Mötley Crüe, Poison, Def Leppard and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts love rock ‘n’ roll just as much as their fans, who can see their favorite legends tear it up together in America’s largest venues on their just-announced Stadium Tour in 2020.
But the motley crew — consisting of Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars and Tommy Lee; Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott, Phil Collen, Rick Savage, Vivian Campbell and Rick Allen; and Poison’s Bret Michaels, C.C. DeVille, Rikki Rockett and Bobby Dall — took the stage of SiriusXM Studios’ garage in Hollywood on Wednesday (Dec. 4) to address what they’ve been calling “the biggest party of the summer.”
Their outfits were as stage-ready as they were: The three groups of bandmates were decked out in slick, all-black ensembles with leather pants, fitted blazers and sleeveless shirts showing off their tattoo sleeves, while some rocked their shades indoors.
With each of these acts growing to fame in the 1980s, Elliott assured that this rocking decade won’t be put down any longer once the big four hit the road again. “There’s a lot of people who still think the ‘80s is a mockable decade, and we’re about to prove that it’s not,” said the Def Leppard frontman at the press conference. “It’s last man standing to a point maybe, but we have survived. Whether we’ve gone away and come back or we’ve been constant, it’s the music that’s been the thread that keeps bringing everybody back again.”
Mötley Crüe frontman Neil said the band members haven’t seen each other since the premiere of their Netflix biopic The Dirt. “We’ve known each other longer than we’ve ever known anybody else besides our parents and siblings,” he told reporters.
The Dirt is the 2019 Netflix film based on the band’s best-selling autobiography from 2011, and it acted as a major catalyst for the group’s unintended reunion. Mötley Crüe guitarist Sixx said none of them thought a reunion like this would happen following their 2014-15 Mötley Crüe Final Tour. “I think we really needed that break, and it was during the making of The Dirt movie, we started working on the script and started being on the set and we started hanging out again together,” he said in the conference. “We really sort of realized how much — without even talking about the music — how much we missed each other. And then that got us to go into the recording studio, which is where the whole thing always starts for all of us.”
But whatever happened to the “Cessation of Touring Agreement” they signed on Jan. 24, 2014, that prevented them from getting back onstage after wrapping their farewell tour? “Contracts are meant to be broken,” Poison’s Dall chimed in on their behalf.
Sixx and Poison lead singer Michaels discussed how their newer generation of fans begging to see these hair metal bands have provoked such a major reawakening in the rock world. Michaels spoke exclusively with Billboard about Poison’s previous live experience with their new tourmates. Back in 2011, Poison hit the road with Mötley Crüe and the New York Dolls, and the American hair metal group took North America by storm with the “Pour Some Sugar on Me” British hitmakers as well as Tesla in 2017.
“What people forget is when you go out and work with someone like Leppard, they’re kind, they’re fun. Poison is a live, live band. We are all live from the beginning till the end,” Michaels told Billboard. “And then you go out there, and all of you [are] hanging out and partying together after the shows. … For the fans to have an amazingly great time, you want the bands to have a great time.”
He continued, “Same with Mötley Crüe — they were amazing to tour with. I’ve known them since I came out here to Los Angeles. I’ve been on the road with them a bunch of times. And Joan Jett’s been out on the road with Poison many times before. I think all of us get along with one goal, and that’s to make an incredible show for the fans.”
Michaels described how special it feels to share humble origins with the other bands — being kids who starting playing guitar and drums in their basements to now starting their grand 2020 tour in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium next July — as well as catalogs of songs “that will stand the test of time.”
Sixx shared at the conference that Michaels told him “if he wasn’t on the bill, he’d be going to the show.” And the same goes for each of the acts, who have more in store for their wildest fans from each generation.
Lee teased, “I’m gonna shoot myself out of a f—ing cannon” in terms of the production’s early design ideas, which focus on energy over perfection, according to Def Leppard basist Savage. “It’s just an evening of hit after hit after hit that will be portrayed in an energetic way,” he promised. “You’re not just going to see the band standing there playing the music perfectly just like it is on some of the records. … There’ll be mistakes because somebody will probably be doing the triple somersault while trying to do a guitar solo and things like that.”