Comedy-metal guys Steel Panther are somehow able to tell a joke without cracking a laugh, gutting out slimy, flowing heavy metal that pays tribute the ‘80s hair metal craze while also satirizing it. The group’s latest album, Balls Out, is a full-blooded celebration of bands such as Warrant and L.A. Guns, packed with drama, while musically, staying precise and strong. Drummer Stix Zadinia caught up with Audio Ink Radio for an exclusive chat about the new album, Lada Gaga (yes, Lady Gaga) and how Steel Panther plan to “bring heavy metal back!”
When did you first start playing drums?
Oh, my gosh! In third grade, I went to a friend’s house, and he had a drum set. I vividly remember playing and whacking on the drums and going, “This is it!” I went home and told my dad, “I want to play drums.” So, he made me take lessons for three months with a practice pad, and if I stuck with it, he would buy me a kit. So, I stuck with it, and I’ve been playing ever since then.
Steel Panther bring together a spectrum of different sounds. Who are your favorite bands?
Motley Crue, Skid Row, Def Leppard, Judas Priest, Dio, Iron Maiden, Cinderella, Bon Jovi. Basically, heavy metal. I really love playing heavy metal, and I’ve listened to it all my life. [Bon Jovi drummer] Tico Torres — his hair alone inspired me!
Congrats on, Balls Out, cracking the Top 40 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. That’s impressive! What did you guys do to celebrate?
Thank you! We didn’t really do anything different, except that we used it as another reason to party a little bit more. We’re so busy with so much right now that we didn’t have time to celebrate.
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
I would love to do something Joe Elliot [of Def Leppard]. We have talked about it, and the timing wasn’t right, but that would be killer. I’d also like to work with Kip Winger.
That would be a great combo. Are you a fan of any bands or artists that might surprise people? Is there any Lada Gaga secretly played on the band bus?
You know, with Lady Gaga, I’m not a dance guy. I can get down with what she’s doing, because she’s pretty creative. But I’m not a fan of dance music. But, there’s a band out of Vancouver who nobody knows about called, Swan. There’s one of the best bands you’ve never heard of. I guarantee you, if you like great songs that rock — and I’m not promoting them for any specific reason other than that I truly dig them — but, you should check them out. I’m also a fan of Elton John, which might surprise people.
Looking back on 2011, for what are you most grateful?
I’m most grateful for the opportunity to put this new album out. And, I’m grateful that people like it! I’m just most grateful for our band.
What would you say is Steel Panther’s mission?
Steel Panther is on a mission to bring heavy metal back. We’re not going to stop just because we have a top 40 record. We’re not going to settle or rest until every person in the world has been exposed to heavy metal!