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Interview: Steel Panther

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TNS tried to talk festivals with Steel Panther’s sex-crazed and spandex-clad lead guitarist Satchel.  Instead we covered vaginas, Canada, grocery stores, spandex and his upcoming Prime Ministerial campaign...

Steel PantherSteel Panther play heavy metal as heavy metal’s supposed to be played – in an eye-watering amount of skintight spandex, hair that would have Slash weeping with envy and eyeliner that would have put Amy W to shame, combined with thought-provoking lyrics about sex, drugs, sex, celebrities, sex and, erm, sex.

Quickly gaining worldwide notoriety, TNS caught up with lead guitarist and lyricist Satchel on the band’s UK tour. As a band that take their music very seriously, we were hoping to talk about festivals and their upcoming album (tentatively titled You Can’t Catch Herpes Twice)... what followed is probably the most bizarre and downright filthiest interview we’ve ever done.

Satchel: ‘Some of my first memories are of women picking up on me. I mean, two and a half, three years old. That’s why I decided to be in a band. I basically learned to play music once I realised I’m good looking enough to be in a band. Your band’s only going to get so far if you’re ugly. If you’re a good looking band you’re definitely going to appeal to more chicks - and that’s really all that matters. Dudes will buy tickets to your shows if the hot chicks are going. That’s the way heavy metal works. And heavy metal is pretty much the foundation of everything else in the world. If you look at all the commerce, all the politics, everything pretty much follows heavy metal.’

Do you have any fashion tips...

Spandex never goes out of style, you always look good in spandex. Although if you’re more than 40 or 50 pounds over-weight it’s a fine line -  if you’re a couple of hundred pounds overweight you have to wear a mumu to cover all your fat, but you can still get away with the spandex underneath it. If you’re skinny spandex is great because even if you have a little bit of flab spandex holds it in – which is what you have to be careful about. There are a lot of skinny people who look skinny, and look good in clothes, that wear tight clothes to hold in their fat - but once they take their clothes off they just fall apart like a deck of cards.

And that’s a dealbreaker?

For me? No, that’s why there’s a lightswitch. You can just turn off the light.

Our favourite Steel Panther song at TNS is ’17 Girls In A Row’.

(Lyrics: I banged 17 girls in the grocery store, I didn’t lose my erection, no...)

Oh god, that’s a classic rock song. Certain songs in the world, you know - Can’t Get No Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones, Walk This Way by Aerosmith... we have several. 17 Girls in a Row is a classic.

Who wrote the lyrics to that song?

Well I pretty much write everything. Everybody else in the band just sits around and gets high all the time. I mean I get high all the time too, but when I get high I write constantly, and it’s always about experiences the band has had. That particular song is about some girls I had sex with.

So is 17 girls some kind of record, or was this just all in a day’s work?

I’m not trying to brag or anything, but to be honest with you, in that particular session I actually had sex with about 24 or 25 girls in a row. But that didn’t sound as cool as the word 17. And I did take a short bathroom break between 17 and 18, so it didn’t really count, I washed up a little bit then went back at it – and I didn’t feel good about saying more than that.

You’ve got to be honest with your listeners.

I don’t want to bullshit anybody. People can tell when you’re lying, and 17 sounds more reasonable to the average listener. It’s like ’25? Come on, dude.’

Not everyone can be a rock god.

Right! And the average dude out there working at the liquor store is going to go ‘Dude, nobody has had sex with 25 girls in a row.’ But he doesn’t know how bitchin’ Steel Panther is. So 17 is more accessible, it opens the door, we seem more human to that guy. We wanna seem down to earth to people.

And do you confine your seductions to grocery stores? Or could it happen in bakers? Butchers? Hardware stores?

It has happened in many places. Train stations, public parks, all kinds of places. But the grocery store –I did actually have sex with some girls in the grocery section, it was messy as hell. There were pieces of mango and all kinds of stuff just flying everywhere. You should have seen the bananas, there were no bananas left when we were done. But the grocery store, lyrically, did fit in better than saying the ‘bus stop’. Or the ‘confectionary aisle’: too many syllables.

