Starr: ‘We’ve Got a New Record and New Spandex!’
By DONNA BALANCIA
Steel Panther says “Get ready to rock!”
Steel Panther, those big-haired metal comedians of Rock N Roll, will play The Fonda Theatre on May 4, May 11 and May 18.
The band’s regular home, House of Blues in Hollywood, may have shut down, but everyone’s favorite metal rock sendup is taking their big act on the road.
“We’re working on a fourth studio record now, and we’re playing a big European tour,” Michael Starr told CaliforniaRocker.com “We start recording at the end of May and hopefully the record will be out in October.”
If you’ve never seen a Steel Panther show, think of every metal show you know only add topless gals, big hair, off-color jokes, raucous humor and a lot of audience participation.
The Sunset Strip staple will be taking its hilarious act to some of the biggest arenas in Europe.
“We’re going on a massive UK arena tour that also will include Australia Germany Sweden,” Starr said. “We flew to London to announce the tour and there was an overwhelming response. It’s great to be able to headline places like the Wembley Arena.”
Steel Panther will also bring its show around the US and will announce tour dates in May.
In the meantime, Starr is working hard to look good.
“I am really on a diet,” he said. I’m working out taking hikes and I am ready to rock — we’re all ready to rock.”
No Idle Panthers Here
But the band hasn’t been sitting idle. They’re continually refining their act and practicing music.
And Starr is a frequent guest at the popular Ultimate Jam Night at The Whisky A Go Go.
And when he’s there, Starr has been seen giving props and pats on the back to his fellow artists.
“Everyone’s trying, we’re all creative people and it’s very hard to sell your music and creations,” he said. “I like to give back.”
A Special Mothers Day
A stable family life is what underlies the joking and big hair, Starr said. He has been married for 15 years and has great kids (“all over the world!”)
And while he may tease women on stage, Starr says his affection for one woman in particular is what keeps him going. His role model for everything was his beloved mom, Carol, who passed away five months ago.
“I really got into this because my mom, Carol, always encouraged me and supported me,” Starr said. “She was an actress in the theater and I was always backstage watching the girls and having a great time. My mom loved everything about my act and she was very supportive. I always thanked her for the support she’s given me over the years.”
It’s All About The Crowds
Steel Panther had a regular gig at Hollywood’s House of Blues. But as far as the theaters, how does the band adapt its show to different sized spaces?
“We were so used to playing in one place once we started touring we learn to adapt to all different venues,” he said. “For instance some places have a balcony some places don’t have a balcony. It’s not the theatre, it’s the crowd that dictates every show and we play off the crowd.
Starr said their routine isn’t exactly written out on paper.
“We don’t sit and write,” he said. “We tried it and it didn’t work. For us we like things to be extemporaneous. Over the years we’ve developed stuff we know the people will laugh at. It’s a really real show and it’s spontaneous.”
And it’s also a little risque.
“If the girls don’t show their boobs it’s not a Steel Panther show,” he said.
What are some other new things in the act?
“I got some new Spandex pants I can’t wait to try out,” he said. “That’s pretty awesome.”
And what is this successful musician’s advice to aspiring Panthers and musicians?
“If you’re a songwriter the best advice I can give is finish the song you’re writing,” he said. “Finish it. Don’t let up. If you’re in a band, never give up.
“And when all else fails, find a stripper to support you. That’s what we did.”