MÖTLEY CRÜE’s Tommy Lee is known as one of rock’s premier drummers, but for this musician that simply isn’t enough. He’s put his name on two solo albums, a book, and his own side band, METHODS OF MAYHEM. Though on a prolonged hiatus, Methods is finally set to release new music. A Public Disservice Announcement hits shelves and digital outlets this week. Lee was kind enough to sit down with BraveWords.com to share his thoughts and plans about his latest release.
Bravewords.com: You’ve been doing the ‘Crüe thing’ for the last few years. Why did you decide to bring back Methods Of Mayhem?
Tommy Lee: “Well, the second I found out Motley was taking a hiatus in 2010, I was like ‘ah fuck I’m doing it’. Between doing a new Motley record and a couple of tours, a couple of solo records, a TV show… all of a sudden ten years flew by and I was like ‘dude – what just happened? Ten years just flew by.’ So when I saw a window like that I knew ‘this was my chance’. Plus, I’ve had a shitload of emails from fans asking me ‘dude – when are you going to put out another Methods album?’ So, this is the perfect time for it.”
Bravewords.com: How has the music changed since the last album?
TL: “Not a lot has changed stylistically. It’s still very eclectic. The only thing that’s changed is that TiLo was a hip-hoper and he came with those influences so that rub off into the music, but if you think about the first Methods record; it had rock, it had hip-hop, nu-metal, electronic, industrial, pop… So, it’s very similar minus TiLo and some of that hip-hop stuff that he brought to the party.”
Bravewords.com: You had fans submit music for this project…
TL: “Yeah, dude.”
Bravewords.com: Was that scary?
TL: “I can’t say it was scary because I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into.”
Bravewords.com: Did you have a ‘plan B’ if you only got really bad fan submissions?
TL: “I did. What happened was; we recorded the record and then put the tracks online for people to download and record to. If nothing good came back, we still had a finished record. Anything up and above what we had was… is a bonus. It made the record very worldly and added some fucking extra flavor. People from around the world really helped putting the finishing touches on it.”
Bravewords.com: Are you going to tour with this album?
TL: “Yeah, we are. We’re booking dates now and my band just got into town yesterday for rehearsals. We have a Jay Leno performance on Wednesday (tonight, September 22nd). We’re pulling it all together now and we’re going to go out and rock some shows. I can’t fucking wait to go play this shit live.”
Bravewords.com: Will any of the fans join you on tour?
TL: “That how I envisioned completing this ‘world’ collaboration. The fifty or so people that actually made the record will see their names boldly credited (in the CD booklet) and I’ll reach out to them when we come through their town. I’ll invite them up to play what they submitted on the record.”
Bravewords.com: Where all the contributors ‘unknowns’ or did you have the regulars from L.A.?
TL: “All unknowns man. All unknowns. It’s unbelievable. I did have a couple buddies stop by; Chino from THE DEFTONES is on it, Derek from SUM 41, Chad from NICKLEBACK played on a demo… The album is a real banger.”
Bravewords.com: Do you plan on offering these unknowns a record deal or working with them in the future?
TL: “Though this was a really great way to get closer… I can’t think of a better way to get closer to your fans. Nothing is better than making music together other than maybe inviting them over for diner and drinks. What happened is that on the site that housed this project – Thepublicrecord.com - we set up a social network within that site and some of those guys are getting together and forming bands. People who met through the project are now making new music together. They’re also collaborating on other projects as well. I feel like I somewhat had something to do with pioneering something truly special ‘cause now Filter is doing it… Rob Zombie is doing it… There are bunch of bands are doing it and I think everybody realizes that it’s a great way to have fun with your fans, friends and other artists… It’s really cool and to answer your question, there are people playing and networking at that hub that we set up and that’s fucking awesome.”
Bravewords.com: Does Methods Of Mayhem continue and make a fourth, fifth… album or does it move to the back and Motley becomes your focus again?
TL: “I plan on doing some more Methods records for sure. The only Motley stuff that is slotted is a few Crüefest dates in summer 2011. Other than that, I’m always writing and when I’m writing I’ll go ‘that’s perfect for Motley or that’s perfect for Methods or that’s cool for another artist.”
Bravewords.com: Will you make another Tommy Lee solo record or stick to Methods from now on?
TL: “I probably won’t. I think Methods Of Mayhem is my true outlet for creative… I don’t really need to spread it out over a Tommy record, Methods records… I’ll just keep it all Methods. People will realize that Methods is my adult playground. It’s where stylistically I get to go crazy and can do whatever I want and that’s what you want to do on a solo record so I don’t really need two of those outlets. I have one and I think the Methods one is the most fun for me.”
Bravewords.com: Last time out with Methods, you jumped out from being the kit, strapped on a guitar, and sang. Some fans loved that others didn’t… What are you doing this time?
TL: “I’m all over the place. I’ll be drumming, playing guitar, singing, playing a synthesizer, pianos, playing bass…”
Bravewords.com: Playing bass… onstage?
TL: “Of course!”
Bravewords.com: When you first did Methods you had stated that you were done drumming. ‘I want to be out front and I don’t want to play 'Kickstart My Heart' for the rest of my life,’ but you did go back to it. Do you still feel the same way ‘enough with the drumming. I’m not that guy anymore.’
TL: “I’m one of those guys that really enjoys doing it all and that’s where I get my most pleasure. If I were to just play drums; I would fucking hang myself. I have to do it all. That’s just who I am.”
Bravewords.com: Do you appreciate doing the Crüe songs again?
TL: “When I go do solo records or Methods it makes me re-appreciate it because when I’m stuck doing one thing… when I don’t have those creative outlets… Put yourself in my position and I’m not being defensive when I say this, but it would be like asking a painter to paint the same fucking picture over, over and over and that guy would probably become suicidal. He would want a palette with new colors, new subject matter and that’s what an artist truly is. It’s a person that is constantly evolving.”
Bravewords.com: I have to ask and feel free to refuse to answer, but Sharon Osbourne and Vince (Neil) have been going at it in the news…
TL: “I saw that…”
Bravewords.com: What’s your quote for that? Does that bother you? Should Vince shut up? Should Sharon shut up? Was it fair of her to call Vince a ‘murderer’?
TL: “I don’t know, dude. I saw that and I was like ‘oh, boy’. It was pretty brutal on both their parts. If you can’t say anything nice than just shut the fuck up and I don’t understand why he’s even talking about her. What does Sharon Osbourne have to do with Vince, his music, his career and all that? To lash out at her is a little crazy. I don’t know that’s just not my style. If I don’t have something cool to say than I’ll just not say it. Fuck it.”
Bravewords.com: Finally, what’s web site should we plug?
TL: “I’m launching my brand new site – Tommylee.com . It’s the hub for everything that I do from DJ-ing, to Motley, to Methods, to you name it. Everything is there. It’s set to launch on Monday (September 20th 2010). So please check out Tommylee.com “
Bravewords.com: Good luck with the album Tommy.
TL: “Thanks dude.”