HEAVY METAL’S BACK (AGAIN): THE ULTIMATE BALLS-OUT STEEL PANTHER INTERVIEW
Interview and live pics by Emily Eve; girls on stage pic by Friedia Niimura
In one sense, making records is like using the toilet: It takes more to do number two than number one. And in the case of L.A. heavy metal semi-parodists Steel Panther, a follow-up to their wildly funny and compulsively banging 2009 debut Feel The Steel is an even bigger, stinkier challenge: This time, fans can see them coming, um so to speak. But in the spotlight’s glare, before expectant ears and faces poised to smile, lead singer Michael Starr and crew deliver a bigger, dirtier, and awesomer mass of heavy metal hilarity called Balls Out (available Tuesday). The 14-track tour de farce covers 47 amazing minutes, a range of hot-button rocker issues (drugs, gender roles, boners), and a load of singalong mega-choruses and nip-scorching guitar solos unheard since pro tools was just an aisle at Sears. To those somehow able to resist Feel The Steel, I say: You’re fucked now. Balls Out is stronger than you and your feeble protestations. Crank. It. Up.
This feat of skill and cocksmanship on display in Balls Out begs for investigation, so last week I went to hear firsthand how Steel Panther achieved the equivalent of making a Ghostbusters II better than its Ghostbusters I. And though it was a rainy, gusty Autumn night, the huge Steel Panther dressing room was buzzing heatedly as I sat down with Starr and lead bass player Lexxi Foxxx to get answers. Just nearby were lead guitarist Satchel (at whom I gazed lovingly whenever his inattention allowed) and lead drummer Stix Zadinia (with entourage) as the three of us gabbed highly about Balls Out, drugs, vaginas, immaturity, maturity, the guy from Nickelback, shaving stuff, the responsibilities of being Steel Panther, and much more.
Michael Starr: [to the room] Hey guys, can you keep it down a little? We’re doing an interview here.
Stachel: Oh yeah, look at that.
Stix Zadinia: Are you serious?
Anso DF: [To Satchel, Stix] Do you guys wanna join? [To Michael] They can join us!
Satchel: I’d love to.
Stix: Yeah, totally!
Stix: There’s some stuff I could tell you about those guys.
Michael: It’s okay. [To Stix] Alright? Can you keep it down? You guys, the crew’s not even supposed to be in here. Fuckin’ tattooed loser.
Stix: [mocks] “The crew’s not even supposed to be in here.”
Stix: Take the balls out of your mouth, Starr.
Michael: Ha ha.
Lexxi Foxxx: That’s funny cuz our record is named Balls Out.
ADF: I want to talk about that. It’s finally coming out in a couple weeks.
Michael: We’re excited. [expressionlessly] Just look at the excitement. [hitches an eyebrow] Fuckin’ stoked, dude. Pre-botox.
Lexxi: We are. Have you heard it?
ADF: Feels like you guys’ve been working on it for a while.
Michael: Yeah, a long time. It takes a while to record and perform shows inbetween the time that we’re recording.
Lexxi: And think of ideas of what we’re gonna do.
Michael: Plus, the most important thing is the artwork. That took, like, the longest. The songs were done pretty quickly.
Lexxi: Yeah, we were done for a while, and, well … There was a whole month where we weren’t doin’ shit. We’d each take different vacations, then I’d get my botox done at a different time that he was. So to do the album layout, I had to wait, then he had to wait. His wasn’t setting yet, mine was setting too fast, I went back in and got more stuff done … all this kind of shit. But it’s because we give a shit.
I remember the first record I got, it was because of how the album looked — not what it was on the inside. There was bitchin’ colors and there was a hot chick and these dudes looked bitchin’. We’re bringing heavy metal back, so we have to do it outside of the record and inside of the rec — [lost, looks to Starr] — You have to look good and sound good.
ADF: Yeah, Balls Out looks good. I really appreciate the cover
concept cuz no one puts sexy, hot sluts on their album anymore.
