"We don't want to stagnate": Mötley Crüe sign with Big Machine Records – Vince Neil exclusive

Motley Crue studio portrait
(Image credit: Ross Halfin)

In a move that further backtracks on their 2015 ‘retirement’, Mötley Crüe today announced a new deal with Nashville’s Big Machine Records. 

“It’s a great match for us,” singer Vince Neil tells Classic Rock. “We’re good friends with [founder/CEO] Scott Borchetta, who put together the Nashville Outlaws album back in 2014. His company just knows radio, how to get it out there, how to get the right people listening.”

“Mötley Crüe on Big Machine!" exclaims Borchetta. "Growing up in Southern California, I was in Hollywood when these new sheriffs showed up and took over the city. It was loud. It was powerful. It was game-changing.

"Nikki, and Tommy, along with new guitarist John 5, have reignited the flame with ferocious new Crüe music. Fans will unite… SHOUT!"

While the Crüe have long since reneged on their infamous Cessation Of Touring Agreement – and will return to the road imminently with new guitarist John 5 – the Big Machine deal heralds the band’s first significant studio material in almost a decade. This Friday (26th), they release new single Dogs Of War, a full nine years after 2015’s supposed farewell release, All Bad Things

The Dirt movie got us a whole new generation of fans,” reflects Neil of the restorative 2019 biopic. “We want to keep putting new music out. We don’t want to stagnate.”

The Crüe’s signing to Big Machine Records marks an unexpected twist for a band who have often operated under their own steam. 

“We self-released Too Fast For Love on our own Leathür Records label,” says Neil of the band’s 1981 debut. “It cost $3,000 to make and was done in three days. It was a glorified demo tape, but we were the record label until we got signed by Elektra. We haven’t been on a record label for 20 years. But Scott shares our philosophy and he’s a brilliant guy.” 

Toasting the Big Machine deal, one assumes, was a quieter affair than the band’s first visit to their new paymasters’ offices back in ’82. 

"Elektra’s publicist, Bryn Bridenthal, walks in and she knew we were the new band on the label," bassist Nikki Sixx told Classic Rock in 2021. "I was in all-black leather, peeing in a plant. The other guys had their boots up on her desk and were drinking a beer, and it was, like, ten in the morning…"

Motley Crue - Dogs Of War cover art

(Image credit: Big Machine Records)
Henry Yates

Henry Yates has been a freelance journalist since 2002 and written about music for titles including The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Classic Rock, Guitarist, Total Guitar and Metal Hammer. He is the author of Walter Trout's official biography, Rescued From Reality, a music pundit on Times Radio and BBC TV, and an interviewer who has spoken to Brian May, Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie Wood, Dave Grohl, Marilyn Manson, Kiefer Sutherland and many more.