NASHVILLE, Tenn.— Vince Neil and Nikki Sixx have spent so much time hanging out with country artists for a Mötley Crüe tribute album that they know how to write the classic country song.
First, the subject of a country ballad isn't that far from the life of a rock 'n' roller, the blond lead singer said as he sat in a Nashville, Tenn., hotel next to guitarist Sixx.
"You're young and you go out drinking, drugging and writing songs," Neil said. "Bad stuff happens: you lose your wife, your house, your car."
"And you write a song about it," Sixx chimed in.
Instead of a clash of cultures on the 15-song album, "Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Mötley Crüe," released Tuesday, Nashville's country crooners welcomed the teased-hair, leather-clad metal band whose rock anthems helped define the '80s.
Backed by Big Machine Label Group CEO Scott Borchetta, who brought to the album his wide roster of artists including Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line and Brantley Gilbert, the multi-genre approach fits right in with younger fans of country music whose tastes fall all over the radio dial.
Mötley Crüe had no input on the artists or how the songs were performed. The standout performances sound very little like the electric guitar heavy originals, such as when LeAnn Rimes sings "Smokin' in the Boys Room" with a horn section or when The Mavericks bring their Cuban country beat to "Dr. Feelgood."
Big & Rich, Darius Rucker, Gretchen Wilson and Justin Moore also appear on the album.
For Neil, whose father was from Texas, this isn't the country music he rebelled against as a teenager who loved rock 'n' roll.
"I saw Florida Georgia Line, and one of the guys has a Mohawk and tattoos," Neil said. "I mean, you can't get any more rock 'n' roll than that."