Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx Likens Vince Neil’s Vocal Character to Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant
Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx, in an interview promoting his new memoir, The First 21: How I Became Nikki Sixx, likened Vince Neil's unique vocal character to that of Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant and Janes Addiction's Perry Farrell and explained what sets them all apart from other notable vocalists.
In a 45-minute video chat with Yahoo Entertainment, Sixx dove into his childhood and early adult years that pre-dated the formation of Motley Crue and his eventual rock superstardom with the occasional reference to how these events translated into some of the themes present in Crue's songs.
Sixx had previously stated that "Live Wire" in particular was rooted in domestic violence, a reflection of part of his upbringing, which spilled into what made Neil the ideal singer for the band.
"With Motley Crue, Vince has this amazing, unique voice — sometimes like Robert Plant, Perry Farrell... they have these interesting voices that are... they’re not pitchy, they’re just raw and just kind of on top," the Crue bassist offered and noted, "I always loved that about Vince’s voice and I would write for Vince."
Vince will tell you 'Nikki wrote all those lyrics for me,'" Sixx continued. "I did. I gave him stuff."
"I understand his voice so much," he said before revealing in what ways the band's songwriting process works with Neil's distinctive voice specifically in mind.
"When we’re doing demos, I’ll sit in the studio with Tommy [Lee] and we will get it so that it sounds like this song... he delivers it, he owns it. One of the things he sometimes says like I write too many lyrics in a short period of time — ‘Shout at the Devil’ is a great example," explained Sixx, "But we work through it and he's got this thing."
Making music outside of Motley Crue has also helped to offer further perspective on Neil, who has come under fire in recent years his poor onstage performances, which even resulted in cutting a solo set short earlier this year due to vocal strain.
"I've worked with a lot of singers that have huge vocal ranges — they take vocal lessons, they warm up, they warm down and there's guys... Vince warms up and does his thing, but he just goes out... I got lucky! I got a guy with a really different voice," praised the bassist, who pondered how Crue might have sounded with a more traditional singer.
"Imagine if he was a bluesy singer — if he was a David Coverdale? I love David, I love his voice — or Glenn Hughes, some of my favorite people and favorite musicians... Could he deliver 'Bastard'? Could he deliver 'Dropping Like Flies'? Could he deliver 'Generation Swine'? I don't know, I'll never know. But I do love that about Motley Crue that we kind of four individually... I don't know. It's almost like we don't belong together. We're all so weird and different and it makes for some really interesting magic," he affirmed.
Watch the full interview at the bottom of the page.
The First 21: How I Became Nikki Sixx will be released on Oct. 19. A Sixx: A.M. hits compilation will accompany the memoir, which comes with the new song, "The First 21." Watch the music video for the track, which features childhood footage of Sixx, here.
Nikki Sixx Speaks With Yahoo Entertainment About New Memoir, The First 21
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