Generation Swine is Motley Crue's clarion call to anyone who refuses to be pre-packaged, E-mailed, faxed or fooled into submission as part of yet another generational bodycount. Generation Swine is Motley Crue's Humvee-fucking-bulldozer of a record designed to plow over once and for all Gen X - the Pepsi Generation - the Me Generation and every other corporate cattlecall sounded over the years. Generation Swine.
"I'm a sick motherfucker," Vince Neil spits out on the album's incendiary opener, "Find Myself." As if we didn't know. He's back, It's back - that indefinable thing that drove M-tley to seemingly unattainable heights in the 1980's. Motley Crue returned a spirit and camaraderie to music that incited, as well as influenced, a new generation of artists.
"Generation Swine alludes to everything we've never stood for," says Nikki Sixx. "Everything we've railed against. But in reality even we are part of Generation Swine, in a way. Everyone wants to succeed, make money, be successful. But what happens is you end up becoming a bit of a pig. If you spend your money on yourself and what's around you, and don't give to charity, or give of yourself, or reach out to help the homeless or runaway kids or something like that, let's face it...you're a bit of a swine. We've been pigs just like everyone else. We're just rubbing our face in the mud. There's only one Mother Theresa and one Pope, everyone on down is a pig!"
With Vince Neil back, Motley Crue is ready to "rail" once again. The five year separation has only whetted their appetite for even more dirt under their fingernails. "For me alternative was a breath of fresh air against bands who copied other artists and missed the point by 300 fucking miles," says Sixx, displaying his usual candor. "I wasn't putting on lipstick and blowing kisses to myself in the mirror. We put makeup on to look ugly. We fought because we were pissed off. Motley Crue has always been about being honest. It usually got us in a shitload of trouble, but when we went to bed at night we felt good because we knew we told the truth. We never played the game. In fact, we believe if it's working - it should be broken."
And break every rule they did. As one of music's most influential/burn the rulebook bands, Motley Crue carries with them an amazing legacy: Music that typifies everything that is wild, exhalting, uninhibited, and outrageous about rock n' roll. Where lifestyle meets creative anarchy and freedom.
17 years down the road and with nearly 35 million albums sold worldwide, the Motley Crue journey has been as unpredictable as any in music. And after their much publicized split with Vince Neil in 1992, not many thought the original Crue lineup would be laying it down again with the reckless abandon they do on Generation Swine. But all they needed was a common enemy. Complacency.
"Music has gone through another crazy phase," says Tommy Lee. "We welcome the changes. We've always refused to be pigeonholed." Vince Neil agrees: "In a way the vacation from each other did us some good," says Vince. "Music seems to need a kick in the ass right now. Believe me, we're grateful that we were able to influence a lot of bands, now we're ready to shake things up again."
Oddly enough it was the same way in 1982 when Motley Crue first emerged on the scene. The first album, Too Fast For Love (on little known Leather records, later released on Elektra) was a wake up call to corporate rock's faceless arsenal that flooded the Billboard charts after the powers-that-be buried punk's underground explosion of the late 1970's. The similarities between then and now are uncanny.
This brash Hollywood foursome, Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars and Tommy Lee were determined to not only leave their mark on rock n' roll, but destined to make this fresh L.A. sound the new center of rock's universe. Their follow-up masterpiece, 1983's Shout At The Devil, sold 3.5 million copies, and cemented forever the risk-taking thrill-making calisthenics that would mark all subsequent Crue albums and live shows. 1985's watershed Theater Of Pain included the classic "Home Sweet Home," which eventually became MTV's first ballad. The video was so popular MTV was rumored to have enacted "the Crue Rule," an unwritten law that ordained no video can rule the airwaves for longer than three months.
Motley Crue's music and image was now being copied by bands in basements and garages all over America. The Crue now had an international army of fans. Dedicated kids who packed concert halls and imitated their antics in classrooms and playgrounds, or wherever two or more Motley fans gathered in their name. That kind of relationship with their fans still exists today. "We always try and remain approachable," says Tommy Lee. "I get 200 pieces of E-mail a day. When someone says 'I can't believe I'm talking to you,' I always stop and think: 'Yeah if we would have had computers and web sites back when I was getting into music, I would have been blown away if I could have E-mailed John Bonham and asked him some drum questions, it would have blown my mind.'"
