ABOVE: Watch the members of Sixx:A.M. talk about how and why they came together.
TORONTO — Nikki Sixx is scheduled to wrap up Mötley Crüe’s final tour on New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles — but he promises that his bass guitar won’t be unplugged for long.
The iconic rocker says he will be focusing on his other band, Sixx:A.M., to make a new album and spend more time on the road.
“Once 2016 gets here, that’s it, this is what we’re going to do,” Sixx told Global News. “We’re going to take this all around the world.”
Sixx, guitarist DJ Ashba (of Guns N’ Roses) and vocalist James Michael, created Sixx:A.M. in 2007 as a creative outlet.
“We never even thought that we would be here today,” Sixx said. “We just were making this music because it was for us and we were trying to discover ourselves, and at the same time we were connecting with other people accidentally and we just started to kind of grow out of that.”
The band has released three studio albums, including last year’s Modern Vintage.
Michael, a busy music producer when he’s not belting out songs with Sixx:A.M., explained the band grew out of a need to do something “more on the explorative side, more of the fun side” and that “didn’t have to conform to any of the rules of the music business.”
He added: “Sixx:A.M. kind of accidentally happened as this safe haven for all of us to just kind of explore things that we couldn’t do in our quote-unquote day jobs.”
Ashba agreed. “It’s therapy for us,” he said.
“People look a lifetime to hopefully connect with one other musician that they really have that marriage with. We were lucky enough to come together and there’s just a magic when we all walk into a room and start writing songs.”
Michael said the music is a by-product of the fact that all three musicians genuinely like each other.
“We truly are best friends,” he said. “We get very little time to spend together so when we do it’s just this explosion of creative energy and of sheer joy of us getting to hang out and laugh and be buddies.”
Their songs are deeply personal and frequently dark — but typically tempered with messages of hope.
“It’s very intentional,” Ashba explained. “We love to really dig deep and make people think but we’re also giving hope in these songs. We realize how powerful that is, not only to us as songwriters but how it touches other people.”
He called it “super heavy” to learn about how certain songs have impacted fans in positive ways.
“We never thought we were going to connect in that way,” the 42-year-old said. “It’s pretty powerful.”
BELOW: Watch Sixx:A.M. talk about the messages in their music.
Sixx, 56, is thrilled that fans have picked up on the messages in the band’s music.
“We’ve all been through so much individually, from our childhoods through life, and we believe so has everybody else,” he explained.
“So when we write these songs that are really honest, that’s what we’ve been able to experience in life by digging in the dirt and finding all the bones and then coming out the other side of it and just realizing how great life really is.”
On the aptly-titled Modern Vintage, there are hints of classic ’60s and ’70s rock, including Queen and ELO.
“We wanted to go back and really celebrate the bands and the artists that had influenced us,” Michael explained. “It was important on this one that those influences weren’t subtle. We wanted them to be very bold on this record.
“We’ve been thrilled with the fact that people have been picking up on that.”
BELOW: Watch Sixx:A.M. talk about the influences on Modern Vintage.
Michael, 46, said the band has learned a lot from playing for fans on its current tour, which ends Wednesday with a show in Maryland.
“To see them, look in their faces, watch them singing every lyric to every song, not just the hits, it makes us realize that the messages that have been so important to us are also resonating with our fans,” he said. “And that inspires us.”
Sixx said the next album will be shaped by the tour.
BELOW: Watch Sixx:A.M. talk about using social media.
Until there’s a new album and Sixx:A.M. is ready to hit the road again, the three musicians will keep in touch with fans via social media.
“It’s a great sounding board,” Sixx said. “We hear a lot of stuff that we’re seeing in the audience and that means a lot to us. Again, it sort of puts a nail in it that we’re doing the right thing.
“It’s also a lot of fun. You can use it to inspire people. You can always use it to mess with people.”