» Satchel/Stix - Steel Panther
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Interview conducted February 16 2014
Interview published February 27 2014

Steel Panther's new album releases on April 1st and the band played Stockholm, Sweden on February 16th. Before the show, Metal Covenant had the opportunity to meet the band's main man and guitarist Satchel and also drummer Stix Zadinia. This chat turned out very different to what's common courtesy and not until the second half, the answers have more truth and sincerity.

These 2 outspoken and foul-mouthed Americans take almost everything to an unknown, or known if preferred, level. Still I was kind enough to not interrupt their charades too often. I have minimized edits and please take this for what it is. It's Steel Panther, you know.

Satchel: You're up for the main guys in the band, by the way.

Tobbe: Yeah, the guy outside said that Stix and Satchel was in this room and I said "I'm up for that.".

Stix: Yeah, fuck those guys. Fuck our other guys. (Satchel:) Yeah, these other guys are fucking fuck… (Stix:) …dicks. (Satchel:) We're the meat and potatoes here. I'm the meat, he's the potatoes. (Stix:) Yeah, big old fat potato.

Tobbe: Some self distance there, or not. So should we start, talk about your new album?

Satchel: Absolutely.

Tobbe: I was supposed to get a promo copy of it, but since I haven't… [I asked for it the day before and I got it the day after this chat.]

Satchel: You didn't get a copy?

Tobbe: No, I didn't, but I've heard three songs, you know the videos [Party Like Tomorrow Is The End Of The World and The Burden Of Being Wonderful] and Gloryhole.

Stix: Sorry you didn't get an advance copy. (Satchel:) We need to get you one, to make it right.

Tobbe: Well, I'll have it eventually, it's still almost 2 months left. So tell the fans what the album is all about. I know that it's all about girls and…

Satchel: The album really is about truth and it's… (Stix:) …and justice. (Satchel:) …and justice, and you know, it's about a journey. Not the band Journey, but just a personal journey that leads you… (Stix:) …somewhere. (Satchel:) …to places that no man has ever been. (Stix:) Nor will go to after our record comes out. (Satchel:) So I think for most people that's kinda like a, almost like a religious experience. There's a lot of religious things going on. You know like, for instance the cover. You may not have noticed. Did you see the cover?

Tobbe: Yeah.

Stix: That's question 6.

Tobbe: Are you peeking? It's question 6, yes.

Stix: Is it 6? (Satchel:) Okay, let's put that off that. It's not really a religious experience then. I think it's the best record we've done. We have somehow been able to retain everything that's fucking bitching about Steel Panther and, still at the same time, move into the future and fucking forge new ground that has never been forged by human musicians before, and we have come out on top of the heave once again, and the album is not even out yet. (Stix:) It's gonna freak your face out. (Satchel:) So yeah, I'm really happy with it and [shouts] I'm really sorry that our stupid people didn't get you an advance copy. (Stix:) Yeah. Someone's gonna get the fucking… (Satchel:) Someone's gonna get fired, Tobbe.

Tobbe: No need for that.

Stix: No, we're gonna fire a bunch of people.

Tobbe: So let's go to the front cover. In America that may seem a bit offensive, if you just take a fast look at it.

Stix: No, not really. If you look at it fast, I think you gonna say to yourself "Oh, my God! That reminds me of the last supper", except for there's a bunch of hot bitches on the front and Jesus doesn't have a beard on this. (Satchel:) Yeah, I think really what we did was, we took, you know, the idea of the last supper. It's a great idea. If you're gonna be dead tomorrow then you should have a last supper, that's killer, but I mean, really what do you want at your last supper? You want some pizza, you want a little sushi. If you noticed, there's some sushi on the table. You know, rice cakes, something for everybody, and there's hot bitches. You gotta have hot bitches at the last supper and that's what we did. We got some of the hottest bitches we knew and we fucking put them on the fucking cover. We turbocharged the last supper, dude.

(Stix:) We kicked the last supper in its balls. (Satchel:) We kicked the last supper right in its religious nutsack, which is fucking cool that it would be a metal band. You know, it's funny, but we've gotten that question before like. "Aren't there people in America that are offended?". I would think that the country that would be the most offended would be Vatican City. That's its own country, right? (Stix:) Yeah. That's in Italy, right?

Tobbe: In Rome.

