Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, who last year posted tracks online from the new album by his Methods of Mayhem project and invited fans around the world to, well, do whatever the hell they wanted with them. “Our direction was: Anything goes,” says Lee. “I don’t care if you play butt bongos on your girlfriend’s a–. Go crazy!”Most rock stars are very choosy about which remixers they allow to tinker with their much sweated-over musical meisterworks. One exception to that rule?
The skinsman admits the submissions were of variable quality—”A lot of people have a hard time realizing what key things are in”—but that the experiment was ultimately a successful one. “There’s this song called ‘Back to Before’ that was a pretty straightforward, midtempo rock song,” Lee explains. “This dude from Paris took all the parts, remixed it, raised the tempo, and sent it back. I was like, ‘F—, that’s awesome.’ I redid the whole thing around his remix. That was the one that took the wildest turn. Essentially, at the end of the day, I made a record with the whole world.”
That CD, A Public Disservice Announcement, is out today and boasts an eclectic mix of riff-driven metal (“Fight Song”), hook-heavy rockers (“Louder,” “Blame”), and even electro-funk (the Deadmau5-assisted “Party Instructions”). What you won’t find on the album is an abundance of guitar solos. “I think it’s a f—ing waste of time,” Lee laughs. “ ‘Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!’ That’s great. You can play guitar. I get it. But can you remember anything that you just played? Probably not.” Of course, Mr Lee has himself played a few drum solos during Crüe shows—albeit often while strapped into a revolving metal cage. “That’s why I started to take the drum solo to another level,” he says. “There’s no way you’re going to leave the room if I’m f—ing flying upside down playing drums. Yeah, it’s still a drum solo. It’s a wank. But if you make it cool…”
Lee recently took the drum solo up—or, arguably, down—to another level when he played a kit made of people, and their mostly pneumatic breasts, for the Comedy Central show Tosh.0. “I love that guy,” says Lee of host Daniel Tosh. “I’m such a big fan. When he asked me to come do the show I was like, ‘Yes! I don’t even care what we’re doing on the show, the answer’s yes!’”
And where do you go after you’d played boob-percussion? How about playing a drum solo while riding a rollercoaster. “What I would love to do with Methods is set up a concert where I build a stage around a rollercoaster,” Lee explains. “I want to put seats on the f—ing thing and grab a couple of people out of the crowd and take them with me and play the whole way on the rollercoaster. I’ve got some f—ed up things that I want to do!”