Overnight, Mick Mars shared the video for his new song Loyal To The Lie, the lead single from his debut solo album, The Other Side Of Mars. “I wanted to do something that was just big and mean,” Mick told us.
Mars co-founded Mötley Crüe over 40 years ago. He stepped back from touring with the band after their massive summer 2022 Stadium Tour. To many, it felt like the end of an era.
“When it comes to my playing,” Mick says, “there’s the Mötley side and the Mars side. Either way, I always have a very clear vision of what I want to do.”
With the awesome riffing of Loyal To The Lie, it is a tantalising tease of what his solo album has to offer. Fresh, it is the start of something new.
Mars says he loves “that people are going to hear my tone – my sound. I am what I am. Nobody else can do it. And like everyone, I’ve got a limited number of years. So, I’m gonna do all I can to do a lot of stuff.”
The Other Side of Mars finds Mick venturing into uncharted territory, exploring modern Metal with a caustic edge, weaving gothic-tinged soundscapes, and delving into soulful, slow-burning power ballads. You will find bluesy, cinematic instrumental interludes featuring slide guitars, violins, violas, keyboards, and unexpected sonic experiments.
“There’s a lot of ideas that I have. I don’t want to call them ‘left,’ but they are, you know what I mean?” Mars says. “My feeling has always been, I might gain some fans, I might lose some fans. But what they’re hearing, it’s all me.”
Paul Taylor, like Mars, a Nashville resident, has been a major part of the project. The Winger and former Alice Cooper keyboardist performs on the album, assisting Mars in co-writing many of the tracks.
Taylor introduced the guitarist to powerhouse vocalist Jacob Bunton. “Jacob came into the studio, and it was like, bam!” Mars says. “And I just said, ‘Yeah, he’s the guy.’ And most of his vocals were one take.”
Mars is joined by Korn drummer Ray Luzier, bassist Chris Collier and singer Brion Gamboa, who contributed lead vocals to two songs. “Those required a little bit more of an angsty, desperation kind of thing,” Mars says. “Brion really came to the table with that.” Collier has mixed and mastered the debut solo album.
Mars brought Michael Wagener, the much-lauded German producer and engineer, on board. Wagener worked behind the boards on Mötley Crüe’s 1981 debut, Too Fast For Love, however, they knew each other before this time.
“I had known him for a long time,” Mars says, “and I actually brought him to Mötley. “He had such an understanding of where I wanted to go with the material. And he never said, ‘Hey, do this,’ or tried to change my mind or anything like that. He was just really adamant about recording what I wanted to record and making sure we recorded it right.”
With the debut solo album set, Mars is always working on its follow-up. “I’m trying to keep growing,” Mick says. “Because if you stop learning new things, if you stop playing new things, if you close your mind, you’re done. You have to keep moving and creating. Next!”
The album will be released on 23 February 2024. Pre-orders are available from here.