Michael: That was Stix’s idea, actually. I had an idea for the record [art], and everyone really liked it. Then Stix came up with this better idea of putting a girl on the front, and I was like —
Lexxi: Yours was really good. You had the gymnasium idea, right?
Lexxi: Maybe that was my idea.
Michael: I think that was your idea.
Michael: My idea was us on a tractor, remember? With all the Amish people?
Lexxi: Yeah. It just didn’t make sense because our record doesn’t have anything to do with Amish people. That’s why it got —
ADF: There were no balls.
Michael: Well, there were balls in the picture, and Amish people were pushing them, and then we’re on a tractor behind them.
ADF: Conceptually sound, but not executable.
Michael: Actually the idea was too expensive. So we got one model … And Stix’s idea was cool. I agree with you — and so do Lexxi, Stix, our manager, our label, and our publicist — that sex sells. So, having a chick with big ol’ titties, and you can see her camel toe —
ADF: I can totally see it. Of course, I zoomed way in.
Michael: You can! It’s actually airbrushed a little smoother, but prior to that you could actually see her, uh —
Lexxi: Her moose knuckle. Everything was just hanging out. [To Michael] Do you remember [the paparazzi photo of] Britney Spears getting out of the car?
Michael: I remember that, yeah. It reminds me of the Pam and Tommy video.
Lexxi: Oh yeah.
Michael: She had a big pussy. You have to have a big pussy to use a big cock, though.
Lexxi: Tommy’s got, from what I hear —
Michael: I’ve seen it. It’s huge.
Lexxi: — an enormous piece.
Michael: It’s long.
Lexxi: Is it long? Like a snake?
Lexxi: They say a lot of skinny, taller guys have big penises.
ADF: That is totally true.
Michael: Some of them do.
Starr (left) and Foxxx
ADF: I read an interview in which Satchel states that Balls Out is not Steel Panther’s sophomore record, but rather Steel Panther’s “second debut album.”
Michael: He’s confused.
ADF: I’m confused by the mechanics of that.
Michael: He’s just confused, you’re not confused. You’re actually —
Lexxi: Satchel said that it was a second debut album?
Michael: You know that expression, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”?
Michael: That’s where he’s confused. Cuz we’ve already made our first impression. It’s like a stamp. Once you stamp somebody, they can’t —
Satchel: [from nearby] This is like a first chance to make a second impression.
Satchel: You can throw that in [the interview text] if you want.
Michael: A what? A first chance to make a second impression? That’s amazing. You know what, dude? He was right. This is our second debut record. It really is.
Lexxi: You’re saying that you were confused by that?
Lexxi: I guess we all were confused by that a little bit. But now it’s all cleared up, right?
ADF: Completely. These interviews really work.
Michael: That’s the reason for ’em. The questions that you ask are good. I think this record is a more mature record for us in an immature way. Does that make sense?
ADF: So you’re better now at being immature?
ADF: I noticed that there are a couple really fast songs on it.
Lexxi: So you’ve heard the record?
ADF: Yes, just last night!
Michael: Oh really?
Lexxi: Is that right? They just let you hear it or they gave you a copy?
ADF: It was a stream.
Lexxi: [blankly] It was what?
ADF: A stream.
Michael: He was in the country listening to it by a stream.
Lexxi: Oh. Cuz Extreme … I haven’t heard any of their later stuff.
ADF: Hey, that dude from Extreme plays on Balls Out (“It Won’t Suck Itself”). He still brings the shit, right?
Lexxi: Uno! Uh, Nuno!
Michael: Here’s something you don’t know. Our manager, Paul Geary — and Glen Parrish, they manage us simultaneously — is the drummer from Extreme. [eyeballs Satchel] Glen Parrish comes from a line of gardeners and Nuno Bettencourt was in Extreme. So it’s full circle: We have a lot of metal and our front lawn looks killer.
ADF: Did Nuno comment at all on the Steel Panther song “Girl From Oklahoma”? It’s kinda in the same family as Extreme’s mega-hit.
