Back in the 1980s Glam Metal was loud, the hair was large, and sometimes the dudes wore even more makeup than the ladies. A moment in time that is impossible to forget, while it may have come and gone, fortunately there is Steel Panther here to remind us how undeniably fun it all was. Formed back in 2000 and gained popularity on the Sunset Strip under the name Metal Shop, they soon changed into Metal Skool, before becoming Steel Panther, these guys went from cover band to creating original tunes that could stand tall next to any of the elite Glam acts of the ’80s era.
Putting out one chart-topping record after another, from 2009’s Feel the Steel to the recently released Heavy Metal Rules, there seems nothing can stop this rowdy bunch. Not bashful nor ashamed of who they are, Steel Panther are about having fun and that is what makes them so damn appealing. Taking the time away from all the debauchery, Bassist Lexxi Foxx sat down talk about the journey of the band, their commitment to having a good time, their latest album Heavy Metal Rules, plus more.
Cryptic Rock – The history of Steel Panther dates back nearly 20 years now from your days playing the Sunset Strip. Over the past 10 years the band has really found success releasing chart-topping albums of original music and touring all over. How would you describe the journey of the band to this point?
Lexxi Foxx – It’s been pretty cool! I think you pretty much nailed it: we’ve been able to start out just as being a cover band and bringing back Metal that way. Obviously signing with Universal in 2009, it continued to take off and get bigger and bigger. It’s really cool to be able to tour the world, do our own songs, and still bringing Heavy Metal back with this. We really enjoy going all over the place and seeing how many fans all over the world still love Metal, what we do, and still have a good sense of humor in it. We bring the whole package: we are bringing ’80s style, bitching ass music to kids, even adults who didn’t get a chance to hear it before, and adults who miss having it. We are really fortunate and this new record is probably one of our favorite to this point. We are excited for our fans to hear it!
Cryptic Rock – That is great. Steel Panther has always been known for fun live shows, tongue-in-cheek lyrics, and the ability to ignore whatever may be trending at the time. When you guys started this thing, did you know that this was the direction you wanted to go with the band?
Lexxi Foxx – Pretty much, yeah. We were surprised how many people really miss Metal – this is the exact direction we wanted to go in. We’re really stoked on whatever record it is, people appreciate what we do.
Cryptic Rock – Very cool. Now Steel Panther is back with their fifth studio album called Heavy Metal Rules. The opening audio taken from 1986’s Heavy Metal Parking Lot really sets the tone for this album. What was the writing and recording like this time around?
Lexxi Foxx – It was kind of the same thing for me: Satchel tells me what to play and I play it. Satchel wrote a bunch of really cool tunes that are a lot different than anything we’ve done off our previous records. It’s so different from our other records; I think we are going to reach a lot of new fans with this as well. People who haven’t heard us before, or even if you don’t like us, give this record a chance. It’s definitely my favorite record, that’s for sure.
Cryptic Rock – Beyond the classic Steel Panther lyrical content, the instrumentation on this album really stands out. Was it important to you guys to come out guns blazing with this album?
Lexxi Foxx – Yes, exactly that! For me, anyway, playing the bass on this record, there are songs that are very intricate. It was a trick to get the bass tones right in the recording, but at the same time I knew it was going to turn out to be great. It took some time to record and we are glad we took the time we did. The songwriting Satchel gives us is just amazing and we are excited for everybody to hear it.
Cryptic Rock – It certainly is a strong record. You will be on tour through the end of 2019. People who come out to see Steel Panther more than likely have seen them before. With a lot of shows lined up, what can fans expect from these shows?
Lexxi Foxx – This one is going to be a lot different because we’re going to play a lot of new songs off the record. We might even hair solo, we haven’t done that in a long time. We are also going to have monkeys and snakes coming down off the rafters, but we don’t want to let people know that right now; they might scare them, but at the same time they are very entertaining. We thought if we brought something else into the crowd other than us it would be entertaining, it will bring a whole different element to the show while we are still playing a lot of new songs off Heavy Metal Rules.
Cryptic Rock – (Laughs) It should be a blast! So as we mentioned, Steel Panther are far from politically correct and that is really very refreshing in a time when it seems everyone is offended by something. That said, have you guys felt any backlash for your approach to Rock-n-Roll?
Lexxi Foxx – There is always going to be something like The Pussy Melter Pedal, we’re going to get backlash from that. That’s just us being who we are. If you don’t like what we call something or like what we do, you obviously have the right to turn that off. We don’t want people telling us what we can and cannot play, that’s what makes it so bitching to be here. We are going to do what we want to do and if someone doesn’t want it, just turn it off and find something you dig. That’s what we stand for and I think that is why a lot of people dig what we do. We talk about everything and everybody. Of course we sing about Heavy Metal, pussy, drugs, and partying, but that’s what the ’80s were about.
Cryptic Rock – Right, it is important to maintain who you are. You have been a part of Steel Panther from the start. Out of curiosity, who are some of your influences?
Lexxi Foxx – I had such a wide range of things, but I always loved the early Glam like The New York Dolls, David Bowie, and things like that; anything glamorous I dug. Stuff from the early ’80s and ’90s, of course Mötley Crüe. Again, anything that was glamorous I dug. I loved what David Bowie did: he just didn’t give a fuck. I don’t really give a fuck either. People call us names or whatever because we are different, but being different is awesome. People are going to love you or hate you, but being in the middle kind of sucks.
Cryptic Rock – You are doing what you want to do and that is all that matters.
Lexxi Foxx – That is exactly right, that is all that matters!
Cryptic Rock – Seeing that you have played so many different cities and venues, what are some of the wildest things you have seen going on?
Lexxi Foxx – There have sometimes been some chick fights. There was one chick that hit Michael one time because he wasn’t paying attention to her. It’s entertaining to see drunk girls on stage: I don’t care where you are, whether it be at a strip club or at a bar. The girls are very entertaining and the more they drink it’s even way more entertaining.
Cryptic Rock – It seems like it is all in good fun and everyone is having a good time at a Steel Panther show.
Lexxi Foxx – That’s the most important no matter what, all the time. As long as everyone has a smile on their face – whether it be through song or something they find funny. That’s what we try to do: give them an hour and half to get out of whatever they are going through and to enjoy themselves. Whatever they find entertaining, that’s what our job is. We are happy so many people keep coming back.
Cryptic Rock – Good for you! You mentioned you grew up loving Glam Metal. You have played with Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, and Guns N’ Roses. How awesome is it for you to play with bands you dug?
Lexxi Foxx – It’s a very humbling experience. Def Leppard brought us over and wanted us to play with them. They was really an amazing feeling and we really had a good time hanging out with those guys; we are still in touch with them. We also went out with Judas Priest, did a couple of shows with ZZ Top – it’s really a dream come true.
Cryptic Rock – That is really fantastic and sounds like a blast. Last question. If you are a fan of Horror and Sci-Fi films, do you have any favorite?
Lexxi Foxx – I like a lot of Rob Zombie movies. Oh my god, with his beautiful wife! I would have to say the Rob Zombie movies are some of the ones I pay attention to the most; anything Rob does is pretty badass.