Next Sunday (24th), Steel Panther’s North American tour will resume in support of their latest effort Heavy Metal Rules (order here). We recently caught up with frontman Michael Starr to discuss their new album, Pussy Melter backlash, new devices, Area 51, and more.
Can you talk about the recording process for Heavy Metal Rules?
It was a long process for us. It took about a year and a half to record it because we had some trouble with the recording process. It also took a while to write it, because it’s a different style and approach for us. But it was a long vocal process. We had to re-record the vocals a couple of times because they didn’t come out the way we wanted them. And I ended up having this problem with my voice, it sounded really weird, and I went in to have surgery on it fixed, and then I came out and sang the record. So it was a long journey.
Sounds a lot different than your experience on Lower the Bar.
Yeah, Lower the Bar came out really fast.
Your videos always have a storyline. I did see you are looking into making either a Steel Panther TV series or feature. Can you talk more about this?
Yeah, we’ve always wanted to do some variety Steel Panther show to access our fans differently. We signed a production deal with a company, and we’re in the creative process of putting something together to present to networks. We’re excited about it. It should be a comedic, fun, heavy metal show all about Steel Panther.
Looking forward to seeing it. You guys received backlash on the Pussy Melter, and even more backlash after defending it. I wanted to know what your response is to this backlash on top of backlash on the Pussy Melter?
Everybody has an opinion. Opinions are like assholes; everyone has one. And there’s always somebody that’s not going to agree with something that we do. Whether it’s something that offends a woman or offends a guy, it doesn’t matter what gender you are. We’re going to offend somebody. Look, if you see a comedian and you don’t like him, and he offends you or she offends you, you can always do one thing, leave. If you don’t like Steel Panther, don’t listen to Steel Panther. If it hurts your feelings, don’t listen to it. Just walk away.
That’s an honest and true response. I read that you guys are working on releasing more devices in addition to the Pussy Melter?
Well, we’re thinking about developing a dildo that’s called the Pussy Melter, but it can also be used for guys too. We don’t want to discriminate against men. That’s why we decided to make the Pussy Melter vibrator for all men and women.
That is an awesome idea.
It’s way better than the rabbit. It’s got two vibrating, underneath, top, lower, bottom. And also, it has a clitoris vibration, which is killer.
A dildo for all sexes.
Yes. I mean, you can’t leave the guys out. That wouldn’t be right.
Oh man, well, it would’ve been cool to play the raid because I think that heavy metal music attracts all types of human beings and people from other planets. I don’t feel like we’re the only human beings in the solar system. I think there’s way more in the universe, and I believe that heavy metal can connect everybody. We should’ve played that gig, but the only thing is I feel like if they were going to shoot anybody, they probably would have shot Lexxi Foxx.
That would have been horrible! Maybe somebody would have gotten abducted and who knows what your next show would have looked like if that happened.
Yeah, well, it would have been fine because if Lexxi got shot, like in the arm, he’d have to take some time off, and he’d probably get a facelift during his time off.
Speaking of performing, what should fans expect to see on your upcoming tour?
We have a brand new show. When you come to see Steel Panther, we will not disappoint you. We are going to play all the songs that you fell in love with early on in our earlier releases. And then we’re going to do some of the stuff off on our new record too. Satchel’s got a brand new guitar solo, Stix has a brand new drum set, and Lexxi has brand new bass strings.
I know we’re talking about brand new stuff, but if it was up to you, what would you bring back from the 80s?
I would probably bring back the conch belt. Those belts that cowboys used to wear. Those are pretty cool man, and Poison used to wear a bunch around their waist, and they looked pretty cool. Silver and black leather, go cool together for metal. And I would bring back the assless chaps. Do you remember those?
I think David Lee Roth started it out, and then Axl[Rose] started wearing them, and then Bret Michaels wore them. They’re pretty cool. But you have to have a really good ass. You got to do a lot of lunges and squats to make your ass look good.
So you need to have exercise first before bringing that back. Got it.
Yeah. Do you know how skaters wear that nude stuff that holds in their skin? That’s what you’d have to do for my ass because it’s pretty, flabby.
What would be the politically correct way to describe Steel Panther?
Well, that’s a good question. I always get the opposite question of that. I would say that there is no real political way to describe a band that talks about fucking lots of girls, doing drugs, and talks about whatever we want to talk about. But if you want to have a good time, unplug yourself from what’s going on in the world, and escape reality for 90 minutes to laugh, have a beer with your friends and enjoy yourself, maybe see some naked girls, then our show is for you.
Is there anything else that you want to say or add?
I want to say to all the Panthers and all the new Panthers that we’re going to garner from this new record, thank you. I’m sitting in Miami, in Fort Lauderdale, at the W Hotel overlooking the ocean, and that’s because heavy metal rules.