Lexxi: Um, “More Than Words”?
Michael: See, “Girl From Oklahoma” was written a long, long time ago.
Lexxi: Mmm-hmm. This is our [approach] on certain things: Those people were so young then, and it was a number-one hit in the whole world for a long time. And for us to —
Michael: We’re recycling.
Lexxi: Right. Some people didn’t get a chance to hear that song that way. What we did is make it more bitchin’er —
Michael: Like what Van Halen did with The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me.” It’s like an ode to Extreme. It gets to the point where it’s different [enough] that we don’t have to pay royalties to them. That’s the key.
Lexxi: You wait enough time and you change shit around a bunch.
Michael: You gotta go past the fifth note, and you’re safe.
Lexxi: It’s amazing that you notice that, cuz a lot of people don’t pick that out from Adam. [To Michael] Huh, I wonder why people say that.
Lexxi: About Adam. Why would anyone say that.
Michael: [prompts Lexxi] What’s another way to express yourself?
Lexxi: [struggles] Nobody would really pick that out from a needle … Like, they wouldn’t be able to find a needle in a haystack. I’ll just use “needle in a haystack.” Because Satchel can mix it up and change it, so most people don’t even get that. But that’s why you’re a writer. You can print that. Cuz nobody’s asked about that yet, and that’s one of our little tricks up our sleeve.
Michael: [To Lexxi] You should write that down. It’s great.
ADF: On Feel The Steel, some —
Lexxi: Um, hold on. [To Michael] I think you’re being sarcastic.
Michael: [laughs] I’m gonna put on some eyeliner.
Lexxi: Go ahead.
ADF: A couple Feel The Steel jamz had been around for a while, like “Stripper Girl.” But for Balls Out, you had to start from scratch and write 15 new songs?
Michael: [flatly, applies eye make-up] Uh-uh. Wrong, wrong, wrong. A lot of those songs have been around; they’ve just been refined. But the majority of them are newly written. But also, they’ve been written over a four-year period. Cuz once we got our [record] deal, Satchel just started writing and writing and writing. The guy can’t stop writing; we have to pull him out of his hotel and say, “Stop writing! It’s time to get your hair cut.”
Michael: Know what I mean? He comes out looking like Charles Manson, but he comes out with great songs.
ADF: Feel The Steel is one of those albums where every couple weeks, a different song on the album is my favorite.
Lexxi: You know what, that reminds me of Appetite For Destruction. That’s amazing you say that; I appreciate the compliment. And I can’t wait ’til you really get ahold of [Balls Out]. The reason I had to listen to them is that I had to learn them — and re-learn them and re-learn them again. But it’s really cool that you feel that way; I think Balls Out is gonna be the same way if not even more. Even right now, it’s so fun for me cuz the record is fresh in my head. It’s like, I have the same thing that you’re experiencing: My favorite song is “Tiger Woods” but tomorrow, maybe it’ll be a different song.
Michael: My favorite song is “Tomorrow Night.” [To Lexxi] Both songs that are our favorites start with the letter T.
Lexxi: And we recorded them.
ADF: So they have two things in common. [This is inaccurate; the song’s official title is “Just Like Tiger Woods.” — ADF] The one that really speaks to my soul at the moment is “Why Can’t You Trust Me?” I really lived that song.
Michael: Who hasn’t?
ADF: I relate especially lyric in which Michael threatens revenge on his girlfriend via sleeping with her friends. That’s so real to me. I’ve had to actuate that threat and I appreciate that my struggles have been captured that way.
Lexxi: Wow. That’s awesome that you can have a life lesson like that.
Michael: The worst thing about having a girlfriend is when they get a fat ass. That’s not fair to me; my ass [smacks own ass] is not getting fat. A girl shouldn’t take a bigger shit than a guy.
Lexxi: Another mean thing girls do that’s horrible is when you’re trying to watch sports or do something, they keep talking. [drifts] And when I know directions [but] they think they know the best way.
