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Life as a woman in Mötley Crüe

- To this day, I still haven't read «The Dirt», says Samantha Maloney, the only female ever to be a member of the baddest band in rock.

Samantha Maloney

HARD-ROCKING GIRL: Samantha Maloney, currently with The Chelsea Girls, toured with Mötley Crüe in 2000.

Foto: unknown

Hardly anyone can match legendary LA-rockers Mötley Crüe when it comes to making headlines in the tabloids. With celebrity girlfriends, sex-tapes floating around, numerous run-ins with the law and other scandals by the dozen, Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars and Tommy Lee pretty much wrote the book on how to behave as crazy rock & rollers.

Well, actually, that's exactly what they did. In their best-selling 2002-autobiography «The Dirt», all members of the band come clean about sex, drugs, sex, videotape, sex, fisticuffs - and, you guessed it - even more sex.

With that in mind, meet 33 year old drummer Samantha Maloney, who joined the band for their «New Tattoo»-tour in 2000. The former Hole-drummer stood in for Tommy Lee's replacement, Randy Castillo, who was ill and unable to tour.

In this exclusive interview with Norway's NRK, Maloney tells all about her days as a member of the world's most notorious rock band - and how her new all-star band on a daily basis proves that sexy girls can indeed rock!

NRK: By 2000, Mötley Crüe had lost both Tommy Lee and Randy Castillo more or less within a year. How did you end up drumming for the band?

MALONEY: In 1999 I went to my first concert with Randy Castillo on drums. I was introduced to the band afterwards. Then one morning around May/June 2000, Nikki Sixx e-mailed me. He told me that Randy was ill and said if I wanted to fill in for him, the job was mine. I jumped on a plane that day from New York and headed out west to Los Angeles to work with the band for the rest of that year.

Mötley Crüe i Bergenshallen

STILL ROCKIN': Vince Neil and Mötley Crüe on stage in Bergenshallen (Bergen, Norway) on June 8th.

Foto: Roy Hilmar Svendsen / NRK

NRK: The members of Mötley Crüe have a history of sexist behavior and band conflicts often involving the using of fists – as thoroughly described by themselves in «The Dirt». What was it like to be the only girl in the band?

MALONEY: It was a dream for me to be playing in a band that was very influential in me picking up drumsticks in the first place. I was not aware of any sexist behavior or band conflicts when I joined the band. I was a fan of the music. As far as sexist behavior, in my experience, women who surrounded the band backstage had no respect for themselves.. Many women will do whatever it takes to get to meet these guys. All I had to do was be myself.

NRK: During concerts at the time, Vince seemed genuinely proud of you, and you seemed to be having a great time too. How did the fans react to you standing in for Tommy/Randy?

MALONEY: The entire band was very supportive and respectful of me. I had the time of my life! Some of the fans at first were hesitant, but I won each and every fan over EVERY night after song 1.

NRK: You were in the band as they prepared to release «The Dirt». What was your reaction to the stories you heard or read about the band’s past? Anything that really shocked you?

MALONEY: I was on the road with them as «The Dirt» was being written. Neil Strauss, the writer, would interview each member and I was privy to those interviews. I got to hear some of the stories literally from the horse's mouth. I still to this day have never read the book. I have a feeling I would think of the boys differently than I do now.

Hole

GIRL POWER: Samantha Maloney (right) became famous as the drummer for Courtney Love's band Hole. Here with Melissa Auf Der Maur (left) and Love.

Foto: MICHAEL CAULFIELD / AP

NRK: Do you still keep in touch with any members of the band?

MALONEY: Funny enough, the member I am closest to is Tommy Lee! He is a friend of mine and is one of the nicest guys in rock and roll.

NRK: What were your favorite Crüe-songs to play live?

MALONEY: «Too Young to Fall In Love», «Live Wire», «Wild Side», «Dr. Feelgood». I don't remember playing «Red Hot» with them, but that is a favorite as well.

NRK: In recent years, girls have been rocking harder than ever, with bands like Hole, The Donnas, Nashville Pussy paving way. But not too many years ago, it was quite unusual to see girls playing hard rock – and hard rocking female drummers were very rare. Have you ever met any obstacles in your career as a drummer because you’re a girl?

MALONEY: Yes. The stereotype is that girls can't play drums. It is sad because girls don't see other girls playing drums very often so because of that reason they are less likely to play drums themselves. It is also a very physical instrument, and it is quite primitive, aggressive and normally a «masculine behavior» to see someone beat the shit out of something else.. so to see a girl beat the shit out of drums is unusual. It's like seeing a female boxer. There aren't many.. but they can knock you out just as hard.. or even harder.

NRK: The Chelsea Girls have a really impressive line-up and sound really great, judging from the videos I’ve seen. Any plans to bring them to Europe or record original material with that band?

MALONEY: Chelsea Girls is hands down the BEST band I have ever been in. We do plan on coming over to Europe and playing festivals and our own shows. Be on the lookout. Bring your girlfriends. We will start a revolution. All the girls will start stealing their boyfriends’ guitars and start bands themselves. You'll see.

NRK: What other projects are you working on these days?

MALONEY: Besides having some acting roles (actually one movie is called «Adventures In Power» and it is an air drumming movie. The director and star of the film is in Norway right now promoting the film!), I am producing other musicians, and I have my own band/project which sounds like Massive Attack meets Ladytron, called The Ingenues. You can find it on iTunes. I played every instrument and produced the entire project.

NRK: Finally, do you a crazy story from the road with Crüe that you can share with our readers?

MALONEY: The Code of the Road when touring is «What goes on the road, stays on the road». That is unless you are writing a book about it. All I can say is: You can't even imagine!

Mötley Crüe performed in Bergen, Norway on June 8th. Read the review here (in Norwegian only)

More articles in English from NRK Hordaland:


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