Mick Mars is the guitarist for hair metal band Mötley Crüe, he plays both the lead, rhythm and song writing duties. Mars’ employs a wide range of techniques, and normally plays in D standard tuning, (D G C F A d), to attain a heavier rhythm sound, this accentuates his typical characteristics of “hammer-ons”, pitch bending and pinch harmonics during his solos. While playing with Mötley Crüe his style developed, leaning towards blues, and he brought the metal slide and pedal steel guitar into Mötley Crüe’s later material and live sets.
Mick began playing guitar when he was 6 years old, after receiving a “Mickey Mouse” guitar as a Christmas present from his parents. His musical talent continued to develop and at 14, he joined his first band; “The Jades”. “The Jades” were a Beatles cover band in which Mars played bass guitar, but soon after he replaced the guitarist. Very quickly music took priority over his schoolwork and often found himself in trouble for that reason. As soon as he could, he dropped out of school to concentrate on music and moved into a shed behind his parent’s house allowing him to play as loud as he wanted, without interruption.
13 years later, frustrated with the local music scene, Mars was living in Orange county and had re-invented himself. He posted an advert in “The Recycler” (incidentally the newspaper that Metallica was advertised in when Lars Ulrich started the band). He was described in the ad as being “loud, rude and aggressive”, which got the interest of Nikki Sixx, and the two set about forming a band. Tommy Lee shortly joined on drums, and after persistence from Mick, they persuaded Rock Candy’s singer; Vince Neil to join. Mars suggested the name Mötley Crüe, after when one of his previous bands was described as a “Motley looking crew”, which soon permutated into the now famous “Mötley Crüe”. While playing with “Mötley Crüe” his style developed, leaning more closely to the blues, incorporating his metal slide into his soloing.
In 2001 the band split, and Mars was struggling with bankruptcy, depression and poor health. He had been struggling with “ankylosing spondylitis” since he was diagnosed at 19, causing impairment to his movement, freezing his lower spine. He reportedly gave up guitar playing in this time. For the most of his career with Mötley Crüe, Mars has created the impression of being a somewhat mysterious figure, letting the other members of the band speak for him in public and in print, despite being the eldest and most articulate member of the band. In what public interviews he has conducted, Mars often comes off as a very reserved and somewhat quiet individual, though not shy by any means. A home video made in 1984 and posted publicly on the web by one of his former White Horse bandmates reveals Mars to be a rather jovial, wisecracking, down-to-Earth person.
Three years later, in December 2004, Crue reunited, despite Mick’s health condition and were able to perform at the Carnival of Sins Tour in 2005 and the Route of all Evil tour with Aerosmith in 2006. Mötley Crüe remain at their summit with their Summer 2008 release of Saints of Los Angeles, and Touring performance – Crüe Fest. Mars played lead guitar on the title track of Hinder’s 2008 album Take It to the Limit, and contributed a guitar solo to the song “Into the Light” by Papa Roach, on their 2009 album Metamorphosis. Mars also contributed a guitar solo to the song “The Question” on Rock Star: Supernova runner-up Dilana’s U.S. debut album Inside Out. He has just contributed to the Murderdolls record “Women and Children Last” whilst also recording material for his debut solo album in the same space.