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Nikki Sixx Reveals His ‘Replacement Addiction’ in New Photo Book

Hannah Stember

What does best-selling author, photographer, musician, and radio host Nikki Sixx do for an encore?

Simple: release a new book of stark, harrowing photos and diary entries that take us further into his deep, dark realm of artistic vision. The Motley Crue bassist is following up his New York Times bestseller ‘The Heroin Diaries’ with ‘This is Gonna Hurt – Music, Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx.’ Take a look at some photos from the book below.

As Sixx recently told Noisecreep, after kicking drugs in the late 1980s, photography became his escape; his “replacement addiction.”

“Without a doubt, I can’t go very long without shooting,” he said. “It’s like music — it’s always in my head and in my blood, the concept of where the next picture might come from. Maybe it’s the way a cloud looks. The randomness of nature, the desire to capture what is happening in real time around me. It takes over. And so I’m never without a camera. You just never know when something will need to be captured.”

The pictures in the book include Sixx’s spontaneous snapshots as well as many scenes that were set up and conceptualized beforehand. There are images from the road, macabre pictures that reflect Sixx’s search for beauty on the other sides of the tracks, and everything in between.

Watch the video for ‘Lies of the Beautiful People’

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Sixx’s words also play an important part in the book.

“In addition to always having camera, I always have notepads, too. And lots of pens and pencils. Journaling is something very vital to my creative process, it’s just part of my DNA — part of who I am. Getting my feelings down on paper lets me work my life out in front of me. It gives me clarity and helps me realize that life is all about struggle. That’s the point. Life’s not perfect, and I use the book to try and inspire everyone to do what I’m doing — to capture moments in words and pictures to help make sense of their lives.”

As to how his photographic skills have affected him as a subject, Sixx said he strives for balance when working with a photographer that’s shooting him.

“When I’m being photographed, now I know everything the photographer is doing. I know the effects, angles, and tricks. So I do throw my two cents in. I become part of the process. But then, I have to trust what they are doing and let go. Everyone has a different eye and you have to let them go off and get what they are after. It’s hard sometimes, but it’s exciting, too.”

Sixx’s book also includes words about and images of his former girlfriend, Kat Von D. “It would have been easy to leave that out,” he told Noisecreep. “But just because we’re not together now, when I was doing the book she was a big part of my life and I wanted to represent that honestly. All the intensity we had.”

William Morrow

Sixx also explained how the rock and roll extremes of his life affect his approach today. “Look, I went from being a misfit to a sex symbol in a very short amount of time. But I never forgot reality. I know who I am and where I come from. What I went through in life [was] very confusing for a time, because of how vulnerable I was, but writing and taking photos now helps me make sense of it all. My life is extreme, and knowing that, I’ve always felt the need to document it.”

In May, Sixx’s band SIXX:A.M. will be releasing an 11-track companion piece to the book. Motley Crue will be on tour this summer with Poison and the New York Dolls.

William Morrow

William Morrow

William Morrow

William Morrow

Download Sixx:A.M. songs | Buy Nikki Sixx books

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