ICYMI: Mötley Crüe unleashed first single with John 5, marking a heavy new era

Mötley Crüe recently released a song called "Dogs of War," which seems to comment on the band's tumultuous history.
Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe "The World Tour" - Melbourne
Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe "The World Tour" - Melbourne / Sam Tabone/GettyImages

In case you missed it, Mötley Crüe recently dropped "Dogs of War," their first new single since 2019 and the debut track featuring their latest guitarist, John 5, which John 5 called "heavy and aggressive." The title is no doubt based on a phrase from William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar: "Cry, 'Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war."

Known for his extraordinary guitar prowess, John 5's addition to the band signifies a bold, heavy return to form, as promised. A review of his live show by On Tour Monthly said: "The absolute mastery of [John 5's] instruments made the evening a success for both the audience that came to watch the virtuoso, and the maestro, who wielded the axe like no one I have seen in quite some time..."

"Dogs of War" showcases John 5's signature style, kicking off with an intricate introduction that segues into a powerful main riff. The track features an electrifying solo brimming with two-hand taps and rapid alternate-picking runs, demonstrating his virtuosity. The verses have an unsettling, off-kilter rhythm, enhancing the impact of the anthemic chorus that defiantly proclaims, “Don’t let those bastards get you down,” perhaps alluding to the band's recent controversies.

The band is known to have a lot of feuds, and they have also continually been snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (despite Ozzy Osbourne getting inducted twice, and their increasing pattern of inducting artists who typically aren't even considered in the rock genre). Though the song may not just be about that, the lyrics are broad and general enough that such commentary may be implid.

A brand new chapter for Mötley Crüe

This release marks "the start of a brand new chapter" for Mötley Crüe, following their tumultuous split with former guitarist Mick Mars (Mars released his own solo album, The Other Side Of Mars, on February 23, 2024). Mars, who retired from touring due to ankylosing spondylitis, was replaced by John 5 despite Mars’ initial intention to remain a band member. After that happened, there was a refreshing moment of diplomacy, as Crüe's Nikki Sixx publicly said he felt bad for taking John 5 from Rob Zombie's band.

However, the split between Mars and Mötley Crüe turned contentious, leading to Mars filing a lawsuit against his former bandmates, alleging conspiracy and gaslighting, accusations which were denied by the band’s representatives. Despite the drama, John 5 has seamlessly integrated into the band, backed by the support of his new bandmates and even the endorsement of Mars. Also, John 5 said of Mick Mars: "I hold him on such a pedestal."

The chemistry between John 5 and Mötley Crüe is evident in "Dogs of War," which sets the stage for an anticipated forthcoming album that John 5 has hinted will be "heavy and aggressive." In addition to being Mötley Crüe’s first release on their new label, Big Machine Records, this single paves the way for future projects and tours. For further details on upcoming releases and tour dates, fans can visit Mötley Crüe's official website.

Future plans for Mars and other ventures for John 5

Meanwhile, Mick Mars has been working on his solo career, releasing a few singles, and has stated that reconciling with Mötley Crüe is "impossible." "Dogs of War" not only marks a significant milestone for Mötley Crüe but also underscores John 5's impactful entrance, promising an exciting evolution for fans of the iconic band.

John 5 has also recently appeared on Billy Idol rhyhtm guitarist Billy Morrison's star-studded album, The Morrison Project, which also features Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol, DMC, Al Jourgensen, Steve Vai, Steve Stevens, and Linda Perry. For guitar fans and players, know that John 5 also has a stylish Limited Edition John 5 "Ghost" Telecaster: