Skip to main content

Nikki Sixx is the most underrated bass player ever... according to Nikki Sixx

Bassist Nikki Sixx performs at the Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on April 10, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada
(Image credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Ever wonder who the most underrated bass player is? According to Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx, the answer is easy: he is.

After Twitter user @TonesofMusic posted the question, “Who is the most underrated bass player ever?” on August 13, another user, Jody Bednar (@jlbednar), replied by tagging the Crue man’s Twitter handle.

Which led to Sixx himself chiming in with a one word answer: “Me.”

See more

In a 2015 interview with For Bass Players Only (opens in new tab), Sixx, who is also Mötley’s primary songwriter and lyricist, elaborated on his bass guitar style – which, admittedly, has long been overshadowed by his band’s look, sound and antics.

I feel my spot is somewhere between a bass player and a rhythm guitar player," he said. "I play with a pick. I play very aggressively. I always have a distortion pedal in line, and I play less melodies and do more stuff against the guitars that create melodies.”

Sixx continued, “Song is king for me, so as long as the song is soaring I’m in my pocket, and then I figure out what I can do to make the song better. In a song like Too Young To Fall In Love, for example, the bass moves from the A to the G to the F, and then towards the end it does the A to the B to the C and it walks up – the same melody line but we just kind of wrap it around a different way.

“It’s those simple little things that are what people remember.”

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.