Satchel: Do they sell our records in Vatican City? (Stix:) Yeah, I think the Pope's gonna have a sale on All You Can Eat. (Satchel:) Yeah, that would be fucking rad. (Stix:) He's got a record store that's called The Pope's Records and we gonna have our record on sale there, which is cool. I think, the part of the reason we got into that store, because it's hard to get in there, especially a band like us, was cause of the cover, right. The Pope's like "That's a fucking bitching cover". He wrote us a letter on Pope stationary "Your cover's fucking bitching, guys." and then little high fives. "High five, high five, high five.". (Satchel:) Actually a friend of mine went to Vatican City and he was like looking for our records and went into one of the stores and he said "Hey, you guys got any Steel Panther?". And the person working there said "Sorry, we got nun [none], n-u-n." I'm sorry, that was kinda bad. (Stix:) "But we got Judas Priest.".

Tobbe: So how much will you play off it tonight, considering it's not released yet?

Stix: The 3 songs that you've heard. (Satchel:) Yes, we're gonna do those 3 songs. You know, it's gonna be tough when the record does come out, because it's already hard to choose songs for a set, because we got certain songs that are… (Stix:) …classics. (Satchel:) Classics, not just here on Earth, but all throughout the universe, you know Community Property, Death To All But Metal, Gold Digging Whore… (Stix:) …Just Like Tiger Woods. (Satchel:) Lots of bitching songs. We already have to leave certain songs out, because we just have not enough room. (Stix:) We gonna have to extend our set to 6 hours.

Tobbe: That'll be good. The fans will love it.

Satchel: There's songs on it that you haven't heard like a song called Gangbang At The Old Folks Home, which is not only educational, but really super duper to fucking listen to. There's a song called Ten Strikes You're Out, which is, you know, about being in a relationship. Stix! As you know, I was in a long-time relationship. (Stix:) It was awful. (Satchel:) It was awful. Lasted almost 4 days. (Stix:) It felt like it was never gonna end. (Satchel:) Really, really did. Actually there's another song that addresses long-time relationships and relationships in general. A song called Pussywhipped. Being pussywhipped is like when a guy or one of your friends has a girlfriend. You call everybody and you go [using his hand as a phone] "Hey Sven!", cause Sven is a name?

Tobbe: Yeah, to my grandfather.

Stix: "Yeah". I'll be Sven. "Hey what's up." (Satchel:) "Oh, sorry Sven. You're my grandfather. I'm gonna call back somebody else." [dials] "R-r-ring." (Stix:) "Hello." (Satchel:) "Sven, can you put Magnus on?" (Stix:) "Hold on!" [shouts] "Magnus!" [pause] "Hello." (Satchel:) "Magnus, what's up huuuh, this is Tobbe." (Stix:) What's up, bro. What are you doing?" (Satchel:) "Dude, we're going out tonight. We're gonna go party, man. You wanna go?" (Stix:) "Aah, I think I'm just gonna stay home, with my lady." (Satchel:) "What! With your lady? You just said you were gonna come out. We've got fucking alcohol. I've got some weed." (Stix:) "She's got a Beverly Hills 90210 marathon she wants to watch, so." (Satchel:) "Magnus! Don't fucking leave me hanging, bro. You know we're fucking buddies." (Stix:) "I'm sorry, bro." (Satchel:) "Good fucking party night. Dude, I expect to see you there, Magnus. Don't fucking blow me up!" (Stix:) "You know what, I'll talk to her and maybe I'll come out, but I can't guarantee. I'm sorry, dude." (Satchel:) "You're a fucking pussy, Magnus."

Tobbe: Okay, I got the deal.

Satchel: You got it? Magnus is pussywhipped. (Stix:) Right there. (Satchel:) And that's an educational song. I think that a lot of guys don't realize what their pussy…". (Stix:) "R-r-ring." (Satchel:) "Hello." (Stix:) "Tobbe!" (Satchel:) "Is this Magnus?" (Stix:) "Yeah, it's Magnus. I'll meet you guys out there. I just told my bitch to fuck off." (Satchel:) "Oh my God" I'm so fucking glad that you finally saw what a dickhead you were." (Stix:) "Dude, I'm so sorry that I fucking put you through this for the past 6 months. I'm embarrassed. I'm embarrassed. Hold on, hold on. [shouts] Fuck off!" (Satchel:) "God, that's so great. You know, I gotta tell you. I didn't wanna tell you before, because you were pretty in love. I fucked that girl a bunch of times when you weren't looking and shit." (Stix:) "What! Seriously?" (Satchel:) "She's a whore, dude. You're too good for that girl." (Stix:) "Dude, why didn't you tell me before?" (Satchel:) "Cause I just figured you'll get pissed off and shit." (Stix:) "This is bullshit. You know what, dude. I'll just meet you at the bar." (Satchel:) "She's a whore. Let's go party!" (Stix:) "Awesome. Later." (Satchel:) "All right, Magnus." (Stix:) There you go.

