Inside scoops on what happens in the recording studio are rare – even more so when they’re unfavourable. But, Mötley Crüe’s producer has done just that by sharing that the band’s lead vocalist, Vince Neil, was lacking when it came to recording vocals in the studio.
Turns out, according to their producer, Tom Werman, the rockstar lifestyle is to blame.
“I remember struggling with Vince. [Laughs] He would get in there and try his hardest, but sometimes he just didn’t produce too many keepers because he had stayed up all night partying,” Werman dished on Full in Bloom in reference to working on the band’s second album, Shout at the Devil.
He continued, “As a vocalist, Vince had a lot of character, but he wasn’t able to do that much work all at once.
“I mean, sometimes it just worked out that Nikki [Sixx] would have to sing to him what the melody was supposed to be because he hadn’t had enough time to learn the song.”
Shout at the Devil, which was released in 1983, was the breakthrough album for Mötley Crüe, selling more than 200,000 copies in its first two weeks. Looking back at the production of the album, Neil shares that out of the four band members, Tommy Lee’s talent really stood out to him.
“When I think about those times I think about Tommy – mainly Tommy – and his enthusiasm and his curiosity about the newest technology in drumming.
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“He was really, really curious and adventurous in his approach to the drums, and he always wanted to use the latest technology – he was into samples pretty early.
“I remember that and I remember being grateful to him for getting really good drum tracks right away, so we didn’t have to do a lot of editing.
While his reflection on Neil may be less than favourable, Werner, who has produced 23 gold and platinum album, has nothing but praise for Lee.
“He [Tommy Lee] really is amazing, he’s right up there with [Cheap Trick’s] Bun E. Carlos, who I think is the best drummer I ever worked with.
“Tommy is right there too. He’s good, they both love what they do and they did it naturally.”