Methods of Mayhem mainman Tommy Lee has just released the long-awaited sophomore album A Public Disservice Announcement after a 10 year hiatus from the project. To talk all about the resurrection of the band, the new spin, new members, new headspace, ah ahem..new ideas and how the famed drummer balances his love of playing guitar, fucking beautiful whores just kidding, and being the all around bad ass douchebag we all want to be.
We last caught up with you in February 2009, when you were promoting Mötley Crüe's Saints of Los Angeles release. What's been going on with you since then?
TL: I've been working on this Methods of Mayhem record for a little over a year now. Mötley decided to take 2010 off, so I was like, this is a perfect time to make a new Methods record. 'Cause the last one I did was in 2000 and it's like, fuck, 10 years went by; it's time to make another one, let's do this.
The last Methods of Mayhem record was born in part out of your stint in jail. At the time you were also getting into Buddhism...
TL: Yeah, yeah.
So the Methods of Mayhem project is ironically part of a greater spiritual journey for you.
TL: It totally is. I call it my adult playground, or my adult sandbox. I totally get to go fucking crazy stylistically. I get to do whatever it is I want. Because I can't really do that with Mötley. We do a certain thing and that's what we do. So when I get a chance to do this, I fucking love it. I just get to go crazy.
Right, 'cause your role in Mötley is very defined; you're the drummer. Whereas with Methods of Mayhem, you're playing guitar, you're doing vocals...
TL: Yeah, pretty much everything right. Once again, I could just let it fucking rip. I love, love, love to sing and play guitar too, you know, and keyboards, and pianos, and turntables, and all kinds of shit. I get a chance to play with it all...Like I said, it's my chance to sort of freak out.
How does the creative process work for you? 'Cause it's got to be very different from working with Crüe, where you're part of a machine that functions in a very specific way. With Methods of Mayhem there's a blank page, and you have to create something out of nothing. How do you go about that?
TL: It's kind of like whatever you're feeling, you know. I'm a fan of so many different styles of music. Whether it's making a nasty dance club track or making a really aggressive metal track like "Fight Song," or a pop/rock tune like "Time Bomb" or "Blame." I am all over the place. I truly get to exercise all the fucking demons when it comes to this.
I love the progression of the album from rock through to dance on the last three songs ("All I Wanna Do," "Back To Before" and "Party Instructions"), the way they roll into each other, that really hits a sweet spot for me, kinda makes me wet.
TL: That's fuckin' awesome. I'm glad. That's so cool. Finally! You have no idea how many fuckin' interviews I do with a lot of fuckin' rock meatheads that just don't get that. I'm telling you, you're the first person that actually appreciated that. I did that for people like you, so that you could enjoy those songs back to back. Because what happened was, I had this very eclectic record that had pop, rock, and electro dance stuff on it, and I couldn't really [make it work] by making the record go all over the place. So what I did was I sequenced it so it took you on a journey through some rock, metal, pop, and then I wanted to close the album out with full-on club banger shit.