Vince Neil 

Mštley CrŸe singerMore than a quarter-century has passed since Mštley CrŸe formed in Los Angeles. The pop-metal band has experienced an extraordinary amount of well-chronicled ups and downs, but the hard-living outfit, which has sold more than 80 million albums, is still at it and has just issued a new studio release, Saints of Los Angeles. For its summer tour, it's assembled CrŸe Fest, which pairs the band with openers Papa Roach, Buckcherry, Trapt and Sixx:A.M. Singer and race-car driver Vince Neil recently took some time to discuss the tour as well as how he and his bandmates have survived such a tumultuous history. Ê What prompted CrŸe Fest? We've been playing other people's festivals for so long that it was time to do our own fest. We chose the bands we wanted, who have great songs and are great live. We wanted young, exciting bands and that's what we got. It's an excellent tour. Ê What's the most difficult part of being in the CrŸe? That all of the decisions are made by the CrŸe. We each have a voice in what this band does. Sometimes we don't agree, but we're actually good at making things work out. We're better at it than you would think. Ê All the original members are in the band. How can you explain that after these crazy years? This is a brotherhood that started almost 30 years ago. You have your ups and downs. But we always make it through it. We love making music with each other. It's pretty simple. Anybody who has been in a band for a while can relate to what I'm talking about. Ê So many of your peers are playing the club/retread circuit, but the CrŸe still manages to perform at arenas and sheds. What's your secret? It's different with us because when we come around, it's like the circus is back in town. We haven't made a real record in eight years, but the fans still come around. They know what they get with us. It's a high-powered, fun show. Come out and see it. Ê Does it bum you out that you'll never be able to top Dr. Feelgood? We think this album topped Dr. Feelgood. It's the best album we've done. The songs are amazing. Ê Is that delusional? Not at all. I really think we did a phenomenal job. Ê Is the band committed to release albums on a regular cycle, or can we anticipate another lengthy hiatus between discs? We intend to release one album after another. We have a 10-year schedule. We want to do three more studio albums in the next 10 years. We're going to be Mštley CrŸe for a long time. It's a good situation for all of us. We've done different things and do different things, but there is nothing like being in this group. It's special. Ê What's the difference between auto racing and singing in front of 20,000 fans in terms of adrenaline rush? It's almost the same thing. Being onstage in front of a big crowd is so exciting, and the same goes for flying around the track. Once you put your helmet on or hit the stage, you get focused and go out and have fun. You get that adrenaline rush. You can't believe how great you feel. I recommend it for everyone. What rumor about Mštley CrŸe is the most hilariously untrue? That we don't get along. We laugh about that stuff. People try to figure out our lives. They see that we each have our own tour bus and they think, "They don't get along." We travel that way because we can afford to. Think about it. [Bassist] Nikki [Sixx] has his kids, and so does [drummer] Tommy [Lee]. Ê How have you guys survived? I don't know. You look at the drugs and the drinking, and it's amazing we're all still here. We survived some dark days. We could have died many times from many different things. We made it through it, and now that we're in control, we're not going to stop. music@clevescene.com

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