Tracii Guns Disputes Mötley Crüe’s ‘Satanic Bent’ Claims

Tracii Guns, though not a Mötley Crüe member, has refuted that Mötley isn’t the first band to use the devil and satan themes in their music.

The comments about it recently started when a page shared on X about whether or not Mötley Crüe is the first band to have a ‘satanic bent’ on their music:

“Mötley Crüe claim they lead the charge on early heavy music acts with a satanic bent to them. Do you think this is a true statement or bunkum?”

Another user tagged Church Of Satan and said they wanted to have their opinion on the topic. The Church Of Satan responded by naming the ‘firsts’ of the heavy metal music industry:

“Hard to really argue ‘first’ about 40 years ago when a whole lot of similar things were happening at the same time, though King Diamond and Merciful Fate were playing in 81 and ‘Shout at the Devil’ wasn’t until 83, ‘Too Fast For Love’ didn’t have much of a satanic theme. Maybe Tracii Guns remembers who inspired who better?”

Guns’ Answer

In response to the Church Of Satan’s comment, the L.A. Guns rocker named other bands and assured that Mötley Crüe wasn’t the first one to use the symbol:

“‘Hellhound On My Trail’ by Robert Johnson is likely the first commercial use in this subject. Christian country artists early on ‘Not Today Satan’ in rock would be Venom, Black Sabbath Blackies band Circus was pre SATD. It’s ridiculous to think KD or Motley did this first.”

‘Shout At The Devil’ Was Supposed To Be ‘Shout With The Devil’

Motley Crue’s second album, ‘Shout at the Devil,’ caused a stir in 1983. It reached No. 17 on the Billboard chart but got backlash from Christians who thought it was promoting satanism. Elektra Records’ A&R representative Tom Zutaut, said that Nikki Sixx originally wanted to call the album ‘Shout With the Devil.’ Apparently, that freaked out both Zutaut and the label.

At the time, Sixx was into satanic stuff, like the pentagram on the album cover. This even influenced the recording of ‘I Will Survive,’ where they tried chanting ‘Jesus is Satan’ backward while lying down.

Both Sixx and Zutaut claimed to see weird things happening at Sixx’s place, like stuff floating and a knife and fork sticking into the ceiling. That scared Zutaut enough to warn Sixx to chill. So, they changed the album’s name to ‘Shout at the Devil.’

In an interview, Sixx clarified that it’s not about worshipping the devil and pointed to the pentagram on the cover as a protective symbol. Years later, Sixx said ‘Shout at the Devil’ is more about standing up to challenges than anything to do with satanism.