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BLUES PLAYER

Mick Mars takes fans to “The Other Side of Mars” with his new solo album!"

Posted: May 14, 2024
I feel diversity is missing nowadays.  I purposely wrote in this way and this manner to take you on a little journey. 

Photo provided by: Steven Karas

Mick Mars is best known as a founding member of the Iconic LA Rock band Motely Crue. A band that he played, recorded, and toured with for over four decades and sold over 100 million albums worldwide.  This includes six top ten songs and 20 Hit Singles, not to mention seven Platinum albums.  But in 2022 Mars announced his retirement from Motley Crue, but that wasn’t a retirement from writing or recording new music.

INTERVIEW WITH MICK MARS AND GUITAR THRILLS MAGAZINE

Guitar Thrills caught up Mick Mars in Nashville, TN to discuss his new album, released February 23, 2024, “The Other Side of Mars.”

Guitar Thrills: Why did you go in a new direction with your new solo album “The Other Side of Mars” instead of staying in the same vein that you achieved hits with for the past four decades?

Mick Mars: When I was with Motley I wrote “Motley Crue” songs.  But I still had my own ideas floating around in my head for years and years.  And I finally got a chance to express the first step in solo.

Guitar Thrills:  Why did you create the Dungeon Studio here in Nashville, TN?

Mick Mars:  I just get out of bed, slap something on, go to the Dungeon, knock on the door, and walk in.

Guitar Thrills:  How did you choose what guitars from your collection to play on this album?

Mick Mars:  It was hard because there were a lot of guitars there.  On some of the songs I used a 7-string Ibanez that was given to me by Steve Vai for my birthday many years ago.  I used my main white guitar that I played for so long on stage.  I also used Les Paul’s and different kinds of Stratocasters and even a Melody Maker.  There were just a lot of guitars.

Guitar Thrills:  How did you choose the musicians to play with you on this album?  The bass player you selected also mixed and mastered the album.

Mick Mars:  Yes, Chris Collier was introduced to me by Ray Luzier of Korn and Chris does a lot of the Korn albums.  For recording I used Michael Wagener, who actually started on “Too Fast for Love.”  I met him through Dokken.  But the guy that recorded that record didn’t record it very well, so I called in Michael.  And I’ve worked with him for over 4 decades now.  Michael went on to other hit bands besides Motely including “Skid Row” which hit 10 million in sales.  He’s a great Producer. And he retired after this album.

Guitar Thrills:  How did you find the rest of the band members to support you on the album?

Mick Mars:  I searched around for a long time, but I wanted a particular thing.  I met Brion Bamboa through Paul Taylor that did stuff with Winger and Alice Cooper.  And we had Jacob Bunton who has won a few Emmies and Grammys and I met him through Paul as well.  It just kind of blossomed out into this thing that I have.  I auditioned 10 or 12 people.

Guitar Thrills:  What shaped your new sound for this album?

Mick Mars:  There was a lot of diversity in what I listened to when I was growing up.  Everything from Blues to Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Robert Fripp, and all between. 

 Guitar Thrills:  The rumor on the street is that you’re working on your next album already.

Mick Mars:  Oh Yeah.  Things have been floating around for quite a while.  And before this I was very dedicated to my band.  When I’m freed up to do what I can do “The Other Side of Mars” comes out.

Guitar Thrills:  The new album is under our own label 1313, LLC too correct?

Mick Mars:  Yes, I control the music, masters, and all.

Guitar Thrills:  Several of the songs on the new album sound like they would work for film or TV.

Mick Mars:  Yes intentionally, so the songs are like stuck in your head.

Guitar Thrills:  Instead of repeating the sound you are known for you took a right hand turn musically, right?

Mick Mars:  Again, it was on purpose.  I feel diversity is missing nowadays.  I purposely wrote in this way and this manner to take you on a little journey.  Every song you hear or are playing you’re seeing a different landscape it’s a music scape, I guess.  I wanted to put this across to show that I’m not just a one-sided guy. 

Guitar Thrills:  Do you feel freer to do your music now solo as opposed to being a part of a major band?

Mick Mars:  Yes, I feel I’m free to do whatever.  And I had to save this music for the right time.  And I’ve written songs for a long time, but if I would have dug them up, they would have sounded dated.  So, this project needed to be all new fresh ideas. 

Guitar Thrills:  Do you feel that you helped forge much of the 1980’s guitar sound with your playing gigs in LA back then?

Mick Mars:  Well yeah (laughs).  When I went to the Starwood and the Roxey I was leaning more to Jeff Beck or like Hendrix.  I was going for that tone that they got.  You hear it and you know it’s them

Guitar Thrills:  Is it true that when you were recording in the same studio as Steven Tyler, that your amplifiers were so loud that they ended up in the Aerosmith mix?

Mick Mars:  Yes, that’s the truth. 

Guitar Thrills:  So, then you are also on Aerosmith’s albums then as well?

Mick Mars:  Yes, and he’s on one of mine!

Guitar Thrills:  When we hear your guitar playing on Motely Crue albums and on this solo album you are immediately recognizable.  Why?

Mick Mars:  That’s the same with me with Jeff Beck.  There are a billion different things you can do with guitar and to stay in this little box, No I can’t do that.

Guitar Thrills:  Will your next album be free form jazz in the vein of Spinal Tap?

Mick Mars:  I was thinking of resurrecting Cab Calloway. 

Mars is already returning to his Dungeon Studio in Nashville, TN working on more new songs and material even as his latest album “The Other Side of Mars” continues to gain steam with Rock radio and playlists.  There are currently no plans for a tour at this time but follow Mick Mars to keep up with his song and music video releases.  And possibly a Hard Rock meets Cab Calloway album in the near future?




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