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Exclusive: Sixx:A.M. Gives Track-By-Track Rundown of 'Prayers for the Damned'

Sixx: A.M. photographed on Feb. 29, 2016 in New York City.
Jenny Regan

Sixx: A.M. photographed on Feb. 29, 2016 in New York City.

Sixx:A.M. sat down in the Billboard studio for an exclusive interview to discuss the inspirations and lyrical themes found on Prayers for the Damned, the first volume of a double album that arrives April 29 through Eleven Seven Music. The band has never shied from exploring deeply personal topics — after all, its debut album is 2007’s The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack, the companion album to bassist Nikki Sixx’s memoir about drug addition, The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star — and Prayers for the Damned finds it once again exploring the dark side of life and celebrating what it takes to survive it.

“I think one thing about Sixx:A.M. is we do look at the dark underbelly of our lives and of our experiences and stuff that we’re viewing in real time,” says Sixx, citing the song “Better Man” as an example. “The verses are sort of dark and reflective, and then the chorus opens up and it feels like a celebration.”

The band also turned a song it was working on into a dedication to the victims of the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, “Rise of the Melancholy Empire,” and singer James Michael exorcised a devastating heartache he had carried with him since he as 18 on “It All Went to Hell.” Watch the video below of Sixx: .M. giving a track-by-track rundown of Prayers for the Damned:

Sixx:A.M. has never been overtly political, but given the ramp-up to the presidential election in the United States, the band couldn’t help but to write “Rise,” a song about the country’s current political climate that peaked at No. 6 on the Mainstream Rock chart in April and No. 23 on the Rock Airplay chart for the week of May 7.

“You can’t help but to see this kind of chaotic sense. Everyone seems to be afraid and angry and vicious. Right now it’s an election cycle here in the United States and probably the loudest, most aggressive, angriest election cycle I’ve ever seen,” observes Michael. “While we’re not a political band at all, we really couldn’t help but to react to this general sense of this climate of people’s discontent and this seems like one of those times in the history of the world that it’s time that everyone bands together and rises up and makes their voice heard.”

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“It’s a call to arms,” says guitarist DJ Ashba. “Right now it’s more important than ever to [not] be quiet. Speak your mind. Stand up for what you believe in.”

Sixx, Michael and Ashba discuss the track listing for Prayers for the Damned as follows:

“Rise”

“You’ve Come to the Right Place”

“I’m Sick”

“Prayers for the Damned”

“Better Man”

“Can’t Stop”

“When We Were Gods”

“Belly of the Beast”

“Everything Went to Hell”

“The Last Time (My Heart Will Ever Hit the Ground”

“Rise of the Melancholy Empire”

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