Mötley Crüe were one of the biggest and most prominent hair metal bands to come out of the ‘80s, churning out hit after hit of rebellious, freewheeling bliss. Now, over 30 years later, the guys are still kicking it, selling out arenas and touring with other heavyweights, like Kiss.
When lead singer Vince Neil isn’t rocking it with the Crüe, he hits the road with his solo band and gives fans a good, ol’ fashioned, stripped-down rock show. We caught up with Neil before one of his recent solo gigs to talk about his background playing guitar, writing Mötley Crüe hits and his Las Vegas tattoo parlor!
How long have you been playing guitar?
I would say about 20 years.
As a lead singer, do you think knowing how to play guitar helps you?
You know, I can play guitar, but I wouldn’t call myself a guitar player, so I don’t know if it really helps your singing, but it’s fun to do. I love it when I have a chance to play a song live and also play guitar on the song. It’s something different, and it’s a different look for fans watching the show.
Have any of Mötley Crüe’s hits been especially difficult to write?
There aren’t really any hard songs to write. It’s usually pretty easy, if it gets hard, it gets shuffled away and something else comes up, or it becomes something you can go back to it and use other parts with it to make it work better. Most of the hit songs have been easy to write, though!
How do you go about writing music with the Crüe?
It starts out with a guitar riff, and then we put it together with the other instruments and put a melody to it. After the melody and song structure are finished, we edit different parts in and out, and eventually, it all combines to become a song.
What inspired you to start your own tattoo parlor, Vince Neil Ink in Las Vegas?
Because I have a lot of tattoos! [Laughs] I decided a long time ago to have a tattoo parlor because it’s something I enjoy.
What do you look for in a good tattoo?
In my own stuff, I have different inspirations. I look for something that’s happened to me or is going on in my life, and I get a tattoo about it. I would avoid putting people’s names on them, though-- girlfriends, stuff like that! That usually never works!
Is there talk of a new Mötley Crüe album?
No- no new album. What I’m hearing is that maybe two or three or four more songs might come out to go with that song we released this year, but it will be something like an EP, not an album. Our schedule seems to have a lot of touring. If something did come out in the form of an EP, it would probably be in the beginning of 2014.