Obviously you take your music very seriously, but it does owe a lot to the 1980s. Do you never feel like making something a bit more original?

I think we’re as original as it gets.

But do you never feel confined within the genre?

I can’t understand your accent. Confined within vagina? I think that sounds like fun. You know, that’s a good song title. I’m gonna write that down... What’s the strangest place you’ve ever had sex?

What’s the strangest place you’ve ever had sex?

Canada.

Okay.

Have you ever been to Canada? It’s a fucking weird place, and I had sex there. The people there are totally weird, they know how to rock and they know how to have sex but... the money is weird. And they have stranger accents than even English people.

Ouch. So you’re not a fan of Britain? You’re playing Download this summer.

Are you kidding? Britain rocks. People over here know how to rock, they know how to party. And English people take everything super duper seriously, which is fucking awesome. I’ve never met a person over here that didn’t take shit super duper seriously when it comes to rocking and it comes to partying, and that’s bitchin’, cos I like to be serious when I rock and when I party and it makes for a good team. It’s collaboration.

Obviously you write a lot about sex, drugs, partying... Do you never feel like settling down with one woman and singing about love?

Come on. That’s such a bummer, nobody wants to hear about that. And nobody wants to do it. Let’s face it, all the dudes that have settled down, they’re the dudes that have given up on life. Long term relationships? I’ve been in a long-term relationship with a girl for almost 3 and a half weeks. That was about 2 and a half weeks too long. After the first 2 weeks I was like, I don’t want to have sex with this girl, I’ve done everything I could do to her in bed. I could pretty much fuck a girl in every position in the first 6 minutes. After 10 minutes you’re like, I might as well just have an orgasm... Then you’ve got to figure out other shit to do, and that’s why guys buy X-boxes. I was in love for like the first 3 days with this girl, and I fell out of that pretty quickly. Especially when they start being like ‘you’ve got to help me pay the rent, and I want you to help me take the trash out’ and I was like, ‘Woah, I didn’t sign up for this. You’re supposed to pay my rent’.

Your latest album Balls Out came out in November. How’s that going down?

Are you fucking kidding? It’s one of the best fucking rock records ever released in all time. It sells itself. We almost titled the album ‘Hot Cakes’ – because we figured, shit, this is gonna sell like hot cakes. So every interview we do after, we can be like ‘yeah, the record’s selling like hot cakes.’

Can you talk me through the name ‘Balls Out’?

It’s a way of life. You’ve got to do everything balls out – and not to mention, if you’re a dude it’s pretty cool to have your balls out. Because sometimes your balls are too confined -

Confined in vagina?

Exactly. I mean, it’s not cool to be confined if you’re a set of balls – especially when you wear a lot of spandex. It gets super tight, your balls get too hot, you’ve got to cool your sperm down – all you’ve got to do is let them swing a little bit. It’s kind of like letting your hair down, but let’s face it, ‘Balls Out’ is a way cooler album title than ‘Let Your Hair Down’.

On being a selfish lover...

My main concern is me, and me having fun, and me feeling good about myself. You know what, I’ll keep going, but you’ve got to learn how to have an orgasm yourself – with some girls you’ve got to turn the air conditioner off and tell her you love her and fondle her neck and blow in her ear... Fuck that. You’ve got to be responsible for your own orgasm. And I won’t ask you to do anything for me. It’s called orgasm responsibility. You know what, that’ s a good platform to run on. I should be a politician, I should run for Prime Minister of the UK on ‘orgasm responsibility’: ‘The government’s not here to provide orgasms for you, you guys need to provide your own orgasms.’

On what’s next for Steel Panther....

The next thing is to pretty much dominate the world and bring orgasm responsibility to everyone. And do a record..  And I think ‘Own Your Orgasm’ - that’s probably going to be the title.

We can’t wait to hear it.

Steep Panther play Download Festival on Saturday 9th June




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