Tobbe: You're fucking nuts. I'm supposed to take this a bit serious, but I can't. Actually I didn't know what to expect when to meet you guys.

Stix: It's gonna be awesome, huh? Are we scary?

Tobbe: No. You're good people, I think.

Satchel: Nobody's scarier than the Wiggles though. (Stix:) We're scarier than the Wiggles. (Satchel:) We have to be scarier than the Wiggles. (Stix:) I would be frightened of being compared to the Wiggles. (Satchel:) To the Wiggles? You're fucking like a 1000 times scarier than the Wiggles. But do you know what? Don't count the Wiggles out. I bet you these guys get some pussy, dude. (Stix:) Fuck yeah, they did. Do you know how many moms they've fucked? (Satchel:) Yes, I've seen. (Stix:) You know who the Wiggles are?

Tobbe: No, never heard of them.

Stix: Never mind.

Tobbe: Yeah, good.

Satchel: They sing that song "Hot potato, hot potato. Hot potato, hot potato."

Tobbe: I never listen to radio. Let's talk about your tour. So how has the ride been in the first weeks here?

Stix: It's been fucking great. I mean, you know people sometimes say "Hey, which country do you like playing the best?" and it's impossible for us to answer, because every country we play, all people who come to the show are ready to fucking party, no matter where we're at, so it always feels like the country of Steel Panther. (Satchel:) That's like saying "Which vagina do you like the best out of all the vaginas?"

Tobbe: That's easier though.

Satchel: There's so many bitching vaginas out there. (Stix:) It's impossible to pick just one. (Satchel:) I'm sure you can weed out someone, like all the big ones, the hairy ones. (Stix:) The ones with yeast and infections. (Satchel:) But then there's a lot of really nice vaginas, that are shaved and very tight and it's like "How do you pick a favorite one out of it?" (Stix:) You don't. (Satchel:) You really don't.

Tobbe: No, you don't. So back to the album a bit. Any notable additional guest appearances?

Stix: We have one.

Tobbe: One? You have tons of them on the earlier records.

Satchel: Well, that's not true. We've got more than one. (Stix:) We've got more than one. (Satchel:) Well, a fucking really good friend of ours, named Matt Nelson, sang a lot on the record. (Stix:) Oh yeah. (Satchel:) Like all the super really high shit that we couldn't sing, because we were too high or drunk, and he can sing when he's high and drunk, so he always sounds great. Then there's also a special guest star appearance by… [snaps his fingers and points at Stix] (Stix:) Vivian Campbell. (Satchel:) Yeah. He did the solo on a song called Gangbang At The Old Folks Home, which apparently he really wanted to do, because he's had a few of those. (Stix:) He's Vivian Campbell. Of course he's gonna do that. (Satchel:) There's nothing that guy haven't done, man. He's crazy. (Stix:) Yeah. Especially with his new lady. (Satchel:) Silly goose.

Tobbe: Do I wanna hear this?

Stix: No, I'm not allowed. You know, I had a conversation with Vivian and I promised him I wouldn't make public any of the stories that he's told me. (Satchel:) Yeah. Vivian's fucking awesome and he's totally bitching. He played on our new record for very, very cheap, which really helped us out. (Stix:) We just had to buy him lunch. He was cool. (Satchel:) At McDonald's. It's very cheap.

Tobbe: Isn't your financial situation a bit better now than like 10 years ago?

Satchel: Oh yeah, totally dude. We get paid 2 cases of beer for a show now. We got like a 6-pack 10 years ago. (Stix:) That's a full 2 cases.

Tobbe: Each?

Stix: No. (Satchel:) And we also get 3 bottles of Tequila, a month. The thing is that we don't need that much alcohol. We got a lot of ex-strippers. They come to our show, they bring drugs and shit like that, so we just party, make sure that we find girls that look strung out. (Stix:) That are hopped up. (Satchel:) Yeah.

Tobbe: So about the album again. How much tougher was it to write the songs for this one, compared to Feel The Steel, that had a lot of re-makes and where you had plenty of time to arrange the songs?

Satchel: Yeah, that's a good question. We never really planned on putting out our first record on a major label. Really our song, Death To All But Metal, which is on the first record, we meant every word of it, you know. "Kill those fucking fuckheads who work at [program] MTV! They can suck my ass with all the record companies!" We really felt that way. We didn't think we'd ever do a record for a major label, but then Universal Republic came to us and they were like "We understand you guys. We know we suck dicks. We wanna sign you anyway, because we hope that you forgive us for being dickheads." And we were like "That's so bitching" and they put our record out.