Michael: Girls should just sew and be good-looking.
Lexxi: Hey, did you like “Gold-Digging Whore”?
ADF: Yeah! I love the gang vocals where the song’s title is spelled out. And correctly, too.
Michael: We had to actually make sure it was right. Thank god for Wikipedia.
Lexxi: We recorded this song for our last record, “I Want Pussy,” and Michael had a tough time with that.
Michael: We were gonna do a song called “Gold-Digging Tranny Whore” — too many letters.
ADF: It may have to be in some obscure time signature.
Lexxi: Well, that and the song would have to be a lot longer. Y’know, for radio.
For boobs (left); for drugs
ADF: Let’s talk about another guest on Balls Out, the guy from Nickelback. I am a heavy metal journalist and I ask the tough questions —
Michael: Ah, okay.
ADF: Chad Krueger from Nickelback guests on the record —
ADF: What’d I say?
Lexxi: You’re getting him confused with the Friday The 13th guy.
ADF: Each is pretty scary.
Lexxi: So, what I’m getting is that you’re not so —
Michael: [To Lexxi] No, no let him ask the question. Let’s see where he’s gonna go with it.
ADF: What is Chad Kroeger doing on the record? I mean, you guys know what rocks. You’re the foremost rockers around —
Michael: Then why are you asking us? If we know what rocks, why are you asking us that question?
ADF: Oh, you’ve caught me in a logic trap: You guys know what rocks and Chad Kroeger is on your record, therefore he rocks?
Michael: He paid us to be on the record. [laughs]
Satchel + Stix: [laughs, from just within earshot]
Lexxi: Second of all, listen to this: He has more bitchin’ shit in his house … I don’t give a shit. He has go-karts that go all the way around the house. And ice-skating things. He was like, “Please come party at my house. I’ll do a song with you.” He’s got bitching shit. It was fun to hang out at his house, and he wanted to do a song, so we put one of his little songs on there. It’s what it is.
Michael: Did you say “one of his little songs”?
Lexxi: Well, he was able to do what he …
Michael: Did you say “one of his little songs”? Like, “Oh it’s Chad Kroeger. We’ll have to put one of his little songs on the record”?
Lexxi: Well, I know you know that … He has bitchin’, bitchin’ —
Michael: [To Lexxi] Look, Chad Kroeger is not a heavy metal guy. What is he doing on the Steel Panther record? That’s the question he wants to know the answer to.
Lexxi: I didn’t know that was the question. We’re trying to bring Chad fuckin’ back to heavy metal.
Michael: There you go. [To ADF] You have to start at the top. You listen to their [next] record; when you hear it, you’ll go, “I see what Steel Panther was up to.” We’re like herpes, man. Once you see us, you can’t get rid of us. Chad saw us at the Commodore Ballroom like eight times, we met up at the strip club afterwards … It’s fuckin’ history after that, man.
Lexxi: And he’s got bitchin’ fuckin’ go-karts that whiz around the house.
Michael: But he does have bad taste in clothes.
Lexxi: Well, no, it’s just all the same. He wears black.
ADF: I bet he has a lot of money for drugs.
Michael: He has an assistant who rolls joints for him. He has another assistant who cooks all his food, and another one who goes out and gets his drugs for him when he needs stuff other than pot. Which is pretty rock ‘n roll.
ADF: I think “Just Like Tiger Woods” celebrates Tiger the sex hero. Do you anticipate any blowback from the his people? Will they “get” it?
Michael: Does it matter if they get it? What are they gonna do?
ADF: He’s pretty powerful.
Michael: Yeah, but the only thing they can do is give us press. Underneath it all — all the Rolex endorsements and high-profile shit — I think he’ll be like, “Fuck yeah.” Cuz that’s really who he is and that’s what the song is about. It really brings out the truth.
