Guitarist John 5 makes his debut on the band’s first new song in five years

Motley Crue 2023
Mötley Crüe [Courtesy]

After a five-year wait, Mötley Crüe have finally released their new single, “Dogs of War.” It is the band’s first new piece of music since 2019. Produced by Bob Rock, the track features new guitarist John 5, who signed on to tour with the group in 2022. The track also features special guest appearances by The Offspring’s Dexter Holland and Classless Act’s Derek Day on background vocals. Classless Act toured in support of Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard on their massive North American stadium tour back in 2022. Stream the official music video below.

“It’s always great getting back in the studio with the guys in the band,” bassist Nikki Sixx states. “We know you’re gonna like this one.”

Producer Bob Rock, who also helmed the band’s famed 1989 album, Dr. Feelgood, adds, “Working with the band on the new song was the easiest session I have ever had with them. The Crüe is the best they have ever been! And they have plenty of new stuff in store.”

To celebrate the release of the single, two limited edition vinyl picture discs are available in addition to the digital download. The band has also curated two new t-shirt designs for the song. Check out the vinyl and shirts below, which are now available for pre-order.

While this marks John 5’s recording debut with the band, this is not he and Mötley’s first collaboration. Back in 2019, John 5 co-wrote the songs “The Dirt,” “Crash and Burn,” and “Ride with the Devil” for the soundtrack to Netflix’s Mötley Crüe biopic, The Dirt. On social media and in various interviews, the band has promised that more new music is on the way.

The all-new “Dogs of War” is also Mötley Crüe’s first release on their new label, Big Machine Records.

Big Machine Chairman and CEO Scott Borchetta says of the signing, “Mötley Crüe on Big Machine! Growing up in Southern California, I was in Hollywood when these new sheriffs showed up and took over the city. It was loud. It was powerful. It was game changing. Vince, Nikki, and Tommy, along with new guitarist John 5, have reignited the flame with ferocious new Crüe music. Fans will unite – SHOUT!”

“We are thrilled to announce the forthcoming release of our new music through Big Machine Records,” Mötley Crüe said. “Scott’s been a friend and supporter of the band for a long time, and we loved collaborating on the Nashville Outlaws album in 2014. We’re very happy to know our new music will be in the best of hands with Scott and his exceptional team at Big Machine.”

Borchetta and Big Machine Records were behind the 2014 Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Mötley Crüe album that featured classic Crüe tracks covered by some of country music’s biggest stars, including Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line, and Darius Rucker, among others. The album debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200, No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, and featured the Top 30 hit, “Home Sweet Home,” performed by Justin Moore and Vince Neil. Big Machine also partnered with Mötley Crüe guitarist John 5 for the release of his 2021 album, Sinner.

Mötley Crüe join fellow rockers Daughtry, Badflower, and The Struts on the Big Machine roster.

Mötley Crüe live
Mötley Crüe [The Rock Revival]

Mötley Crüe have been teasing new music with John 5 for some time. The collaboration comes as no surprise, as he and Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx are very close. In a 2019 interview with Outburn Magazine, John 5 said of Sixx,”We love each other. He has inspired me and taught me so much about life in general. He’s a phenomenal songwriter, lyricist, author, everything. He’s always telling me to listen to this audio book or see this movie. He has a happy marriage, a happy life, a successful band he started from the ground up. He’s one of the most inspiring people. He’ll text me all the time to read something or try something. It’s wonderful. He’s a phenomenal photographer as well. I remember him telling me that he’s going to take bass lessons again and get into playing with his fingers. He was so dedicated.”

Ahead of their world tour last February, Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard played two warm-up gigs at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In two weeks, Mötley Crüe are set to return. The group will play two shows on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4 at Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena.

Later in May, the Crüe are headlining Welcome to Rockville in Daytona Beach, Florida and Louder Than Live in Louisville, Kentucky. Also topping the bill are Foo Fighters, Slipknot, and Limp Bizkit. Other feature performers are Judas Priest, Disturbed, Queens of the Stone Age, Greta Van Fleet, Falling In Reverse, Breaking Benjamin, and more. In June, the band is headlining Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From there, they head to Canada for an appearance at the Ottawa Bluesfest in July, plus a headlining concert at Scotiabank Arena in Calgary. Additionally, Mötley Crüe are headlining Louder Than Life in Louisville, Kentucky. The lineup also features Slipknot, Korn, and the return of Slayer.

Mötley Crüe’s last studio album was 2008’s Saints of Los Angeles. The band is currently working on new music with producer Bob Rock, and John 5 on guitar. Back in March, original guitarist and founding member Mick Mars retired from touring. For the global run, the Crüe enlisted John 5 to handling guitar duties on the road. Now, at appears as though John 5 will be recording with the band as well.

Alongside Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe have been touring the globe over the past few months. Over the summer, both bands are slated to perform at some of the world’s biggest rock music festivals including Sweden Rock Festival, Finland RockFest, Copenhell in Denmark, and Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium. In August, Mötley Crüe played a handful of U.S. headlining shows with special guest Alice Cooper.

Mötley Crüe has accumulated worldwide album sales exceeding 100 million, seven platinum and multi-platinum albums, 22 Top 40 mainstream rock hits, six Top 20 pop singles, three GRAMMY® Award nominations, four New York Times best-sellers, and even landed a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

Pre-order vinyl and t-shirts HERE, Dog Pilot t-shirt HERE