Three years after going on hiatus, hard rock hell-raisers Mötley Crüe plan to reunite for a tour and possible album in 2004. And, for the first time in five years, all four original members will be on board for the ride.
"Three years ago, we decided to take time off to recharge," bassist Nikki Sixx said. "We put the movie deal in place and planned on a tour when all the original bandmembers were ready to work together again. Everything is pretty much right on time."
Sixx said the 2004 world tour will coincide with the release of the big-screen version of "The Dirt," based on the band's over-the-top 2001 autobiography of the same name. The tour will feature singer Vince Neil
, Sixx, guitarist Mick Mars and drummer Tommy Lee.
The reunion is surprising given the notoriously bad blood between Lee and Neil — Sixx said the two still have not spoken to each other about the dates.
"We plan on recording new music as well," Sixx said. "I'd like to see us go heavier. When the four of us are together, something magical happens. That's something I've never felt before. All the drama and bullsh-- aside ... I love playing in Mötley Crüe."
Sixx said that Mötley could have returned earlier if they'd accepted the two different slots they were offered on previous Ozzfest tours, but relations between the bandmembers were too strained at those points.
Formed in Los Angeles in 1981, Mötley Crüe became one of the most outrageous and notorious bands of the decade, surviving drug overdoses, public feuds and numerous brushes with the law on their way to selling millions of albums. The band had a string of hit records in the mid and late '80s, but parted ways with Neil in 1992, who was briefly replaced by John Corabi.
In 1997, Corabi was fired and Neil returned, but the reunion was brief as Lee left the band after a 1999 greatest-hits tour and formed his short-lived Methods of Mayhem side project. Lee was replaced by former Ozzy Osbourne
drummer Randy Castillo, who died of cancer in 2002. During the hiatus, Neil mounted a series of solo tours and Sixx began his second career as what he jokingly refers to as the "white P. Diddy," writing hit songs for Saliva, Meat Loaf and Faith Hill, among others.
A four-CD box set of classic Crüe material, Music to Crash Your Car To, Vol. 1, was released last week. The 70-track set, which is packaged in faux iguana skin, covers the years 1981-1987 and features every track from the band's first four albums, Too Fast for Love, Shout at the Devil, Theatre of Pain and Girls, Girls, Girls. Among the extras are demos of such classic songs as "Shout at the Devil," "Looks That Kill" and alternate mixes of "Too Fast for Love," "Live Wire" and eight other songs from their debut. The set is the first in a planned chronological 12-CD series that will be broken up into four boxes.