INTERVIEW: chatting with Lexxi Foxx from heavy metal hooligans Steel Panther
It would be an understatement to describe Steel Panther as a heavy metal band. Part alleged parody act, part hook writing machines and extreme hairspray and lyrca aficionados; there's no description quite as colourful as the raucous quartet are themselves, and this pack of party lovers are now poised to unleash their fifth studio album this September (unsurprisingly titled Heavy Metal Rules).
With the album promising to be "the ultimate party album. Anthem after anthem and hook after hook" and song titles like All I wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight), there's certainly no grey areas for what to expect when the new album blasts to life next month. But while their riffs are often as tight as their spandex outfits, it's increasingly unclear if this rollicking quartet are in fact on the joke and crafting the most emphatic representation of every hair metal cliche know to man; and it's this very mystery that has remained throughout Steel Panther's gaudy career. But underneath the lashings of makeup and intensely uncensored veneer lies a deep-seated passion for their genre and a devoted love to their fans, and today Tiana chats travels, triumphs and the odd beauty tip or two (and new music, of course) with Steel Panther's very own blonde-tressed bassist Lexxi Foxx. Interview below.
TIANA SPETER: Hi Lexxi!
LEXXI FOXX: Tiana, how are you!
TIANA: I’m very, very well, I’m speaking to you I believe on the other side of the globe right now…
LEXXI: I love your fucking accent, it kicks so much ass.
TIANA: Well, thank you! And how are you going today?
LEXXI: So, I just woke up. It’s….shit, what time is it out there in Australia??
TIANA: It’s 9 in the morning here, what time is it where you are?
LEXXI: Shit. I actually don’t fucking know! (laughs)
TIANA: Well, technically we’re both starting our days at the same moment right now then, that’s kind of nice. It’s great to chat to you today, I actually interviewed Michael last year just before Steel Panther headed out to Australia for the ‘Sunset Strip Live’ shows…and so much has happened for you guys between then and now, including the announcement for your upcoming fifth album…how is life for Steel Panther and Lexxi Foxx at the moment?
LEXXI: We loved heading back out there, to be back in Australia…the UK and Australia have been so great to us. We’ve been out to the UK a bunch, but to go to Australia…we go all the way to Perth! Where are you located?
TIANA: I’m in Sydney at the moment. And I’ve actually never been to Perth, so you’re one up on me there!
LEXXI: Oh my favourite fucking city!! I’m not even just saying this, everybody always asks: “what are your favourite cities?”. And I say Prague, Amsterdam, and Sydney! New York City is pretty cool too, even the people in Los Angeles. But Sydney is freaking insane! And everybody in Australia, whether it be Melbourne…am I saying that right? Mel-BORNE??
TIANA: Yes! Perfect, you nailed it.
LEXXI: Thank you! Thank you, see I’m getting it! I’m getting an Australian accent! But we do go to Australia so much, and we would love to go out there with the new record. We’re always excited just to be there, we’ve gotten so much support from Australia, whether it be Sydney or Melbourne or Perth or…a bunch of other cities you guys have there in that crazy country. But we’d love to go back there again and play some new songs. Actually, I was just talking to Stix (Stix Zadinia – Steel Panther drummer) before I got on the phone with you about us maybe doing a medley of songs off the new record that people haven’t heard before! And Stix goes: “Lexxi, that’s the FIRST brilliant idea you’ve had in a long time” (laughs). So I’ll talk to Satchel and Michael about it later, but I think we’ve been over there so much, I feel like if we make it back there you deserve more than just ‘Asian Hooker’ and stuff like that. Everybody’s heard all that shit before, I would love to mix it up and do a lot of shit off our new record, which is also my favourite record by far! Did you see the video for ‘All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)’?
TIANA: Huge call, and I absolutely have seen the video, it’s difficult to forget actually…
LEXXI: How do you think I did on the fucking sugar pole?
TIANA: You know what, I think you’re an overachiever, you took to it far too naturally…
LEXXI: Thank you so much for saying that. I’m an old fucking man bouncing around on a goofy-ass pole, I thought the thing was gonna break. I didn’t even know what to do with myself in that situation. But! At least it was appropriate for what we were doing. But I was very insecure about that.
