Article By: Curt “Dudley” Miller
Originally Published In The July 2014 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Steel Panther is a band that perfectly combines metal, unapologetic lyrical content about sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, and an unyielding mantra for one thing, partying. From the moment this band came onto the Los Angeles music scene in the early 2000’s they’ve resonated with fans looking for great music and a great time. Steel Panther’s first two albums Feel the Steel (2009) and Balls Out (2011) both debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Comedy Album Charts. Don’t be fooled by the pleasant sound of acoustic guitars opening the first track of the band’s third studio release, All You Can Eat. These few bars lead into crunching power chords, a hard driving rhythm section, and the milk-running-out-of-your-nose lyrics that have become synonymous with the band. Steel Panther hasn’t lost any of its brash, in your face style. Rather, from All You Can Eat’s first song, “Pussywhipped” to its closer, “She’s on the Rag,” Steel Panther has delivered an album with a sound that the band feels represents its true “flavor.” While their prior two releases may have had some styles that were derivative of other metal bands, this album is 100% Steel Panther.
Cycle Source had the chance to talk with Lexxi Foxx and Stix Zadinia, bassist and drummer for Steel Panther, respectively, about the release of their new album, All You Can Eat, their upcoming U.S. tour, and some of the other goings on with the band. Without question, this conversation was far different than any other interview I’ve experienced. It was not unlike being in the middle of a comedy routine wherein I was the only one who didn’t know in advance that I’d be a participant.
CS: What brought about the idea for making comedy part of your music?
SZ: The concept behind Steel Panther was not something that was intentional or calculated. All of us in the band love heavy metal and we all like to party, so that’s what comes out in our music. (Stix immediately tags Lexxi with the comment): I know Lexxi loves to have a good time.
LF: I love to have a good time. I like to party and the reason we decided to bring back heavy metal was because that’s what’s always appealed to us from a very long time ago. You can tell I like partying because I don’t remember what I’m saying right now or even when I started to like metal. I’ve just always loved it. I really don’t understand other band’s songs, but I understand ours . They’re about partying , having sex, and heavy metal.
SZ: I guess people think it’s funny because we’re the first ones to do this. That’s pretty bad ass. But we’re just speaking from the heart. I don’t know; I guess it’s funny. Honestly, the more enjoyment you have in your life, the more you get to smile, the better! Dude, people are over being bummedout when they listen to music. People need to start having a good time again. It’s okay if people want to rock ‘n’ roll with their friends again. It’s not just the four of us in this band. That woeis- me shit, that time is over!
Stix’s sentiments in that comment really encapsulate why Steel Panther has skyrocketed to success and seen an exponential increase in popularity since the release of their debut album Feel the Steel in 2009. Fans of the band, or “Fanthers” as they are lovingly called, very much enjoy the break from the difficulties of dayto- day life offered by Steel Panther’s terrific blend of metal music, parodied hair-band look, and outrageous, sexually explicit, and totally non-PC lyrics.
CS: For the second consecutive year Steel Panther has won the Livewire Music Award for best LIVE Act, this year defeating the likes of Metallica, Rob Zombie, Halestorm, and Iron Maiden. What is it about the energy and spectacle of a Steel Panther show that makes it really stand out?
LF: Well for me, the more f’d up I am, whether from drugs or alcohol, the more I do really cool shit that I don’t really remember. It’s from years of damaging my brain and years of absorbing nothing but guck, but it feels bitchin’ at the time. I don’t remember many of the specifics of the shows, but I know that we all kick a bunch of ass. We do kicks and improv and sometimes I’ll kick at the same time as the band’s guitarist, Satchel, which looks choreographed. We’ve also got a bitchin’ backdrop and I’ve got a fan and a mirror in front of me. Plus, we play heavy metal tunes and I really don’t think other bands can shred like Satchel, play the drums like Stix, or sing like Michael Starr, Steel Panther’s lead vocalist. Me, with makeup, I just try to make my face look pretty. So, that’s what really sets us apart from the other bands out there.
CS: (Now virtually speechless and in hysterics) I follow up: With that in mind what does Steel Panther have planned as hosts for Metal Hammer’s Golden God’s Awards taking place June 16th?
SZ: Obviously they know that we’re hosting, because we talked with them, but I don’t know that they’re prepared for what Steel Panther has in mind for the show. What we’re going to do is bring live boa constrictors and drop them from the ceiling.
LF: No one knows about this yet. This is going to surprise everybody.
SZ: Yeah, this is top-secret stuff. On the boa constrictors we’re going to have collars that will deliver a small shock so that, when the boas land on people, they will receive a small shock to the body. I don’t think people are really ready for that. We’re d e f i n i t e l y going to leave our mark at this award show.
LF: Yep, that’s exactly what we’re hoping for. And the people in the crowd are going to have a bunch of teeth marks ‘cause we found out by looking on the computer that snakes can’t stand to be shocked. When they get shocked the first thing that they do is start biting the closest thing to them. As far as I’m concerned, any kind of press is good, especially with the new album coming out. Some people may not like this thing, but we just want to see the looks on peoples’ faces when those snakes first start landing in their laps. Whatever kind of press we get from this is going to be good press because we want to get the word out about Steel Panther and we think this is a great call.
SZ: It really is a great call Lexxi, since you’ve got to figure there’s going to be at least 2000 people at the Golden God’s Awards, but we’re only dropping about ten boas. That way there will be far more people being entertained by those being injured by the snakes than those actually getting bitten or shocked. It’s really going to be a great time!
CS: With the release of All You Can Eat are there certain tracks that are band favorites? As well, during your LIVE shows, what songs from this and your previous two releases have become absolute musts on your set list?
SZ: We recently played “You’re Beautiful When You Don’t Talk” for the first time in Hollywood and I really enjoyed it. I like playing that song a lot. It’s just a really fun tune. Also, “Gloryhole” is one of my favorites.
LF: I agree; “Gloryhole” is an absolute favorite. We love playing all of the songs, but it’d be impossible for us to learn them all at one time, so we just ease into it. We like to introduce the fans to new material one song at a time. Because of the energy at the shows, whatever song I just played, is usually my favorite. That said, I have to say I really dig “Gang Bang at the Old Folks Home.”
SZ: In terms of the tracks that are must plays for every show, we’ve got to play “Death to All But Metal,” “Asian Hooker,” and “Just Like Tiger Woods.”
LF: It has been really cool to see peoples’ reactions to the new material. It’ll be interesting to see which songs become the new must play songs from our latest release. CS: As Steel Panther kicks off its U.S. tour what can fans expect when they attend a show?
SZ: Without question, fans can expect to have the best night of their entire lifetime. They’re going to get rocked, and probably get drunk, which is totally cool with us. If they’re lucky and happen to be hot chicks, they may end up back stage hanging out with the band or maybe even on the tour bus. Either way, there’s no sense in going to any other show afterward because it’ll be a total let down. We are going to put on the best show they’ll ever see.
It’s kind of hard to sum up Steel Panther better than that. The band’s music, LIVE show, videos, and YouTube sketches make them one of the most entertaining acts around. As well as being hilariously funny, the members of Steel Panther are very talented musicians, their guitarist, Satchel, being featured regularly in instructional articles in Guitar World Magazine. If you’re a metal fan that’s ready to “Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World,” you’re likely a Fanther at heart. Pick up All You Can Eat and gorge away.