STEEL PANTHER INTERVIEW:
July 25, 2010
Websites: www.steelpantherrocks.com – www.myspace.com/steelpantherkicksass
Interviewer: Eric Mackinnon
Steel Panther are a band with a lot on their mind — but it isn’t the forthcoming release of their all-important second record which is troubling them.Nor the fear they may struggle to repeat the glorious highs of the past 12 months in which they have conquered the world with their ’80s style glam and sleaze infused rock ‘n’ roll rollercoaster. No, bassist Lexxi Foxxx and lead singer Michael Starr have confessed their concerns are over rumors hairspray manufacturers Aquanet are set to discontinue a line of their favorite product which could have consequences on the styles of the band.
As Lexxi Foxxx himself puts it: “It doesn’t matter how good you sound, it’s how good you look.”
The Panther pair took time out of their hectic schedule to chat at the Download Festival where they were preparing for a slot at the rock world’s premier festival at the home of rock, Donington Park.
Lexxi Foxxx: “I’m going through a weird phase right now because I’ve heard Aquanet aren’t doing their extra-hold bottle any more. They’ve discontinued it.”
Michael Starr: “Shit really?”
Lexxi Foxxx: “Yeah and what we really need to do is contact Aquanet right now while the band has some heat on it and they could endorse me, Lexxi Foxxx, where we’d have our own signature bottle.”
Michael Starr: “Yeah that’s a great idea.”
Lexxi Foxxx: “That way everybody wins. I only found out they were discontinuing it when I was buying a bottle one day when someone said to me do you know they’re not going to be making this much longer? So I picked up 22 bottles.”
Michael Starr: “They’re giving up and that’s the thing about Steel Panther — we’ve never given up. And we’re bringing heavy metal back, with or without Aquanet.”
Steel Panther exploded onto the rock scene like the bastard love child of a three-way romp between Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue and Poison.Sounding and looking like they stepped off a Sunset Strip corner in 1987 the band enjoyed massive success with their debut album Feel The Steel which landed knockout blows on both sides of the Atlantic.The follow-up is due later this year but in the meantime fans can wrap their ears around a special release single which Starr reveals has earned significant air time in the UK.
Michael Starr explained: “To coincide with our set at Download we have brought out a new single and we were asked by our label not to say fuck or cock or pussy in it so we can get it in on the radio. We thought, yeah we can do that so we cover We Want It That Way by the Backstreet Boys but we Pantherised it and it’s really cool. It was even played two days in a row on Radio One which is unheard. We are also doing some radio spots to promote it.”
Lexxi Foxxx: “I don’t really know the song but it doesn’t matter because Michael and I know it is not how good you look it is how good you sound.”
Michael Starr: “I keep telling everyone they need to come and see us now before we fade into obscurity because it’s pretty hard to repeat the brilliance we did on our first record. Let’s be honest, most bands’ second records suck. Ours may suck too but you’ll just never know. We hope it doesn’t suck and that’s all we can do and hope that people like it.”
Steel Panther are arguably as popular in the UK as they are in their native US and Foxx admits the band are grateful for their British fan-base — and the perks which come with it.
Lexxi Foxxx continued: “We have a loyal fan base here in the UK which is really cool and it means when I go to buy drugs here I get them way cheaper and we even get them given to us because people think we’re famous.”
Michael Starr: “All we ever really wanted was to make people aware of how important heavy metal is. People think that we’re fuckin’ stupid and really gay and stuff. I’m not gay and you can even tell I’m not even looking at your dick. I’m into chicks and I like metal.”
Lexxi Foxxx: “I just want people to know if they call me a faggot or something, I don’t care because I know I’m fucking a lot of chicks right now with this first record and it just means that they don’t feel good about themselves.”
Michael Starr: “That’s what’s called insecurity right?”
Lexxi Foxxx: “Being a rock star is better than I thought it would be. When I was a kid growing up in my mom’s apartment I used to flip my hair around and dream of being on stage and having people like us.”
Michael Starr: “It’s great to be where we are right now and it’s also an adult dream too as we formed the band when I was 28, or was it 26, back in 1981, I was young back then.”
When the as-yet untitled new album finally hits record store shelves and our ears we can expect more of the same reveals Starr and he admits the band themselves are looking forward to hearing the new songs themselves.
Michael Starr said: “It’s been great and the new record is coming along really good. We have a team of writers working on it right now so when they’re finished they’ll go into the studio with some musicians so when they are all done we’ll learn the songs then start playing them.
Lexxi Foxxx: “Our fans can expect to hear guitars and drums and bass on the new record with some bitching lead vocals — all mixed together all at once.”
Last month was the second successive time Panther had been invited to prowl the world famous Donington Park and Starr revealed he reckons the Leicestershire festival is the biggest in the entire WORLD.No faint praise from a band who tour the planet on a regular basis.
Michael Starr added: “We’ve just been talking how this year is the 30th anniversary and how important it is. Donington signifies music as a whole and I’d describe it as the biggest festival in the world.
Lexxi Foxxx: “It’s great to be a part of it and moving up the bill. Hopefully over the coming years we’ll continue to build up to the top of one of these shows so it says Steel Panther on the whoever died that year stage. I want to play at the top on that person’s stage.”
Michael Starr: “I want to play on the David Lee Roth stage if that ever happens!”