Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx Writes For Backstreet, Meat Loaf

Boy band didn't want his track, but Meat Loaf begged for more.

The hard rockin' dude who wrote the heavy metal anthems and ballads on

Girls, Girls, Girls has been thinking about boys lately. Mötley

Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx wrote and submitted a song to the Backstreet

Boys.

The poppy, hook-filled track, "Let's Get It Together," was written with

songwriter Chris Kelly. The cut was submitted on spec by Sixx's publishing

company, but it was turned down by the Backstreet Boys, who felt it wasn't

quite right for them.

No matter. Sixx has plenty of other places to pitch the tune. Since 2001,

when the Crüe decided to take a two-year leave of absence, the

songwriter has penned ditties for a diverse assemblage of acts including

Saliva, Tantric, Meat Loaf and Faith Hill.

"I just think a great song is a great song," Sixx said, defending his right

to write teen pop. "I believe that Garth Brooks proved that a country artist

can do a metal song, and the Stones proved that rock bands can have country.

And we've seen rap and rock mix, so there's no use to just saying, 'I am a

rock and roll songwriter.' I'm a songwriter, and if I look back on

Mötley Crüe's career, I've written everything from punk rock to

power pop to boogie rock to beautiful ballads."

Sixx started writing new songs with his friend James Michael, who had worked

with him on the last Mötley Crüe album, New Tattoo (2000).

The pair started by writing a song for Michael's band Heidi Crisis, then

they heard that Meat Loaf was looking for material for his next album, so

they penned "Man of Steel," which Sixx described as "an epic ballad that

starts with nothing and ends with everything and the kitchen sink thrown

in."

Sixx expected Meat Loaf's management to get back to him to let him know

whether they liked the song, but he never expected that not only would it be

the first single on the album, but Meat Loaf would ask him to write two more

songs.

"He and his wife called me up and said, 'Wow, somebody finally out-wrote Jim

Steinman,' " enthused Sixx.

The Mötley Crüe bassist didn't receive as warm of a reception from

Santana, who turned down the piece submitted to him, and Sixx is still

waiting to hear back from Faith Hill, but he remains eager and optimistic

about his prospects with these and other songs. Last month he and Michael

wrote a song for Saliva called "Rest in Pieces," which the band just

recorded for its next album.

"After the 'Hero' song started going from the 'Spider-Man' soundtrack, I

think they were a lot more open to something that was across the board more

melodic," Sixx said. "It's not as heavy as Saliva usually is, but it's got

tons of hooks. It's very catchy, and I know Josey [Scott] will sing the sh--

out of it and the band will play the hell out of it."

In addition to writing songs to sell to other artists, Sixx is also

collaborating with various acts. In May he hooked up with Tantric vocalist

Hugo Ferreira and the two wrote a song called "Going Under."

"I love Hugo's voice," Sixx said. "He has a very unique and interesting

vocal approach. What I added to the mix was relentless hook ability. We

continually kept pushing for more hooks. I always try to have a pre-chorus,

a chorus and a post-chorus. And if you don't get the first one, you'll get

the second or third one."

Next week, the Mötley Crüe bassist will get together in the studio

with Drowning Pool, and he has plans to write with Orgy and possibly Tal

Bachman.

"When I get together with Drowning Pool I'll be really excited because I'll

know that they have input in it," Sixx said. "When it's a song you write to

sell to someone like Meat Loaf or Faith Hill, it could go to different

artists and it wouldn't really matter. But I'm sure the song I write with

Drowning Pool isn't gonna end up on a Britney Spears album."

As a musician in Mötley Crüe, Sixx got used to writing songs that

became beloved staples of the band's catalog and live set. But as a

freelance songwriter, he's had to learn how to be less possessive of his

material.

"When you write with and for somebody else, you write [something] and then

it's gone," he explained. "Your baby's gone and you have no control of

whether it ends up on the record, if it even gets recorded, or if it gets

recorded the way you might have envisioned it. It's a lesson in letting go."