If there’s one thing Steel Panther know how to do well it’s put on a rock show. After starting out as a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the glam metal masters before them, the band’s reputation and popularity has grown like wild fire and has seen them dominate stages all over the world. Nev Pearce caught up with frontman Michael Starr about their highly anticipated return to Soundwave Festival and ‘hanging out’ at old folks’ homes.
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Australia loves Steel Panther, the band have toured here regularly since the release of their second album Balls Out and their fan base seems to get bigger with each visit to our shores.
When asked about their huge following down under, Starr said he believes it comes down to two things: having a sense of humour, and loving to party.
“Australian people don’t give a shit about being politically incorrect and neither do I so it’s like a match made in heaven man,” he said. “We sing about stuff that people think about and don’t talk about and we bring it out on Front Street. The people in Australia understand it, they enjoy it, let themselves go and have fun with the Panther.”
The band, world-renowned for their stage show, garner rave reviews wherever they play and Starr thinks that is because their number one goal is to show people how to have a good time and forget about their day-to-day.
“We’re a public service, actually,” he said. “To all the public that are in need of an escape of reality. A time where you can just go for an hour and ignore everything and not think about your car payment, your rent, your phone bill, your girlfriend finding out you cheated on her. You don’t worry about that stuff.”
With songs like Gloryhole and Gangbang At The Old Folks Home, Panther have tracks that would make even the most politically incorrect comedian blush, but Starr said they’re just having a laugh and giving fans what they want.
“Gangbang has really become a crowd favourite. It’s also become one of the favourite songs for old folk’s homes, in America,” Starr said.
“I don’t know if you know this but they have DJ’s come in for the old people and they have bands and performers come in. Now the performers are starting to play Gangbang at the Old Folks Home.”
Starr also revealed the song is more fact than fiction – actually based on his own experience.
“Of course, it was embellished in the song but it happened for me. It was actually my guitarist Satchel’s mum’s old folks’ home. I remember I mentioned to Satchel, “dude, we should write a song about this.” He was a little bit upset about it.”
Steel Panther are no strangers to Soundwave, having appeared early in the day on the main stage in 2012 and the band are more than stoked to have the opportunity to be a part of the country’s biggest gig of the year, this time in a much later time slot.
‘’I feel really, really, so grateful that we’re able to come over in Australia and rock,” Starr said. “It’s a big deal for us to do Soundwave. It’s a big festival. It’s like one of the most coveted festivals in the world, to be playing at a late slot on the main stage; we’re fucking so happy and excited.”
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Steel Panther’s third album All you Can Eat is available now and you can see them live at Soundwave. Get more info at soundwavefestival.com.