“It’s Gonna Be Crazy”: Steel Panther’s Satchel On Bringing The Sunset Strip Down Under & Why Political Correctness Is “Bullsh*t”Written by Sally McMullen on April 3, 2018
Block your ears PC police, irreverent glam rockers and dick joke-extraordinaires Steel Panther are coming down under (again). In May, the boys will be bringing the Sunset Strip to Oz for a bunch of shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. But this time, the LA locals are double-dipping with two sets every night.
The first will treat Panther fans to hits like ‘Community Property’ and ‘Death to All But Metal’ as well as a bunch of tunes from their latest record, Lower The Bar. Then in the second set, the boys will get back to their roots with covers of classic glam rock and heavy metal jams. From Van Halen and Guns N Roses to Bon Jovi and Judas Priest, it’ll be a nod to the covers that kick started their career at the likes of the Viper Room well over a decade ago.
Although the saints of the Sunset Strip tour Australia so much that they may as well have a permanent residency at Luna Park’s Big Top, we’ve been promised that this will be a gig of Steel Panther-proportioned pandemonium like no other.
A few weeks ahead of the A Night on the Sunset Strip tour, we had a chat with guitarist, full-time shredder and wannabe womaniser Satchel about the upcoming tour, the quartet’s hazy history and how a band like Steel Panther can exist in 2018.
Music Feeds: It seems like you guys are always touring Australia and you’ve already sold out your first Melbourne show, what are you most excited about for your next trip down under?
Satchel: Well, I think for obvious reasons, the thing that I’m looking forward to the most is all of the beautiful Australian women. They’re not only some of the most beautiful women in the world down there but they’re also very easy to get in bed so it’s good for all of us.
MF: What about the guys? You’ve gotta share the love.
S: (Laughs) I’m sure there are a lot of cute guys, I just don’t notice them as much. I’m sure Lexxi (Foxxx, bassist) does.
MF: Australian culture is very akin to what Steel Panther is all about: excessive drinking, rock n roll, mullets.. you guys may as well be honourary citizens.
S: Yeah, the 80’s were good to Australia. AC/DC is probably the greatest rock band that’s ever lived. There’s been a lot of great bands but AC/DC is the pinnacle of rock and they’re from Australia! We all aspire to be in AC/DC, I think everyone wants to be in AC/DC still to this day because they’re still the best rock band. And you know, Steel Panther is a close second. And yeah, who doesn’t like to drink and party and have fun? That’s what the 80’s were all about.
And we seem to be well received down there. We get a lot of girls who show their breasts at the shows and I think most of the guys who’ve been to see us, they usually don’t remember it because they’re usually pretty hammered.
MF: And is that how you know if you’ve put on a good show? By the number of guys passing out and breasts you see? Who needs reviews, right?
S: (Laughs) Exactly! I can tell if people are having a good time. When people come to our shows, I can tell by the level of enthusiasm with the cheering and the amount of boobs I see. And I don’t think I’ve read a review in the last 10 or 15 years because my eyes are bad because I’m in my 60’s now and it’s difficult to read.
MF: Yeah, I’m actually surprised that you can read at all. I’m impressed.
S: I’m the best reader in the band. I make sure that I read all of the serious reading material that has to be read for the band, like legal documents.
MF: That’s good to know someone has it under control. So, the tour is called A Night on the Sunset Strip! How are you planning to bring the Sunset Strip to the likes of Sydney and Melbourne?
S: Well, we’ve been a band well into 30, almost 40 years now and we only started releasing some records 10 years ago. And our records are classics. Everybody loves Steel Panther songs, you know songs like ‘Community Property‘ and ‘Death to All but Metal’, they’re timeless, you know? You can put them in a time capsule and 200 years from now, you could dig it up and still it’s gonna have just as much impact on the future societies.
But what a lot of people don’t realise is that we cut our teeth playing cover songs from the 80’s and some of our favourite bands are like Guns N Roses, Van Halen and Def Leppard. We can play that stuff better than the original bands. I don’t like to say that because it hurts their feelings but we played it for so long and we played it on the Sunset Strip.
A lot of people also don’t realise that we had the longest standing residency ever on the Sunset Strip, every Monday night on the Sunset Strip and we played all of that stuff and partied harder than any other band in the history of the Sunset Strip and probably in the history of the world. We’re bringing that same show to Australia. We’re gonna do not only some of the greatest Steel Panther songs, but also a lot of the stuff that we used to play on the Sunset Strip including Bon Jovi, Van Halen and Judas Priest, all of the timeless classics including a lot of the show we did on the Sunset Strip.
So there’s gonna be a lot of crazy stuff that happens on stage. I think at one point Lexxi is going to disrobe entirely, it’s gonna be crazy. We’re bringing actual real panthers on the stage and we’re gonna release live panthers into the audience. It’s gonna be a nutty show.
MF: We’ve got some pretty crazy animals in Australia, so I’m sure you’ll be able to incorporate some of the local fauna in the show as well.
S: Yeah, we’ll probably end up doing that. Australia has some of the most poisonous animals in the world. So we’re thinking about maybe releasing some scorpions or maybe a Taipan and throwing one of those in the audience will really liven it up.
MF: And how do you guys bring your Steel Panther twist to the covers?
S: Well, that’s the exciting part is that people need to come and find out. We’re natural born performers and there’s nothing we won’t do to entertain. There’s been some really crazy things that have happened over the years at Steel Panther shows. There was a hermaphrodite that had sex with himself on stage, there was a woman who gave birth to quadruplets and it was all while she was dancing too. So, a lot of amazing things are going to happen at these shows. Killer light show, killer smoke. We actually smoke the stage up quite a bit to look younger. With the smoke and mirrors we still look like we’re in our mid 50’s.
MF: You guys haven’t toured down under since releasing Lower The Bar last year, so can we expect a lot of the new tunes on the set list this time?
S: Yeah, we’re definitely going to play some stuff from the new record. I can’t tell you which ones we’re going to play because we actually haven’t decided yet. But we have played a number of the new songs in different parts of the world and it just goes over crazy. Women take their clothes off immediately and it has the exact effect we’d want it to have. Our new record is actually breaking records. We just sold over 300 copies in Europe, which is amazing. I mean, we’re not breaking other people’s records, just our own.
MF: (Laughs) That’s probably still a record for music sales in 2018.
S: (Laughs) You know what? It probably is! The record business isn’t what it used to be. And you can’t judge a band on record sales alone. Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who can get 200 or 300 million streams on Spotify, that’ll buy you a cup of coffee now. And you’ve gotta really, really enjoy that coffee because you’ll have to work very hard to get another one. But you know, I’m not worried about it actually because I also have a killer job actually selling coffee…I work at Starbucks part-time.
MF: Oh, great. In that case I’ll have a mocha soy frappuccino..
S: Oh, yeah and I can get you extra whipped cream too.
MF: Dear god, help me. Moving on… Your fellow glam rockers Motley Crue are currently working on a Netflix film adaptation of their book The Dirt. When are you going to make a film about Steel Panther and if you did, who would you get to play you guys?
S: That’s an interesting thing you brought up because we’re actually doing our own version of The Dirt by Motley Crue and we’re playing the part of Motley Crue. I’m going to be Tommy Lee because I’ve got the biggest dick in the band and the other guys will just have to fight over who they want to be. So we’re just going to relive their story, which I think is going to be even better than their version.
But when it comes to the Steel Panther story, I’ll probably hire Ben Stiller to be me. He looks a lot like me and he has serious guitar chops. I think for Michael Starr, I’d probably get Bret Michaels. Lexxi Foxx, we’d probably get Heidi Klum. And for Stix Zadinia, we could probably get the drummer from Quiet Riot to be Stix, he looks a lot like him. Or any guy who has VD.
MF: I thought that would be a must have for anyone who was going to play the role in the Steel Panther movie?
S: (Laughs) True! Well, we don’t use condoms because we’ve already got all of the diseases, so we don’t need them at this point. There is no reason to stop drinking at this point, there’s no reason to stop doing drugs. We look great for our age because there’s makeup. I drink a lot and I do a lot of substances, but I also wake up in the middle of the afternoon and I do 25 jumping jacks, 50 push ups before I even have a beer. Then I’ll drink a few beers, some Jack Daniels and maybe some blow and stuff like that. But I’m good shape, I can still bench press.. I don’t know how you measure it over there…like 1,000kgs maybe. It’s a lot.
MF: Speaking of drugs and debauchery: In an increasingly PC world, Steel Panther probably couldn’t get any less politically correct. How do you think a band like yours fits in to 2018?
S: Well, that’s the great thing is that we’ve created our own empire of awesomeness. And I think more and more people are coming around and seeing that we speak the truth and the truth isn’t always politically correct. People are tired of being put into a box and having to be censored. You can’t even think things wrong now and people are sick and tired of that bullshit.
Catch Steel Panther’s Sunset Strip Live tour hitting Australia this May. Details below.
Steel Panther ‘Sunset Strip Live’ 2018 Australian Tour
Tickets for new Melbourne show on sale 2pm Thursday, 1st March
Tuesday, 15th May — NEW SHOW
The Forum, Melbourne
Tickets: MJR Presents
Wednesday, 16th May — SOLD OUT
The Forum, Melbourne
Tickets: MJR Presents
Friday, 18th May
Big Top, Sydney
Tickets: MJR Presents
Sunday, 20th May
Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane
Tickets: MJR Presents
Tuesday, 22nd May
Astor Theatre, Perth
Tickets: MJR Presents