Steel Panther

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Steel Panther
Steel Panther at Wacken Open Air 2018. Left to right: Lexxi Foxx, Michael Starr and Satchel
Steel Panther at Wacken Open Air 2018. Left to right: Lexxi Foxx, Michael Starr and Satchel
Background information
Also known as
  • Metal Shop (2000–2003)
  • Danger Kitty (2003)
  • Metal Skool (2003–2008)
OriginLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres
Years active2000–present
Labels
Members
Past members
Websitesteelpantherrocks.com

Steel Panther is an American comedy rock band from Los Angeles, California. They are mostly known for their profane and humorous lyrics[5] as well as their exaggerated onstage pastiche of the stereotypical "glam metal" lifestyle.

History[edit]

Metal Shop / Metal Skool (2000–2007)[edit]

The quartet began to gain popularity on the Sunset Strip during the early 2000s under the name Metal Shop (soon changed into Metal Skool, then into Steel Panther). Their lineup consisted of vocalist Ralph Saenz ("Michael Starr"), drummer Darren Leader ("Stix Zadinia"), bassist Travis Haley ("Lexxi Foxx"), and guitarist Russ Parrish ("Satchel").[1] The band did weekly shows on Monday nights at the Viper Room, and subsequently the Key Club, playing covers of hair metal hits while sharing their passion for the bands that made the songs famous. Despite the name changes and Saenz and Parrish putting in time in the Van Halen tribute band Atomic Punks, they finally managed to gain some success.[1] In 2003 they released Hole Patrol,[6] their self-produced debut extended play. The band appeared in a Discover Card advertisement as Danger Kitty and in the sitcom Drew Carey Show as themselves. Also in 2003, their song "Death to All But Metal" was included in a compilation CD called Hey, That's What I Call Sludge! Vol. 1 put out by the Metal Sludge web site. Their cover of the song "Fantasy" by Aldo Nova was used as the opening musical theme for the MTV program Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory. On November 27, 2007 Metal Skool played original songs as well as covers of KISS songs at the Gene Simmons roast; they can be seen in the background of Gene Simmons' reality show Gene Simmons Family Jewels. That year, they also appeared as themselves on Las Vegas in the episode "The High Price of Gas".[7]

Feel the Steel (2008–2010)[edit]

Steel Panther performing at the 2010 Sauna Open Air Metal Festival in Tampere, Finland

In April 2008 the band decided to change their name from Metal Skool to Steel Panther, making a new debut at The Rockin' Saddle Club in Redlands, California.[6] In an interview with Michael Starr, he states that the band's name wasn't inspired by Steel Dragon, the band with Zakk Wylde and Mark Wahlberg in the movie Rock Star (in which Starr makes a cameo appearance).[8] In May 2008, the band signed a contract with Republic Records (owned by record label Universal Records) announcing plans for a new studio album.[1]

Steel Panther released Feel the Steel on June 8, 2009 in the United Kingdom and on October 6, 2009 in North America through Universal Republic, making it their major record label debut. Feel the Steel debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Comedy chart, No. 123 on the Billboard 200 chart and would eventually peak at No. 98 on the Billboard 200 chart. The record features hit singles, "Community Property" and "Death to All but Metal" as well as notable guest vocal performances from Corey Taylor, Justin Hawkins, and M. Shadows. The track "Eyes of a Panther" is featured on the soundtrack for the video game Skate 3. Sometime collaborator Dean Cameron, also credited with co-writing "Supersonic Sex Machine" on the band's next album Balls Out, directed and co-wrote a pilot presentation in an attempt to land Steel Panther their own television program.[citation needed]

The record's success also caught the attention of the Grammys, making it onto the "Best Comedy Album" ballot in October 2010, yet failing to reach a nomination.[citation needed]

Balls Out and British Invasion (2011–2013)[edit]

Steel Panther released their second album Balls Out on October 31, 2011 in the UK and on November 1, 2011 in North America also through Universal Republic. Balls Out continued their revival of the heavy metal genre and debuted at No. 1 on the UK iTunes Rock chart surpassing Megadeth's TH1RT3EN and Lou Reed's and Metallica's Lulu. Balls Out also debuted at No. 4 on the US iTunes Rock chart, No. 40 on the Billboard 200 chart and at No. 1 on the Billboard Comedy chart with first-week sales of 12,000 copies in the US.[citation needed]

