And A with ] NIKKI SIXX

[ Q

FYI: pop culture news

April 29, 2004|By Sarah Schaffer | Sarah Schaffer,Sun Staff

After launching his heavy-metal career decades ago on L.A.'s Sunset Strip, Motley Crue founder Nikki Sixx quickly became known as a no-holds-barred rocker in the vein of the Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious.

Just as the British bassist had done years before, Sixx won legions of fans by bringing energy and an undeniable stage presence to the music scene; and like Vicious, he also held onto a plethora of excesses -- most notably, a severe heroin addiction.

But the Crue-man wouldn't suffer the same fate as Vicious, who succumbed at an early age to his personal demons.

A thankful survivor of his hard-driving days, Sixx is now clean, sober and playing in a new band.

As he prepared to embark on the Brides of Destruction's debut tour (which hits the Thunderdome Monday), the 45-year-old bassist phoned LIVE from his Los Angeles home to reflect on BOD's start, the future of pop music and what it's like to live for rock.

After two decades of touring, don't you ever get sick of unrelenting schedules and loud clubs?

No, it's my passion. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is light a cigarette, get a cup of coffee and put on some heavy metal.

You've been playing bass in national acts for two decades, nearly as long as BOD's 26-year-old vocalist London LeGrand has been alive. What made you think this guy had the chops for such a job?

I can hear it, first of all. And second of all, I know eccentric rock star -- and I mean star -- when I see it. I believe in him, and I believe that he's different enough that he will be a Bono or a [Steven] Tyler. He'll be a unique personality that will be here [in the rock scene] for a long time.

But with all of your connections in the music scene, why'd you pick a front man who is completely unknown?

If we got Bono, then people would say, "Yeah, we really like the Brides, but they kind of remind us of U2." I say, let us live and die by our own sword. Let's not be a supergroup, but let's be a group that makes super music.

What was the audience's response to the first live show?

We opened for Mudvayne and TapRoot ... [and] people just lost their minds. We were like, "Wow, this is kind of cool. Maybe we should do this again." [The fans] are so grateful that they're seeing a rock band. They're feeling the sweat. They're hearing the guitar solos.

Does the positive feedback mean that music fans are once again ready for late-'80s style heavy-rock?

Every 10 years, we get a really nice change. It seems to me that it's time for something fresh. And we're as fresh as it gets. Timing wise, we're right [there].

So how do you feel about the new project?

It's real and it feels good. It reminds me of Motley when we first started.

To see the complete interview, go to www.baltimoresun. com / sixx

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