Steel Panther

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Listen to STEEL PANTHER while you read.

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“They do interviews, they’re just not very smart,” laughed Steel Panther’s guitarist Satchel when I mention to him that now I have the perfect trifecta of interviews with him. “So you’re gonna get the best answers out of me every time. Lexxi Foxx, I don’t think he even knows how to spell his name – but he is a bass player.”

 

Be it by design or by good fortune, barely a month goes by without something coming out of the Steel Panther camp, and this March sees them unleash their latest album Lower the Bar on their legion of fans.

 

“I tell you what, it’s gonna knock your fucken dick into your own head that’s how awesome this record is,” promised Satchel. “I don’t even know what that means but I’ll tell you what, it’s consistent with all of our records so far – bad ass and catchy and cool. There’s a lot of guitar solos, awesome hooks, great choruses, Michael Starr’s bitchin’ vocals, me on bass – I mean Lexxi on bass. Kids are gonna be downloading it for free like crazy!”

 

When I mention that this album sounds much closer to Steel Panther’s debut album Feel the Steel than any since, Satchel remains non – committal.

 

“You know, it’s funny,” he stressed. “It’s hard for me to compare the records because I’m so close to it all and I write most of the shit but it’s… some songs on this record sound similar to our earlier shit but there’s some very different stuff on there too. It’s got slower, heavier stuff and lyrically it’s different in some ways to our previous records but it’s got a lot in common with our previous records too. It’s Steel Panther through and through.”

 

With four albums now worth of material about sex and women and partying, it would be natural to assume that the band could be getting a little over singing about the same topics but Satchel is quick to refute that claim.

 

“I don’t ever get sick of it!” he exclaimed. “I’ll be honest, sometimes I look at other bands that are out there and have been out there for a long time plus newer bands and I’m just glad I’m not in another band because there’s so many of them out there that I don’t like. There are some good ones – but the majority of bands take their shit really seriously and I’m just not that kind of person. I like to have fucken fun and at the end of the day music to me is fun. I watch bands play music and they take their shit too seriously and it makes me wanna kick them in the balls. I’m just really glad I’m in this band.”

 

Lower the Bar comes hot on the heels of last year’s acoustic Live From Lexxi’s Moms Garage, with Satchel admitting that while it was a risk to put out an album of acoustic takes on their classics, it was an ultimately rewarding experience.

“We mainly did that one for the hard core fans,” he confessed, “but I think that they really enjoyed it because it was sort of like an MTV unplugged style of album. Everything was very raw and in your face, it was cool. We had a string quartet on it too. All of those songs were performed in a way we don’t normally perform them. An acoustic version of ‘Glory Hole’ is something people don’t hear very often. They were fun to do and it was challenging because we basically did the whole record live in one take and there was all kinds of hot bitches there and it was just a fun party. We mixed it really well and it came out great. We accidently killed the pizza delivery guy but you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs (laughs).”

 

Seeing it was recorded in honour of Lexxi’s Mom, in her garage, what did she think of the whole process?

 

“She enjoyed making it,” Satchel laughed, “because me and Stix fucked the shit out of her while we were doing it! I don’t know if she actually listened to it or watched the video but she was fun to be around. She’s fucken hot.”

 

With success inevitably comes imitation, and while many bands over the years have tried to emulate Steel Panther’s music and success, no-one has come even close to capturing the spirit that makes this band work.

 

 

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“I think the main reason why we are what we are is the chemistry of the guys in the band,” Satchel offered. “It really comes down to when you find four dudes that have a chemistry like we do you just have to keep the band together. A lot of bands break up and that sucks but there’s something special about us four guys – me, Lexxi, Michael and Stix – and we all contribute to our sound and we all contribute to the live show and we’re a team man. We go out there and we wanna fucken slay people and we want to put smiles on people’s faces when they come to our live shows. We want people to fucken love our records because we enjoy doing what we do. We butt heads every now and then but we get over that bullshit because that’s all petty. We know that we’ve got something special and that people dig us and that is something you can’t fake when you find it. I’m glad that we inspired other people to do similar things but you can’t just find any group of guys and put a band together. It’s gotta be special and that’s why when it is you get bands like Steel Panther and Van Halen. Van Halen broke up. They had that chemistry but were only together for seven or eight years and then they imploded on each other and couldn’t keep it together. It’s hard to keep good bands together.”

 

While the chemistry and the individual band members and their personalities are on display for the world to see and judge, Satchel says that off stage there isn’t much difference.

 

“They’re very much like what you see on our videos and live,” he stressed. “Michael Starr, he’s a lead singer and he likes to have attention, man. He’ll sing fucken songs in the aeroplane until security tell him to shut up. He just likes to be the centre of attention all the time. Lexxi, he is just constantly putting makeup on, it doesn’t matter where we go. He’s gotta look good and have fucken make up on every fucken where. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the tour bus! When he wakes up, the first thing he does is check his lipstick and shit. Stix, he’s just partying all the time. He’s constantly hung over and just drinking all the time. That’s what he does, he’s a drinker. And me, I’m just constantly writing songs about pussy and partying coz that’s what I do all the time. I’m at a strip joint right now… Every day is a celebration for us. Every day one of us doesn’t die of a drug overdose is another birthday for us. We just keep on partying every day and living each day like… party like tomorrow is the end of the world.”

 

While it is no secret the members of Steel Panther are entering the ‘older guys’ stage of their careers, Satchel seems adamant that Steel Panther’s days aren’t yet numbered.

 

“You know what? That’s a good question,” he replied on if Steel Panther have a shelf life. “I think that we can keep rocking for another fifteen years maybe, or until somebody dies. One of us will probably die from an overdose or a bad liver. Hopefully we’ve got fifteen years. We could go another four or five records I’m sure. There are people who thought we would never do more than one Steel Panther record or never do another record without the same song over and over but there’s a million ways to write about pussy and drugs.”

 

Written by Kris Peters

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Written by Dave Griffiths

Dave has worked as a music & film journalist for over 20 years now. Aside from Heavy he does radio and various podcasts as well. He is the proud owner of Metal Cat.

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