We weren't in a hurry to write our first record. It was sort of like we wrote a song every few months or whatever and just like I'd throw ideas out there. We actually got signed when we were in the middle of recording about 6 songs on our own. And then we signed Universal and then we decided to just record like 5 or 6 more and put it out. Once we were signed to Universal, we knew we were probably gonna put out a second record. Then it was like "We gotta start writing more" and I like to write a lot, you know. When we're on the road, there's shit that happens all the time. You know, personal experiences to everybody in the band, song titles, sometimes riffs will come out at soundcheck. Then it's just a matter of putting the bitching lyrics with the fucking music.

The last 5 years or so, it hasn't really been a lot of pressure, but it's been fun. Because when you know you have an opportunity to put music out there to fans who enjoy it, it, to me, makes the writing process even more enjoyable, because I know somebody's gonna sing along with Gangbang At The Old Folks Home and dig every word and all the melodies. I think this record is our best one yet.

Tobbe: Yeah, we'll see about that.

Stix: I also would like to add to that. Satchel does the lion's share of the writing and I don't think that there's any pressure that one record or another is gonna put on him, that's gonna be more pressure than he puts on himself. He and I have been playing music forever together and he always holds songs at the same standards. So it's not like "This record may sell more, so we should write better songs." It's always going for the best, he's always going for the best song he can write when he's writing. (Satchel:) Yeah, and I feel we work so well as a band that I know that I'm always gonna get an honest response from the dudes in the band. I have a good parameter with those guys. I usually don't bring them stuff unless I think they're gonna dig and I know that if they don't dig it, that they'll let me know, so it works well. Like at the end of the day, everybody usually likes the record a lot, because nobody's bullshitting.

(Stix:) If he wrote something and I didn't love it, I wouldn't be able to go like "Dude, that's awesome!" (Satchel:) I think a lot of bands don't have that kind of relationship. We are all equal band members and we all wanna make great records. You always wanna go on stage and to, have everybody in the band, be totally into the songs that you're doing. And if one dude isn't enjoying a song, then that's not fun for anybody else. Some bands aren't like that. It's like one dude who's like "You're playing my shit no matter what! I don't care if you like it!" That's why some people aren't into it and bands break up and shit like that. So, we are all in this for the same reason, we fucking love heavy metal, we love great songs with bitching hooks and we love to fuck bitches. (Stix:) He's totally not kidding.

Tobbe: Actually one of my questions was about that your lineup is still consistent. Now I got the answer to that one.

Stix: You really do. You have that answer because to why.

Tobbe: A lot of bands change members like towels.

Satchel: Yeah, isn't that sad? I mean, especially in this day and age. I feel bad for a lot of younger kids, cause back in the 60's, 70's and 80's, you could have a band and a career that lasted a while, you know. You knew as a fan like "Okay. I know Iron Maiden's gonna have another record coming out. They're not gonna break up. Why would they do that?" Nowadays everything is like flavor of the week and the vast majority of bands that are big out there won't be around in a year. So I feel like we're like the fucking rock of Gibraltar out there in the storm. You know, there's all these other bands that come and go, but we've been [looking at Stix] playing together for a fucking long time, like fuck, it's been like 32 years. (Stix:) It's a long, long time. (Satchel:) But we still dig it, so we're gonna keep on writing. (Stix:) And you know what? As long as it's been, we're still all fucking best friends. (Satchel:) It's awesome. We still fuck bitches all the time.

Tobbe: That is one thing that keeps you together.

Stix: Yeah, all the bitches.

Tobbe: So who writes most of the lyrics?

Stix: Satchel writes most of the lyrics. (Satchel:) I write a lot of stuff. Usually like songs will come to me and it'll be a lyrical idea to begin with and then you try to come up with a fucking bitching chorus. And then a lot of it just comes after that, it comes easier if you can have a good subject for a song. But then, once shit's done, when I demo a song, I bring it to those guys and we'll all go over the lyrics. Sometimes I write lyrics and Stix will be like "I don't like this part right here and…". We butt head sometimes, cause you know, I'll be like "Why don't you like it?" and he'll go "Well, it's for this and that…" and sometimes I stick to my guns and sometimes I go "You know what? I get it!". and then we change it or whatever, but we always end up with something that we dig at the end of the day.

Tobbe: You're all getting credits on the albums.

Stix: Yeah.

Tobbe: It's like it's written by all 4 of you.