Lexxi: That’s exactly right. Y’know, all those Lincoln Town Cars and Rolex things … We don’t know that he really likes those things. That’s somebody saying, “Here’s money. Just drive this shit around.” But it’s a fact that he likes to put his penis into girls’ vaginas.
Michael: What’s really cool, and I’m really happy for him, is he got to clear out all his dirty laundry, put everything on the table, and now everyone knows he likes hookers. And he’s not with that stupid whore anymore and he can go fuck any chick he wants. And [as a result,] he’s starting to play better now. And he’s got the best fuckin’ endorsement he’s ever had in his whole career [on Balls Out] because he told the truth. That’s what Steel Panther does. We sing about fuckin’ Asian hookers because like them. People freak out: “Oh my god, [our lyrics] are so dirty and bold.” But it’s the reality, and people love reality. Who wants to think about, fuckin’, the economy? Fuck that shit. Do you wanna talk about Wall Street?
ADF: Not much.
Michael: Why would you? What’s that gonna do?
ADF: Do you think that bummer stuff makes it harder for Steel Panther to get people to party?
Michael: No, that makes it easier.
Michael: Fuck, look, if anybody has any slight bit of intelligence, they know the world is fucked up right now. Do you wanna think about that? Fuck no. Let’s go escape reality, go see Lexxi Foxxx look hot and put his make-up on, and rock out.
Lexxi: What’s cool is our ticket prices aren’t that high. We’re totally affordable.
Michael: We’re an economy-friendly bad. Even the drugs we sell are, like, discounted.
Lexxi: The more popular we get, the cheaper they have come.
Michael: I mean, the drugs that people give us are free.
Lexxi: That’s always cool.
Michael: Even in this shitty economy, it’s been very lucrative.
ADF: Drugs do better in a bad economy. I know I need them more.
Michael: Well yeah!
Lexxi: You don’t have to not like shit; you like everything when you’re high. Everything’s great.
Michael: You know who’s really winning right now? The pharmaceutical companies. Everybody’s doing the undercover-lover drugs, like vicodin, oxycontin …
Lexxi: I thought you were gonna say Charlie Sheen.
ADF: Steel Panther tickets are affordable, but you do have some bigger, pricier shows coming up in the UK with Def Leppard and Motley Crue. Those are worth a financial stretch.
Michael: No, it’s Led Zeppelin and Yes, isn’t it?
Lexxi: Yes, it’s Led Zeppelin?
Lexxi: [thinks hard] It’s so far away … Again, those drugs.
Michael: Are you talking about the Motley Crue/Def Leppard tour?
Lexxi: Oh, that one. We’re doing that one in the UK.
Michael: Yeah, over the pond.
ADF: How do you approach this tour? Those bands don’t sound totally awesome in concert anymore.
Lexxi: Oh, I appreciate that.
Michael: [To Lexxi] What?! What did you say?
Lexxi: He was saying a compliment to us.
Michael: No, he wasn’t. He was saying … [To ADF] What were you saying?
ADF: I was getting to a compliment.
Lexxi: I know what he was gonna say. He was gonna say that we sound better than they do.
Michael: [To ADF] Were you gonna say that?
Michael: Aren’t you gonna print everything that we say?
ADF: Yeah. Everything.
Michael: [To Lexxi] You just said that we’re better than Motley Crue.
Lexxi: Who said that?
Michael: You did! You just said that they’re old and we’re better.
Lexxi: I didn’t say that! You said that. What are you talking about?
ADF: No, I said that.
Michael: That’s what you said?
Lexxi: [points to recording device] Do you wanna rewind it?
Michael: Are you sure?
Lexxi: He said that we sound better than Motley Crue and I said thank you very much.
Michael: [To Lexxi] We don’t wanna get kicked off this tour.
ADF: All I meant is that Steel Panther is at a peak, and those bands may be past their’s.
Lexxi: Can I say thank you now?
Lexxi: Thank you very much. We’ve been practicing.
Michael: You know what Lexxi’s trying to say, I think? I could be wrong.
