By Caroline Fontein
After more than three decades of debauchery, Mötley Crüe continues to make history. This time, they’re doing it in Vegas as the first ever hard-rock residency at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel. It’s also the first residency of its kind in Vegas.
The group closed the original Joint with two performances on Feb. 6 – 7 in 2009. Almost exactly three years later, Nikki Sixx (bass guitarist), Mick Mars (lead guitarist), Vince Neil (frontman) and Tommy Lee (drummer) are kicking off their three-week run at the new Joint on Feb. 3.
Their show will offer fans an interactive experience with over-the-top production elements and in-your-face rock ‘n’ roll. It’s being promoted as Mötley Crüe’s most notorious show ever. In a city that’s always ready to party, it’s a match made in heaven.
VEGAS.com got a change to talk to notorious front man Vince Neil about the band’s upcoming shows and what it’s like to be the first rock ‘n’ roll group to have a residency in Sin City.
What is it like to be the first-ever hard rock residency at the Hard Rock Hotel?
“For me being a Vegas resident, it’s a dream come true. For one thing, it’s really cool to be able to put on a show that we’ve always dreamed about. ”
What made the band decide to do this residency now and in Vegas?
“Well the timing was right. We were on tour all last year, and this thing came up. So everyone took the holidays off. It was perfect timing for the band to take February, set it aside, come to Vegas and bring a show. We’ve been wanting to do something like this for a long time, and all the stars were aligned right that day.”
I’ve heard that the show is going to be an interactive experience. Can you give me some more details on what fans can expect to see?
“It’s just not going to be your regular show where the stage is set up on one end of the building, and the rest of it’s seats. We’re going to pretty much encompass the whole venue. We could be playing in the back of the place, above you, on the side of you. We’re using the latest technology in visuals. We really made the effort to do something that no one’s ever really seen before. I don’t want to give away everything, but the technology that we’re using is pretty advanced. I think a lot of people are going to be blown away with the show.”
After more than three decades you guys don’t show any signs of slowing down. What has kept the band together and still going strong all these years?
“There’s really only four bands from the ’80s that are still around that are still relevant today. That’s us, Metallica, Bon Jovi and U2. With us we’ve maintained a relevancy by attracting the next generation. So when you go to our concerts, it’s not just the 40 and 50-year-olds that grew up with you, it’s their kids. You have 15 and 16-year-olds in “Shout at the Devil” shirts running around who think Mötley Crüe are really cool. Dads put their 5-year-olds on their shoulders for their first concerts. You have an attorney standing next to a biker. It’s all different realms of society and all ages. I think that’s what you really have to do, be multigenerational to still be relevant.”
What about being able to play with the same group of people for so long and being able to continue to share the same vision for the band after all these years? What’s behind that success?
“We tour the world, and we have fun. When I’m on stage, it still feels like we’re playing the Whisky A Go Go 30 years ago. It’s still fun for everybody. What we always say is when it stops being fun, that’s when we get out.”
Has performing those songs and what you guys sing about changed at all for you over the years?
“The only thing that changes is just the show. If you put out new records sometimes the songs change, but you still play your hits that everyone wants to hear. The fun thing is changing up the show and giving everybody something different every time they come see us.”
Do you have a favorite song that you like to perform live?
“I have a couple. For a slow song, obviously ‘Home Sweet Home.’ Everybody has their matches and their lighters and their phones up, and it’s really a cool song to sing. For a fast song like, ‘Girls, Girls, Girls,’ everybody loves that song, and everybody sings along. So with those songs you see faces light up and everybody’s singing.”
Does the band have to do anything different to prepare for the upcoming Vegas shows?
“Well this show it’s so complex, we have to rehearse. We actually start rehearsing on Saturday (Jan. 28). We’ll just get it together, fine tune it and be ready to hit the stage.”
Are you guys doing anything special at the hotel in combination with your residency?
“We’re really decking out the Hard Rock… We’re putting in a lot of memorabilia in there besides what they already have. We’re taking stuff out of our houses, and [the Hard Rock] is going to put it in display cases on the way into The Joint. So it’s kinda cool.”
Is there anything else that you’d like to add about your residency in Vegas?
“It’s just going to be one of the biggest shows that Mötley’s ever done and one of the most extravagant. If you’ve seen Mötley before, it’s a pretty tall bill. So, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
So what’s next for the band after your shows in February?
“I don’t know. There’s a lot of talk of different things, but I really focus on what’s in hand right now. I’m just focusing on the shows here in Vegas, and after that we’ll figure out what’s next for the band.”