With his former band's autobiography of debauchery arriving in stores next month, Tommy Lee is busy prepping a more rock-oriented follow-up to his Methods of Mayhem debut.
"It's got more of a rock thread through it all," the former Mötley Crüe drummer said of the new material Wednesday. "The first Methods of Mayhem record was me basically freaking out, wanting to do every single stylistic thing that I could think of. I was like hip-hop track! Techno! Industrial! Metal! I think I've focused more with this record."
Lee said he's about a quarter of the way through work on the as-yet-untitled effort, which he plans to release in September.
Despite its rock core, Lee said the album is still "next-level-sounding stuff."
"I will try my best not to do anything stock. I hate the sound of a stock-sounding drum set or a keyboard," he said. "We go out of our way in the studio to tweak the hell out of everything so it's different."
Lee declined to name any collaborators that may turn up on the album, though his publicist said fans can expect some guest appearances. Methods of Mayhem's self-titled debut featured a bevy of guest artists, including Kid Rock, Snoop Dogg, Fred Durst and Lil' Kim.
"I don't want it to be like the last record, where it was packed with guest artists," Lee said. "That's awesome all those people were awesome on the record, but it also distracts from what you're trying to do. We'll see what makes it and what doesn't."
Lee initially hoped to have the album out in time to tour on Ozzfest this summer, but work has been delayed because his producer, Scott Humphrey, is in the studio with Rob Zombie. Still, Lee said he's excited about spending a summer at home with his family and recording music.
When the time comes for a tour, Lee will bring along the same band as last time with the exception of his former partner, rapper TiLo, who recently left the group.
"I'll always miss his ways he's a maniac," Lee said. "I can't say enough good things about him. The record company wasn't really feeling him, and he needed to do his own thing as well. I don't think he was extremely happy with the direction, because he's a very hip-hop-schooled kid. I think that's where he needs to be."
Meanwhile, Mötley Crüe's autobiography, "The Dirt," hits stores May 22. Lee and the band's current members collaborated on the book with New York Times scribe Neil Strauss.
Other than the stories about the Crüe's early days, Lee said his favorite part of the book is the end, which recounts Lee and bassist Nikki Sixx dropping their kids off at preschool.
"We're both waving goodbye to our kids, and we both look at each other, and we're like, 'Can you believe, you know, from 17 to now, being a dad and I'm waving goodbye to my kid,'" Lee said. "We never even thought we'd live this long, and now we're standing on the steps saying goodbye to our kids together. When I finished the last page of the book, I was like, 'Whoa! That's heavy. That's like some movie sh--!'"