John 5 says he and Mick Mars have a "great respect for each other," and that his predecessor even reached out after John 5 was officially named Motley Crue's new guitarist.

"Me and Mick, we talk all the time," John 5 noted during an appearance on SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation, his first interview since joining the Crue in October. "We exchange Christmas gifts and things like that. When I was announced as the guitar player, he was one of the very first texts I got. He said, 'You’re going to kill it.' It’s good, because it’s not like some stranger coming in. We have a great respect for each other."

Mars has been suffering with ankylosing spondylitis since he was 19, and the ailment ultimately contributed to the band's lineup change.

"While change is never easy, we accept Mick's decision to retire from the band due to the challenges with his health," Motley Crue said at the time before announcing John 5 would be filling Mars’ shoes.

While things seemed to start peacefully, a war of words soon broke out between Mars and his former bandmates. The guitarist filed a lawsuit claiming Motley Crue was trying to rip him off financially. The band responded by saying his suit was “completely off-base” and suggested that Mars’ manager and lawyer were manipulating him.

Mars also alleged that Motley Crue mimed to backing tracks during their 2022 Stadium Tour. While John 5 generally avoided commenting on the litigation, he did refute those claims that Motley Crue don't play their concerts live.

"Not 99%, not 98%, but 100%, Nikki [Sixx] is playing every single note on that stage….. Nikki plays 100 percent," the guitarist declared. "We even have penalty flags at rehearsal, if someone messes up at rehearsal, we throw a penalty flag at them. ... Nikki, If you listen to these concerts I do with him, you’ll hear bum notes. It's all live. NFL Draft, you hear a bum note in 'Home Sweet Home.' Do you really think that we would put a mistake on a track or something? No, that’s crazy."

"Just listen to the shows before you make these statements, because you’ll hear mess-ups," John 5 continued. "Yes, we do rely on technology for backup vocals, for intros, for outros, sirens, horn hits, things like that. Of course they've been doing that since Dr. Feelgood. I'm not saying we don't rely on technology for things like that. Backups, intros, outros, things that we can’t replicate ourselves. But me, Nikki, Tommy [Lee] and Vince [Neil], we’re all live up there."

Motley Crue Lineup Changes: A Complete Guide

The complete story of Motley Crue's lineup changes.