Unless you’ve been living under a rock, odds are you’re familiar with the greatest band in the world, Steel Panther. The guys from Vegas are bringing their Sunset Strip Live! Tour to Australia in May, and we were lucky enough to score some time with drummer, Stix Zadinia! We chatted about music, influences, and, of course, women. Read on to hear all about it.
We first asked Stix why he and the rest of his band, vocalist Michael Starr, guitarist Satchel, and bassist Lexxi Foxxx kept returning to Australia. “Well, I don’t mean to be crass but we, we love the women in Australia, and that’s really the only reason we go” was the answer that I was given, but I had to dig deeper. Asking Stix if it was the only reason, he continued with, “Yeah, it’s the only reason. We don’t do it for the money, we don’t do it for the love of heavy metal, we don’t do it for the fans, we do it for our penises.” With the subject of women out the way (or so I thought!), I asked Stix if he had a favourite city in Australia. “No, I don’t, and I’m not trying to get out of answering it, but I do want to go on an adventure in the outback. I haven’t done that.” Curiously, I then asked him what gave him that idea. “I’ve been to Australia, like, 38 times and I’ve never done that. I’d like to get out and experience the outback.”
Next I asked Stix what he was most looking forward to, adding ‘aside from the women’. “I was gonna say, aside from the women, I’m looking forward to doing these shows. I’m excited for the people who’ve seen us before to get a little bit of a different vibe.” Furthering the topic of the shows, I asked what fans who’d never seen Steel Panther before could expect. The answer was simple and entertaining. “The greatest show they’ve ever seen in their entire lives. If they’ve never been to a concert before, and we’re the first, don’t bother going to see any other bands.” I also had to know what his favourite song to play live was. “Um, I enjoy playing Wasted Too Much Time off our new record, and I enjoy playing We Ride on the piano. I also enjoy playing Community Property a lot.”
I also asked if Stix found himself singing along sometimes and his answer made me giggle, and I must admit, I was blushing! “Sometimes, but I’m usally scoping out what I want to do for the afterparty.” Where I cheekily added, or who you want to do? The smile was evident in his voice when he answered, “Now you’re getting it. Now you understand me.”
We then moved onto the discussion of musical influences. “Oh, man… well, for drumming, you’ve got the typical John Bonham, Stewart Copeland. Then, as far as bands and guitar players and singers go, Led Zeppelin, The Police.” I then asked what made him want to start playing drums. Stix laughed again and coyly said, “You already know the answer to this.” Women? I asked. “Yeah! Totally!” More laughter ensued before he continued. “I was in third grade when I realised if I played music that chicks would be paying attention to me. That’s the only reason anyone ever gets into music.”
I was interested then as to what Stix’s drum set up was, being curious about the equipment he uses. “I play a 5-piece DW, custom built kit. I play Sabian cymbals and Remo drum heads and DW hardware, and it’s really fun.” I also had to know what the first song he learned to play on drums was. “Um, I think it was Back In Black. You can’t like rock ‘n’ roll and not like AC/DC.”
We then discussed the music video for Steel Panther’s track, Wasted Too Much Time, which stars Steel Panther for the acting shots, and none other than Corey Taylor and his fellow Stone Sour star in the performance shots. “We’re friends with those guys so I actually texted Corey and asked if he wanted to be in the video. That was a really fun day, they were really good sports.” There’s also three porn stars in the video and I had to know how this happened. Stix laughed, and kept laughing as he answered. “Well, Kelsey, I’m friends with some porn stars and I asked them if they’d come be in the video.”
I then turned the conversation to asking how much of the stage persona of Stix crossed over into the real life of Darren Leader, and how much of Darren Leader was in Stix. “Well, there’s a balance. You cannot be on all the time and be loaded all the time. BUT, I think that, I think there’s not a huge difference between what I do on stage and what I do offstage.” Next, I asked how Steel Panther were formed. “We met playing in the same circles and we realised there was some fucking chemistry.” There was also talk on song titles, and how they were brainstormed. “We write them down on iPad notes, or our spiral notepads that we carry around because we’re fucking old school!”
It wouldn’t be a Steel Panther interview unless I asked who did the best with the ladies. “Oh, it’s me. If you ask anyone in the band, they’ll say it’s them.” I was back to being a blushing, giggling mess but I continued on to ask: so they’re all lying, right? They know that it’s you. “They know the truth, Kelsey. They know it’s me.” The flirtation continued, especially from Stix when I asked if there were any cool tour stories he’d like to share with me. “Not on the phone, but I’d like to share one with you in person.” I didn’t really know how to respond to that and we laughed together and Stix implied that I was getting all flustered again. Which, of course, was the truth.
Lastly, the question came up how fans reaction were when they meet the men of Steel Panther. “Usually, people are really cool and appreciative, but sometimes, we get people fainting. We have really great fans.” I also asked about the setlist. The first hour of the show is Steel Panther originals, and the second half is all ’80s covers. Stix said his favourite cover to play from that setlist is Bon Jovi‘s Livin’ On A Prayer.
With all that said, the Steel Panther tour is going to be nothing but electric, and I for one, cannot wait to see this live show come May.
Get your tickets to see Steel Panther on tour around Australia this May HERE!