Nikki Sixx has admitted that he still feels bad about taking John 5 from Rob Zombie.

In October 2022, John 5 was announced as the replacement for Mick Mars, who was retiring from touring after 40 years with the Crue. John 5 had history with Sixx, having worked with him the band Sixx:A.M. and various other projects, so he was a natural choice to join Motley’s ranks. Only problem, he was still a member of Zombie’s band at the time.

"It was one of those things that I feel bad about,” Sixx admitted during a recent appearance on the Mistress Carrie Podcast (as transcribed by Blabbermouth). “It wasn't my decision. It was John's decision. I had been talking to John as a friend during some of the frustrations with Mick's playing, specifically on the tour. And he was my friend. And when I called him and said, 'Wow, we're faced with a really bad situation.' And we talked. And he wanted to do the next-level thing in his life.”

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John 5’s excitement didn’t make the split with Zombie any easier.

“He'd been with Rob for a long, long time, and they were kind of coming to an end of a tour,” Sixx noted. “And he talked to Rob, and Rob was not happy but understood.”

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In 2023, John 5 revealed that he hadn’t spoken to Zombie since leaving his band, though he expressed hope that the two could remain on friendly terms. "I miss talking with him and texting with him," the guitarist told radio host Eddie Trunk at the time. "I'm more worried about him not texting me back or not replying. I think that would really break my heart."

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To that end, Sixx insisted he didn't mean to harm a friendship.

“I still feel bad about that,” Sixx confided to Mistress Carrie. “That was never my intention, to go out and steal somebody from another band. That's not what we did. But I have so much respect for Rob. It's one of those things where I'm really happy and at the same time I'm, like… Sometimes this stuff's fucking hard. Like making a decision to move on without an original member. It's not exactly as seamless as people would like it to seem. There's some little bumps along the way, little bumps in the road."

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Gallery Credit: Matthew Wilkening