Satchel: Yeah, but you know what? I think that that's another thing that a lot of bands don't get, that you have a band, like we split things equally, because we really all do bring a ton of stuff to the table. There's nobody in this band who is superfluous or not needed. I rely on all those dudes. Even if I'm doing like all the writing on a song, it doesn't end up going on the record unless these guys put their stamp of approval on it and bring their own stuff together. Like all the drum beats, all the drum fills, like that's all coming from him [Stix], because he's gotta feel it and he's gotta dig it.

A lot of times, songs don't get finished unless we go into a room and we play together, and we arrange it, and we fucking gotta all dig the way it's feeling. Sometimes Michael [Starr, vocalist] will fucking write something, he's come up with riffs before and sometimes he [Stix] inspires me with drum beats and that fucking inspires the whole song. That's why we split all that, like the writing credit, all that shit, because there's no need to nitpick over that shit. That kinda shit is shit that breaks bands up anyway, I think.

Tobbe: So how many songs can you write about fucking…

Stix: How many chicks can you fuck…?

Tobbe: ...and change the lyrics all the time?

Stix: How many chicks can you fuck and still be happy about it? (Satchel:) How many times can you jack off in 72 years?

Tobbe: Have you met some people that has been included in the lyrics, after the lyrics were released, and have they thanked you properly for the publicity?

Satchel: Yes. (Stix:) You know, the Goo Goo Dolls love it, they love being in Death To All But Metal, they're fucking proud of it. Blink 182 love it. It's fucking cool. When a band writes a song and they put your band in their song, that means your band is fucking popular. (Satchel:) Even if we suck. (Stix:) Even if we suck dicks.

Tobbe: So how about a European tour now in February and March, and an album release in early April, shouldn't it be the other way around?

Stix: You would think, but that's typical. (Satchel:) Yeah, that's what all other bands would do. (Stix:) But we're anything but typical. Really what we were gonna do was we were gonna think about releasing a Greatest Hits record after the first 2 records, cause we've got enough songs for that shit… (Satchel:) And just put all of the first 2 records on the Greatest Hits record. (Stix:) Yeah, so we could double up. …and then we were gonna tour, this tour based on that record. Well, that didn't pan out and then this record got pushed to April 1st, or March 28th. The tour was booked and then they saw all the ticket sales and they we're like "Fuck, dude. This band doesn't need a new record to go tour". They were killing. (Satchel:) You know why we don't need a record to tour? Cause we're the fucking raddest live band in the world, dude. (Stix:) We are. We are the best live band the world has seen.

Tobbe: I hear you.

Satchel: We started as a live band, which I think is another thing that a lot of bands, a lot of artists don't fucking do. Think about it! Remember the Spice Girls? When they fucking did their first show, it was after they'd already sold like 10 million records or something. They hadn't even done a fucking show and there's a lot of stupid fucking acts like that. We did a fucking 100000 shows before we ever got a fucking deal, so we're a live act, we started as a live act. (Stix:) We're gonna die as a live act. (Satchel:) We are experienced as a live act. We know how to entertain crowds and that's why people who come and see us always come back. They go "Dude. I just saw the best fucking live act that I've ever seen. We gotta go back and see them!". (Stix:) It's an experience. (Satchel:) And ultimately it's a good thing, especially in this day and age when everybody basically just steals your fucking record anyway, so you want them to come to your live shows.

Tobbe: So how much effort do you guys put into the things you say on stage, in between the songs? How much do you rehearse for that?

Satchel: We don't put any effort into that at all, we let it flow. You know, how much effort do you put into, when you sperm on a girl's face? Not very much, right?

Tobbe: Ten seconds.

Satchel: It just kinda happens. (Stix:) Yeah, it's just natural. You don't go "Oh, I'm gonna put it on the eye!"

Tobbe: So will you guys return to Europe this summer, festivals and stuff?

Satchel: Yeah. We're gonna do some festivals, absolutely. We'll be out there in the summertime, screwing bitches and shit.

Tobbe: Yeah, good for you.

Satchel: Thank you. (Stix:) Thanks, dude.

Tobbe: [On my way out] Have fun tonight.

Satchel: Thank you. Have you seen us before?

Tobbe: Twice.

Satchel: Cool. I hope you fucking enjoy it tonight. We're gonna do the best show we can. It will be fucking badass, it's gonna be a fun show.

Tobbe: Yeah, I hope so. Okay, thanks guys.

Stix: Thanks again, man. (Satchel:) Yeah. Thanks, Tobbe. I appreciate it. It's gonna be rad tonight.

See also: review of the gig the same night
See also: review of the album All You Can Eat

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