ALL I WANNA DO IS FUCK (MYSELF TONIGHT) - STEEL PANTHER
TIANA: Well, I definitely couldn’t have done it, and you went all in for sure! And speaking of the song, obviously it’s giving a bit of an insight into what the upcoming album ‘Heavy Metal Rules’ is going to bring us…do you feel like the track’s a pretty solid indication of what’s in store for the overall album?
LEXXI: Yeah, like I said before this is my favourite album. And of course we’re not gonna disappoint our fans. Other than doing festivals which we have also been doing…we’re bringing a new audience to what we do. And people are gonna go: “fuck Steel Panther!” or that we’re a one-trick pony, I don’t know what they call it, or that we have no more weapons left. But – we do! And anybody who loves heavy metal…you can call what we do heavy metal or not, because it’s a “glam” metal band. But we also surfaced from Maiden, Priest and Styx. And Satchel and I like the pretty-boy bands like Poison, Dokken, Cinderella, all that stuff. And same with Michael! We do the best we can to write about things that are very present, which is: sex, drugs and alcohol. And some people have wanted to tone that down, they go “oh, it’s fucking stupid, they’re doing it again!”. But we are the best party band! Go listen to us after five days. Monday to Friday…or Thursday – don’t listen to us. Friday night to fucking Saturday or Sunday – crank us up and you will have the best fucking party ever, no matter what record you put on! But this one’s gonna be the best one ever. I’m telling you, we have more hits on this video that we did, than we did on ‘Death to All But Metal’ so we’re excited for it.
TIANA: It’s actually exciting to hear how much you love it, and that it’ll top your previous stuff as well….!
LEXXI: We have to! We have to make something everybody enjoys otherwise nobody’s gonna want to see us. We’re just so lucky, we’re not a huge massive band. But our fans mean the freaking world to us, it doesn’t matter if we play in front of fucking 200 people or 2000 people, or at a festival where people are like: “fuck, who’s Steel Panther?”. We’re just happy to play in front of anybody – and just do stupid kicks! We’re all old fucking men in tight outfits, so that can add some fucking entertainment for everyone. But at the same time it’s like: we’re just having fun, and we want everybody else to have fun. That’s what we’re doing.
SATCHEL & LEXXI FOXX// pic by Steve Kalinsky
TIANA: You guys do have that levity that isn’t really there with a lot with a lot of bands kicking around these days, and you’re flying the flag for such a golden age in metal music. But what are your thoughts on the current state of heavy metal, do you actually feel hope for the future of this genre?
LEXXI: Yeah wow, you know what? I do. Heavy metal now is different than it used to be. Avenged Sevenfold are pretty bitching with their shredding solos…I can never talk bad about a band when it’s heavy metal! And there’s still Anthrax, there’s still fucking Slayer out there, there’s some great heavy metal bands! But they’re different than what we do. If you ask Anthrax or Slayer, like Scott Ian loves what we do. Slayer – not so much. But at the same time, there are so many musicians who get what we do because we’re just having a good time bouncing around playing. And again, it’s fun just to be the goofy old band and trying not to rip my spandex (laughs). But I will say this: I’m getting Botox this weekend before we do our next run, so you’ll see I’ll be looking FABulous!
TIANA: Funny you should bring that up, I was actually gonna ask if you had any beauty tips, given how you always hold down such strong makeup looks onstage. I’m always looking to mix up my look!
LEXXI: Day and night there are beauty tips, it all depends on what time our show is! For festivals, I have to go “ok, shit, is it 5:30? And where are we? Are we in Glasgow, are we in fucking Sydney, are we in Melbourne? Or are we in fucking New York City? How’s the sun gonna land on my fuckin’ biscuit?"...my biscuit meaning my face…sorry. And I have to highlight my cheekbones a certain way. And then I look at in the mirror going: “oh fuck, my makeup’s still not working”. So in the next month I’m getting a face lift, just to make sure I can keep my job! But don’t worry, it’ll just look like I slept a bunch.
TIANA: Awesome, well I’ll have to wait until you guys are next here to check out your beauty upgrades then! Thank you so much for chatting, and can’t wait for ‘Heavy Metal Rules’ to drop!
LEXXI: Thank you! Stay in touch with us, and thank you so much for your time!
STEEL PANTHER'S FIFTH STUDIO ALBUM 'HEAVY METAL RULES' WILL OFFICIALLY UNVEIL ON SEPTEMBER 27TH.
BY TIANA SPETER