24/04/2016 14:05 BST | Updated 25/04/2017 06:12 BST

#ReasonToRise - Sixx:AM


by Nikki Sixx and James Michael - Sixx:AM

Bombs exploding in quaint neighborhoods. Cities being turned into war-zones. Children being ripped from their homes and sold or traded like property. Families living way below the poverty line. School children murdered in cold blood while sitting in their classrooms. Teenagers committing suicide because they have been bullied so badly that death seems like a rational remedy. Ethnic cleansing. Religious extremism. Gender inequality. Collapsing global economy. Hate crimes against gays and lesbians.

Recently my band Sixx:A.M. released our new single "RISE". We then took to social media and began posting #ReasonToRise. It started with our lead singer, James Michael posting about the world-wide epidemic of human trafficking. I then posted about the heroin epidemic which has been an enormous challenge in my life. Then our guitar player Dj Ashba posted about bullying issues that plague so many of our teens and young adults. In each of our posts, we asked people to respond with their "Reason to Rise", and that is when things got intense. We were completely taken aback by how the list of topics began to grow. Our fans were very courageous and forthcoming about challenges that were important in their lives. They covered everything from battles with cancer, diabetes and liver disease to topics like terrorism or global warming. The point being - the list is long and the list is very real.


Now the truth is this list could have been written on any day in just about any decade since man became the self-proclaimed 'ruler' of this great earth. But today, right now, I am hopeful. Why? Because just as man has caused this mess, man can fix it. Yes, the world is at a tipping point but it's not the first time we've been here and it certainly won't be the last. Here is what is important to remember: It is in times like this that humankind's most impressive accomplishments can occur. When we are driven by desperation, frustration, anger or sheer and utter fear to look at one another and find the things that we have in common and let those things brings us together.

I believe that most people on this earth want pretty similar things. Happiness. Love. Comfort. Security. Freedom. These are obtainable in virtually every culture. The problem is that so many of us have developed a belief that someone else holds the key to those things and we must fight, manipulate, steal, destroy or even kill in order to get our hands on it. This is wrong, people. Nobody holds the key to those things. Nobody has to die or even give up anything in order for you to live a meaningful life. We see examples every single day of people rising up and finding solutions to seemingly impossible situations. Being "heroic" is a human characteristic. We invented it! We all possess the ability to act in ways that help those around us.

We've just been bombarded by so much negativity that sometimes it seems hopeless. Let's be honest, the aforementioned list is quite overwhelming and it's easy to see how one would be inclined to throw their hands up and start screaming, rather than roll their sleeves up and start helping. But we need to do the latter. We all have a reason to rise.


I definitely don't know everything, but what I do know is that I can't be an agent of change if I am gravely ill-informed. I know that it is my responsibility to seek the truth. We all need to be on a 'search and recovery' mission for the truth. Because what is fed to us 24 hours a day by the modern media is nothing more than a customised version of entertainment which was created and packaged specifically for commerce. Today's version of an activist is someone who gets up in the morning, turns on the news for 30 minutes, gets completely amped up on hatred, racism and fear (usually based on far less than the whole story) and then goes out and screams all day long and literally doesn't hear a word that anyone else is saying. It is literally like when a child puts their hands over their ears and starts shouting "la la la la la" to block out the sound of their mom telling them to clean their room.


Today I'm making a pledge to myself and my fellow global citizen. I will try to educate myself before I express myself. I will try to learn before I teach. I will try to listen before I shout. I will do my best to help find solutions. When I disagree, I will do so with respect and grace. I will try to be a better man. I will rise up. Will you?

The album Prayers For The Damned Vol 1 out 29 April.