Steel Panther likes to have fun. But don't think the comedic hard rock group doesn't take having fun seriously.
Over 14 years and three albums the quartet, which sends up the glam-metal styles of the 80s in both attire and a repertoire of often rudely titled, double-entendre-filled songs, has grown from laughs to lauds as its music has been accepted by audiences, including those who saw Steel Panther open for Judas Priest on the iconic British group's North American tour this fall.
"Playing covers for so many years (originally) branded us a cover band. It was hard to change that," acknowledges frontman Michael Starr (nee Ralph Saenz), who co-founded Steel Panther first as Metal Shop and then Metal Skool in Los Angeles. "Now there is no mistaking; we will be the biggest real metal band in the world by 2025 -- unless we die first."
Bassist Lexxi Foxx (nee Travis Haley), adds that, "People are taking us much more seriously, for sure, and I think it's because of the songs. People just love hearing these songs, 'cause they're so much fun.
"And nobody dresses like us these days. Nobody has the long, slutty hair. Now you go see a band and it's a bummer 'cause they look like they work at a gas station. It's cool to add some color and do something different, and we're able to bring back an era for people who haven't experienced it -- and for people who have, to experience it all over again. It feels good."
While its still promoting its latest album, "All You Can Eat," which came out in April, Steel Panther has given fans another new song for the holidays. "The Stocking Song," which the group recorded during the Priest tour, is just out, featuring characteristically irreverent lyrics and sexual innuendo amidst chiming guitars and kazoo hooks, played by Starr, from "Deck the Halls."
"I like the holidays; I like to call them the highlidays," Starr quips. "I'm definitely a Christmas kind of guy; for me it snows all year 'round, if you know what I'm talking about. There's always a bunch of snow, so I'm down with the holiday season. We all are."
Steel Panther and Like a Storm
Sunday, Dec. 14. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St.
Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 day of show.
Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com
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