Michael: I think what he’s trying to say is that we’re a much younger band; we’re in our early 50s. So we’re able to have, like, more cardio —
Lexxi: Our kicks are higher.
Michael: — and we’re a little more streetwise. They’ve been living with money for a number of years.
ADF: Steel Panther is hungrier.
Michael: We’re hungry, man. I can’t wait to move out of my mom’s house.
ADF: Is there a temptation to tone it down for their benefit? Or just blow them away?
Michael: I’ll tell ya one thing we’ll definitely do, and I tell everybody this: We wanna respect them and give them their space, man. Def Leppard is headlining, Motley Crue is second, and we’re the special guest. So we need to give the headlining bands their space, and just stay out of their space. If there’s any groupies getting in their space, we’ll take them off their hands. We’ll fuck ’em. That’s how we can be of service on the tour.
Michael: They don’t need that — a buncha chicks hanging out backstage. We’ll take care of that.
Lexxi: We still have a little bounce in our steps, we can still get our boners going. If not, we have, um, pharm-a-ceut-icals and also The Shocker.
Michael: Plus, we’re light on our feet, too.
Lexxi: No. I think that means something bad.
Michael: No, that’s “light in our loafers.”
Michael: We’re not light in our loafers; we have a bounce in our step and are light on our feet.
ADF: I wanted to ask you about Soundwave Revolution show in Australia, which Steel Panther was set to play the same stage as Van Halen.
Michael: That one got cut out. Y’know how they have Lollapalooza out here? It was like the mini-Lollapalooza for them. Soundwave festival was so successful that they tried to add [spin-off event Soundwave Revolution]. It didn’t work out so well for them; ticket sales were a little lower than they anticipated. So they cut their ties immediately and put us on the Soundwave Festival in … February?
Lexxi: Um, it is February.
Michael: It’s Marilyn Manson, which I’m really stoked about. It’s also … Corey Taylor’s band.
ADF: Stone Sour.
Lexxi: It starts with an S.
Lexxi: They both start with an S, which is confusing.
Michael: Our name starts with an S. There’s a lot of band names that start with an S.
ADF: Are you bummed about not getting to play the same gig as Van Halen?
Michael: I dunno. You take away the Van Halen tour, right? Then, all of a sudden a week later, we’re on the Motley Crue and Def Leppard tour. Think of our song, “Death To All But Metal”: It says “Where is Def Leppard?/Where is Motley Crue.” It doesn’t say, “Where is Van Halen?”
Lexxi: We’re sticking to our roots, I guess. Our first album is leading our fortune.
ADF: Steel Panther’s cause is to bring heavy metal back to radio, TV, and in everybody’s face like it used to be. A second platform of Steel Panther’s is for all women to um subscribe to a rigorous maintenance schedule of their vagina area. Why is it so important?
Lexxi: You wanna answer that?
Michael: Rock, scissors, paper?
Lexxi: How do you play this?
Michael: You go three times, then on the third one, you go [demonstrates] rock, scissors, or paper.
Michael + Lexxi: One, two —
Lexxi: [offers no hand signal] Scissors.
Michael: [flattens palm to denote “paper”] No. So, I think the reason we like shaved vaginas so much is that when you’re in a heavy metal band, a lot of girls that come to the shows have STDs. You have to be careful. If they’re not shaven, you can’t really see what they have.
Plus, it’s easier to find the clit. Some girls are fuckin’ hairy, dude. Like, Lexxi’s been pounding some chicks that have really huge clits and they’re unshaven, and he said that it was like giving head to a guy.
Lexxi: Uh … I don’t remember that —
Michael: [laughs] I remember. You were like, “It felt like I just sucked a dick. We better have these chicks start shaving their pussies.” Remember that?
Michael: Remember, the girl’s name was Amanda?
Lexxi: No, I don’t know if I so much remember that.
Michael: She was a man, duh.
