Steel Panther is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California mostly known for their profane and humorous lyrics as well as their exaggerated on-stage personae that reimagine and parody the heavy metal music and lifestyle of the 1980s.
The quartet began to gain popularity in the Sunset Strip during the early 2000s under the name Metal Shop (soon changed into Metal Skool, then into Steel Panther). Their lineup consists of vocalist Ralph Saenz ("Michael Starr"), drummer Darren Leader ("Stix Zadinia"), bassist Travis Haley ("Lexxi Foxxx"), and guitarist Russ Parrish ("Satchel"). The band did weekly shows on Monday nights at the Viper Room, playing covers of 1980s hair metal hits while parodying the bands that made the songs famous. Despite the name changes, some members putting in time in a Van Halen tribute band, they finally managed to gain some success. In 2003 Steel Panther published Hole Patrol, their self-produced debut. The band appeared in a Discover Card advertisement as Danger Kitty and in the sitcom Drew Carey Show as themselves. Also in 2003, their song "Death to All But Metal" was included in a compilation CD called Hey, That's What I Call Sludge! Vol. 1 put out by the Metal Sludge web site. Their cover of the song "Fantasy" by Aldo Nova was used as the opening musical theme for the MTV program Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory. On November 27, 2007 Metal Skool played original songs as well as covers of KISS songs at the Gene Simmons roast, they can be seen in the background of Gene Simmons' reality show Gene Simmons Family Jewels. That year, they also appeared as themselves on Las Vegas in the episode "The High Price of Gas".
In April 2008 the band decided to change their name from Metal Skool to Steel Panther, making a new debut at The Rockin' Saddle Club in Redlands, California. In an interview with Michael Starr, he states that the band's name wasn't inspired by Steel Dragon, the band with Zakk Wylde and Mark Wahlberg in the movie Rock Star. In May 2008, the band signed a contract with Republic Records (owned by record label Universal Records) announcing plans for a new studio album.
The first single, an updated version of "Death to All but Metal", first appeared on iTunes on 27 January 2009, whereas the album, entitled Feel the Steel and produced by Jay Ruston, was published on 9 June, during the same year. A promotional video, directed by actor Dean Cameron, was shot for the song "Fat Girl (Thar She Blows.)"
Sometime collaborator Dean Cameron, also credited with co-writing "Supersonic Sex Machine" on "Balls Out", directed and co-wrote a pilot presentation in an attempt to land Steel Panther their own television program.
On December 6, 2011, Steel Panther announced their second solo UK tour in support of their newest album Balls Out. Tickets for the shows went on sale on December 9, 2011, with many ticket providers selling out their allocations within a month. This Prompted another headline UK tour taking place in November 2012
Steel Panther played on the main stage at Download Festival in June 2012, during which they were joined on stage by Corey Taylor of Slipknot to play Death to All But Metal. They played in front of a crowd of over 100,000 people.
Steel Panther are managed by Satchel's brother, Glenn Parrish.
Feel The Steel (2009-2010)
Steel Panther released their major record label debut (Universal Republic), Feel the Steel on June 8, 2009 in the UK and on October 6, 2009 in North America. Feel the Steel debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Comedy chart, No. 123 on the Billboard 200 chart and would eventually peak at No. 98 on the Billboard 200 chart. The record features hit singles, Community Property and Death To All But Metal as well as notable guest vocal performances from Corey Taylor, Justin Hawkins, and M. Shadows.
The record's success also caught the attention of the Grammys, making it onto the "Best Comedy Album" ballot in October 2010, yet failing to reach a nomination.
The track Eyes of a Panther from Feel the Steel is featured on the sound track for the video game Skate 3.
Balls Out (2011-2012)
Steel Panther continued their revival of the 80's heavy metal genre with their sophomore effort titled Balls Out released through major record label, Universal Republic on October 31, 2011 in the UK and on November 1, 2011 in North America. Balls Out debuted at No. 1 on the UK iTunes Rock chart surpassing Megadeth's TH1RT3EN and Lou Reed's and Metallica's Lulu. Balls Out also debuted at No. 4 on the US iTunes Rock chart, No. 40 on the Billboard 200 chart and at No. 1 on the Billboard Comedy chart with first-week sales of 12,000 copies in the US.
British Invasion and All You Can Eat (2013-present)
Steel Panther released their first Live DVD British Invasion in September 2012. The DVD was released worldwide on October 22, 2012. The DVD was filmed at Brixton Academy in London and features a two-hour concert/documentary based on the band's sold-out British tour.
Steel Panther released their new video 'Party Like Tomorrows The End Of The World' on 28th October 2013 via their Youtube VEVO Channel. It is the first single for their upcoming album All You Can Eat, due for release in 2014.
UK Arena tour with Def Leppard & Mötley Crüe
Due to their growing popularity, Steel Panther were invited by Def Leppard to join them and co-headliners Mötley Crüe as "Special Guests" on the Mirrorball Tour tour in December 2011.
The Forum with Guns N' Roses
Exactly one week after ending the UK arena tour in London with Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe, Steel Panther opened for Guns N' Roses at the Forum in Los Angeles, CA on December 21, 2011.
On May 11, 2011 Steel Panther announced that they would be playing the main stage (same stage as Van Halen) at Soundwave Revolution, however, the spin-off festival would be cancelled due to poor ticket sales. In fact, drummer Stix Zadinia was responsible for breaking the story via his Twitter account on August 9: "Soundwave revolution is cancelled. I am bummed." The news shocked Soundwave fans and caused a huge debacle resulting in Steel Panther trending on Twitter and fans accusing Steel Panther as the reason for the cancellation.
Though Steel Panther were disappointed by the news knowing that they wouldn't be sharing the main stage with Van Halen, the Soundwave Revolution cancellation ended up being a blessing in disguise for it allowed the band to finish recording their second major release, [Balls Out].
The band then proceeded to play the 2012 edition of the main festival, sharing a stage with System of a Down, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson and Limp Bizkit.
Australian Tour 2012
Brazzers sponsored the Australian tour of Steel Panther in early October 2012, which sold out in Brisbane, Sydney (two shows), Melbourne, and Adelaide.
European Tour 2012
In late 2012, Steel Panther's European tour was crowned a huge success. They played sold out shows, particularly in Germany:
Australian Tour 2013
Steel Panther is touring Australia in December 2013. Shows will be in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth between 6 and 12 December:
European Tour 2014
In late 2013, Steel Panther announced a new Tour in the Year 2014.
- Best Debut: Feel the Steel - Metal Hammer Germany
- 2012 Live Act of the Year - Loudwire Music Awards
- Michael Starr (Ralph Saenz) – lead vocals, acoustic guitar
- Satchel (Russ Parrish) – lead guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- Lexxi Foxx (Travis Haley) – bass, backing vocals
- Stix Zadinia (Darren Leader) – drums, percussion, keyboards, piano, backing vocals
- Fat Girl (Thar She Blows) – The Video (2005) – home DVD featuring the music video for the title track and behind-the-scenes footage.
- Behind the Music: Steel Panther (2009) – iTunes podcast featuring a fake Behind the Music story for Steel Panther. (Features stars like Matt Sorum, Kat Von D, Jani Lane, Dee Snider and Dave Navarro)
- British Invasion (Steel Panther DVD) (2012) first live release
- "Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)" (2005 and 2009)
- "Death To All But Metal" (2009)
- "Community Property" (2009)
- "If You Really Really Love Me" (2011)
- "Party Like Tomorrow Is The End Of The World" (2013)
- "The Burden Of Being Wonderful" (2014)
- Official website
- Interview with Satchel on Maximum Threshold Radio
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Image from Discogs