Due to their growing popularity, Steel Panther were invited by Def Leppard to join them and co-headliners Mötley Crüe as "Special Guests" on the Mirrorball Tour in December 2011. Exactly one week after ending the UK arena tour in London with Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe, Steel Panther opened for Guns N' Roses at the Forum in Los Angeles, CA on December 21, 2011.[citation needed]

On December 6, 2011, Steel Panther announced their second solo UK tour in support of their newest album Balls Out. Tickets for the shows went on sale on December 9, 2011, with many ticket providers selling out their allocations within a month. Brazzers sponsored the Australian tour of Steel Panther in early October 2012, which sold out in Brisbane, Sydney (two shows), Melbourne, and Adelaide. Another headline UK tour took place in November 2012. In late 2012, Steel Panther's European tour was crowned a huge success. They played sold-out shows, particularly in Germany.[8]

Steel Panther released their first Live DVD British Invasion in September 2012.[9] The DVD was released worldwide on October 22, 2012.[10] The DVD was filmed at Brixton Academy in London and features a two-hour concert/documentary based on the band's sold-out British tour.[11][12]

Steel Panther played on the main stage at Download Festival in June 2012, during which they were joined on stage by Corey Taylor of Slipknot to play "Death to All But Metal". Taylor wore wellies on stage. They played in front of a crowd of over 100,000 people.[13] Steel Panther toured Australia in December 2013, supported by Buckcherry and Fozzy. Shows were sold out in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth between December 6 and 12.:[14]

All You Can Eat (2014–2015)[edit]

In late 2013, Steel Panther announced a new tour in the year 2014,[15] titled the "Spreading the Disease (S.T.D.) Tour".[16] They toured Europe throughout February and March 2014.[17] In support of their latest album, Steel Panther began touring North America in May 2014, their first headlining tour of America. In June, they moved the tour to Europe and continued to tour through August 2014.[17]

The band released their third studio album All You Can Eat on April 1, 2014 on the independent label Open E Music, via Kobalt Label Services. The album was officially announced in September 2013. The first single from the album is "Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of the World". The second single, "The Burden of Being Wonderful", was released January 21, 2014.[citation needed]

The third single, "Gloryhole", was released in April 2014 on Steel Panther's VEVO channel. On March 26, 2014 the album was leaked online and available for downloading on various websites, most likely after being streamed by the German tabloid Bild. The online stream was approved by Steel Panther.[citation needed]

In June 2014, the band announced a short UK Tour with 4 dates scheduled for March 2015, supported by Skindred[18] and The Lounge Kittens.[19] The band sold out almost every venue on the tour, which included Wembley Arena, London. In April 2015, the group had a cameo in the music video for the Ninja Sex Party song "Road Trip" to tell of their sexual exploits that year. Michael Starr contributes vocals to "6969" on NSP's third album Attitude City as the head Dick Elder.[citation needed].

Steel Panther started a YouTube series called Steel Panther TV in Fall 2014[20] with segments like Science Panther, Love on the Rocks, Cineminute, World of Music, and Demolicious.

Lower the Bar and Heavy Metal Rules (2016–present)[edit]

On January 7, 2016, Steel Panther's acoustic album Live from Lexxi's Mom's Garage became available for pre-order with the new song "That's When You Came In", preceding the album's release on February 26. The band went on the Adult Swim call-in show FishCenter Live to promote the album on January 22, 2016.

In September of the same year, Steel Panther released a cover of Cheap Trick's "She's Tight" with the announcement that their fourth studio album Lower the Bar would be released on March 24, 2017. Robin Zander and Bobbie Brown made cameo appearances in the music video for "She's Tight".

Their fifth album Heavy Metal Rules was announced in July 2019, and scheduled for a September 27, 2019 release. The music video for the first single from the album, "All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)", debuted on July 8, 2019. The second single titled, "Always Gonna Be a Ho", was released on August 9, 2019. The third single "Gods of Pussy" was released on September 6, 2019. Music videos for the title track, Fuck Everybody, and Let's Get High Tonight were also released on the band's YouTube channel though were not released as singles. In December 2020, they released "Fuck 2020" as a non-album single and music video.[21] The song is an alternative version of "Fuck Everybody" from Heavy Metal Rules with new lyrics reflecting the COVID-19 pandemic.[22] In March 2021, they released covers of the Van Halen classics "Beautiful Girls" and "D.O.A." as a non-album single.[23] A video was released for the songs where they are in a video meeting setup reminiscent of Zoom.[24][25]

Departure of Lexxi Foxx[edit]

In December 2018, the band announced that bassist Lexxi Foxx would be missing the upcoming tour to go to "sex rehab."[26] Foxx's stand-in was Joe "Spyder" Lester, the band's tour manager, as well as Starr's and Satchel's former bandmate from The Atomic Punks.[27] Lexxi returned to the band for the next tour, but still missed some dates, where he was filled in for by both Spyder and an unknown bassist with the stage name "TK".

