Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil takes a look back on his third solo studio album -- and first in 15 years -- with the covers-heavy "Tattoos & Tequila," due out June 22.
Ten of the set's 12 songs are Neil's personal favorites, including his take on hits such as Elton John's "The Bitch is Back," Elvis Presley's "Viva Las Vegas" (a tribute to Neil's current residence), Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Who Will Stop the Rain" and the Hollies' "Long Cool Woman" to deep cuts form Cheap Trick ("He's a Whore"), Aerosmith ("Nobody's Fault"), Scorpions ("Another Piece of Meat"), ZZ Top's "Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers" and the Sweet ("AC DC").
"I wanted to make a really cool, rock 'n' roll party album with songs that mean a lot to me and give people a glimpse into my life," Neil tells Billboard.com. "These are from my favorite albums I grew up listening to." The Scorpions track, for instance, hails from the group's "Lovedrive" album that Neil says he and Crüe drummer Tommy Lee listened to incessantly, while Aerosmith's "Rocks" album was the soundtrack to the singer's daily surfing trips.
"Tattoos & Tequila's" title track -- an homage to Neil's own business ventures -- was written and produced by Marti Frederiksen, while the other original song "Another Bad Day," was written by Nikki Sixx and originally intended for the Crüe's 2000 album "New Tattoo." "It didn't make it on the album," Neil notes, "and I always thought the song was amazing. I loved it the first time I sang it, and I told Nikki, 'I"m gonna use this one of these days.' Nikki had even forgotten about that song when I played it for him. I think it's just a classic song with a cool message and a cool vibe to it."
Neil, who recently opened his Vince Neil Tres Rios Cantina at the Las Vegas Hilton in conjunction with his Tres Rios Beverage Group, kicks of an eight-date solo tour on June 19 in Columbia, Md. He then hooks up with the Crüe for a European run that starts July 31 at the U.K. Sonicsphere Festival in Knebworth Park, returning to the U.S. to play at the Sturgis Rally on Aug. 11 in South Dakota and then the six OZZFest dates.
"We haven't played together with (Ozzy Osbourne) since '84," Neil notes. "Times were different back then, but it's gonna be great to be back with him. We have Crüe Fest, and I'm kind of hearing that after this Ozzy's going to step aside and there'll just be Crüe Fest from now on, which is kind of cool. That would be a great honor from Ozzy if it happens."
Neil says there will definitely be a third Crüe Fest in 2011 as the group celebrates its 30th anniversary; other potential activities will be discussed during the summer, he adds.
Meanwhile, Neil will be publishing a memoir in September, also titled "Tattoos & Tequila," which he says will both complement and update the Crüe's famed 2001 band autobiography "The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band." "There's a lot of things I touched on in 'The Dirt' that I didn't really go into a lot of detail," Neil says. "This has more detail on me growing up, getting into rock 'n' roll, being in Mötley Crüe, the tragedies in my life. And 'The Dirt' is over 10 years old, so there's a lot of stuff that's happened in the last 10 years, good and bad.
"I learned from 'The Dirt' that if there's something that makes you look like an asshole, you just have to say that's the way it is. You can't sugarcoat everything in your life."