Somehow, between gigging on Mötley Crüe’s current world tour, writing an autobiography, banging chicks, getting wasted, being a father and attending classes at the University of Nebraska for his new NBC reality series, Tommy Lee has found time to record a new album! Lee’s third solo disc, Tommyland: The Ride, features collaborations — some surprisingly mellow and melodic — with bros like Dave Navarro, Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley, Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden and Backstreet Boy Nick Carter. Answering questions while on a bus trip to Washington, D.C., for a Crüe gig, Lee says he is exhausted and hung over. “I got fucking mashed last night,” he says. “I had champagne, vodka, Jägermeister — a full-on alcohol salad. I was partying with Eva Longoria and a couple of buddies. She said she was going out with some French basketball dude. It’s so wrong.”
Do you remember the first time you broke a drumstick?
I was probably twelve when I started breaking them. I remember every time I’d break one I’d have to tape the fucking things back together. I was mowing lawns and painting houses just to afford them. At that point, the Regal Tips were, like, five dollars a set.
What Mötley Crüe song did you write the fastest?
“Girls, Girls, Girls.” I was like, “Y’know what, every night all we fucking do is go to strip clubs. I gotta write about this experience.” It wrote itself in about five minutes.
Nice. What song reminds you of your two kids?
I have a song on my new record called “Good Times.” My youngest boy, Dylan — he’s almost eight — he plays that fucking thing over and over and over. It freaks me out, but I love it — that one of his favorite songs is by his dad. It’s so fucking rad.
How long did you debate having Nick Carter on your new record?
[Laughs] I knew that was coming. Nick wanted me to write for him on his solo record. He wanted something edgier, and I was like, “Hmm, I don’t know.” But I took a meeting with him, and much to my surprise he was a huge rock fan. I popped out his CD player in his car and it was filled with Physical Graffiti and AC/DC and Sabbath. It kinda blew my mind. We did these two killer tracks together, so I said, “Can I use one of those?” Let me tell you something: That motherfucker came into the studio and out-partied people like Slash. [Nick’s] a fucking maniac. And that’s coming from me. I mean, I’m serious.
So your studio is stocked with everything you need to party?
Whatever you want, it’s all here.
Have you ever done a huge rail of coke off your snare drum?
Not off the snare, but I used to fill up a beer cap to the brim and smash the fucker into my nose and play the last two songs of an encore. Definitely.
Who’s the best producer in hip-hop?
Rick Rubin produced “99 Problems” — the raddest hip-hop track ever. And Timbaland did Missy Elliott’s “Lose Control,” and that’s a fucking bangin’ track. I’ve talked to Missy about making some beats: “Just let me wail on some drums — we could make the fucking sickest shit ever.” We’re working on that.
Have your college classes inspired any new songs?
Not yet. But during English Literature the professor had my autobiography on her desk. She said, “One of our students here is a best-selling author, and we’re going to dissect his writing today!” I was like, “Wow, this is fucking surreal.” She thought it was interesting that it started with me arguing with my penis. She said it was clever.
Best drum solo ever?
“Moby Dick,” dude. Fucking John Bonham. By far.
Your new CD is cheap: $9.99. Do you think that albums, in general, are a rip-off?
I can’t even remember the last time I went to a record store. I’ve spent a lot of money on iTunes — got my credit card up there and I just keep clicking. I’m so sick of buying records for two good songs.
What have you downloaded lately?
There’s this new band called Fall Out Boy. I like them. Some Sigur Rós. And Anna Nalick’s song “Breathe” — I think the lyrics are genius.
What two musicians would you pay to see in a sex tape right now?
Fuck! Eminem and Shakira. It’s time for him to release a sex tape. He’s slippin’.
What’s the most insane thing you’ve seen looking into the audience on this current Crüe tour?
Every night we have the Titty Cam, where all these girls get their fucking titties out. That doesn’t suck. But Nikki [Sixx] will get the whole crowd to sit down and say, “Take a good look around. This is what it looks like at a Creed concert.” Then he says, “On the count of three. I want everyone to jump up and lose their fucking minds!” When they get up, it’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. Fucking bananas.
Has any band ever seen more tits than the Crüe?
Not a chance.
Mötley Crüe’s autobiography The Dirt is being made into a movie. What will be your favorite scene?
[Laughs] Watching Nikki OD and die for a few minutes.