DETROIT (Billboard) - Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee said he “just wanted to do something different” for “A Public Disservice Announcement,” his first Methods of Mayhem album in 11 years.
That turned out to be working with a cast of thousands -- literally -- on the 11-track set which comes out Tuesday.
Nearly a year ago, Lee and chief cohort Scott Humphrey began posting the album’s songs online and invited fans to contribute parts via ProTools, Logic, Garage Band or Riff Works.
Submissions came in droves, leaving Lee and company to sift through about 1,500 per week.
“It was great,” Lee told Billboard.com. “If it was any greater, I probably wouldn’t be talking to you ‘cause the record still wouldn’t be done. Thank God we only dealt with 13 tracks. Otherwise it would’ve been a much longer process.”
Lee said he ultimately used about 50 of the public contributions for the album, though he promised that he lent an ear to everything that came in.
“It’s not one of those processes where you can just go, ‘Well, we’ll kind of pick and choose what we listen to,'” he explained.
The most dramatic contribution, Lee said, came from someone in Paris, which resulted in a wholesale makeover for the song “Back to Before.”
”It was a straight-up, midtempo kind of rock track,“ Lee noted, ”and this guy sped the song up I think about four or five beats per minute and totally remixed it.
“What it did was just inspire me to scrap the song and start over with that concept in mind. So what you’re hearing now is a full, 360-degree re-work, which is pretty cool.”
“A Public Disservice Announcement” features guest contributions from some well-known folks, too.
Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger sings on “Fight Song,” while Deftones’ Chino Moreno appears on “Only One.” Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley is part of the opening track “Drunk Uncle Pete.”
Lee suspected that some of his famous friends may have also submitted ideas via the public process.
“A lot of people sent in video submissions,” he said, “and there was a handful of guys playing guitars and wearing masks. I don’t know if there was anybody that I know or if they were friends who wanted to jump on and rock for a second.”
The group plans to perform “Time Bomb,” the first single from “A Public Disservice Announcement,” on NBC’s “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on Wednesday.
Lee said Methods of Mayhem is rehearsing for a tour that is currently being booked for fall and winter.
Next year, however, will find him back on the road with Motley Crue, whose Cruefest tour will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the group’s first album.
The Crue, he said, has also “talked about making some new music” for the long-awaited film adaptation of the band’s autobiography “The Dirt.”
“It just keeps moving around,” Lee said of the project, “but we did talk about getting some music ready for it so when it does get going we’re not playing catch-up.”
Editing by Zorianna Kit and Bob Tourtellotte