Drummer Tommy Lee says that response to the public recording outreach for his upcoming Methods of Mayhem album, "Public Mayhem," has been "absolutely insane," with 1,000 or more submissions for each of the six tracks released so far.
"My God, you would not believe what's coming in from around the world," Lee tells Billboard.com. "When we set out to do this, I was worried, like, 'Man, how good can it actually be having people submit parts from all over the world?' I was kind of freaking out, but not a day goes by when my producer (Scott Humphrey) and I don't look at each other and go, 'Oh my God, are you kidding me?!' There's so many talented people out there, just kicking around."
Lee says it was Humphrey's idea to make the raw tracks for the album available for fans to download -- at ThePublicRecord.com -- and put their own parts on them. "Look, people steal the fucking music anyway," Lee notes. "These days you've got to have some way to involve their fans so it's an experience, not just another record, and involve your fans. This just seemed like a perfect way; you can download the tracks for free, get involved, take some ownership, tell your friends about it, maybe be in an album. And the enthusiasm is overwhelming. I've never experienced anything like this."
Lee says submissions have come from literally around the globe and on a variety of instruments -- including bagpipes, accordion and exotic percussion. Bowing to public demand he and Humphrey recently put the first track, "Talk Me Off the Ledge," back online for those who missed the initial offerings. The album may also include contributions by established artists -- Godsmack's Sully Erna, Sum 41's Derrick Whibley and deftones' Chino Moreno have stopped by the sessions -- but Lee says "it'll definitely be mostly fans and other musicians out there" playing on it.
He does note, however, that "there are a couple of guys submitting parts in masks, which makes me wonder who they really are, like 'This guy kicks ass and he's got a mask on. What's the deal?' I think about it all the time."
Lee and Humphrey hope to start posting tracks online with parts they've decided to use on the album, which they hope to release in February -- 11 years after the ad hoc group's debut. With Mötley Crüe taking 2010 largely off the road (save for a short Canadian tour in late January), Lee plans to take Methods of Mayhem out and says he may ask the musicians whose parts he winds up using to guest in their home cities. He's also thinking about creating a "virtual band" using some of the players he's found through the "Public Mayhem" process.