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NIKKI SIXX On Why He's Not A Shreddy Bassist: "My Job Is To Support The Song And Be Super Tight With My Drummer"

If there's a enough space, he'll throw in a melody. Otherwise he keeps it lean and mean

nikki sixx
photo: pitpony

In a new interview with Guitar World, Nikki Sixx opened up about his early years as a musician, and talked about integral elements of his playing within the context of Mötley Crüe. Last year, Sixx published a new memoir, The First 21: How I Became Nikki Sixx, that details his youth in depth for the first time. 

Sixx recently moved to Wyoming, along the Teton mountain range, but he was born in San Jose, California in 1958. Sixx was raised for a period of time on the other side of those same mountains, in Jerome, Idaho before moving to Los Angeles to find fame and fortune. In the interview with Guitar World, he recalls “I fell in love with music [in Idaho], and when you find something you love, you can’t get enough of it, especially in those early years. I was out back looking over these mountains, and I just had this thought; it’s been 45 years since I was 17, back when I headed into the belly of the beast that was Hollywood."

Elsewhere in the interview, Sixx talked about what he really enjoys about being a musician, especially during his formative years. “Every day was about practice,” Sixx told Guitar World. “Just practice, practice, practice, which is still one of my favorite things. When you’re at practice you don’t have big bombs going off, or lighting or video to worry about. You’re just standing in a circle, banging out the song, dusting off the bones, and getting the rust off. That’s my favorite feeling ever, man.”

As a bassist who is responsible for keeping the train rolling in Mötley Crüe along with a powerhouse drummer like Tommy Lee, Sixx knew his role within the group was integral to its overall magic.

"I get grief sometimes from people who say, 'Oh you're not a real bass player because you're not all over the place', but I'm not like that," Sixx said. "I want to take one note and I want to maximize it, like how John Lennon wrote [The Beatles'] 'Strawberry Fields Forever.' The melody in that song is relatively simple, but it changes and grows, taking you on a journey. I try to do that with our songs: To me, that's so important.

“My job is to support the song and be super tight with my drummer. If there’s any room in there, I might throw in something melodic, but generally I stay in the pocket, which I believe has something to do with that three-string guitar."

You can read the complete interview with Guitar World here. Mötley Crüe is now on their stadium tour with Def LeppardPoison, and Joan Jett And The Blackhearts.

7/10 – Detroit, MI @ Comerica Park [Tickets]
7/12 – Hershey, PA @ Hershey Park Stadium [Tickets]
7/14 – Cleveland, OH @ First Energy Stadium [Tickets]
7/15 – Cincinnati, OH @ Great American Ballpark [Tickets]
7/17 – Milwaukee, WI @ American Family Field [Tickets]
7/19 – Kansas City, MO @ Kauffman Stadium [Tickets]
7/21 – Denver, CO @ Coors Field [Tickets]
8/5 – Boston, MA @ Fenway Park [Tickets]
8/6 – Boston, MA @ Fenway Parl [Tickets]
8/10 – Buffalo, NY @ New Era Field [Tickets]
8/12 – Pittsburgh, PA @ PNC Park [Tickets]
8/14 – Minneapolis, MN @ U.S. Bank Stadium [Tickets]
8/19 – Houston, TX @ Minute Maid Park [Tickets]
8/21 – San Antonio, TX @ Alamodome [Tickets]
8/22 – Arlington, TX @ Globe Life Park [Tickets]
8/27 – Inglewood, CA @ Sofi Stadium [Tickets]
8/28 – San Diego, CA @ Petco Park [Tickets]
8/31 – Seattle, WA @ T-Mobile Park [Tickets]
9/7 – San Francisco, CA @ Oracle Park [Tickets]

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