True 2 Crue took their turn Monday, Feb. 17 on AXS.TVs “The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands”, unleashing their inner Mötley Crüe and righteously rocking the Sunset Strip. With a crowd of loyal followers waiting for over an hour outside the Whisky a Go-Go, you’d think the real Mötley Crüe was playing or maybe the next best thing.
Katie Daryl, host and producer of “The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands”, fittingly selected a Mötley Crüe tribute this season while the real band announced their retirement from touring earlier this year. Since 1981, Mötley Crüe came onto the scene with their brand of glam metal, high-energy rock anthems and a notorious lifestyle consisting of brushes with the law, drug and alcohol addictions and escapades with women. But for the fans it’s always been about the music and the fun.
We got a chance to sit down and chat with the guys from True 2 Crue backstage at the Whisky before their performance. They had a lot to say about their love for the Crüe’s music, their appreciation to their loyal fans, and the crazy amount of fun they’re having. Here’s what they had to say:
Q: Why don’t you introduce yourself and who you play?
MICHAEL O’MARA: Michael O’Mara. I call myself Michael O’Neil. Or Vince O’Neil. I don’t know . . . whatever.
CHRIS ROHNER: I’m Chris. I play bass. I portray Nikki Sixx.
OZZY ARAUJO: I’m Ozzy, I play guitar. I do Mick Mars.
LARRY CORNWALL: Larry Cornwall, Tommy Lee. So, I go for Larry Lee. The great Tommy Lee.
Q: Why did you choose Mötley Crüe as your tribute band?
CR: Just huge fans.
LC: We like girls. Girls, girls, girls.
OA: I’m the newest member. I've been here for about a year. It’s by far the funniest. I mean, the music is awesome. It’s not too complicated where you can’t still have fun and rock out. And the audience just digs it. I mean it’s party music and it’s still dirty--
CR: Easy to sing along to. [LAUGHS]
MO: It’s unbelievable how many people come out of the woodwork for Mötley Crüe. And, I don't know who’s gonna show up tonight but I guarantee you this place will be rockin’.
Q: Do you find that fans sometime treat you like you are Mötley Crüe?
ALL: Oh yeah. Absolutely . . .
MO: In the beginning maybe but then after a while they get to know you and they get to know the band and our personalities and then they come and support us as their friends.
CR: Tribute band got me a girlfriend. That’s unheard of. Yeah.
MO: She’s pretty hot.
CR: Much better lookin’ than me so must be doing something right.
Q: So I tell you go for accuracy, is there a certain year you’re representing for Mötley Crüe?
MO: 2000, around, uh, “Carnival of Sins”. 2005? “Carnival of Sins”.
LC: I’m from the earlier age because I have the longer Tom hair.
OA: It all kinda blends in.
Q: But you do music from all the decades?
LC: We do all the music, yeah.
MO: Mötley is nothing but the hits.
CR: We couldn't fit into the “Shout at the Devil” era clothing. It’s way too revealing. We’d have to spend our lives in the gym and that’s not gonna happen.
MO: We’d have to be in the gym way too much. Who wants to do that?
LC: I need a bigger member to match Tommy for that.
MO: Could you put that in quotes?
Q: Tommy Lee saw you guys play? Is that true?
LC: We met Tommy.
MO: He did meet us. Yeah.
LC: We met him at a party.
MO: And he was like who are you guys? And we’re like we do a tribute to you. And he said, I did not know I was gonna run into the Crüe tonight. So, he was kinda hanging around us for a little while. It was pretty cool. He treated us good.
Q: He didn't see you play though?
MO: No, he has not seen us play?
LC: Is he here tonight?
MO: I hope so.
OA: I think he’s trying to get into the band or something.
MO: They are an unbelievably fun band to recreate and the songs and the energy and the vibe that the songs give out are infectious and people, I mean, I guarantee you the first song people are gonna be screaming at the top of their lungs. Audience is the fifth member. It’s a lot of fun. These guys had to talk me into it. They’re like do you wanna do Mötley Crüe? I’m like, I don't know. Mötley Crüe? And then I went out and saw the band, I’m like holy sh*t. There is a huge following. A lot of people. Just like Mötley Crüe and their tour, everybody’s gonna come out and every place they play is gonna be sold out. I guarantee you.
Q: What did you all do before True 2 Crue or even other tribute bands?
LC: I've been in True 2 Crue for 8 years. I mean originally I did original bands. I used to play here at The Whisky. I don’t want to say how many years ago.
MO: And Ozzy’s been part of some really successful - Guns ‘n Roses band.
OA: I actual did original, played The Whisky in original bands back in the day too and then G ‘n R, Dream Theater, and this is by far is the funniest.
MO: Plus, we all get along really well. I don't know why, but, we’re all kinda from that same ilk where we’re mentally challenged and we all are about 13-years old. So it works.
LC: Chris was in Pretty Boy Floyd.
CR: I was. That’s my claim to fame. I toured with them for about three years. Probably one of the best times of my life. They took me around the world. I got along great with the guys. I got to play the music that I absolutely adored growing up. So it was really a dream come true for me and the tribute band helped me get chosen for that bass player position. They saw me -- the Nikki Sixx guy’s got the look -- and I went down and practiced my ass off and nailed the audition and went to Australia, Japan, South America and really had a blast. But before that all mostly original bands and you know, got tired of pay to play gigs and getting a little older and why not have some fun.
MO: Cover bands back east. And then I couldn't stand the winters anymore. I hate being cold. So I moved out here 20-some years ago. And, about 10 years ago got into tribute bands. Started with a Def Leppard tribute band. I also do a Zeppelin thing and still do cover bands, still do original stuff and this is by far like I said, this is the funniest -- the most fun.
CR: It’s funner.
MO: It’s funner than the funnest fun.
Q: Anything else you guys?
MO: We always love to thank our fans. They’re not even our fans, they’re our friends. And, they are just an amazing supportive group of people that we can’t do this without ‘em.
CR: We like you guys. We love to drink with you. You guys rule!
MO: They generate a lot of excitement for the band and it trickles down to other cities and they spread the word for us and they’re just amazing.
Before leaving the interview, Jim Lott (AXS.TV “The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands” still photographer) asked who had a d*ck joke. Okay, so we’re unable to publish the joke because of its raunchy nature, but I can say, it was told very well by Michael O’Mara and it was dirty.
Check out AXS.TV “The World’s Great Tribute Bands” hosted by Katie Daryl, Monday night at 8 PM (PT) LIVE & 11 PM. If you live in the L.A. area and you want to get into the act, come on down to the world’s famous Whisky a Go-Go. Information on upcoming shows and tickets available through Eventbrite.