Continuing on from Gerri Miller’s Metal Edge interview with Nikki Sixx. The below excerpts in italics are taken from Metal Edge circa 1994. The lyrics and comments are added by me.
“WELCOME TO THE NUMB”
It’s about sensory overload via television—”people shove stuff down your throat. Too much information, you can see it in my eyes. Welcome to the numb.” It’s too much—we shut down.
If Nikki thought there was a sensory overload back in the early nineties, what does he think now. We are connected 24/7 and we are interacting with people from bedrooms to bedrooms, all over the world. We watch what we want, when we want it. We download what we want, when we want it. Everything is open online. We don’t shut down, we evolve.
The lyrics are screaming that they don’t want to be part of the machine, however they are part of the machine. They are one with the machine. The created videos to appear on television, to promote their brand. The did interviews that appeared on TV to promote their brand. I was never a fan of artists that complained of the machine. Look at Swedish House Mafia, they did what they wanted, became successful, and then walked away from it all, as they didn’t want to be part of the machine. They didn’t hang around and complain about it.
“SMOKE THE SKY”
A full-throttle burner that smokes indeed, this song arose from a riff Mick came up with at rehearsal. It takes a pro-marijuana stance and stems from a period in which, “after being clean for a few years, I decided to smoke pot and smoked a ton of it. It says, ‘Get off my back.’ But I’m 100% clean now,” Nikki underlines. “I can’t do it, or I’m all the way up Peru’s butt.”
Any song that starts off with a pull and a cough, deserve respect.
Home grown vision compliments the senses, opens up my mind.
J.F.K. sold us freedom, or was it just a business toke?
63 went up in smoke.
He was the great seducer crawling from our T.V.s.
Breathed hope into our future, before he died, he smoked the sky,
Smoke the sky.
“DROPPIN’ LIKE FLIES”
This apocalyptic rocker talks about “a war zone in the streets,” a “modern Babylon,” crack, disease, and a wasted future and was created at a jam session. “There’s a lot of references to death, destruction, and the end of the world,” Nikki sums up.
I really dig this song. It’s heavy and that break down interlude sounds like it came from Korn’s debut album that came out a year later. This album was way ahead of its time. You can tell Bob Rock, brought the heaviness that he mastered with Metallica to this album. Even thought it didn’t set the charts on fire, or the sales department, it is an important album for the musical trends that came afterward especially the sound of Modern and Alternative Rock acts.
Hate is growing fast in a hazy cloud of crack, but it helps us fade away.
Some inner city queen French kisses his disease with one foot in the grave.
Oh, and this junkyard we call home is primed and ready for another war.
My, my, my, the children have no chance and these eyes have seen this all go down
We’ve all raped it, the future’s wasted.
Can we take it?
Is nothing sacred?
Probably the closest thing on the record to a ballad, this song was written by John, who brought it in when he joined the band. Nikki helped him “tighten up” the lyrics, which go in part, “I try to make the best of another lonely day/I close my eyes and slowly drift away … close my eyes and dream my life away.”
When i first heard this song, I thought of The Scream. It had John Corabi all over it. It was a clichéd rock song and to be honest, I don’t believe it was a good fit on the album.
Motley Crue wrote and recorded over 20 songs for this album. Another three made it on the re-released version and another four songs made it onto the Quartenary EP, released in Japan. Those songs will be for another day.