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“By the time that we had finished touring [previous Sixx A.M. record, 2014’s] Modern Vintage, we were at a crossroads,” Sixx begins. “Mötley was coming to an end, and DJ [Ashba, guitarist] had made the decision to move on from Guns N’ Roses to focus on his own music. We struck up this idea to do a double album, which was kind of crazy for us – we’d never even thought to do anything like it before. Once we seriously undertook the songwriting process, the idea of the double record developed further into separating them – Prayers for the Damned and Prayers for the Blessed. It works because it goes both ways – you can listen to them together or you can listen to them as standalone albums.”


With the Crüe gone, 2016 marked Sixx’s first year in which Sixx A.M. was now his full-time focus. It was a responsibility not taken lightly – the band hit the ground running with the release of Prayers for the Damned, Vol. 1 in April, touring extensively before completing work on Prayers for the Blessed, Vol. 2, which arrived in November. Although the two albums were recorded simultaneously, Sixx and co. still felt there was an element of spontaneity to their creation; pursuing songs in the heat of the moment. “


We were definitely moving everything around as we went,” says Sixx. “There was a point where ‘Rise’ was going to be on Prayers for the Blessed and a point where ‘We Will Not Go Quietly’ was going to be on Prayers for the Damned. There were some songs that were recorded without any real plan – ‘Without You’ was one of them. We just knew we wanted to record it because it was a great song. It was a lot of work James [Michael, vocals] – not only was he singing, he was producing both albums. We were putting in so much effort – every day was recording, writing, producing, mixing, doing lyrics, doing vocals.”


Sixx sounds exhausted even when thinking about the kind of grind that Sixx A.M. were on in pursuit of a new wealth of material. Their motivation through all of this work and effort? Simple: To deviate from the pack. “Our drive was knowing that there are so many double albums out there where there are some really great songs on it, but the back half is either filler or just sort-of okay,” says Sixx. “We didn’t want that to be our fate, so we put all our effort into making two great albums. We’d write what we thought was a really good song for one record, and then we’d have to even it out by matching it with a song for the other. We really think we did a great job in evening the records out in terms of quality.”


Interestingly, for someone with the veteran status of Sixx, the band have spent a lot of time cutting their teeth as either a co-headliner or a support act, rather than taking top billing on the majority of their touring. This has very much been an intentional move on behalf of Sixx and his management, wanting to present the band in a different light rather than arrogantly assuming marquee status. “A promoter had actually asked my manager about it,” says Sixx. “He said, ‘why would Nikki open the show?’, my manager said, ‘because he knows how to headline.’


“We’ve had so much fun playing with bands like Rammstein, Disturbed, Rob Zombie, Shinedown and Five Finger Death Punch. There’s a challenge to playing to a bigger audience – one that might not know you, or just might not get it initially. You have to work your arse off in that environment, and we like to think it’s one where we’re really starting to thrive. There comes a time where you stop being the underdog, so I think the guys and I are just relishing where we are.”


With both Sixx A.M. albums out, Sixx is adamant about staying as active as possible. More new material is to come for the band; as well as continued work on Sixx’s philanthropy through charity Running Wild In the Night, fashion designing with Royal Underground and radio hosting on Premiere Radio Networks. “Mötley was the best thing to ever happen to me – because of it, people became aware of who I was and were interested in the books I write, the radio show I host and the photography that I do,” says Sixx. “A lot of it’s been self-taught, too – I’d never hosted a radio show before, and I still consider myself an amateur in photography. It’s always been important to me to be an artist that’s never chasing money – you do these things because you love it. That’s all.”


Sixx A.M.’s Prayers For the Blessed, Vol. 2 is out now via Sony Music Australia.