Lexxi: We had a gig in San Diego and we drove down to Tijuana. I’d never been there before and they thought it’d be a fun thing to just go clubbin’ down there … Well, it also helps if you have any diseases down there, just clean it so everybody can … Nobody wants a Wookiee on their cookie. We’ll just answer it like that.
ADF: Moving on. It would be a better world if heavy metal were more popular than everything else, right?
Lexxi: [considers] I would say yes, but then we wouldn’t get all the … I like how we’re bring heavy metal back and we’re the only —
Michael: You don’t want to finish the journey.
Lexxi: Right now, it’s like we’re the pioneers of heavy metal for so many kids. I don’t know if I’d want there to be a whole world of heavy metal bands. Cuz I want all the pussy, all the drugs, and I want people to go, “Wow, you guys are awesome!”
Michael: [To Lexxi] See, you’re stuck in logic like he was.
Lexxi: What’s that?
Michael: It’s like a Star Trek thing. It’s like, you wanna bring heavy metal back; that’s been our goal for years, right? But you don’t wanna bring it back and have a bunch of other heavy metal bands take your pussy and your drugs.
Michael: So you’re stuck in a void of heavy metal craziness.
ADF: I think Michael’s right —
Lexxi: I thought I was right.
ADF: It’s almost like if heavy metal is huge, then Steel Panther is slightly less powerful.
Michael: No, I wouldn’t say that. It’s like, you’re playing Call of Duty: Black Ops and you finish the whole thing. Now what?
Lexxi: Can’t you start over?
Michael: You can, but who cares? It’s been done before. So you gotta keep forging forward. You gotta wait for the next Steel Panther record to come out before you know what to do.
So we’re never done, dude. Know what’s gonna happen? Maybe on our tenth record, we’ll put it out and it won’t sell as well. Then we’ll have to bring our own heavy metal back.
Lexxi: Like, re-record our songs?
Lexxi: [momentously] Or —
Michael: Think about that. Wrap your brain around that, fucker.
ADF: I am. I’m picturing Steel Panther atop this heap, like at Aerosmith and Van Halen status in new heavy metal. I want that.
Michael: It’s gonna happen.
ADF: But it’s a sacrifice for me too: When that happens, I won’t get to see Steel Panther in West Hollywood on Monday nights and get high and party my balls off, cuz you’re off playing huge arenas.
Michael: I hear ya. That bothers me, too. That’s why I thought we could play Staples [Center, capacity 20,000] every Monday —
Lexxi: So everybody gets the chance to see us in a bigger arena. But know what? You’re asking us questions right now? Well, we won’t ever forget you and always will put you on the guest list when we play gigantic places all over the world.
Michael: [To Lexxi] Hey, do you have that book about recovery? The Twelve Steps? Can you show me where it’s at?
Lexxi: I don’t know what I did with it. I gave it to someone who really needed it, I think.
Michael: That sucks.
ADF: How do you guys get away with inviting naked chicks on stage? It’s great for a dude cuz standing there cheering at four guys feels a little gay. But then, bam, some girls join you up there and get various shades of naked. Problem solved. Perfect show.
Michael: It just happened organically from the get-go. I remember clearly at The Viper Room [onetime site of Steel Panther weekly shows], there was this blonde chick and she had huge tits. She was pretty ugly but we’d pull her up and she’d show her boobs. And she’d come, like, every week. It became something that a lot of girls like to do. Some of them like to be in front of people showing their tits [laughs]. It just kept goin’ and goin’. For some reason, the clubs never said anything.
Lexxi: I think it also has a lot to do with heavy metal. If you look at all the bitchin’ ’80s videos, there was always hot bitches just doin’ whatever. We just take it one step further with the way that we write our songs. Some of the lyrics we have, we just take it further. We don’t [hesitate] to say what we really, really feel. You combine women with heavy metal, and that’s what happens. I don’t think anybody ever really thought about it.
