Smoke, fire, great rock ’n’ roll. All elements in any Mötley Crüe show. But this time, as the bad boy rockers – considered among the most influential hair metal bands – return to the Joint for their second residency, they will be experimenting with new technology and pyrotechnics, Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil said.
“There’s a lot of cool stuff we’re going to use this time,” Neil said of the 12-show residency. “Technology changes so rapidly and new stuff comes out all the time. All of a sudden someone goes, look at this, and we go, ‘Holy sh*t, that’s cool.’
“We have to outdo ourselves every time we put something new together. This one – I don’t know how we’re going to top this one. There’s some crazy stuff going on in this thing and just a lot of fire and smoke and monsters and all kinds of cool stuff.”
Mötley Crüe’s “An Evening in Hell” at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel offers an intimate setting for the rockers and their fans – just 4,000 people max, a far cry from the sold-out arenas Mötley Crüe would play in the late ’80s.
“You can encircle the audience here, where you really couldn’t do it in a MGM Grand (type stadium), you know what I mean?” Neil said, whose band has sold more than 75 million albums worldwide. “You’d lose the effect. And so, it’s a perfect size for doing something like that. When we did it last February, we just felt we could do so much more. We’re definitely taking advantage of every little thing on this tour (residency).”
Neil, who lives in Las Vegas, said residencies are a “dream come true” for many touring bands.
“Being able to, especially for me living here, pack a lunch and f*ckin’ walk to work, you know?” he said. “Basically, we’re touring without having to really tour. It’s great to play every night here at home for me and not have to be on a bus or an airplane.”
The other band members, Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx and Mick Mars, will stay at the Hard Rock when they have a show, but will likely return home on off-days, Neil said.
Fans can expect Mötley Crüe to play their greatest hits, such as “Dr. Feelgood,” “Girls Girls Girls,” “Home Sweet Home” and “Kickstart My Heart,” but band members are resurrecting some songs that have fallen to the wayside over the years.
“I think we’ll dig a little deeper in our bag of songs and do a lot of stuff that we haven’t done in many, many years,” Neil said. “Those are going to be fun – fun for us and fun for the audience. So, it’s new songs, but it ain’t really new songs. They’re old songs, but they’re new to a lot of people.”
But don’t expect to hear songs from some phantom album rumored for release in the next couple years. Neil said he doesn’t see the point in making a full-length album. Instead, the band is recording new songs for the soundtrack to “The Dirt,” a film in production and based on Mötley Crüe’s autobiography, “The Dirt – Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band.”
When asked about the film’s status, he said, “I don’t really know (laughs). I’m just the singer for the band. Nobody tells me anything. I know it’s going to be out in late winter, early spring of next year.”
As for the new Mötley Crüe songs, they are just that, Mötley Crüe songs, Neil explained.
“It doesn’t sound like anything, except it sounds like Mötley Crüe,” Neil said. “We’re a rock band, we do rock music and that’s it. We don’t ever try to sound like anybody or follow trends. We just put out good rock ’n’ roll songs.
“Mötley Crüe fans are Mötley Crüe fans. You don’t like us, don’t listen to us. You like us, you’ll like the new stuff. It doesn’t really matter to us. We write songs basically for ourselves, not for the fans, because we’re rock fans ourselves. So, we play what we like. That’s like our last album (“Saints of Los Angeles”) – every single song on that album I love.”
Look for a farewell tour – Neil’s term for a retirement tour – starting about 2014 and lasting a year or two, he said.
“We’ll do the world probably a couple of times over and call it quits,” Neil said. “It’s about that time.”
Mötley Crüe plays the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas between Sept. 18 and Oct. 6, 2013.