COUNTRY CELEBRATES MÖTLEY CRÜE ON NASHVILLE OUTLAWS
August 19 marked the long-awaited release of Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Mötley Crüe, by Big Machine Records, Mötley Records and Eleven Seven Music, with a killer lineup of Country Music stars covering classic Crüe cuts.
Scott Borchetta, President and CEO, Big Machine Label Group, let each artist pick the song they’d like to cut for the project. When Justin Moore picked “Home Sweet Home,” the label chief told him he needed that song to be a single and asked if Moore would be willing to delay issuing another single from his Off the Beaten Path album.
“We talked about the timing of it,” said Borchetta, who told Moore, “‘We’ll come back to Off the Beaten Path (for another single), but if we step away from this, you’re working in a space where you’re going to get a lot more noise and a lot more attention than the current path that we’re on. We’re doing really well coming off of three No. 1 singles in a row, but this could be that additional noisemaker that attracts an even bigger audience for you.’
“So we talked in great detail,” Borchetta continued. “And he said, ‘Yeah, let’s rock with this!’ Justin is having a blast performing this single every night, and adding Vince Neil to the track just took it to a whole other level. And people have never heard Justin sing in this key before! They’re blown away by this Justin Moore vocal.”
“I was a little apprehensive about jumping off my album,” Moore admitted. “I knew that there are other songs that we definitely want to get through that I know radio is excited about, but we can always go back to my album. There is no rulebook that says we can’t do something like this. You only get so many opportunities, if any, in your career to do something like this. And with how diverse Country radio is right now and Country Music is as a whole, it opens up things like this. It was just one of those things in my career that I thought, ‘You know what? This may not happen again so let’s do this!’ I’ve never been afraid to be outside the box.”
On her cover of “The Animal in Me,” Cassadee Pope is joined by Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander. “I grew up with Mötley Crüe playing in my household because that’s one of my dad’s favorite bands, so I knew them and I’ve always loved their music,” says Pope, whose track was produced by Dann Huff. “I really wanted to do ‘The Animal in Me.’ It wasn’t the obvious choice as one of their bigger hits. I chose a song that was more of a deep cut on one of their albums and also the lyrics are a far departure from what I usually sing about, so I thought it would be cool to kind of go outside of my comfort zone and have a little fun with it.”
One of the tracks generating buzz is the Mavericks’ cover of “Dr. Feelgood,” “I kind of look at it as a Quentin Tarantino movie and Mötley Crüe ran into Tarantino,” the Mavericks’ Paul Deakin said. “I knew it was going to be a cumbia. We started out building the track basically from a percussion track. We had our friend from Miami, Glen Caruba, who lives in Nashville now, come in; he’s playing percussion. Raul is playing cowbell. I’m playing a marching bass drum and playing claves, and we recorded six minutes of that. Then we were trying out different ideas and really had an amazing time doing the record because it was very creative. We had a lot of fun and I think we were drinking a lot of tequila by the end of it, which is maybe how that saxophone part got in. I heard that and I’m, ‘That’s interesting. I don’t remember that.’ But we took the theme of ‘Dr. Feelgood’ to heart, saying, ‘We’ll sing a song about this. Let’s feel good while we do it!’”
Produced by Raul Malo, “Dr. Feelgood” has been released as a single to AAA radio, and Borchetta is taking the Cassadee Pope/Robin Zander track to rock radio in the U.S. “Internationally, there are several different tracks that are being explored,” he said. “We’re opening it up to other territories. If one of these things makes sense for France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, or the U.K, let’s talk about it. The fact that Sam Palladio is British, I think BBC2 is going to be all over ‘Without You,’ a duet with Clare Bowen. And then The Cadillac Three have taken off at rock radio in the U.K., so ‘Live Wire’ is going to be the next song for them at rock radio in the U.K. There’s so many different catch points and there’s no limit to this so we can go anywhere with this music.”
For more on Off the Beaten Path as well as Southbound, the upcoming Country Music all-star tribute to the Doobie Brothers, see the Oct/Nov 2014 issue of CMA Close Up.
Below, Justin Moore and Mötley Crüe join forces on “Home Sweet Home”: