When people talk about "heavy metal," they're really just talking about Steel Panther -- a band so imbued in the form, it may as well have invented it. The band that once crept from the Sunset Strip's gutters like some sort of mutant, spewing sequins, Aqua Net, and glitter with every step has eclipsed even its own legend at this point. Yet it continues to graciously bring the gospel of the '80s shred and shriek to audiences everywhere.
Whether or not Steel Panther is actually cutting satire or authentic heavy metal perfection remains a topic of intense debate on message boards and in suburban parking lots all over the country. We couldn't care less, because we're way too busy partying to Steel Panther records to worry about whether or not they're a joke band.
The band's deft musicianship, poetically wrought lyrics, and uncompromising dedication to showmanship has won them fans across the globe, and they will soon return to South Florida to bring the unique brand of heavy metal party they purvey to the place that parties the hardest.
New Times took a minute away from wiling out to speak with Steel Panther's lead guitarist, Satchel -- a world class riff machine who was kind enough to make some time for our questions about the finer points of soundtracking coitus to metal, finding sick stage clothes in 2014, and David Lee Roth's undeniable spryness.
How is the tour with Judas Priest going?
It's going. It is going, there's no question about that! It's going great, actually! We've never sounded better -- we put all of our vocals on tape this time!
In your opinion, as a high ranking scholar of metal, are power ballads or fast tunes better for banging?
Oh, you know what? There's no question: The power ballad is what gets you into a girl's pants. You have to have a power ballad, that way you can skip the foreplay because she'll be ready to fuck by the time the song is done.
These days, it's great because you can make a playlist on your phone and you can kind of time it out, put like two power ballads on and by the time the second power ballad's done, you're already fucking her, and then like the third song, put something off of like Ride the Lightning or something, and then you're done. By the middle of the third song, you can be like calling her a cab and she's on her way out!
So you do, in fact, use other people's music when getting freaky?
Oh, no, no! There's all kinds of great heavy metal out there! I am a heavy metal fan! Of course, Steel Panther is some of the best stuff to get laid to -- that's why we write it. Our lyrics are honest and open and we touch on many of the subjects that guys are afraid to bring up: anal sex, gang bangs at old folks homes. You know? Things like that. So, we make it easy to broach the tough subjects with women for guys.
You guys certainly are not a band that shies away from sensitive subject matters in your music. For example, the song "Fucking My Heart in the Ass." Could you elaborate a bit on what that one is really about?
The influence for that song... I was actually just writing one day and began to think about how your heart -- that's where all your feelings are, man, you know? Some people can be too protective of that place, and some people are way too open with it, but it really is like its own person, your heart.
So I thought, well gosh, you know, when you really get hurt, it really is like your heart is just getting bent over and getting fucked in its ass. It was easy to write that song because shit -- everybody has felt like their heart has been fucked in its ass, and I'm sure I've fucked a few hearts in the ass as well. Everybody has been there in that place in their life, man. You know?
And sometimes you're getting your heart fucked in its ass as your ass is getting fucked, and that's a double ass fuck. That's the ultimate paradox right there. It's like the paradox vortex. I've never used those two words together, but I'm pretty sure that's what that is.
Who do you think would win in a fistfight: David Lee Roth's current self (he turned 60 the other day) or Vito Bratta of White Lion circa 1987?
Wow. In a fistfight? That's a really tough question because David Lee Roth, I think he's like really into jiu jitsu and shit like that? He's a pretty limber dude. And Vito, in 1987? I think I'm going to take David Lee Roth. Even now, even having just turned 60. But I think he's still got it in him to kick Vito Bratta's ass.
You know what? If we used Kickstarter, we could probably raise enough money to make that happen, and I think that would be pretty cool.
I know Vito has been pretty much in hiding and hasn't released anything since like '92, but this could be a reality. Would Steel Panther play the event?
Absolutely! We'll do a whole set for free just to warm up the crowd! Let's make it happen!
I know you have some history with Rob Halford. What's it like being on the road with him again?
I'll tell you what: He is the Metal God, dude! He's still singing great and things have not changed. He still doesn't talk to me very much. But he's awesome! He takes care of his voice and shit. He's no spring chicken anymore, but he's awesome! He's one of the greatest heavy metal lead singers ever, of all time!
Do you feel like Priest is learning anything from being on the road with Steel Panther?
You know what? I think we're lighting a fire under their asses because we have been playing live for three decades now all of the time. We can't really take a break because we've got to get our beer money and this is how we do it, you know? Priest does tours and they take a break and they haven't done a tour in a few years.
We don't have any rust in our show because we don't ever take a break. But they're playing great and they sound awesome and I think they're happy to have us open up the shows for them, and we're honored to do it because they're one of my favorite bands ever. If you listen to enough Steel Panther you can surely hear the Judas Priest influence in our music.
Where does one find such killer stage wear in the boring 2014?
Wow. That's a really good question. It is really difficult because there are no stores that you can just go to that have really bitchin' clothes. Sometimes you can find like places where strippers buy their clothes and get some shit from there, but everybody in this band gets pants custom made from people. That's really the way to go.
You gotta be able to show someone that's good, "This is what I want." They also gotta know what your ass looks like and how to shape the dong area around the front. That's how you get it to look good. Otherwise, you buy something off the shelf from Ross and it ain't gonna work.
South Florida is a pretty serious party town, even by the standards of a band such as yours. Are you ready for the type of party that South Florida tends to enjoy?
Oh, yeah. I remember showing up to the gig last time we were there and going on stage
and there was a girl that was like, "Hey! I'm the girl in town who gets cocaine for all the bands and I want to blow all of you guys!" I'm not kidding! It was fuckin' awesome! So, after she was done blowing us, she gave us some cocaine. I couldn't wait to go back, so I'm really looking forward to coming back.
It really is a party town. That's where people go to party. That's where people move to live to party every day of their life until they OD, so I can't wait.
It's also sort of where the party dream goes to die.
Dude, it's exciting! I can't wait! I'm getting a boner just talking about it!
Steel Panther with Judas Priest. 7:30 p.m., October 30, at Hard Rock Live, One Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost $59 to $79 plus fees. Visit hardrocklivehollywoodfl.com.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!