Tommy Lee talks Tik Tok fame, new music and Mötley Crüe’s postponed comeback Lee dropped two new singles this month off his forthcoming solo album, "Andro," which is due out in October. Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee has released two singles off of his forthcoming solo album, “Andro,” which is due out in October. Mötley Crüe was originally scheduled to head out on its reunion stadium tour this year alongside Def Leppard and Poison, however, the trek was postponed until 2021 due to coronavirus. By KELLI SKYE FADROSKI | firstname.lastname@example.org | Orange County Register
PUBLISHED: June 11, 2020 at 9:08 a.m. | UPDATED: June 18, 2020 at 12:37 p.m.
After Mötley Crüe agreed to permanently retire following a farewell tour in 2015, Tommy Lee promised himself he’d take a full year off. He’d spent more than three decades playing and partying hard on tour with bandmates bassist Nikki Sixx, vocalist Vince Neil and guitarist Mick Mars, so spending time at home with family and friends sounded like a good deal. He nearly made it, but his basement recording studio ultimately beckoned him and before he knew it he was deep into making an eclectic mix of new music. “I had nothing else going on and nothing on the horizon, so with the Mötley Crüe chapter closed, this was just my next journey,” Lee said during a recent phone interview from his Calabasas home. He reached out to a range of artists to join him on a project that would ultimately be dubbed “Andro.” The full album, which is due out in October, features two sides: A collection of collaborations with female artists, and another with male ones. Mötley Crüe ( Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars and Tommy Lee) was originally scheduled to head out on its reunion stadium tour this year alongside Def Leppard and Poison, however, the trek was postponed until 2021 due to coronavirus. To give listeners a taste, Lee released two of the singles this month. The first is a bouncy song called “Tops,” which features South African rapper Push Push (Nicci St. Bruce). The second is a rock-rap banger titled “Knock Me Down,” featuring Bay Area vocalist Killvein who channels a dark Marilyn Manson-meets-DMX vibe for the song.
“I wanted to release two singles so that people got the essence of the male and female energy of the record,” he said. “Those two represent what’s happening on the record, though it’s much deeper than that. Those two are a pretty good barometer of what’s inside.” Lee also worked with Canadian singer-songwriter Lukas Rossi
, Buckcherry frontman Josh Todd, rapper Mickey Avalon, Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 — and Julia from London-based alternative pop band PLYA appears on a song called “Make It Back.” “I actually sent her two tracks and told her to tell me which one she was feeling and she picked the one I thought she would,” said Lee, who had a melody in mind for it. But when he asked if he could share it with her, Lee said she preferred not hearing it so she could add her contribution without the added influence.
“I said, ‘OK, cool, fair enough,’” he recalled. “So she goes into the vocal booth and she starts singing and my jaw drops and I got goosebumps. She was singing almost identical to what I had put on the track. How does that happen? I wasn’t going to question it though because it was [expletive] amazing. It was almost scary, but it was an unreal and beautiful experience. You can only hope for those [moments] to happen.” For those that only know Lee from his high-profile relationships, tabloid exploits and arrests or storied heavy metal career with Mötley Crüe, the diverse sound of “Andro” may come as a surprise. But it’s not so far-fetched for those who have followed his other solo endeavors, including the rap-metal project Methods of Mayhem, his DJing or solo records, “Never a Dull Moment” in 2002 and “Tommyland: The Ride” in 2005. As well as readying “Andro” for its fall release during the stay-at-home orders due to coronavirus, Lee has been cooking, floating around in his pool and begrudgingly participating in Tik Tok videos alongside his wife, social media personality, comedian and actress Brittany Furlan, whom he married last year. “Oh my God, there’s never a dull moment around here,” he said. “She’s constantly filming [stuff] and I’m like ‘Babe, what are you doing?’ I guess you could say we’re having fun with it. Though it’s not my really my thing, but she has definitely pulled me into it. OK, fine. It is fun. I do have to admit that. I make it look like I’m not having fun, but it’s pretty stupid.” While on Tik Tok he keeps it light and silly, Lee treads a little heavier on Twitter. He’s not afraid to share his opinions, especially when it comes to the current commander in chief. He’s, uh, not a fan. “I just despise him,” he said. “It’s crazy, too, because a lot of our [Mötley Crüe] fans are Trump supporters and I get a lot of hate for that, but [expletive], I also have an opinion, too. I get like, ‘Well, why don’t you shut up and stick to drumming, bro.” Ugh. Here we go. I don’t read a lot of the comments, I just keep it moving.” Despite all four members of Mötley Crüe officially agreeing to retire after a farewell tour in 2015, the band has kept moving as well. Following renewed interest in the group after the release of the Netflix biopic, “The Dirt,” which featured rapper-rocker Machine Gun Kelly portraying Lee, the group decided to come back together and head out on a summer stadium tour with Def Leppard, Poison and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. The jaunt was scheduled to hit PetCo Park in San Diego on July 23 and the all-new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on Sept. 5. However, due to the spread of COVID-19, the reunion has officially been postponed until 2021. The newly announced dates are Sept. 4 at SoFi Stadium and Sept. 12 at Petco Park. Fans who can’t make those dates are encouraged to visit visit livenation.com/refund for ticket options. “I’m not going to sit here and feel sorry for the artists whose tours were canceled or postponed, including ours, but I mostly feel sorry for the fans who just have no outlet at a time like this,” he said. “That’s why alcohol sales are up … People are tripping out and there’s no outlet. I feel badly for the others it affects, too, like the road crews and the thousands of those guys who put on big shows all over the world who are out of work. It just sucks.” However, Lee said he thinks there are some good things that will come out of this period in time, including people being a bit more appreciative of what they do have. “This time has really let everybody have some introspection on their business, on their life, on their relationships and really slowed it down to take a good look and see what you’ve done, what you’re doing … good or bad,” he said. “In that way, I hope everybody sort of reminds themselves of the good things and it kind of makes this weird time less insane.” Like many music fans, Lee also can’t wait until that first large concert gathering post-COVID. “Just imagine it,” he said. “Imagine that energy and what it will be like when everything is cool and everybody is able to pack a club, a stadium or an arena. Imagine that energy. I want to be on stage at that time because that’s going to be priceless. That’s going to be something like I’ve never seen in my lifetime and I’m looking forward to that time.”