They may have had their hands on more pharmaceuticals than Pfizer, enough brawls to embarrass Ultimate Fighters and boast rap sheets longer than Al Capone, but there’s one thing legendary brash rock ’n’ rollers Mötley Crüe just can’t seem to face.
“Me and my Chuck Taylors with holes in them aren’t gonna fare well up there,” jokes bassist Nikki Sixx about the band’s forthcoming cross-Canada Dead Of Winter Tour.
“We think the title is funny. We were talking about going up there because we love Canada. Someone said, ‘Yeah, right in the dead of winter.’ There you go! That’s the name of the tour!”
Despite decades of portrayal as a gruff, leather-clad naughty boy, Sixx is quite the charmer. Out to ensure this tour is packed to the rafters, he wisely addresses Canada’s inherent identity crisis with carefully chosen words.
Discussing why Mötley Crüe (completed by guitarist Mick Mars, singer Vince Neil and drummer Tommy Lee) would bother to cross our country at the worst possible time, he pours it on thicker than molasses in, well, January.
“Canadian fans have been our best fans, influential worldwide about people being aware of the resurrection of Mötley Crüe all the way back to 2004. Even in the old days, you were instrumental in writing fan mail, calling radio stations and getting our name out there.”
Speaking of dedication, Sixx is quick to point out that despite The Crüe’s raucous image and well-documented in-fighting that has resulted in many break-ups and solitary departures (via their shocking 2001 biography The Dirt), the Dead Of Winter Tour finds one of modern rock’s most decadent, debaucherous and dysfunctional bands surprisingly copacetic.
“We were just in rehearsals. Everyone pulls up, hugs each other and someone asks what to start with. ‘How about, Doctor Feelgood?’ ‘Ok, then we’ll end with Shout At The Devil.’ We run through 20 songs, sit down and have a laugh, then we go home. That’s it? That’s all the drama? The drama lives in fable; in books and in folklore.
“We have our ups and downs, but we love each other,” he continues. “It took time (because) you’re in a marriage. At first, you’re madly in love and then all of a sudden the other person squeezes the toothpaste tube from the middle instead of the bottom and you hate them.
“After a while of living with them, you learn to let little things go and then you fall back in love with them.”
So while attitudes within the Crüe camp have warmed up, Sixx admits that it’s not enough to get them through The Great White North.
That’s why they’ve created their own retaliation to winter chill. “We’re gonna give you two things,” he laughs. “Loud, dirty rock ’n’ roll and a lot of pyro to heat up the place. We’ll need it because it’s so effin’ cold up there.”