Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx reveals in a new interview that the band was just as surprised as anyone when their guitarist and cofounder Mick Mars left while they were still touring with Def Leppard.

“We never saw it coming that Mick wasn’t going to be able to tour and was going to have to quit the band,” Sixx told Guitar World of Mars departure due to health issues. “In the middle – not even the middle – of a huge tour, we had to ask ourselves, ‘Do we want to let the fans down?…Do we want to let Def Leppard down? Do we want to let ourselves down because an original member of our band can’t tour anymore?’ We had to have a deep, deep look into what we were going to do.” 

In the end, they hired former Rob Zombie guitarist John 5, who they had a previous relationship with, calling the decision “a no brainer in a horrible situation.” 

Sixx says bringing John aboard “was just kind of obvious.” “If there was ‘the guy,’ John was the guy,” he said. “Like I said, we didn’t choose this, but since we had to be put in this position, we’re very happy with where we’re at right now.”

Of course, the drama didn’t exactly end there. Mars sued Mötley Crüe over a financial disagreement and suggested they’d been pushing him out for years. He also accused them of playing to backing tracks at shows, a claim the members of Motley Crüe have denied.

Well, fans still have plenty of chances to judge for themselves. Mötley Crüe’s tour with Def Leppard is currently in North America, hitting Fargo, North Dakota, on August 11. A complete list of dates can be found at motley.com.

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