Talking to Tommy Lee is interacting with someone hyperreal Take for example the terms of this career covering the chat It may seem tedious to read another interview conducted via Zoom, but it offers a preview in this case Because while this K! the writer appears on screen as a pixelated mass of pale flesh, a background clothes horse carrying the wash of the week, Tommy is a tanned and chiseled ultra high definition superstard avatar – quickly approaching a year of sobriety – seated in a studio of pristine wood and metal varnish The contrast is stark Oh, and there’s a drum kit visible in case we forgot we were talking to one of the most iconic players to ever hit the C-tubs is like we’ve come across an infomercial, which given that Tommy has a new album to promote, we kind of have
His speech is also OTT Ask if doing a remix of Post Malone’s track Tommy Lee was when Tommy Lee peaked Tommy Lee and the 58-year-old blows up in a flurry of « dude, » from woah and « rad’s reminiscent of a reading of the last Bill & Ted film And as you might expect from a man whose exploits have shocked readers and viewers alike through the book and film versions of Mötley Crüe’s autobiography, The Dirt, things get outrageous at times Hit him in the sensations, however, as you step under the tattooed exterior and you meet another Tommy Lee entirely Less able to fall back on rock star rhetoric, he becomes hesitant, vulnerable even and not necessarily willing or able to grapple with the deeper things
It’s not her side you’ll find on the new ANDRO album, however Unpredictable, excitable and focused on the present thanks to its lineup of promising guests, ANDRO’s rap and dance trends are as far as it gets. by Home Sweet Home Considering Tommy’s unofficial role as one of the most enthusiastic magpies in music, this suits him very well « People have asked if this is the most me album I have. ever done, « he wonders, » but the truth is all I do is where I am right now I don’t care if it’s country music – if I am moves, I’m down «
What are the cohesive elements that kept Tommy Lee around 2020 as enthusiastic about music as the hyperactive version of the teenage drummer? « Technology is important There is so much possible now Every day we find new synths or software that lets you do shit that you could never do before And I get inspired by hearing new music all the time – this ability to get excited never went away Plus deep down I’m a tweaker – I love being in the studio and doing new shit It’s my happy place «
You are passionate about introducing new talent, but why? Does it convey the feeling you had of moving from obscurity to success, or the natural continuation of when Crüe would take new bands to the road? At first Crüe always had her finger on what was cool and what people were digging I remember we did it with Guns N ‘Roses No one knew who they were so we decided to take them with us I have been a supporter of the underdog for a long time I find it mind-blowing to hear from an artist whose music is insanely good but not really successful These are the people who end up on my collaboration list «
You have a passion for cooking – is it part of the same skill set that lets you listen to a track and know it needs “A pinch of this” and “A hint of that”? a synergy between being a chef in the kitchen and a chef in the studio! And just like when you’re cooking, you can screw it up by adding too much of an ingredient, which ends up ruining the overall flavor. «
The title of your new album, ANDRO, is a Greek word meaning man or man. You are part Greek on your mother’s side – how was that part of your heritage materialized when you were growing up?
“I love my Greek heritage, the people and the food, so I try to go back to Greece as often as possible I was there last summer, in fact My mom was my great connection to the country, and we were talking Greek together, but she’s gone now, so I don’t have that exact connection anymore »
What traits do you think you have about your late mother?
« I would say his curiosity… (Tommy hesitates for a while, not knowing how to elaborate) When my mom and dad got married neither of them spoke each other’s language I mention this because these circumstances were. difficult, the two were sitting around dictionaries looking for translations drawing pictures to communicate with each other, but his wit and passion made this work. »
And what about your father? He was a military man, but not the disciplinary one some might expect given his career.
« He was a very serious military guy, but I can’t say he was disciplinary when I was growing up. He would be tough but not like a drill sergeant He was a great father. »
The Dirt – the book and the movie – illustrated how much your parents supported you in your young music career So what did you have to rebel against?
« Damn… I’m not sure how to answer that question I’m glad the film shows the close relationship between my parents, which was so crucial, and how behind me they were when I started taking the music seriously My dad was a fucking maniac with this stuff we would be in the yard at the house, with neighbors on both sides, and he would build a full fireworks display for my shit group from high school I remember him pouring gunpowder down pipes, connecting wires and was testing explosions I think I was a fun little project for my dad because he was a mechanic He also built us a complete lighting rig »
Machine Gun Kelly’s performance as you was quite strange What was the main rating or advice you gave her for the role?
