Interview with Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee
INTERVIEW WITH MÖTLEY CRÜE DRUMMER TOMMY LEE
Date: March 1, 2023
Interviewer: Marcelo Vieira
Photos: Christopher Lee Helton (first photo), Joe Schaeffer Photography (second, third and fourth photos)
BACK IN OCTOBER 2022, MÖTLEY CRÜE AND DEF LEPPARD ANNOUNCED THAT THEY WERE EMBARKING TOGETHER ON A ‘WORLD TOUR’ WITH THE FIRST TOUR STOPS IN LATIN AMERICA STARTING IN FEBRUARY 2023. THE TWO MEGA-BANDS HAD PREVIOUSLY HEADLINED THE IMMENSELY SUCCESSFUL ‘THE STADIUM TOUR’ THROUGHOUT NORTH AMERICA FROM JUNE TO SEPTEMBER OF LAST YEAR. MUSIC JOURNALIST AND SLEAZE ROXX CONTRIBUTOR MARCELO VIEIRA RECENTLY HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO INTERVIEW THE ONE AND ONLY TOMMY LEE. MARCELO FIRST PUBLISHED HIS INTERVIEW IN PORTUGUESE ON HIS OWN WEBSITE, MARCELO VIEIRA MUSIC, BEFORE TRANSLATING IT IN ENGLISH FOR PUBLICATION ON SLEAZE ROXX.
AS YOU READ THE INTERVIEW, YOU MIGHT WONDER ‘HOW COME THERE ARE NO QUESTIONS ABOUT RECENT EVENTS SUCH AS LEE’S LONG-TIME BANDMATE MICK MARS NO LONGER TOURING WITH MÖTLEY CRÜE OR THE NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY FROM THE DRUMMER’S EX-WIFE PAMELA ANDERSON?’ UNFORTUNATELY, MANY OF THE ‘BIGGER’ ARTISTS THROUGH THEIR MANAGEMENT STIPULATE IN ADVANCE OF INTERVIEWS THAT CERTAIN TOPICS CANNOT BE TOUCHED UPON SO IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHY SOMETHING WASN’T COVERED IN THE INTERVIEW, YOU LIKELY KNOW THE REASON WHY. IN ADDITION TO THE VARIOUS RESTRICTIONS, THERE WERE A FEW QUESTIONS THAT TOMMY LEE DIDN’T ANSWER WHICH ARE INCLUDED AT THE END. 😉 OLIVIER, SLEAZE ROXX EDITOR
Sleaze Roxx: What are your expectations for Mötley Crüe’s next trip to Brazil and how would you describe the experience of playing live for the Brazilian fans?
Tommy Lee: Audiences in South America are a different thing. We’ve played all over the world but when the show starts, and the audience starts singing… There’s nothing like this anywhere else in the world! It fills our souls and we just want to make sure every motherfucker in town knows how much we enjoy playing here.
Sleaze Roxx: What are your favorite memories from previous Mötley Crüe trips to Brazil? Is there any place in particular you’d like to revisit during the tour?
Tommy Lee: This will be our third time in Brazil. We first came here in 2011 and it blew our minds! We didn’t think it could ever get better than that. Then, we played Rock in Rio in 2015 and there’s really nothing that can prepare you for that! That’s something I’ll never forget!
Sleaze Roxx: Could you please talk a little bit about what it’s like to play with John 5, who is arguably one of the best guitarists of our time?
Tommy Lee: John is a dear friend and an incredible force with a guitar! John is killing it — every note, every song, every night!
Sleaze Roxx: Recently, the first five Mötley Crüe albums were re-released in Brazil in celebration of the band’s 40th anniversary. What is the goal behind these re-releases? Maybe introduce Mötley Crüe’s music to a new generation of fans?
Tommy Lee: There’s a new exciting energy around the band and our music. New generations have discovered us and they want to hold that album jacket in their hands and look at the pictures and listen really fucking loud and feel the experience the way millions of people have done before.
Sleaze Roxx: How do you see the evolution of the band’s sound from the first album, ‘Too Fast For Love‘, to the last one, ‘Saints of Los Angeles‘?
Tommy Lee: Well, if we’re going to talk about evolution, then we better go from beginning [‘Too Fast For Love’] to the last thing we’ve recorded [four new songs off ‘The Dirt Soundtrack‘]. I see our energies moving in all directions from raw to experimental, always looking to make music that leaves a mark both sonically and emotionally!
Mötley Crüe‘s “The Dirt (Est. 1981)” video feat. Machine Gun Kelly:
Sleaze Roxx: Are there any other Mötley Crüe albums you’d like to see re-released at some point in the future? Which and why?
Tommy Lee: Release all of them! We put our hearts into making every record. There’s always more for the fans to discover. Hell, there’s new shit for me to discover and I was there!
Sleaze Roxx: What legacy do you hope Mötley Crüe leaves behind in music history?
Tommy Lee: [Laughs] Strange question to answer… Personally, I would like the band to have left clues on how to enjoy life, lessons, and lifestyle! Mötley isn’t just music… It’s way more!
Sleaze Roxx: What’s the message you’d like to convey to Brazilian fans before the tour starts?
Tommy Lee: Where have you been for the last seven and a half years [laughs]? We’ve been waiting to come back. Now the wait is over! Let’s do this!
QUESTIONS NOT ANSWERED BY TOMMY LEE:
- How do you think the coronavirus pandemic has affected the music industry and what is the band doing to adapt to this new reality?
- Do you believe that Mötley Crüe can record new songs or will John 5’s participation in the band, at first, be limited to live shows?
- What is your favorite song on each of these [first] five [Mötley Crüe] albums and why?
Mötley Crüe‘s “Ride With The Devil” lyric video:
UPCOMING ‘WORLD TOUR’ DATES
Mar 03, 2023 — Santiago, Chile
Mar 07, 2023 — Sao Paulo, Brazil
Mar. 12, 2023 — Davie, Florida, USA
May 22, 2023 — Sheffield, UK
May 25, 2023 — Mönchengladbach, Germany
May 27, 2023 — Munich, Germany
May 29, 2023 — Budapest, Hungary
May 31, 2023 — Krakow, Poland
Jun 2, 2023 — Prague, Czech Republic — Prague Rocks
Jun 3, 2023 — Hannover, Germany
Jun 7, 2023 — Solvesborg, Sweden — Sweden Rock Festival
Jun 9, 2023 — Hyvinkää, Finland — RockFest
Jun 11, 2023 — Trondheim, Norway — Trondheim Rocks
Jun 14, 2023 — Copenhagen, Denmark — Copenhell
Jun 18, 2023 — Dessel, Belgium — Graspop Metal Meeting
Jun 20, 2023 — Milan, Italy
Jun 23, 2023 — Lisbon, Portugal
Jun 24, 2023 — Rivas-Vaciamadrid, Spain
Jun 27, 2023 — Thun, Switzerland
Jul 1, 2023 — London, UK
Jul 2, 2023 — Lytham, UK — Lytham Festival
Jul 4, 2023 — Dublin, Ireland
Jul 6, 2023 — Glasgow, UK
Aug 5, 2023 — Syracuse, New York, USA
Aug 8, 2023 — Columbus, Ohio, USA
Aug 11, 2023 — Fargo, North Dakota, USA
Aug 13, 2023 — Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Aug 16, 2023 — Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
Aug 18, 2023 — El Paso, Texas, USA