Michael: I think now girls come to our show knowing that they want to show their boobs. I just say straight up, “If there’s any girls who are slutty and wanna show their titties, come to the front of the stage now and we’ll pull you up.” Nine times out of ten, they do, right? They’re like, “Over here!” And they may not be hot, but know what? There’s a lot of chicks I’ve fucked that aren’t hot but they fuck amazing.
ADF: Non-hot girls fuck better sometimes.
Michael: Always. Always.
Lexxi: Yeah. Why is that?
Michael: They have to. Really pretty chicks get told all the time they’re beautiful —
Lexxi: And they don’t have to do shit.
Michael: They don’t have to do anything! Just like Lexxi — he never had to learn anything! He’s been beautiful the whole time.
ADF: He learned enough to play bass in a band.
Michael: Yeah, but that’s why he’s playing bass. It’s the easiest instrument to play.
Lexxi: It’s a simple instrument. It’s not that hard.
Michael: You must be a bass player.
ADF: I’m a guitar player.
Michael: [skeptically] Really.
[A backstage guest says goodbye.]
Michael: [To guest] Hey don’t forget that eight ball! Thank you. I look forward to seeing you right after the show. Just come right up. Don’t wait for me to change.
ADF: Y’know how Ozzy had that festival in the ’90s called Ozzfest. His management —
ADF: [laughs] — put a bunch of their bands on the tour, and some other, really great bands too. What would the Steel Panther Fest line-up be?
Michael: Aw dude, that’s a tough one.
Lexxi: That’s a good question.
Michael: That’s really a super-tough one.
ADF: A lot of bands from the ’80s are still doin’ it awesome, like Tesla and Kix. And some new bands kick ass, like —
Michael: I would seriously like to get Winger back. Fuckin’, I don’t know if you heard the record they put out about a year and a half ago? It’s fuckin’ really good. Really good. I don’t think they even have a [record] deal, but I ran into him, we became friends, and he gave me a CD. It’s really good.
Lexxi: I think I would want Cinderella up there at the top. I have so much respect for a band that has the same four members and they sound bitchin’.
Michael: But you also have to take into consideration … You don’t want to get a band that’s been out on the road a lot.
Lexxi: [agrees] Son of a bitch. Son of a bitch! Who are you gonna sell tickets to; they’ve already seen ’em.
Michael: It’s gotta be somebody that just reformed, or … Maybe if we could dig Jani Lane up out of the grave, and stand him up while all the original Warrant members play “Down Boys.”
ADF: Wasn’t something similar done with Lenin in Russia? Isn’t his casket out in public?
Michael: That’s great.
Lexxi: You could do that.
Michael: Who else could we dig up?
Lexxi: I know! We could get … Who’s the singer of Quiet Riot?
Michael: Oh, Kevin DuBrow! We could dig him up, and get Carlos [Cavazo], fuckin’ Frankie [Banali], and Rudy Sarzo and just put a video of Kevin, like, yelling at people?
ADF: Or project him as a hologram like in Japan.
Lexxi: And Derek Frigo.
Michael: [excitedly] Yeah, we could get Enuff Z’nuff back together with Derek Frigo!
Lexxi: That would be fantastic. One of my favorite bands.
Michael: It could be called … Casketazoola. And we’d only tour in October.
ADF: Do you ever worry about being too awesome? Sometimes I feel that Enuff Z’nuff’s hamstring, the reason they weren’t more popular, is that they were too awesome.
Michael: I don’t think they’re too awesome.
Lexxi: I think they’re pretty awesome. I like them.
Michael: I love ’em. I love ’em, but it’s like —
Lexxi: They’re so twisty and good.
Michael: Come on, who’s better?
Lexxi: … Revis.
Michael: Revis? You think Revis is better?
Lexxi: Way better.
Michael: So there you go.
Lexxi: We’ll have to do [a Steel Panther festival] sometime, and you can MC it.
Michael: Where were the really honest, tough questions you had?
ADF: Just about the Nickelback guy. I’m pumped about everything else.
Steel Panther returns with Balls Out via Universal/Republic Records on November 1. Pre-order here cuz you love fun.