By Ashley Zimmerman
By Dana Krangel
By John Hood
By Ashley Zimmerman
By David Von Bader
By Sayre Berman
By Steve Brennan
By Ashley Zimmerman
Nikki Sixx is someone you might imagine not having his shit in perspective and under control, yet he totally does. Maybe you just know him as cofounder and bassist of Mötley Crüe, a metal god, a man of magically spiky hair, as someone who once frequented "Dr. Feelgood." But Sixx is also a father of four, a photographer since 1998, an internationally syndicated radio personality, and a clear-thinking, superbusy dude.
This rock star with skull tattoos and an oddly shaped goatee is also a New York Times bestselling author. His books, The Heroin Diaries, The Dirt (written with Crüe band members), and This Is Gonna Hurt: Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx, have all been hits. Crüe is still touring, celebrating 30 years onstage, and Sixx is also making music with Sixx:A.M. whose recent release, This Is Gonna Hurt, is the companion CD for the photo book.
Sixx even has his own clothing line, Royal Underground, with Kelly Gray, daughter of the creators of old-lady fashion line St. John, mixing fine fabrics with an L.A. "punk" aesthetic. Basically, Sixx's mind and body are like a one-stop shop for all cultural entities. Maybe next he'll come out with a perfume line or perhaps a blood-colored toothpaste for children. Whatever it is, it's certain to be a success.
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In preparation for Crüe's visit to the Hard Rock, we spoke with Sixx about guys who bring crosses to shows, why he reads Newsweek, and blood, blood, blood, of course.
New Times: In your new memoir, you're very candid about how none of the members of Mötley Crüe have been to each other's houses. Has that changed since you released the book? Are you better friends?
Nikki Sixx: No, no. You know, it's like we're home, and we live together on the road for months at a time, and we go home, and I'm very, very, very regimented. I do seven shows in four days, a radio show, always doing photography, working on another book. Involved in Mötley on a million different levels, as are the other guys. It doesn't so much... like let's get together for a barbecue. Sunday comes, and I'm like hanging out with my kids. I think there's a misconception that people think that rock bands hang out together all the time, but it's not unlike a lot of people: When you leave your job on Friday, do you go hang out at your boss' house on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday night after work? It's a little bit of folklore that you all hang together.
Your book has a lot of great, Diane Arbus-like photography. You've taken photos of things and people that the mainstream considers ugly but you consider beautiful. Can you tell me more about your aesthetic?
I think that everybody has a story and that today in society, we're taking empty glasses and pretending they're full. We're basing a lot of our social commentary on TMZ, People magazine, US Weekly — it lowers the standard. And part of my role in my life is to bring the standard musically, visually, performance/production-wise, and as a photographer, exposing things that maybe others just say, "Well, I'm much happier with Kim Kardashian and reading People magazine," when I'm like, "Why don't you read Newsweek and look at some of those photos and maybe it occurs to you that people have gone through things that you've never been through?" and realize that in real life, there are heroes out there that actually are, like I said, more than empty glasses.
I think that being famous for being famous is a farce. It's like a snake charmer out there. Our kids growing up are smarter than that. I know I'm smarter than that. I think we've got some bad habits. So I'm willing to put my back on the line and write a book about it and call a spade a spade.
You also talked about how Vince Neil said not nice things about you in his autobiography. He's been in the news lately with some hard times of his own. Do you feel closer to him than before?
I've always felt close with Vince. I honestly don't believe, you know? Vince didn't write his own book. The problem with ghost writers is that they get a piece, and the problem when they get a piece is that they want to create sensationalism because they sell books. What they don't realize is that internal relationships are more powerful than anything, so I just kind of laugh. Vince seemed not to have anything to do with it.
You're very open in your book about your breakup with tattoo artist Kat Von D. Since it's come out, have you heard from her at all about it? What has she said?
No. That's such a small time in my life, to be honest with you. For the time I've been on this planet, it was like, to break it down, a tenth of a percent of my life experience, a come-and-gone thing. Water seeks its own level; it's wonderful to move on.
OH NIKKI, YOU ARE SUCH A JOY! YOU MAKE ME LAUGH AND SMILE EVERYDAY, THANK YOU. I LOVE YOU BABY!CHRISTINA CURRY
I believe in you nikki sixx it's okay to be different I feel that way to but i don't tell people how i really feel about my feelings and whats going in my life because i am going through a depression state right now because i am so stressed on alot of things. i am glad i can get this off my chest right now.
You are truly talented Nikki. I am so happy that you juggle so many plates yet so down to earth. Michelle Miller
Thanks Nikki for the clearity on Vince's"book". I read it and it never seemed to be him doing the talking. Also I didn't really care about what his ex-wives had to say. It seems like there's got to be allot more to Vince Neil than that. It's like let's pick on Vince lately, and really walk in his shoes awhile before you judge, we are all human!
I wish I could go to the CRUE concert when they come up to Seattle but my ship will be on deployment by then so I'm going to miss it. Hopefully next year.
Great Article, thanks for keeping it REAL!! See you guys on July 3rd and July 9th!!! My 41st bday is July 1st so its gonna be a blast.
Nikki Sixx is pretty much amazing. i dont think there is anything this man could not do if he sets his mind to it!