« You know, it’s funny, I didn’t really tell him anything I knew he was going to be successful because I never saw someone with such a level of dedication to a project I had known him for a few years and he called me up and said, ‘Dude, you’re not gonna fucking believe that, I’m playing you! He had the script and he came straight up, wanting to go through it all line by line Then the motherfucker came out and took four months of drumming lessons, learning exactly how I turned the sticks and bounced them off the snare He succeeded It was wild »
What’s the most difficult or the strangest thing to see in the movie?
« I don’t think there was a time like this I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t really have any regrets I believe everything that happens to us has been put there for us to learn a lesson or not. I was just struck by the fact that the movie was made, telling the story of these four guys who had an amazing trip It was so amazing in itself «
When did electronic music touch you the same way rock did when you were a kid? « Mötley was just starting the Girls, Girls, Girls album [from 1987] and I had a fucking old Mac, learning to use Digital Performer At that time I started to be attracted to these sounds that were new I started hearing drum sounds so much bigger than I could create with my acoustic kit This is when I started to manipulate sounds and editing stuff I never thought possible, which really opened my mind and whole other world «
There is a rather racy sample at the beginning of the track Nine Inch Nails Big Man With A Gun called The Steakhouse which is attributed to you. How did it go? « My nickname has been T-Bone for a long time. When I was single, The Steakhouse became the place where you went to get your T-Bone, get naked, fuck and be crazy When Trent [Reznor] used it, he was reference to the time when Mötley was in one side of the studio and Nine Inch Nails in the other, and I brought in some pornstars So that’s where it came from «
Yours is a popular name and some people might assume they know what to expect from you Have you ever been tempted to do something under the radar in a creative way to see what would happen? « That’s a really interesting question, because I struggle with it all the time If you establish yourself as a certain personality or musician or whatever, this ‘thing’ is attached to you, whatever you do for a living I would love to do an experiment and put out a bunch of music, unnamed It would be really cool to see what happened «
You are a rock musician who has always been interested in incorporating other sounds; now we are at a point where people say the genre is dead, do you feel like you were a pioneer? « Yeah, so I’m gonna do that (Tommy pats himself on the back) because nobody else I’ve always put myself where I feel like I’m supposed to be, musically, but recently I’ve been thinking back to the shit that I have done in the past and it trips me up In 2000, Methods [Of Mayhem] debut album was definitely on my way to my new album now People have come to me and say, « Dude, sometimes you’re just a a little too far ahead of the curve « Maybe that’s not always a good thing – don’t know »
What is the history of Methods Of Mayhem now? We were talking about a resurrection… “It was always a passionate project, but… I don’t know Mötley has a stadium tour to do next summer [with Def Leppard, postponed due to the coronavirus] so I don’t know everything just not I thought about putting together methods and doing online performance, but I wasn’t sure if it would really translate to the computer screen like you were there in person Never say never – I might suddenly put my hair up my ass and say, « Let’s go! » «
You performed on the 2014 Smashing Pumpkins album Monument To An Elegy – some people might assume that you and Billy Corgan, two big guys with big egos, might have banged their heads How did it work together ? « I love Billy and I spoke to him a few days ago I can see people might think we might have some butt, know something about the way he works or whatever, but we had a wonderful time The only reason that could have happened is that he’s like me – he’s a fucking perfectionist He wants things to be badass and doesn’t settle for anything less I’d be in the studio to get three quarters of the song back, damn it but the rest might not be as good as it could be for him, rather than modifying it, taking the best of another take and adding that, he was a sticky fucker to have it perfect from top to bottom He’s an energetic guy – I get it «
You’ve become a regular at rap songs – is it more flattering because you’re a rapper yourself and it gives you more credibility, or because it cements your place as a cultural icon? “Oh, both! I get a bunch of rap and hip-hop screams and I’m just like, ‘Why?’ I love it and think it’s great, but it’s hard for me to explain it «
Who do you think is a better pianist, you or Axl Rose? « I don’t know how well he actually plays these days, but he seems to be playing pretty well. I will say, however, that there was this time he thanked me for inspiring him to write November Rain. » Oh wait, wait, I can’t take all the credit; he thanked me and Elton John That’s pretty awesome, but I don’t know who’s better of me and him «
You described yourself earlier as a fan of the underdog – despite all of your successes, do you feel like an underdog yourself? Not with Mötley, but I do it when I’m doing my thing But you know what? I like this! It makes me fight. As soon as you get complacent and lose that fighting spirit, you might as well put it away and go home. Being an underdog motivates me «
World News – AU – Tommy Lee: « The minute you get complacent and lose that mind fight, you might as well pack up and go home « – Kerrang!
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