It's that kind of identifiability that made Motley Crue so special. But by the mid-eighties they had also kind of become the rock ink blot test. You either loved them or you hated them. Anything but the middle, which is where they never intended to be in the first place. The band symbolized the mental and physical release that music fans long for. Their only goal: To deliver the goods.
And 1987's legendary Girls, Girls, Girls, did just that. Frivolous and frenzied, it took Motley Crue fans even closer to the edge, a double platinum rendezvous with debauchery that featured the group at one of their most hedonistic eras. Motley Crue had established itself as the band that enjoyed titillating their fans as much as they did thumbing their noses at the rock establishment.
The Motley Crue decade culminated in 1989 with the quadruple platinum LP Dr. Feelgood, perhaps the most brutal and artistic of the Motley Crue albums, it also lyrically reflected the toxicity level that a band reaches when it sets out to burn and destroy everything it conquers. At the height of their powers, with several sold out world tours and millions and millions of albums under their belt, Motley Crue was about to implode.
The group released their first complete retrospective in the winter of 1991. It was a riotous summing up of their previous drug and melodic alcohol infested work, Decade Of Decadence, which included 12 classic tracks (gems like the classic "Shout At The Devil" and "Live Wire,") and two new original offerings for Motley Crue fans who couldn't get enough of their music. The multiplatinum disk also contained a gritty in-your-face version of the Sex Pistols punk anthem "Anarchy In The U.K.."
In 1992 the unthinkable happened, Vince Neil and the rest of the group parted ways. John Corabi was called in to work the mic. The self titled Motley Crue was released in 1994, and though it met with an admirable response, due to its creative step into the future and its gritty/ballzy backbone, the legion of Crue fans around the world were still hoping the group and Neil might record again someday. Their hope: that the band could deliver another body blow to the music industry's play-it-safe psyche. Little did they know the band was gearing up for just that. "A lot of the songs on this album were written before Vince came in," says Tommy. "But there's something about Vince that when his voice goes on top of the music you go - yeah, that's the Crue. He just takes the bull by the horns."
After a myriad of rumors and an impassioned, inspired performance at the 1997 American Music Awards, Motley Crue is about to once again hand deliver to their fans "the goods." Generation Swine is 13 delirious, delicious Motley Crue originals, including the chest-beating "Find Myself," an instant classic, and the blistering "Afraid," as well as a re-tooling of sorts, on the updated anthem "Shout '97." "It was strange, but when we were all in the studio, it was like the five years in between never happened," says Nikki. "I think one thing this album shows is that Motley Crue has always been about the songs. You take any great band - The Beatles - Aerosmith - and you go back and listen, the songs are their strength. For us it's been the songs - which we really concentrated on, on Generation Swine - and the individual style of each member." Nikki and Tommy also approached the writing chores on this LP a little differently than the past. "It was the coolest experience," says Tommy. "We had another studio set up in Nikki's garage. I'd pull up to it around noon. I'd work on something, then Nikki would roll out of his house - 'What are you working on?' Then he'd dive in. We'd work a few hours, then eventually make our way upstairs to the studio to work on something else. It was great because there was none of that stuffy studio vibe. You know - where you're saying 'we gotta get a song done.' The relaxed environment made the songs better."
Mick Mars feels the "garage" vibe may have also resulted in more challenging tunes from the band. "Listen to some of the weird guitar textures and tones going on," he says. "I mean take 'Beauty' for example. The basic guitar is simple, but there's other things going on there. There are parts going through polyfusions, and we drop it back through the computer to fuck it up. Also we went for a certain attitude on this record. You might have gotten a certain sound right but if it didn't have the Crue attitude it was like: 'Do it over.'" In short, the album is a smash-it-up call to arms for all of those not afraid to rock. Vince Neil wouldn't have it any other way. "We've never been a critic's band, obviously. But this one is really for our fans. It's a great Motley Crue record." The band also gives a nod to co-producer Scott Humphrey, who was an important cog in helping Motley Crue to push the musical and songwriting envelope on Generation Swine. "Scott's very talented," says Nikki. "We feel we've just scratched the surface with him on this album."
Tattooed long before it was fashionable, outspoken no matter how politically correct the rest of the world became, pierced and proud of it long before it became a trend, Motley Crue has been able to reinvent themselves at every turn. They weren't afraid then. They sure the fuck aren't now. They're back - they're in your face - setting out to lift everyone's head from the trough long enough to get a good look at the pigs we've really been - delivering a wake up call to a Generation of Swine ready to face the music, once again. Motley Crue is back to prove everybody wrong - ONCE AGAIN.