should be a real band and we got serious. We’re signing deals and liscensings and we’re gonna go make a record. So I’ll do that, start a tour and then go to Motley if the others want it.

Any progress on arranging the Motley farewell tour?

I’m interested in it. You see, for me , you wouldn’t even have to call or ask me. I’d say yes. I think it’s really up to whether or not Tommy and Cince want to play together. Also whether Mick’s health is not an issue.

Yeah, I know he’s been sick. How’s Mick doing?

He’s doing better. The thing is he sufferes from Ankylosing Spondylitis, it’s a bone disease. It can progress or stop wherever it wants to. For Mick it’s gotten really bad when we got off tour and caused lots of other complications, and his health really went down, so that was a major factor of us not touring.

We didn’t want to tour unless it was the original band. Tommy was still doing his solo stuff.

What’s this I hear about Johnny Knoxville playing you in The Dirt movie?

I met with Johnny cause they wanted me to be in the Jackass movie, the scene with Henry Rollins. I was up to do it, but I had too many things going on and couldn’t get free to do it. He said ‘I want to play you.’ I didn’t see it at first, but then I started noticing that he could do anything. Plus he’s a sicko, like me.

While Motley certainly had the look and attitude, I find it completely wrong to lump you in with the so-called hair bands of the '80s because your music had actual content and passion. Do you think your image has caused most to wrongly categorize the band, and do you think that will hurt your status and legend in rock history?

Well, now they’re wailing on alternative and that it was boring. It’s all the same music just repackaged. You know, don’t tell me Korn is over and Motley is over and Nirvana was boring. Screaming Trees can suck my dick and Poison was a pile of crap. Don’t take the cream and put it in the entire coffee pot.

The proof is in the pudding. Motley was really different from those bands. You can’t lump Pearl Jam in with all the other dirty bands. You can try, but then someone just told me that was a boring time in music. And I was like ‘Wow, you really think so?’. Soundgarden to me was just Black Sabbath, and you can’t really put Sabbath in the same boat as anybody. You can't lump all the '70s bands together either. There’s the Sabbath’s, Zeppelins and Aerosmiths, but they stand alone. Why don't we?

I’m not really so worried about it. It’s a game the industry plays that I understand. I play chess with the industry and I feel I win every time.

For more info on Nikki’s new clothing line, visit


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