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Mötley Crüe launches inaugural Crüe Fest

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Projekt Revolution, Warped Tour, Ozzfest – large touring festivals seem to be the popular way to travel around this summer, so what's one more added to the bunch? The guys in Mötley Crüe have decided to round up a bunch of their friends for the inaugural Crüe Fest.

Along with the Crüe, the tour will feature Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Trapt and Sixx:A.M. "We wanted to do a festival for a long time," Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx says during a festival conference call. "This is our first full-length record in 10 years. It feels like it's an important time for us -- re-embraced by the public and our demographic goes from teenagers to 40-year-olds. There were about 30 bands we were looking at to join us. You want to hear songs you know -- Buckcherry has a history and is a killer performing band live. Papa Roach and Trapt are all over radio. We thought it was an opportunity to bring a lot of great bands together for a good price."

Sixx said the band felt like a rock and roll festival was missing on the touring scene. "You don't see AC/DC, Aerosmith, Mötley Crüe or Buckcherry on those festivals," he says. "This is about creating a home for those kinds of bands. People say rock is back, but it never left."

Mötley Crüe has had their share of ups and downs over the years, but to hear them talk now, you'd think it's all water under the bridge and they're ready to move forward. Sixx says the issues with drummer Tommy Lee are all in the past and the band is looking to the future -- "Now, everyone's focus is on Mötley Crüe."

The group recently released its ninth studio album, and first album with the original line-up in more than a decade, Saints of Los Angeles. It almost plays like a soundtrack to their 2001 autobiography, The Dirt. "It's Mötley music, of course," says guitarist Mick Mars. "It's old-school Mötley, but modern. That's the best way I can describe it." Sixx adds that "Mötley's back, but it doesn't sound dated."

The Crüe isn't the only band with a new album though. Buckcherry has been hard at work to the followup to 15, Trapt will release its latest, Only Through the Pain, in August, and Papa Roach will release Metamorphosis this fall. All bands plan on incorporating new music into their sets.

"The new album is called Black Butterfly and will be out in September," says Buckcherry lead singer Josh Todd. "We've been writing since October of last year. It's our best record to date. We put a lot of time and effort into it and it's really paying off. It's still a rock and roll band, but we've matured as songwriters and it'll reflect where we're at now."

Crüe Fest will mark the touring debut for Sixx:A.M., a side project Sixx created to go with his autobiography, The Heroin Diaries. "We had to know what the project was going to be from the beginning," Sixx:A.M. singer James Michael, who also wrote on the new Crüe album, says. "When writing for the Crüe, we wound up with a few Sixx:A.M. songs that could wind up on the next Sixx:A.M. record."

A tour was originally planned for Sixx:A.M., but it was cancelled in order to work on Saints. The group was added to Crüe Fest at the request of LiveNation, who felt the group has had radio success and would help with ticket sales, Sixx says.

While Mötley Crüe is known for large stage productions, they refused to give any hints about what they have planned for Crüe Fest. "We try to keep it under wraps as long as possible just to make it more exciting for the fans," Sixx says.

He adds that he hopes this will be an annual event that gets to showcase new bands each year. "We're very excited about the idea of doing Crüe Fest each summertime," he says. "It will be great to do it again next year with a bunch of other bands and building on the idea of great rock bands keeping the ticket prices right and helping to introduce new bands on a second stage or things like that."

Crüe Fest featuring Mötley Crüe, Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Trapt and Sixx:A.M. will play at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at 5 p.m. on July 5. Tickets range from $29.50 to $95.

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