In a recent interview on SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” on Wednesday, May 10, ex-ROB ZOMBIE guitarist John 5 discussed his journey to becoming MÖTLEY CRÜE new guitarist last autumn, taking over the position from the group’s original guitarist Mick Mars.
“Well, I’ve been friends with Nikki [Sixx, MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist] and Tommy [Lee, MÖTLEY CRÜE drummer] forever — forever and ever and ever,” he responded. “I’m so close to Nikki. We talked, like, probably 80 times a day for a decade. And we’ve done so much work together. We worked on the Meat Loaf song together, ‘The Monster’s Loose’; SIXX:A.M., of course; L.A. RATS; ‘The Dirt’ [soundtrack]. But other than music, we were just always around.
“I mean, he was the best man at my wedding. And we’d always go to the mall and ride bikes and just do total normal stuff. So when this came about… We were talking to each other on tour, like, ‘All right, dude. I’m going on stage.’ And he’s, like, ‘All right, dude. I’m going on stage. I’ll talk to you after the show,’ and blah blah blah. So we talked pretty much every day when he was on tour and I was on tour at the same time with the [Rob] Zombie thing. We were doing ‘Freaks On Parade.’ It was great — great shows, packed to the nines, and having a good time and laughing and making music. And the tour ended. We went home.
“Actually, I went to do some CREATURES shows, my instrumental thing. And MÖTLEY was finished. They were off tour. And I was still doing some shows. And Nikki called and said, ‘Listen, Mick is going to retire. And we have these obligations from Live Nation. We have South America booked. We have Europe booked. Would you wanna come on board?’ And I was, ‘Absolutely.’ I mean, it’s just like your brother asking you or something like that. But now the hard part was telling Rob [Zombie], because we never had a negative word between us. And he’s my buddy and we made great music and great live shows together for 17 years, and we never really had a problem. But I was thinking to myself, I was, like, ‘Life is short.’ And I’m being completely honest with you — ‘Life is short. I wanna experience as much as I can in life.’ And I was thinking about myself. And I was, like, ‘I wanna do this for me, because I’m 51 years old’ at the time, and I was, like, ‘I wanna do this. I want to experience this.’ How many times do you get a new chapter in your life at this magnitude later in life?
“And I talked to Rob, and he understood,” John 5 added. “Rob is a smart, rational person. I mean, he wasn’t psyched, but he understood. And I think that was amazing of him. And he was just, like, ‘Go get ’em.’ He was fine about it. And then they got [Mike] Riggs, who I think is a great addition. That’s who he was using when Rob did the early solo records, and I think it’s a great addition. And they’re kicking a*s.”
Explaining how he informed Rob about his choice to depart from his group and become a part of MÖTLEY CRÜE, John 5 stated: “I told Rob before it got out in the press. But I agreed to Nikki. And I called Rob and I said, ‘This is what’s happening.’ And we did a show, Louder Than Life, together, and that was my last show [with Rob] in Kentucky. And then they got Riggs and were rehearsing with him and did the Aftershock show. And then it was announced — my time frame is not great, but then I believe it was announced a little bit after that. But it was no bad blood or anything; it wasn’t anything bad; it wasn’t dramatic or anything. And Rob was super cool. He was, like, ‘Hey, I get it.’ He was cool about it.”
Last month, Mick Mars gained attention as he filed a lawsuit against the band, alleging widespread use of backing tracks during live performances and accusing bassist Nikki Sixx of manipulating him into thinking he had lost cognitive abilities and guitar skills.
In the lawsuit, Mick alleges that MÖTLEY CRÜE reduced his share of earnings from 25 percent to a mere 5 percent after revealing his decision to withdraw from touring. Additionally, he states that the group’s attorneys made him feel as if he should appreciate this minimal portion, as they believed they had no obligation to provide him with anything. Mick also asserts that a complete band gathering took place where they chose to “unilaterally” exclude him from MÖTLEY CRÜE.
Mick consistently alleged that bassist Nikki Sixx was “gaslighting” him by suggesting his guitar abilities were declining, even though Sixx didn’t “play a single note on bass” throughout a recent tour, as stated by the guitarist. Mick asserts that all of Nikki‘s segments were pre-recorded.