Dom sits down and speaks to James Michael; Record producer and lead singer of rock band Sixx: AM. On the 12th of November 2021 Sixx:AM released a new lyric video for the song “Penetrate” which is on the recently released new hits album with all their biggest songs, over the years and fans favourites, also including 5 unheard tracks and mixes. He discusses all things to do with the newly released biggest hits album, his idea of success looking back on his career and retirement.
When asked what success means to him James believes that:
“Success now is really about feeling proud of your accomplishments, having fewer regrets than you have pride about things that you’ve done, as I look back over my career, I think success comes in the form of respect from your peers and respect from your fans and be able to look people in the eye and be proud of how you’ve conducted yourself over the years.”
Now that the hits album is out, reflecting on Sixx:AM James tells us what the project as a whole means to him:
“I’m extremely proud of it, it’s different than the rest of my career as a producer or a song writer, working with other artists and doing those kinds of things was a full career. With Sixx:AM it became extremely personal, not only Nikki’s journey, not only DJ’s journey but it was my journey and we shared things all about our lives in all our music and exposed things about ourselves, some things I look back on and think oh boy I wish I hadn’t of shared so much about that! And other things I’m like wow I’m so glad we did that.
I love all the Sixx:AM albums but for me personally we reached a real pinnacle right around the ‘Modern Vintage’ time, which is interesting because ‘modern vintage’ is probably the most unlike the rest of our albums, it’s a very unusual album. Sixx:AM to me just represents that childhood dream that I had in growing up and wanting to be a rockstar. Sixx:AM didn’t break until I was 40 years old, so I had success as a song writer and a producer prior to that but I didn’t have my first hit as an artist until I was 40 years old! Sixx:AM represents the dream come true.”
James reflects on the biggest things he’s learnt about himself from the beginning of his career to now:
“What I’ve learned is music isn’t everything, as far as career goes music is a huge part of my life but what I’ve learned these last few years is how important family is, how important friendships are and how important relationships are because with music, it’s going to be hot for a while but then its going to go away at some point the music business is going to say we’ve had enough of James Michael…and that’s okay but to understand that is important. So don’t attach all your sense of self worth on your career accomplishments. That’d be the biggest thing I’ve learned and I’m happier than I’ve ever been.
It’s important to look after yourself while working hard, so some days you may not be the most motivated, James gives some advice on how to stay driven:
“I’ve been so blessed I’ve had such an incredible career and incredible life up until now and if I can’t share that with people that mattered to me, I think I’ve failed myself and them. What motivates me is just waking up everyday and trying to make other peoples lives a bit better.”
So, what is coming next from James Michael?
“I’m basically on the edge of retirement right now, it’s become so important to me now to fill out the other parts of my life and spend as much time as a possible can with my family. So right now, I intentionally don’t have any projects coming up, I’m going to spend time with dogs and family and wait for the next inspiration.”
“When you have fans like we have had with Sixx:AM who are so devoted and such incredible people, it’s a real gift, I’m forever grateful.”
Interview: Dom Smith / Words: Katie Lovatt
Listen to the audio below:
SIXX: A.M. HITSSTANDARD TRACKLISTING
- Life is Beautiful 3:35
- This is Gonna Hurt 3:56
- Lies of the Beautiful People 3:58
- Pray for Me 4:13
- Rise 3:53
- Stars 3:50
- Maybe It’s Time 4:21
- Skin 3:25
- Belly of the Beast 3:47
- Are You With Me Now 4:02
- Girl with Golden Eyes 4:20
- Accidents Can Happen 4:07
- Gotta Get it Right 3:12
- We Will Not Go Quietly 4:20
NEW BONUS TRACKS:
- The First 21 – 3:20
- Talk to Me – Radio mix 3:39
- Penetrate 4:38
- Waiting All My Life 3:17
- Skin – Rock Mix 3:50
- Life is Beautiful – piano vocal 3:06
CONNECT WITH Sixx: A.M.
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IG: www.instagram.com/sixxam/ Twitter: www.twitter.com/SixxAM