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Steel Panther

Satirically pretending to be a hair metal band that missed its big break in the '80s, singer Ralph Saenz ("Michael Starr"), drummer Darren Leader ("Stix Zadinia"), bassist Travis Haley ("Lexxi Foxxx"), and guitarist Russ Parrish ("Satchel") hit the club circuit on the Sunset Strip around the turn of the millennium under the name Metal Shop (later changed to Metal Skool and then to Steel Panther). With big, spiky wigs, leather jackets, zebra-striped spandex, chops earned from playing in a Van Halen tribute band, and lots and lots of machismo, their comic take on sex, drugs, and rock & roll to the extreme caught on quickly, leading to sold-out shows and some unexpected brushes with mainstream success. As their popularity increased, the Hollywood crowd started frequenting their sets, often making appearances on-stage. This led to some opportunities: the group fittingly played the metal band "Danger Kitty" in a Discover Card commercial; they appeared on The Drew Carey Show as themselves; and their song "FF" was used as the theme for MTV's Fantasy Factory. In 2008, the band signed to Universal Republic. After releasing the singles "Death for All But Metal" and "Community Property," Steel Panther's full-length Feel the Steel was released in October of 2009. The album broke the band onto the Billboard chart, netting them a spot at number 98 on the U.S. charts (and 48 on the rock chart). Not wanting the fun to stop, the band got back to it quickly and in 2011 followed up with Balls Out, which featured guest appearances from comedian Dane Cook and Nickelback's Chad Kroeger, among others. 2014's All You Can Eat featured the single "Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of the World," and featured cover art parodying Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper. In 2016, the band issued their first concert LP, Live from Lexxi's Mom's Garage, which was released in conjunction with their first full-length feature film, which blended comedic vignettes and other assorted antics with the aforementioned glam-folk garage show. At the end of 2016, Steel Panther released a cover of Cheap Trick's "She's Tight" in advance of their fourth studio album Lower the Bar, which arrived in March 2017. The group headed out on tour in support of the album, playing dates across the world before embarking on their Sunset Strip Live tour, which saw the band playing a mix of original material and classic metal covers. Tapping producer Jay Ashton for their fifth album, the band dropped the unabashed Heavy Metal Rules in late 2019, preceded by the single "All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)." Following a brief spell of absence from touring Lexxi Foxx announced his departure from the band in 2021, with the group holding open auditions for a new bassist. The group eventually settled on Joe "Spyder" Lester, who had played live with the band in Foxx's absence. Steel Panther returned to the studio to record their sixth effort, On the Prowl. Producing it themselves, the album continued their tongue-in-cheek hair metal, with the tracks "Never Too Late (To Get Some Pussy Tonight)" and "Friends with Benefits" preceding its release in early 2023.
© Jason Lymangrover /TiVo


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