Nikki Sixx Shares Honest Opinion on Mick Mars Suing Mötley Crüe, Explains How John 5 Compares to Mars

As the legal battle between guitarist Mick Mars and his now former band Mötley Crüe rages on, so does the media quarrel between the two parties. In a recently published interview by Planet Rock, the band’s bassist Nikki Sixx spoke up on the matter of Mars suing the band and, among other things, demanding that they hand out documents regarding the incomes, claiming that the remaining members have been deliberately withholding information about that.

During this interview, Nikki Sixx once again said that Mick is being misled by his legal representatives. Reflecting on Mick Mars’ status within the band, he said:

“If a member of a band tells you that they can’t tour because of health reasons, you have two choices. You can quit as a band [after[ 42 years of work. Or we could look at each other and go ‘Are we done yet?!’ We’re really peaking and we understand [Mick’s] health issues.”

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Compared to some of the previous statements, be it in interviews or via social media channels, Nikki seems to have changed his approach to addressing the issue. Instead of attacking Mick and his legal team directly, or with a noticeable dose of passive aggression, the bassist now has a few positive words to share about Mick, adding:

“We wish him the best and we know that he’s a little bit confused and being misled by representatives right now. But we still have to stay focused on why we’re here.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Nikki also addressed the band’s decision to hire John 5 as Mick’s replacement. What’s more, the band also recently dropped the news that they’re preparing new material with John 5 in the lineup although we’re yet to hear more details about the matter.

MÖTLEY CRÜE “Dr. Feelgood” With JOHN 5

Reflecting on how John got together with Mötley Crüe after Mars’ decision to retire from touring, Nikki said:

“I’ve been friends with John forever and I would make jokes ‘as long as you’re a 5, I feel good being a Sixx.’ Y’know, stupid best buddy jokes.”

“Me and that guy have been either hanging out at each other’s houses, writing songs… he plays [guitar] all day long. So, he comes over here and he grabs one of my guitars or brings his own and we just sit around and play and talk about the ’70s and how great Lynyrd Skynyrd and Scooby Doo was.”

"John 5 Guitar Solo & Smokin/Helter Skelter/Bop Medley" Motley Crue@Atlantic City 2/11/23

He also added:

“My wife just said that when Mick (Mars) told us he was leaving the band and I told her I’d talked to Tommy and Vince, and everybody feels that John would be a great fit, and I hadn’t called John yet because you had to be sure we were doing everything correctly.

“My wife said ‘well, that’s great.’ I said ‘what do you mean by that?’ She goes ‘well, you’ll be going on stage and you’ll be on the phone to John.’ And they’re like ‘you gotta go on stage!’, and he’ll be like ‘ok, call me back in an hour and a half.’

“So we’re always chatting and jamming and the friendship is so wonderful. Him and Tommy are really close, Vince loves him. He’s just a great guy and a great musician and he gives us a great opportunity as a three-piece so to speak to really lock in. He’s just such a great guitar player.”

Motley Crue 1st Show with John 5 - Kickstart My Heart

Going more into the matter, he also reflected on this major lineup change, explaining how John 5’s work compares to Mick Mars. He offered:

“It’s nothing against any other musician that you play with, just that when you play with new musicians you play differently. We’re still playing the same songs that people wanna hear but it kind of like re-inspires you.”

“And I’m sure the same thing would happen if they got a new bass player. They’re like ‘Oh wow, he’s attacking it differently.’ So it’s never about how bad anybody was.”

“It’s a nice time [for Mötley Crüe] and it’s kind of inspired us to write a little bit. We love our history, we’re very proud of everything we’ve done. We’ve always been really supportive of Mick no matter what Mick was going through. We’re just happy with where we’re at right now.

Although there has been some speculation that things aren’t all that fine and dandy between Mötley Crüe and Mick Mars, it wasn’t until Mars’ friend and legendary drummer Carmine Appice shared a few details in public. Apart from a strained relationship, there’s also been mention of their live shows being predominantly pre-recorded tracks.

In a recent interview, Mötley Crüe’s longtime manager Allen Kovac spoke up on the whole thing, blaming Mick Mars’ managers on taking advantage of him, calling it “elder abuse.” Kovac said:

“(Mick is trying) to gain leverage in a smear campaign on Mötley. He’s attacked the band, and he’s done it in a slanderous way, with false accusations and misrepresenting the facts to the fans. Mick is not the victim. The victims are Mötley Crüe and the brand, which Mick is so prideful of.”

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

“What’s upsetting to me is not Mick, but his representatives, who have guided Mick to say and do harmful things to the brand he cares about so much, Mötley Crüe. He has a degenerative disease and people are taking advantage of him. It’s called elder abuse.”

“Mick’s representatives have no idea what they’ve created, but I’ve stopped the band from speaking about this, so they’re not gonna turn the fans against Mick.”

“But I am going to make sure that people understand that Mick hasn’t been treated badly. In fact, he was treated better than anyone else in the band, and they carried him and they saved his life.”


Regarding the backing track allegations, Kovac denied it all by saying:

“Everything is live with Nikki’s [Sixx] bass playing and Tommy’s [Lee] drum playing. When they’ve used loops, they’re still playing. There are augmented vocals, which were (recorded) in the studio and are backgrounds behind the two ladies who are singing and (other background vocals by) John 5 and Nikki Sixx, and before that Mick and Nikki.”

“But Nikki played his bass and always has. Vince [Neil] was singing better than he was before (on the latest tour). That was in reviews. Now, John 5 is playing like who John 5 is. I’ve heard John 5 perform and I heard Mick perform. Both are great guitar players.”

NIKKI VANILLI SIXX Backing Tracks Again. Motley Crue

“Unfortunately, Mick is not the same. He hasn’t been the same for a long time. Which was in reviews! You see that the professionals knew. Def Leppard (which alternated headlining spots on tour) knew. And (Mars) caused a train wreck up there, because he would play the wrong songs and the wrong parts, even with the guide tracks.”

“When he played the wrong song, it wasn’t Nikki Sixx that had a tape; it was the soundman bringing it into the mix so the audience could hear a song, even though the guitar player was playing a different song. (Audiences) would hear it at first, but (sound engineers) would fix it so that we could keep the song going. I heard it. I’d go to the sound board.”

Photo: (Sixx A M Rock Im Park 2016 (15 von 15)), Shadowgate (Motley Crue 19 (3689109499))


  • 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, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.