Turns Out That Mötley Crüe Lawyers Sent Cease-and-desist to Carmine Appice, Says Nikki Sixx Ignored His Jam-Off Invitation

While appearing in an interview with Goldmine, drummer Carmine Appice revealed that he received a cease-and-desist letter from lawyers representing Mötley Crüe. The whole thing comes after the public revelation of a legal battle between Mötley Crüe and their now former guitar player Mick Mars.

Being a close friend with Mars, Carmine revealed earlier this year that the guitarist’s departure from the band’s touring lineup wasn’t as calm and sweet as presented. Additionally, Carmine said that Mars confined to him about the band’s live show, saying allegedly that “everything was on tape.” Needless to say, Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx didn’t take that lightly.

Motley Crue - Mick Mars's IEM (In Ear Monitor) - Girls, Primal Scream and Kickstart My Heart 2022

In the new interview with Goldmine, Carmine was asked to address this legal battle to which he replied:

“Oh, it’s been unbelievable. Did you see what came out since then between Mick and the rest of the band? I’m sure you did. It’s all so sad, but it vindicates my story, which I never thought would start an entire viral Internet thing.”

The virality that Carmine mentions was only further boosted when Nikki Sixx publicly called him a “washed-up drummer.” Appice continued:

“The response that came out of it was amazing, and his [Nikki Sixx’s] response of calling me a ‘washed-up drummer’ was pretty wild and pretty hurtful. But I got a great response from people through their comments, and a lot of people are behind me, so it’s all good.”

Carmine Appice at Namm 2020

Interestingly enough, it also seems that Appice got a cease-and-desist letter from the band’s legal representatives. He added:

“That said, I did get a cease-and-desist letter from all these lawyers who work for Mötley Crüe, so I can’t go into too much detail. I have to be careful with what I say, but then again, we’re not really talking about details; we’re just talking about what happened.”

Further pressed whether he didn’t see that such a reaction was coming from Nikki, he replied:

“I honestly was very surprised. I didn’t think he’d go there, all things considered. It really was a surprising thing because we were friends. And after the fact, I challenged Nikki Sixx to a jam-off, but I got no response. I’m not surprised, as I could jam circles around all of them. I’m sure of that. But yeah, what he said was sad because we were friends, but I guess we’re not anymore.

Nonetheless, both Mick Mars and Carmine got widespread support from famous rock musicians. The drummer named some of them:

“I got texts from Derek Sherinian saying, ‘Man, what the hell is wrong with Nikki?‘ and Stephen Pearcy apparently said to Nikki, ‘Dude, what the hell are you doing here? We’re all friends.‘”

“And then I started to see a ton of responses from other musicians who said that they don’t like Nikki, and the rest of those guys too much and that the fans have been getting on Mötley a lot… I read that and was like, ‘Oh, my God. I didn’t know that.‘ I really didn’t know about any of that stuff, so I had no way of knowing that this whole thing would get as big as it did.

Going more into the matter, the interviewer mentioned how Carmine is far from a “washed-up drummer.” Also asked how he keeps himself in such a high demand these days, he replied:

“I appreciate that. I really do. I’ve said it before, and others have, too – with Vanilla Fudge, I pioneered what has now become known as ‘heavy metal drumming.‘ Of course, back in the day, that meant something different from the crazy stuff it means now, but still, I was the first one to play that heavy.

Linear Drum Beats | Carmine Appice

“The big difference is that I was doing that stuff out of necessity because there were no PAs or monitors, so I had to pound my drums harder to be heard. And I got bigger drums because they’re louder, and unbeknownst to me, I was creating something new.

Elsewhere in the chat, Carmine was also asked whether it’s true that he’s working on a “yet-to-be-release project” to which he replied:

“I can’t say too much about it because of who’s on it, but that’s the ‘Cactus Friends and Influences’ album. The idea came about through Cleopatra Records owner, who said, ‘Man, Cactus still sells records. We should do something here…” And it’s crazy because Cactus has always been this sort of underground band.”

Cactus - "Evil" (Carmine Appice - Master of the Drums - great solo performance)

“Most fellow musicians loved us, but we never got the widespread acclaim that other acts did. So, the owner of Cleopatra said, ‘I would love you to do a record where you get people who have been influenced by Cactus and do an album.’ So, we’re doing that. It will be those people and friends of Cactus. We’re playing all the old songs, and it’s been a ton of fun to do.”

“So far, we’ve got 25 notable people on it, including some of the big names from today. We’re finishing up recording, and then what we’re doing next is mixing. And once we get the mixes done, like I said, it’s gonna take eight or nine months to get the vinyl done. I’d say we’re looking at 2024 for that album.”

Asked what drives him to continue making music at this pace, Carmine offered:

“People often ask me, ‘Carmine, what’s your hobby?’ Some people, like Jeff Beck, had cars, and other people have things like golf. But my hobbies are playing and creating music. That’s what I love to do.”

Carmine Appice on Jeff Beck

“I love to do projects, produce people, and teach young musicians – I love all of it. At this point, I don’t need to do it; I do it because it’s fun, and I love playing. And now that I have my own studio, I can engineer my own drum sounds, so it’s easy for me. I don’t have to take the drums down and drag them into some faraway studio. Now, I never leave the studio [Laughs].”

“I think that freedom inspired me to create more because I didn’t have it before. Plus, like I said, it’s a lot of fun. Engineering is a lot of fun. The whole thing is still fun for me. Take this latest King Kobra record: the guitar players Mick [Sweda] and David [Michael-Philips] didn’t want to do it. They all said, “Nobody’s gonna hear it; why bother?” And I said, “Look, it’s fun to create more music that will keep the legacy moving forward.”

Beck, Bogert, & Appice - Morning dew - Santa Monica May '73 stereo

“So, while they didn’t want to do it, I did. I brought in Rowan Robertson and Carlos Cavazo, who got along great with me, Johnny Rod, and Paul Shortino. It’s a great bunch of musicians, and we put together a killer album. And when it’s done, sure, I’ll probably make 5¢ an hour on the record. But when it’s done, I don’t care; I’ll be proud of it. I take pride in this and love doing it, even after 55 years. That’s what keeps me going.”

Photo: TParadise (Carmine Appice in 2015), pitpony.photography (Sixx A M Rock Im Park 2016 (15 von 15))


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.