Hot off an extensive tour of Australia, Mötley Crüe doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
“We have changed the production up and Canada will be the first to see the new production,” said Mick Mars in a phone interview with the Penticton Western News. “It will be the biggest tour we have done in Canada so we wanted a new production that no one has seen yet. It is a cool thing, I think.”
As for the finer details of the show, Mars wanted to leave those as a surprise to fans who will get their first taste on Saturday night when Mötley Crüe kicks off their 18-date Canadian tour in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
There is no mystery, however, that Mars is a guitar legend. He shed his persona in 1981, dying his hair black and placing a want ad an Los Angeles newspaper describing himself as a “loud, rude and aggressive guitar player.” It caught the eye of Mötley Crüe bassist/songwriter Nikki Sixx and they decided to form a band. Tommy Lee joined on drums and singer Vince Neil was picked up. It is Mars who is credited with naming the band. Over the years he has tweaked his style to get the strong, crunchy rhythms, hammer-on trills and pitch bending sounds to come up with many of Mötley Crüe’s best known riffs in the highly successful 1989 album Dr. Feelgood.
Often perceived as the reclusive, quiet member of the Crüe, this probably was amplified by a degenerative bone condition called ankylosing spondylitis that he was diagnosed with as a teenager.
“It makes it a little more of an inconvenience than anything. There is some pain, but I don’t care. It bends me forward a little like 39 degrees off axis, that has bothered me the most, and it shrunk me by about five inches,” said Mars. “But, I can’t complain. I can still play, still tour and that is what matters for me.”
With album sales exceeding 80 million records and three decades of decadence, Mars said music has been his therapy. He said he loves playing guitar more than anything.
“Yes, if I didn’t have this … There was a lot of people that said I would be in a wheelchair. I say no. This is definitely therapeutic for me,” he agreed.
That and the fans who have followed the band through their tumultuous career. Mars, who occasionally is found on Twitter sending out random messages and answering fans @MrMickMars, sees the fans as his boss.
“Yes, if they don’t like something then we want to fix it,” said Mars. “Especially after the shows I go on to see people’s reactions. I read a lot of stuff on the band about what the fans really think because that is what matters, not some guy that comes in and does a review angry that he didn’t make it in music. I would rather read what the fans think. If the fans say it is a great show that is what the purpose is, to satisfy them, not me.”
The world’s most notorious band will be returning to the world’s most notorious city in the fall. For the second time they are taking up a residency gig at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas from Sept. 18 to Oct. 6. Again, with an all new production designed exclusively for the venue.
Despite his illness, and settling down for the residency in Las Vegas, Mars said he is far from leaving the music scene. There is something about touring that keeps drawing him in. While speculation continues about if this will be the last time the band will tour, both Sixx and Neil have spoke publicly about a possible farewell tour in 2014 or 2015, Mars doesn’t seem content to call it a day. Like most of his bandmates, Mars is working on a number of projects, as well he said they are talking about putting another Crue record together. There are also rumours of making a movie of the band’s autobiography, The Dirt.
“Me personally, I enjoy touring. The bus, the travel, seeing spots I have seen before and places I haven’t seen. I get to see the world and see a lot of people and fans and I get paid for it. It is the best job on the planet for me,” said Mars. “I’m not going away for a long time.”
Mötley Crüe with special guests Big Wreck are playing at the SOEC on Saturday. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Only very few tickets are left at the side of the stage and available for purchase at the SOEC box office.