John Corabi - Winter 2016

Shock waves ricocheted around the globe in February 1992 when it was announced that Motley Crüe had parted ways with lead singer Vince Neil. Shortly after John Corabi joined as his replacement. John was certainly no Vince Neil clone and the differences artistically seemed to excite the rest of the band. His grittier voice and the fact that he played guitar offered new opportunities which the band appeared keen to explore. Together they recorded the self-titled Mötley Crüe album in 1994 which perhaps unsurprisingly introduced a heavier sound. Whilst it didn't sell as well as Motley Crüe's earlier albums, it's still one of the band’s favourites as documented in their 2001 autobiography The Dirt. John left the band in 1997 following what appeared to be record company pressure for Vince to return but they remained friends. Motley Crüe completed their Final Tour on New Years Eve 2015 and 2016 brought news that John and guitarist Mick Mars were once again working together. We catch up with John Corabi to find out what they've been up to.

Having fun with a young fan

You have had a strong and extensive career in the world of rock, but many people will know you from your time in Motley Crüe. It's been reported that you have been working again with Mick Mars, on 2 particular songs at least, Gimme Blood and Shake The Cage. What was it like working with Mick again?

To be honest, the whole thing with Mick, it was kind of before they started the final tour. Mick moved to Nashville and all of a sudden I just get this email and he's like ‘Hey dude, give me a call’ so I called him and he told me that he lived in Nashville and he said ‘ I wanna do a solo record and I would love for you to help me. I love the record that we did together and I would love to do a solo album.’ So I said alright. At the time I was just doing my solo band and Mick was getting ready to go on the final tour. So we talked about it, I said ‘yeah, sure’, I went down and met him at his house, but then it was weird because I didn't hear from him for a while. And then he went on tour and I got a call from these guys to do The Dead Daisies, and I'm like sitting there going Marco (Mendoza), Brian (Tichy), Richard Fortus, Dizzy (Reed) who I've known forever. Yeah, let's give this a shot, you know what I mean? When I did it - and I didn't hear from Mick for a while - and then he actually wrote a couple of songs with someone else – those 2 songs you mentioned he wrote with somebody else – and I guess we were at Download last year when Motley played and Mick’s guitar tech came over and said ‘Hey, Mick really wants to talk to you when you guys get home’. I thought he'd kind of changed in directions and went with so embody else. I got home in December, Mick got done in January and I got a call and he said ‘Hey, I wrote these 2 songs’ and he asked me to sing on them. I went in, sang these 2 songs and I split and did some cruise or whatever. Anyway, I talked with him and he asked to to help him finish the record and I just said ‘Man, I don’t want to hold you up. I would love to do it with you but I've got Daisies work’. We were in the studio doing a record and I've got a solo band and I’ve got a record that's getting ready to come out. I don't know if I'm going to have the time. I don't know when I'm going to be able to do this and I don't want to do it if I can't give you 100%. So he was cool with it. He said ‘I appreciate your honesty’. We did leave it like ‘if there's anything I can do to help, I would love to do that’. But I think it's limited to those 2 songs at this point because The Dead Daisies have been gaining so much momentum that I just don't know when I going to have the time. And in the 3 months that we do have off, I'm booked with my solo band. My son is my drummer so we're having a great time too, so I just don't know when I would have the time to do it and I don't want to hold him up. I love Mick. He's absolutely hands down one of the coolest people in the music business that I've ever met and I don't wanna do anything that would stall him or derail what he wants to do.

As our conversation draws to a close, we reflect on how busy John actually is with commitments to The Dead Daisies and of course his solo career. However, it's warming to hear that he has remained great friends with Mick Mars, and it's with huge excitement and anticipation that we look forward hearing John’s work on Mick’s solo album in due course.

In the meantime, enjoy some of John’s work with Motley Crüe in the music video to Hooligans Holiday below.