In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Mick Mars, the renowned guitarist of Motley Crue, revealed that he had minimal involvement in the band’s last three albums: Generation Swine (1997), New Tattoo (2000), and Saints of Los Angeles (2008). Mars reflected on the gradual process of being marginalized in the decision-making process, which began over two decades ago when the band reunited with vocalist Vince Neil.
Recalling the recording sessions for Generation Swine, Mars expressed his frustration, stating that he felt useless and excluded from shaping the music. He claimed that the band intentionally suppressed his guitar sound, opting for a synthesizer-like quality instead. Mars lamented how his contributions were often erased, and other musicians would be brought in to replace him. This sentiment was supported by former Motley Crue vocalist John Corabi, who mentioned that Mars was subjected to disrespect and ridicule from bandmates Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee, not only regarding his musical input but also his personal life.
“I don’t think there’s one note that I played,” Mars said, referring to Generation Swine. “They didn’t want my guitar to sound like a guitar, basically. They wanted it to sound like a synthesizer. I felt so useless. I’d do a part, they’d erase it, and somebody else would come in and play.”
The situation did not improve with the release of New Tattoo in 2000, as Mars revealed that he was barely involved in the album’s songwriting process. Feeling excluded and uninvited, he noted that he only managed to contribute a single guitar lick. However, Sixx disputed this claim, asserting that Mars played multiple guitar parts on the record, including lead and rhythm guitar.
Regarding Saints of Los Angeles, both Mars and Sixx concurred that much of the guitar work was performed by D.J. Ashba, albeit without official credit. Sixx explained that Mars faced difficulties playing his parts, leading to a combination of Ashba’s and Mars’ contributions. The band prioritized Mars as the focal point unless he struggled to perform or recall his parts.
In 2022, Motley Crue announced that Mars would no longer tour with them due to his ongoing battle with Ankylosing Spondylitis (A.S.), a painful condition affecting the spine. Since then, public feuds and legal disputes have arisen between Mars and the band, centering on his official status as a member. In the meantime, Motley Crue has moved forward by recording music with Mars’ replacement, guitarist John 5, while Mars has been working on a solo album titled Another Side of Mars.