Editors’ Notes When The Dirt was published in 2001, it did what few other rock memoirs had ever attempted as far as honestly depicting and confessing the sheer debauchery of a rock band in its addled prime. The March 22 premiere of the Netflix adaptation is a chance to relive the madness and the music of Mötley Crüe—as well as a chance for the band to release new songs for the first time in over a decade. “We didn’t think we would ever make music together again, but the movie was really the connective tissue,” bassist and songwriter Nikki Sixx tells Apple Music. “We'd been away from each other so long and we were re-energized. And we had something to inspire us. It was important that we lean in to our actual selves, and whether it wins an Oscar or not isn't the point—it's whether we tell our story concisely and record new music that's precisely 'us' that's the condition here.” They didn't waste precious creative energy coming up with song titles: All seven of the new tunes they came up with were originally called “The Dirt,” and all tied back to the movie and their own checkered-spandex past. They were then boiled down to the three included on this soundtrack—two of which were retitled, obviously—plus a cover of a fellow '80s-vintage icon that is sure to turn heads. Sixx walks us through the soundtrack's standouts, old and new.

“The Dirt (Est. 1981)”
“The first single is really zeroed in on what the movie's about. If you read the lyrics and listen to the song and watch the movie, that is a fit on one level. It's a moment to reflect on an era that's not here anymore. The music to me sounds like Mötley Crüe 2019—it's still rough around the edges. We called on [longtime producer] Bob Rock—he's the one who knows the band better than the band and how to push us as players. 'Crash and Burn' is a little more about our destructive side, and questioning ourselves—why did we have to crash and burn?”

“We love how the songs in the movie are not all hits. This is an obscure song off our first record, which is about when I lived in this stupid poor area of Seattle. I used to walk two blocks to the bus stop, and there was this guy I would see smoking and drinking on this merry-go-round every morning. He was just rocking back and forth, and that stuck with me—like he'd snapped or lost his mind, the merry-go-round goes around and around like insanity. I was very young when I wrote that, but I love how it kind of peeks its head up in the movie and then a new fan will be like, 'Wow, what a weird song.'”

“Ride with the Devil”
“It's just a smooth groove and sexy and kind of plays with, you know, 'Shout at the Devil.' It's perfect for us. There's been a lot of talk through the years that there were some Satanic influences in our music. I think if you get big enough, you get to be called a Satanist at some point—the Stones, Led Zeppelin, same thing. So this was sort of a tongue-in-cheek play on what people say about us. It's a flash of the unapologetic way we made the film.”

“Girls, Girls, Girls”
“All Mötley Crüe songs come from an experience or observation. And because we were so transparent lyrically, it sometimes activates the imagination—it's like, look a little deeper beneath the surface. 'Girls, Girls, Girls,' you think it's just about girls, but when you dive underneath you realize it's about Los Angeles and the streets of Los Angeles and what we were doing living in that kind of gutter life. We were taking drugs and we were hanging out in strip clubs, and so that song is about a lifestyle—it's not about a poppy little idea about girls. And that's something that people miss about Mötley Crüe if they just listen on the outside and they're like, 'I heard this guy got arrested and that guy did this and that guy has a disease and the singer this.' If they dive in deeper, they go, 'That song “Primal Scream” is actually about primal scream therapy.' And people are like, what? That's what I think helps differentiate us a little bit.”

“Like a Virgin”
“The idea of doing the Madonna song came up, and it just felt kind of snotty and punk rock. And Bob really pushed us to a different place and put the chorus into half-time, which is unexpected. I've never met her, but she was a little punky—I think she'd be like, 'That's smart-ass, I like that.' I mean, Vince Neil singing, 'I'm like a virgin'—come on, that's funny.”


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