On July 17, 2021, it was revealed that long-time bassist Lexxi Foxx had left the band. The band cited it was a mutual decision, jokingly stating that Foxx was pursuing his own business "Sexxy Lexxi's Prettiest Pets."[28][29] In August the band opened up virtual auditions for a new bass player.[22][30] In October 2021, the band introduced new touring bassist Rikki Dazzle,[31] though Michael Starr revealed the band were still looking for a permanent member.[32] In December, the band launched the "Road to the Road" promotion, featuring a bracket of 32 selected auditions to narrow down to a field of 10 finalists. The pre-selected finalists included Dazzle and Rikki Thrash, who would both tour with the band in November and December.[33]

Criticism[edit]

In 2018, the band faced criticism for a signature guitar tone created in partnership with TC Electronic named "Pussy Melter", which was characterized as sexist by critics.[34][35] Indie band Braids promoted a petition to remove or edit the description on TC Electronics' website; the company did so. Musicians Japanese Breakfast and Ted Leo also criticised the name and description of the effect.[36]

The band have also been accused of racism[37] and misogyny, particularly after the Me Too movement.[38][39] A one-star NME review for Heavy Metal Rules described Steel Panther as "incel rock".[39]

Awards[edit]

  • Best Debut: Feel the SteelMetal Hammer Germany
  • 2012 Live Act of the Year – Loudwire Music Awards
  • 2013 Live Act of the Year – Loudwire Music Awards
  • 2014 Video of the Year: "Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of the World" – Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards[40]

Band members[edit]

Current members

Current touring members

  • Joe "Spyder" Lester – bass, backing vocals (2018: substitute for Lexxi Foxx, 2021-present)[41]

Former members

  • Ray Luzier – drums (2000–2003)[42]
  • Travis "Lexxi Foxx" Haley – bass, backing vocals (2000–2021)[43]

Former touring members

  • Phil "Silk Pockett" Buckman – bass, backing vocals (2021)
  • Rikki Dazzle – bass, backing vocals (2021)
  • Sam "Rikki Thrash" Dobbs – bass, backing vocals (2021–2022)
  • T.K. – bass, backing vocals (2022)

Discography[edit]

Studio albums

Videography[edit]

  • Fat Girl (Thar She Blows) – The Video (2005) – home DVD featuring the music video for the title track and behind-the-scenes footage.
  • Behind the Music: Steel Panther (2009) – iTunes podcast featuring a fake Behind the Music story for Steel Panther. (Features stars like Matt Sorum, Kat Von D, Jani Lane, Dee Snider and Dave Navarro)
  • British Invasion (2012) first live release
  • Live from Lexxi's Mom's Garage (2016) second live release

