When Nikki Sixx, DJ Ashba and James Michael founded Sixx:A.M. in 2007, they had no grand ambitions for the band. It was nearly a decade before the group embarked on its first full-length headlining tour. But following that, Sixx, who would soon wrap up Motley Crue‘s farewell tour; Ashba, who would soon leave Guns N’ Roses; and Michael decided to focus solely on Sixx:A.M. What came next is Prayers for the Damned, Sixx:A.M.’s latest album.
Sixx tells ABC Radio that the response Sixx:A.M. garnered on the tour helped the band find its identity, and that had a big impact on the band’s approach to Prayers for the Damned.
“We didn’t know what the band was, so other people knew what the band was before us, and…we followed suit, slowly,” Sixx says. “But now there’s nothing in our way, [not] even ourselves.”
While previous Sixx:A.M. albums were not recorded with a live show in mind, the band went into the studio with the opposite mindset for Prayers for the Damned.
“That was our first and foremost goal, was let’s write and record songs that will translate completely seamlessly to the live stage,” Michael tells ABC Radio. “And I think that we did that.”
Additionally, Michael, who also produced Prayers for the Damned, wanted to showcase the personalities of his band mates, which he witnessed in a new light during the tour.
“There’s so much personality in this band, and I think that in our past records, because we didn’t have much touring experience as a band, they were more explorative,” Michael says. “We were kind of pushing ourselves musically, of course, but that live energy I think was something that didn’t really happen in our recordings until Prayers for the Damned.”
Prayers for the Damned is actually the first album of a double record, the second volume of which is due out later this year. Vol. 1 opens with the lead single “Rise,” which finds Sixx:A.M. exploring new lyrical themes. The closing track, “Rise of the Melancholy Empire,” not only provides a narrative bookend to the album, but also leads into Vol. 2.
“‘Rise of the Melancholy Empire,’ the way it ends is actually the beginning of the second record,” Sixx tells ABC Radio. “So it kinda glues it all together, actually.”
The first volume of Prayers for the Damned is out now.
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