Feature photo by David Jackson
Photography below by Belinda Reedy
It’s not every day you can start an interview with the greeting, “Hey there Stix, you sexy beast, how are you today?”, but that is exactly how my interview with Stix Zadinina started off. In case you have been completely under a rock, you have heard of or seen Steel Panther this last few years, whether you realize it or not. They are everywhere. With an infamous appearance on @Midnight with Chris Harwick, to Satchel’s now very legendary claim that “We’ve been grabbing pussies a long time.”, referring to the inauguration backlash when asked about, now President Donald Trump, the groups has been in a love hate relationship with the press lately. I can’t really blame them. I was fortunate enough to get an interview when so many have been declined. There have been many outlets who, rather than point out they are all doing their act with a great deal of offensive jokes- emphasis on jokes, some have rationalized that they are exactly like their stage persona or are perpetuating stereo types. I completely disagree. I think there’s never been a better time to laugh and to enjoy their campy look at the 80’s glam metal scene.
Lower the Bar, the title of their latest offering, that broke the top 40 on Billboard in its first week, has some terrific songs. It’s not just that Steel Panther has a funny schtick, they write great songs, with surprisingly funny lyrics. It says a lot that they had the biggest crowd assembled at the Zorn stage during their recent appearance at Louder Than Life. It could have been the fact that Satchel has the best rear end in metal when wedged into his spandex, Lexi’s beautiful full lips, Stix’s adorable smile, or Michael’s love affair with grabbing his crotch as someone else named Michael used to do, but there is some kind of addictive magic going on when they play.
One of the things that continues to amaze me is the number of stars who consistantly appear in their videos. It’s a constant who’s who of pop culture. Their latest song, which could be a mainstream hit save for the FCC’s rules about using the “f bomb”, Wasted Too Much Time, stars Stone Sour dressed as an 80’s glam band lip synching the song as Michael acts out the lyrics and other band members playing cameo parts. It’s hysterical. You had me at Corey Taylor in purple spandex.
I asked Stix how he managed to get them in on the video. “I called him (Corey Taylor) and he said, ‘let me check if we are around’. Next thing they all flew in and we shot the video. It was just a bro calling another bro”.
After watching a Corey Taylor’s book signing where Stix shared his trauma of Lexi splitting his pants, sans underwear, ending with him having a perfect view of certain dangling parts for the complete set. I asked him if spending time in the video “She’s Tight” watching Bobbie Brown (Video Vixen and entrepreneur) shaking and dancing in front of him helped relieve his trama. “It didn’t help. Some things are just burned in your brain”.
Since they were in Niagara Falls for the evening I made sure to find out who would be the first to shove Lexi in a barrel and throw him over the falls. (You’d have to see them live to understand.) “Unfortunately, Lexi got a room” (at a different location) to prevent them from doing that.
Stix also admitted the he is the one most likely to “Lower the Bar” because of his love of tequila. “I start drinking tequila and well my standards get lowered” That is broad when you compare their party in the video “Party Tomorrow is the End of the world”, which has a You Tube warning.
Of late, they are still trying to pitch their “Unreality Show” starring their onstage personas. They are currently working with Rob Riggle, former Daily Show host and the man who play Satan in the video, to try to get it on the air. I think it would be a fun watch. Personally, I think, an Adult Swim animated version, might just get off the ground faster. Much like the show Archer and Family Guy, people are able to let the offensive content fly by more easily. (Thank me later guys.)
Moreover, Steel Panther is touring rigorously hitting most of the main stream festivals as well as an outing with Stone Sour, go figure, and some solo dates later in the year. I plan on catching their show in November, and Stix said he’d “be stretching so I don’t pull a hammy”. I suggested he throw in some cardio. RAWR.