Will Hunt Admits Using Cheat Sheet Notes To Replace Tommy Lee In Mötley Crüe
Evanescence drummer Will Hunt recently talked about how it felt replacing Tommy Lee in 2008 during the Mötley Crüe tour. He stated that he had to use cheat sheets and have Lee on his ear to guide him through the set.
Will Hunt is a successful drummer best known for his tenure with Evanescence, which he joined in 2007. Before Evanescence, he had experiences working with many bands, including Black Label Society, Skrape, Dark New Day, Crossfade, and Mötley Crüe. Listing Tommy Lee as one of his influences, he had the opportunity to perform with the band in 2008 when Lee suffered from tendinitis.
Tendinitis is a condition caused by the inflammation of the connecting tissues between the muscles and the bones. Hence, this made it difficult for the drummer to use his arms and legs without pain. Mötley Crüe was on Crüe Fest tour during that time, and they needed a replacement for Lee. They hired Hunt for the tour, but Hunt initially encountered difficulties while playing Lee’s parts in the band, especially because people had high expectations.
Even though he played Crüe songs when he practiced drums, he wasn’t familiar with the entire setlist. He stated in a recent interview that he felt a lot of pressure so, he had to make cheat notes to bring on stage with him. Moreover, he also had Lee in his earpiece, guiding him through transitions which in his words ‘made it pretty easy.’
Here is what he said about bringing cheat sheets on stage:
“I knew certain songs that I had played or that I grew up practicing in my room. But then they were playing a two-and-a-half-hour set because that was kind of the first reunion. And there were some deep tracks and deep cuts on there that I hadn’t really explored or ever played; like ‘Louder Than Hell’ was one of them. I love that song, but I never pulled it apart. I’d never played ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ or ‘Wild Side,’ both of which had really unique arrangements.
And I had less than 24 hours to finetune all of this, with cues and stuff like that, so there was an immense amount of pressure to pull it off. But I made cheat sheet notes — I had them up there — and then Tommy was able to speak to me in my in-ear monitor, so it was, like, ‘Hey, okay, we’re getting ready to change,’ and kind of count me into it. So the first couple of nights, I had him telling me what was up, which made it — I don’t wanna say ‘easy,’ but made it pretty easy.
I don’t know too many people that could fly into something like that. I had to learn 24 songs, some of which I had familiarity with, but by and large, I hadn’t played a Mötley Crüe song in years. It was, like, okay, do you want this to be good or do you want it to be average? Because I prefer to be good. I mean, I’ll hide the notes — it’s not like there’s a sheet hanging upright in from of me. I’ll hide them. But I think it’s necessary for that kind of a thing. I don’t know anybody that could pull that off.”
You can watch the entire interview below.