Although they have been a band for almost a decade now, hard rock band SIXX: A.M. is ready to embrace being a group on a full-time basis. It’s not that the desire to be a band wasn’t there at any point in the past nine years; they were simply tied down to other rather significant projects.
Comprised of former Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, guitarist DJ Ashba (ex-Guns N’ Roses) and acclaimed producer James Michael on vocals, 2016 has marked a turning point for the band.
So what exactly has changed? In essence, the projects that were keeping SIXX: A.M. from being a full-time band were no longer in the picture: Motley Crue performed its final live show this past New Years Eve while Ashba amicably exited the Guns N’ Roses lineup in July 2015.
Michael insists there was never any resentment over the lack of full-time status afforded to the group in the past, but also admits that now being in the position of making the band their number one priority is an exciting prospect.
“For the last 10 years, SIXX: A.M. has been a labour of love,” he tells us. “It’s something we have worked hard at and taken seriously but, due to everyone’s ‘other’ gigs, it was somewhat complicated to work out from a logistical stand-point. Now that we are all able to focus on this band, the dynamics of the group have changed in a really positive way.”
This past April, SIXX: A.M. released its fourth album, Prayers For The Damned, Vol. 1, taking to the road almost immediately afterwards. In November, the group will unleash Vol. 2, Prayers For The Blessed, an album that essentially serves as a companion piece to …Damned.
While the material for both albums was recorded at the same time, Michael says they envisioned the 25+ songs recorded as being two distinct releases instead of one double album.
“When we originally went into the studio, we planned to write and record two albums’ worth of material. I think dumping 24 to 28 songs on anyone all at once would have been a little presumptuous of us, so by splitting the music up into two separately released albums, it gives fans the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the first volume and what SIXX: A.M. has become before the second album gets released.”
Michael says that when the group came off the road earlier this year and began putting the finishing touches on the songs that will comprise Vol. 2, Prayers For The Blessed, the group was feeling particularly inspired.
“Every time we go on the road, the subsequent album that we create is very much a reaction to those experiences. Naturally, putting a tour between the release of …Damned and putting the finishing touches on …Blessed was going to inspire us to want to step up our game,” Michael says.
“I do truly believe that Vol. 2, Prayers For The Blessed is the best body of work we’ve created. I really feel as though it represents the band hitting its stride as performers, songwriters and artists. Much like this year has been a turning point for SIXX: A.M., these albums are also significant milestones in the band’s career.”
SIXX: A.M. has spent the better part of the last couple of weeks crossing Canada as a part of a tour with Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach and From Ashes To New. The trek kicked off on Sept. 9 in Abbotsford, B.C. and will wrap up on Wednesday evening in Halifax.
Michael shares the tour has exceeded virtually all expectations any of the groups had going into it. He says that from the moment the opening band hits the stage until the time that the last note of the evening rings out, fans are on their feet.
“I think people have been hungry for a good rock tour. Looking out from the stage every night, it’s difficult to believe that there are some people that think rock music is dead or dying. We see it for ourselves every night; that is definitely not the case.”
What: SIXX: A.M., with Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach and From Ashes to New
When: Tuesday Sept. 27, 6:45 p.m.
Where: Moncton Coliseum, 377 Killam Dr., Moncton
Tickets start at $46 plus service charges. Advance tickets are available at the Moncton Coliseum Box Office, by phone (506) 857-4100 and online at tickets.moncton.ca