By Chris Krepich
Steel Panther bassist Lexxi Foxxx doesn’t give a rat’s ass what his bass sounds like at a show.
For Foxxx and company, it’s all about the chicks, cocaine, spandex, makeup and sharing personally inspired stories on stage — like the one about the “Gang Bang at the Old Folks Home.” “Glory Hole” also comes to mind.
“I don’t care what my bass sounds like,” Foxxx said. “It’s what on the outside, not the inside that matters.”
While Foxx and his bandmates in the satirical ’80s hair band insist they are all about metal, hookers and drugs, don’t let the shtick fool you. These guys can play. Legitimately. And they’ll perform Wednesday, May 13, at the Sands Casino Event Center in Bethlehem.
Anyone who loves ’80s metal — or just having a good time — can hardly find a better party.
The band frequently welcomes to the stage famous guest collaborators, including former Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul. Others sitting in with the band have included George Lynch of Dokken, Sully Erna of Godsmack and American Idol find Kelly Clarkson. When Steel Panther last performed at Sands in Bethlehem, Ted Poley of Danger made a cameo.
Foxxx insists it’s Steel Panther that’s in demand. The logistics of these guest appearances usually come together when musicians reach out to the band with plans to attend a show. But, occasionally, the band will invite musicians they know, Foxxx admitted.
One possible roadblock to becoming a loyal Steel Panther follower may be its crude, sophomoric and misogynistic lyrics that promote sex, drugs and rock and roll. Steel Panther is a unique combination of fun, hilarity and hard-charging heavy metal that keeps halls packed, songs selling and girls climbing on stage.
With songs such as “Death To All But Metal,” “Ten Strikes You’re Out” and “Asian Hooker,” the band knows it’s not for everyone.
Its fan base has nonetheless grown over its three major album releases and ambitious U.S. and world touring.
While band members are always in character, portraying ’80s excess and swagger, they never miss a chance to poke fun at themselves. The self-deprecating on-stage banter is as much fun and a staple of their shows as the original songs and ’80s cover tunes they write into the set lists.
Foxxx, vocalist Michael Starr, guitarist Satchel and drummer Stix Zadinia continue touring in support of their latest album, “All You Can Eat,” after tearing up arenas as the supporting act for Judas Priest last summer.
We recently caught up with Foxxx — known more for his makeup and hairstyling talents than his playing — after he awoke at his mother’s house. She cooked him and his friends breakfast and kicked them out at 2 in the afternoon.
That left us wondering if his mom would be proud that Foxxx routinely presides over a side-stage mirror and makeup station set up to make sure he always looks good.
Foxxx doesn’t seem to care too much either way. He insists the band is bringing heavy metal back to the masses, lamenting that kids today have no reference level to the genre, nor real rock role models to idolize.
“The ‘80s was such a great time. It’s a lifestyle that people don’t know about,” he said. “These poor kids have to look at people who look like they put gas in your car.”
Having long hair and wearing makeup and spandex makes it look like he’s in a band.
“I think a lot of kids are getting ripped off,” says Foxxx. “The planet needs heavy metal back again.”
When asked if the band gets any blowback about its obscene and crude lyrics, Foxxx provided a twisted response, saying the band never gives blow back; once they score cocaine, it’s theirs to keep.
Turning semi-serious, Foxxx said the band doesn’t expect radio play. People who want to hear Steel Panther’s music can buy it on CD or iTunes or watch it on YouTube. “If you don’t like it, turn the station,” he said.
Foxxx says his favorite Steel Panther song to play on tour now is “Glory Hole” off the new
He acknowledged he still makes his fair share of mistakes on that number, but he does know some of the notes. More importantly, he expressed confidence that he looks good while playing them.
Foxxx said the band is fortunate to have crowds who know what the band is about and want to hear its material. He’s also hopeful the band decides to keep his bass tracks when they record the next album.
“But as far as I’m concerned, I still get to party and hook up with a bunch of girls at shows,” he said. “I’m still in the band.”
When asked about the band’s cocaine inventory on tour, Foxxx explained that the members start out with personal stashes. But they also can rely on people scattered around the country to restock their supply. Cleveland, of all places, is a frequent refueling spot.
The stimulant is how the band stays thin on tour, Foxxx explained.
But, it can get tricky carrying coke when border crossings are involved, especially when entering Canada.
“The Canadian patrol are bastards,” he said. “We have to be careful.”
In addition to coke, the band carries a stash of penicillin for inevitable STDs.
Foxxx also noted that the band has enlisted a trusted “rock doc” in Minnesota, who stocks them with whatever they need, including painkillers.
As for strippers, Foxxx had a difficult time deciding which city offers the best quality dancer. The band has had good luck in Brazil and Australia on the strip club front. But Foxxx says the best time he had was with former Pantera drummer Paul at Paul’s Clubhouse strip club in Texas.
Ultimately, though, the best strippers are those you can take home after a show, Foxxx said.