Today, Mick Mars has presented the second reveal from his debut solo album titled THE OTHER SIDE OF MARS. To screen the official music video for “Right Side Of Wrong,” click here: https://youtu.be/onhdroC-PM0. Lyrically, the song explores the oxymoron of two individual minds viewing their position as the right one. While in reality it is simply personal perspective – a present theme in interpersonal relationships we all navigate and more broadly the catalyst of many conflicts on a global societal basis.
The album will be released on February 23, 2024. A pre-order is live in the new merch storefront launched today here: shop.mickmarsofficial.com. Available configurations include a 180G LP and CD, signed and unsigned. The Other Side Of Mars will be released via Mick’s own label 1313, LLC, in partnership with MRI.
No matter what direction he’s going in on the album, what ties it all together is “that people are going to hear my tone – my sound,” Mars says. “I am what I am. Nobody else can do it. And like everyone, I’ve got a limited number of years. So, I’m gonna do all I can to do a lot of stuff.”
When Mick Mars stepped back from touring with Mötley Crüe – the band he co-founded more than 40 years ago – following their massive summer 2022 Stadium Tour, it seemed like the end of an era.
Really, it was the beginning of a new one.
The legendary guitarist, whose riffs, solos and overall devastatingly heavy sound powered the L.A. icons through four decades of world-conquering, multi-platinum sonic mayhem is, as he demonstrates on his debut solo effort, still a serious force to be reckoned with. Only now, listeners are reckoning with more Mars than ever before. “When it comes to my playing, there’s the Mötley side and the Mars side,” the guitarist says. “Either way, I always have a very clear vision of what I want to do.”
On the aptly-titled The Other Side of Mars, fans get that vision in its full, multifarious glory. To be sure, there are plenty of characteristically riff-tastic, tough-as-nails hard-rock anthems. The album also presents the guitarist heading into new and uncharted territory, tearing through caustic, modern metal, conjuring gothic-tinged soundscapes, and digging into anguished, slow-burning power balladry alongside unspooling bluesy, cinematic instrumental workouts. The music throughout the collection is otherwise studded with slide guitars, violins, violas, keyboards, glitchy freak-outs and all manner of sonic surprises.
“There’s a lot of ideas that I have that, I don’t want to call them ‘left,’ but they are, you know what I mean?” Mars says. Regarding those stylistic turns, he continues, “My feeling has always been, I might gain some fans, I might lose some fans. But what they’re hearing, it’s all me.”
The guitarist enlisted a crack team of musicians to help him along the way. A key contributor to the project was Winger and former Alice Cooper keyboardist (and, like Mars, Nashville resident) Paul Taylor, who, in addition to performing on the record and assisting Mars in co-writing many of the tracks, introduced the guitarist to powerhouse vocalist Jacob Bunton. “Jacob came into the studio and it was like, bam!” Mars recalls. “And I just said, ‘Yeah, he’s the guy.’ And most of his vocals were one take.”
The supporting band was rounded out by Korn drummer Ray Luzier, bassist Chris Collier and singer Brion Gamboa, who contributed lead vocals to two songs. Mars reflects, “those required a little bit more of an angsty, desperation kind of thing. And Brion really came to the table with that.” Alongside playing bass on all songs recorded, Collier mixed and mastered the debut solo album.
But while Mars surrounded himself with a new cast of players for the sessions, there was one figure who represented a significant link to his storied past: Michael Wagener. The much-lauded German producer and engineer worked behind the boards on Mötley Crüe’s 1981 debut, Too Fast For Love, and his relationship with Mars stretches even further back. “I had known him for a long time, and I actually brought him to Mötley,” Mars says. Working with Wagener this time, the guitarist continues, “he had such an understanding of where I wanted to go with the material. And he never said ‘Hey, do this,’ or tried to change my mind or anything like that. He was just really adamant about recording what I wanted to record, and making sure we recorded it right.” The result is a record unlike anything Mars has offered up in his more than 40-year career.
To that end, he says that even as he unleashes The Other Side of Mars on the world, he’s already working on a follow-up. He offers, “I’m trying to keep growing,” Mars says. “Because if you stop learning new things, if you stop playing new things, if you close your mind, you’re done. You have to keep moving and creating. Next!”