In his first interview since filing a lawsuit against Motley Crue, Mick Mars has blasted his bandmates, saying that he “carried those bastards for years.”
In Mars’ lawsuit, which was filed yesterday (April 6) in Los Angeles county, the guitarist’s attorney essentially claimed that Motley Crue have been trying to unjustly oust him from the band ever since he announced he was retiring from touring, as he planned on remaining a member and participating in any endeavors that didn’t involve being on the road. It further stated that Nikki Sixx, in particular, spent years “gaslighting” him over his guitar performance.
Motley Crue issued their own statement on the suit a few hours later, calling it “unfortunate” and asserting that Mars’ inconsistencies in his guitar-playing led to his departure from the group. They also cited an agreement that all four members signed in 2008, which said, “In no event shall any resigning shareholder be entitled to receive any monies attributable to live performances.”
Variety conducted a Mars several hours after he filed the lawsuit, where the rocker elaborated on his side of the situation.
“Things get twisted around sometimes from other band members. I don’t really know if I should say this, but… Those guys have been hammering on me since ’87, trying to replace me,” Mars said. “They haven’t been able to do that, because I’m the guitar player. I helped form this band. It’s my name I came up with, my ideas, my money that I had from a backer to start this band.”
According to the guitarist, the other members of Motley Crue started telling him his memory was bad back in 2012 and accused him of not remembering their songs. All of his doctors, however, assured that he and his memory were perfectly fine — so he reiterated that his ankylosing spondylitis is the reason he decided to stop touring. Motley Crue, in turn, offered him a severance package after he told them he physically couldn’t go out on the road anymore — which would cut his share of the profits from 25 percent to 5 percent.
“That’s an insult to me that they’re offering me that. No. It’s my name. It’s Mick Mars, it’s Motley Crew, the four of us that made the band. You would have to have a good reason to be fired. I don’t,” Mars said, adding that he could counter the band’s argument with Tommy Lee and Vince Neil‘s felony charges.
In Motley Crue’s April 6 statement, they attached a series of declarations from members of their crew — bass and drum techs, tour manager, production coordinator and so on — attesting that Mars frequently made mistakes during the band’s performances.
“I call bullshit on that. I know the songs,” Mars argued. “And prior to this particular stadium tour, when we rehearsed, the first thing that happened when I walked in was, Nikki Sixx was like, ‘Hey, Mick, how did that part go? I can’t remember it.’ So that’s how our rehearsals went. I rehearsed all of these songs for three months, every day, solid, twice a day.”
Though Mars added that Sixx’s bass parts during their 2022 Stadium Tour were 100 percent recorded, as were many of Lee’s, he admitted that everything was on tape in order to keep them on track with the songs.
“But there was parts with that tape on my guitar that were so horrible, yes, I did lose my spot a couple of times,” he confessed. “But not all the time. And it is very difficult. And then it’s also difficult when they have a bunch of old-school 808 bass drums going and turning up the bass guitar. Do you know what that does to a guitar frequency? It drowns it out. And that’s what was going on a lot out front. … You’d have to be me to know it was the truth.”
The rocker went on to call the band’s 2022 tour Motley Crue’s “worst 36 gigs ever,” and that there were originally only supposed to be 12 shows. He didn’t want to do the additional 24, but did anyway. He admitted he’s convinced that his bandmates have wanted him out of the group for a long time.
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“I’m pretty upset that they’re even pulling this crap, when I carried these bastards for years.”
Shortly after Mars announced his retirement from touring, Motley Crue revealed that John 5 would be his fill-in on tour. Mars intended to remain a member of the band, and assured he could still play one-off performances or even residencies, as those instances wouldn’t be as physically demanding on him as touring would. However, he thinks that Sixx, Lee and Neil are hoping he will give up on fighting for his share of the band.
“I can’t put a number on it, but there’s gonna be a lot of people going, ‘What the hell is wrong with these guys? You know, Mick just wants to have some peace.’ I mean, I’m an old man! [Laugh.] I think some people will really, really care and go, ‘No Mick, no band.’ But they say that about everybody (who leaves a group). It is what it is. And like I said, I’m a part of this company that made this name. I’m not gonna let anybody take it from me — anybody.”