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Lymangrover, Jason (February 26, 2009). "Steel Panther". AllMusic. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  2. ^ David, Amy (October 6, 2015). "Steel Panther's Lexxi Foxx chats about touring in VA, 80s nostalgia and glam metal ahead of ..." Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  3. ^ Settle, Ken (December 3, 2018). "Steel Panther live at Fillmore Detroit on 12-2-2018". Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  4. ^ Pakinkis, Tom. "Kobalt Signs Steel Panther for Label Services and Publishing". Musicweek.
  5. ^ "Steel Panther Lyrics Analyzed". Lee Bob Black. March 21, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Steel Panther". musicmight.com. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  7. ^ "Las Vegas - 'The High Price of Gas' Episode Info - MSN TV". Tv.msn.com. November 30, 2007. Archived from the original on October 18, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  8. ^ a b "interview Michael Starr". entertaim.net. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  9. ^ "Steel Panther to Offend Conservative Types With 'British Invasion' DVD". Noisecreep. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
  10. ^ "STEEL PANTHER UNVEIL TRACK LIST + RELEASE DATE FOR 'BRITISH INVASION' DVD". Loudwire.com. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
  11. ^ "STEEL PANTHER On Nashville's 102.9 THE BUZZ: Acoustic Performance, Video Interview - May 14, 2013". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
  12. ^ "STEEL PANTHER'S 'BRITISH INVASION' DVD PENETRATES THE TOP OF THE CHARTS". Loudwire.com. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
  13. ^ [1] Archived February 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Steel Panther". Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  15. ^ Steel Panther Tourdates. Vorverkaufstarts.de retrieved October 14, 2013.
  16. ^ EURO TOUR VIP PACKAGES! Archived July 14, 2014, at the Wayback Machine SteelPantherRocks.com retrieved March 22, 2014
  17. ^ a b "Tour". Steel Panther Fans. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  18. ^ "Steel Panther Announce 2015 UK Tour With Skindred". Rock Sound Magazine. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  19. ^ "MUSIC NEWS: The Lounge Kittens Added To Steel Panther's 2015 UK Tour". Bring the Noise UK. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  20. ^ "Steel Panther TV". Steel Panther. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  21. ^ "Steel Panther". Steel Panther. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  22. ^ a b "STEEL PANTHER's SATCHEL: 'We Didn't Want LEXXI FOXX To Quit' The Band". Blabbermouth. September 1, 2021. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  23. ^ Childers, Chad ChildersChad. "Steel Panther Cover Van Halen's 'Beautiful Girls' + 'D.O.A'". Loudwire. Retrieved February 1, 2022.
  24. ^ Steel Panther - "Beautiful Girls (Van Halen cover)" [Official Video], retrieved February 1, 2022
  25. ^ Steel Panther - "D.O.A. (Van Halen cover)" [Official Video], retrieved February 1, 2022
  26. ^ "Steel Panther bassist drops out of tour to enter 'sex rehab'". NME. December 3, 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  27. ^ Tromblay, Darren. "Everybody Wants Him: Steel Panther Tour Manager-Tech Joe Lester". Listen Iowa. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  28. ^ Brown, Paul 'Browny' (July 18, 2021). "Get Your Balls Out for Lexxi Foxx – Steel Panther's Sexy Bassist Bails…". Wall Of Sound. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
  29. ^ "THE END OF AN ERA - THANK YOU, LEXXI FOXX". Steel Panther. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  30. ^ "DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO PLAY BASS FOR PANTHER?". Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  31. ^ "Watch STEEL PANTHER Perform With New Bassist RIKKI DAZZLE". Blabbermouth.
  32. ^ "STEEL PANTHER Is Still Auditioning Bass Players, Says MICHAEL STARR". Blabbermouth.net. October 24, 2021. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  33. ^ "BAND ASKING FANS TO HELP NARROW DOWN THE MONTH-OLD QUESTION – "WHO WILL BE THE NEXT BASSIST FOR STEEL PANTHER"". Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  34. ^ "Steel Panther criticised for sexist 'Pussy Melter' guitar effect". NME. July 10, 2018. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  35. ^ "Steel Panther on the #MeToo movement: "We're not fucking changing for anybody"". NME. August 27, 2019. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  36. ^ "Musicians are outraged over this 'sexist' guitar pedal". www.indy100.com. July 11, 2018. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  37. ^ Swann, Jennifer (May 19, 2016). "Is Steel Panther's Celebration of '80s Hair Metal Funny, or Just Offensive?". LA Weekly. Retrieved August 16, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  38. ^ Bailey, Reviewed by Michael (May 21, 2018). "Time's up for Steel Panther's misogyny metal". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  39. ^ a b "Steel Panther – 'Heavy Metal Rules' review: if you've never had sex, you might like this album". NME. September 23, 2019. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  40. ^ "Winners Revealed For Metal Hammer's 2014 'Golden Gods Awards'". The PRP UK. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  41. ^ Tromblay, Darren. [spyder steel panther "Everybody Wants Him: Steel Panther Tour Manager/Tech Joe Lester"]. Listen Iowa. Retrieved October 25, 2020. {{cite web}}: Check |url= value (help)
  42. ^ Britt, Natalia. "Korn's Luzier recalls early Steel Panther days". Louder Sound. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  43. ^ Brown, Paul 'Browny' (July 18, 2021). "Get Your Balls Out for Lexxi Foxx – Steel Panther's Sexy Bassist Bails…". Wall Of Sound. Retrieved July 18, 2021.

44. ^ https://www.cinemablend.com/games/Skate-3-Soundtrack-Revealed-23516.html/.

External links[edit]