Rock music may have the reputation of fast living, booze, sex, and drugs, but two iconic heavy metal bands from the ’80s are living proof that good music truly never dies.
Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe are arguably two of the biggest bands to ever grace the metal scene, with both being around for more than 40 years.
Now they’re on tour together, playing sold out stadium shows in one of the most epic tours rock and roll has ever seen.
Bringing their show to Australia in November, both bands sat down with Tara Brown to discuss life in the fast lane.
While they may have heavy music in common, the two bands are starkly different.
In their heyday, Mötley Crüe embodied every outlandish rock and roll stereotype, both on and off stage, but they insist they weren’t out there with the aim to shock people – they were just doing what they loved.
“Vince would light me on fire, we had chainsaws on stage … who knew we’d be here 42 years later?” bassist and songwriter Nikki Sixx said.
Ever since the band formed in 1981, they’ve been notorious in the scene, making news for their partying and antics, as well as for more serious issues like heroin overdoses and arrests.
They’ve even reportedly been banned for life from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
But when Def Leppard are asked if they miss the chaos of the scene in the ’80s, lead guitarist Phil Collen is more contemplative.
“I don’t,” he said. “I think there’s a big cop out, especially in rock and roll, that ‘Hey, yeah man, it’s loose’. That’s an excuse for being lazy and crap, you know? So we don’t do that.”
Phil knows all about the toll the wild life of drugs and booze can take.
He gave up alcohol nearly 40 years ago after the death of Def Leppard’s guitarist and songwriter Steve Clark, who died after an accidental overdose.
He was Phil’s best mate and the two were so notorious with their partying back in the day that they were known as the “terror twins”.
“I started blacking out. It just got out of control. I was just able to pull it back thank God, and unfortunately Steve couldn’t,” Phil said.
Years later, the old antics of the rock and roll scene are better left in the ’80s.
Asked if Mötley Crüe would make it in the modern-day music scene, there was one resounding agreement amongst the members of the band.
“We would definitely get cancelled,” they laughed.
However in 2023, both Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe are proving that even without the hard partying antics, rock and roll will never die, releasing new music alongside embarking on the world tour together – and there’s no slowing down anytime soon.
“[Retirement] has never crossed my mind,” Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliot says. “We enjoy doing what we do. We always have, long may it last.”
The guys from Mötley Crüe are in firm agreement, still raising their middle fingers to the world.
“I feel like our middle finger is about to go higher,” Nikki Sixx said.
“We’re in the ‘we don’t give a f— phase’ of our career.”
Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe will bring their world tour to Australia in November.
Find out more at livenation.com.au