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Interview With Nikki Sixx


Sixx A.M.

Nikki Sixx, James Michael, D.J. Ashba

Tenth Street Entertainment
Chad Bowar: At what point during the book process did the songwriting begin?
Nikki Sixx: Once the galleys were together, James and D.J., who I’ve worked with a lot and are very close friends with, sat down and read them. James felt like we were doing a little bit of a rock opera, a masterpiece or an epic album. It was phenomenal for me when the editor of Billboard Magazine said to me, it doesn’t sound like Quadraphenia or The Wall, but it has those elements. It’s a story with a beginning, middle and an end. That is what we wanted to achieve. We wanted to follow the book, wanted to be able to take elements of the book like relapse, which can deal with not just drugs and alcohol, but with life. A lot of times life is two steps forward and one step back. We’re making progress, but we’ve got to slip a little to gain new ground and gain awareness. We feel really grateful we were able to make a record with no expectations. We didn’t expect it to be on the radio, we didn’t expect it to get the type of response it’s getting. We didn’t make it for a specific audience, we just made the record for us.

And now “Life Is Beautiful” is a hit with a lot of radio and video airplay.
It was a very enjoyable process. A lot of times you have a band, you have a tour, you have an album, you have a single, you work radio, you work press. It’s all very planned. But in this case we made a record and leaked the song out through MySpace. It started to pick up momentum and radio picked up on it. Then we took it to radio and it ended up being the most added song in the country and then climbed the charts. We said why? They said it’s moving, it’s a great piece of music. We just formed the band Sixx A.M. because people had to go buy the album by somebody. It’s not me, and it’s not James and it’s not D.J., it’s all of us as producers and songwriters. I was driving down the road yesterday and looked down at my Sirius radio, and it said Sixx A.M., “Life Is Beautiful.” I said, how is that possible?

I hadn’t heard James sing before, but I know he’s done a lot of producing and behind the scenes stuff for a lot of different artists.
He does do a lot of behind the scenes stuff. He’s a phenomenal writer, a phenomenal producer, an amazing engineer. D.J. is equally talented as a writer and guitar player and producer. It was effortless. It wasn’t about us, it was about the song, the journey. It so exciting, so free. We had an amazing time, and plan on doing it again because it was so fun.

Are there any plans to do a Sixx A.M. tour?
We just formed the band. We didn’t plan on that. We didn’t plan on being on the radio, and at this point we’re really not planning on touring. I know we are planning on playing some television shows and maybe doing some intimate small stuff. There seems to be a lot of desire. It would have to be something quite spectacular. The idea of going out and playing clubs isn’t that exciting. It has to be more than that. There is more out there. With all these multi-media platforms and portals to creative stuff, it is very exciting. Opportunity, I’m sure will arise, and we’ll make a decision then.

Do you have a window of time to do that if you so desire, or do you have Motley Crue things planned?
I’ve always been very careful in anything I do to always do it when Motley’s on hiatus. We are. I’ve never diluted that brand. I’ve always been very respectful of it, and respectful of the time it needs to be on hiatus for a certain amount of time. Bands have hills and valleys. We were just on top for over two years of touring. Right now let’s let the batteries recharge, let great music come out. Mick (Mars) and I are plugging away at writing some songs. We’re having a good time without the pressure on our back.

They are making a movie out of the Motley Crue book The Dirt. Have you had any interest from movie studios about The Heroin Diaries?
It’s interesting. The phone has been ringing. The book isn’t even out and the album’s not out, but people say they want to talk about this. I have to pinch myself. It’s really affecting people emotionally. It’s phenomenal that you can do something positive and still stand up and say, “I’m rock and roll.” I look it, I walk it, I talk it, I live it, I breathe it. I don’t want to be on a soapbox, I don’t want to be a monk, I don’t want to be a cop, I don’t want to be the president. I just want to be a guy in a band that is an artist, that makes music, that does photography, that designs clothing. If I can give back and raise money and awareness while I’m doing that, it’s all really cool.. When people jump from soapbox to soapbox, I feel turned off. I hope it’s an inviting process where people want to read the book because they want to see this guy crash and burn. Somebody else might want to read the book because their brother went through an experience like this and it will give them a better insight on him. Someone else might want to read it for a different reason. Whatever it takes to raise awareness so people buy the book, and I can give their money back to Covenant House, I feel really good about that. It inspired a great body of work, it inspired us to become a band, and it inspired us to move forward and do stuff again.

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