Vince Neil is not a man of many words. This isn’t surprising, considering that most of the words he sings with Motley Crue were written by Nikki Sixx anyway. We spoke with Neil from his tour bus in Tampa.
I’ve read that you guys have something called a drum roller coaster on this tour. How has that been working?
Oh it’s great. I mean, people are loving it. It’s obviously something different.
When you’re rehearsing for the tour, at what point does something like a drum roller coaster come into the picture?
At the very end. ... Our very first U.S. show was Dallas, so we set up in the place where we were playing for like three days, then rehearsed the new set. We did pyro, the roller coaster and then everything else.
On this tour, you let fans select the set lists. Any surprises?
No. I mean, a lot of the songs we knew were gonna be on there, obviously like “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Wild Side” and “[Dr.] Feelgood” and “Home Sweet Home.” ... But some of them, like “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” was a big fan favorite. We hadn’t played that in a long time. And then “Too Young To Fall In Love,” which we hadn’t played in like 20 years.
Is that because you reached an age where you weren’t too young to fall in love?
Well, that song was written 25 years ago. [Laughs] It’s just a song, man.
Nikki wrote a lot of the songs. When you sing those words after all these years, do you get something new out of it?
Well, no. I mean, I’m performing. I’m not acting out those words, I’m singing a song. ... That’s all.
Has life on the road slowed down over the years, or is it still like the Crue bio, “The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band”?
Well, we were a young band. We’ve been together for 30 years now, you know. ... We’re not drug addicts like we were. There are things that you do when you’re 20 years old you don’t do when you’re 50.
You’re touring with Poison and the New York Dolls. The first incarnation of the Dolls had imploded by the time the Crue first came out. Tell me how they influenced you.
If you read any of our early bios, the New York Dolls were one of our influences for Motley Crue. The style, not only fashion style, but the song style. If you listen to a lot of stuff on the first record, you can hear some Dolls in there. We love those kind of bands, like the Sweet, that kind of glam, that’s what we kind of fashioned ourselves as.
Are there any collaborations on this tour where you guys are sharing the stage with Poison or with the Dolls?
No, no. We do our set, you know. This isn’t a jam session. We have a lot of pyro and a lot of visual stuff. We do our job, they do their jobs.
Follow Pat Healy on Twitter @metrousmusic