INTERVIEW: Stix Zadinia (STEEL PANTHER)
Levi: I'm really pumped that you're coming back to Australia, I've actually seen every show you've played in Brisbane. I've been a big fan ever since I heard Feel The Steel
Stix: That's sweet, dude.
Levi: Did you have fun last time?
Stix: Dude, we always have fun in Australia. It's a fucking wonderful country.
Levi: How does it differentiate between playing shows in America? Do you think our audiences are different?
Stix: Yeah. You guys have a different accent, so there's that. You guys are crazy, and you got us right from the very beginning. When we first came out on Soundwave, you guys just embraced us. You guys are crazy in the best way.
Levi: For sure man. We love partying down here... You're also, from what I hear, working on a new album. Can you reveal any song titles, or anything about the album as of yet?
Stix: I can tell you that there's a song on Lexxi's Mom's Garage that's called 'That's When You Came In', and we did a studio version of that before we did Lexxi's Mom's Garage, but we decided to do an acoustic version on the record. We're going to put the electric version of 'That's When You Came In' on this new record.
We've tracked 12 songs. I can't give you any song titles, dude, because we all agreed that we wouldn't, but I think people are going to love it. I think fans of Steel Panther are going to be happy at the record we put together, and I think people who may never have heard of us are going to be excited to hear it because it's just a fucking great record.
Levi: Yeah. Speaking of the unplugged album, can we expect any of the unplugged songs on the Australian tour?
Stix: We are going to do a couple acoustic songs. One that we did not do on the record, but we're going to do it. An old acoustic song, and it'll be a treat because I don't think we have done this song in about 5 years.
Levi: I just recently heard that outside of Mötley Crüe, because that's all finished up now, that those guys aren't really friends, they don't hang out. Just wondering, outside of Steel Panther, do you still call Lexxi Foxx and Michael Starr friends outside of the band?
Stix: Dude, totally. They're my bros, for real. I love all the guys in my band, and we are all bros, and we all happen to be in a band together, and it's killer. I golf with Satchel on our off time, and it's rad.
Levi: Yeah, sweet. You've been playing for a while, since the 80s. I was just wondering, what was it like when grunge came in and nu metal came in? Did you ever get into Limp Bizkit or Nirvana or Pearl Jam or any of those bands?
Stix: Not really. I got into Limp Bizkit. I always thought Limp Bizkit was really good, and we've been fortunate enough to become friends with those guys. They're a phenomenal live band, and it's a testament to how long they've been going.
I never got into grunge. I missed that boat. I like the attitude of the Limp Bizkits and the Korns. I like that, but I've always been a heavy metal guy.
Levi: Yeah, and it's funny, a lot of the classic bands are sort of finishing up. Mötley Crüe is over with; I think Van Halen's still going, but I don't know if they'll ever be as good as they were.
I was just wondering, in your opinion who do you think is best representing the spirit of 80s metal right now, besides Steel Panther?
Stix: Oh man, besides us? I would say Sebastian Bach. He's doing it; he's killing it. I know this is going to sound weird, but Winger. Winger's killer. I don't know if you've seen 'em live, but Winger is really good.
Levi: I didn't think they were as big down in Australia. I think they were more of an American thing. Yeah, we missed that one.
Stix: Dude, you should listen to Winger. Just listen to it on Spotify or whatever.
Levi: Yeah. I'll do it right after this interview
Stix: It's really good. I'm trying to think who else is representing. Def Leppard's always holding the torch. Judas Priest is doing it, and they're better than ever.
Iron Maiden almost doesn't count, because Iron Maiden ... You said it the best, they never get old; they're fucking Iron Maiden.
Levi: Yeah. They've always stuck to their guns, and so has Steel Panther, but have you ever thought that maybe you won't write a song about boobies and groupies? Maybe you'll write something a bit more mature about politics or boring things like books and cooking, or something?
Stix: Fuck no, dude. Certain things go together in life, and certain things don't go together. Shoes and socks go together. Chocolate and peanut butter goes together. Pepperoni and pizza goes together. Politics and music? Fuck, dude. That's the worst. The last thing I want to do when I listen to a band is think. The last thing I want to do when I listen to a band is go, "Oh, man! Let me think about the socioeconomic situation down in Nicaragua!"
I don't want that, bro. I'll find a party, you know what I mean? I want to escape from those kind of songs. I want to just enjoy; I want to get rocked by killer riffs, and killer drums, and insane vocals. I just want to enjoy the music for what it is, and not go, "What's wrong with this country?"...Fuck that, dude.
Levi: I'm guessing you never really got into Rage Against the Machine?
Stix: Ironically, I love Rage Against the Machine. I love the riffs. I guess it's a Catch-22, because the songs are so cool, and those riffs are so good, but I don't listen to the lyrics in a Rage song and get motivated, you know, charged, politically.
I listen to the thing as a whole, and I go, "God, that's rocking me." That's what I get from Rage. I get rock, but I don't go, "Oh, man. He's really talking about some serious shit," because I don't really pay attention to the words.
Levi: Yeah, for sure.
I'm just wondering, what other countries are you going to be playing this year? I know you go to places like Japan and you love the Asian hookers, so I'm wondering, is there a big Steel Panthers fan base in the Asian countries, too? What's it like to play there?
Stix: It's very different, dude, when you play in Japan. First of all, when we go to Australia, everybody speaks English so the communication is there right out of the gate. When you go to Japan, it's a whole different ballgame.
A lot of our show we're talking with the crowd, and they're so polite in Japan, they're so quiet, that when we first played there I was like, "Man, are they just not having fun?" They are having fun; it's just a cultural thing that they're so polite and so quiet while you're talking, and listening.
Wherever we play, it really becomes a party. Whether it's in Vancouver, Canada, or São Paulo, Brazil, it's a party because everybody likes vaginas and everybody likes balls, and that's what we do. Everybody likes good songs, and that's what we do.
Levi: I was just wondering ... I was watching a movie the other day, Almost Famous, and I just thought, "It'd be really cool if I could tour with Steel Panther."
I thought I'd put my proposal to you, because I think I could help out. I could make sandwiches for the band. I could inspect the groupies before they come in; make sure no one gets the fat one or the one with STDs.
I'm just wondering, do you think you could run it past the band? Put me on board your tour, get me helping out for the band, like your little servant apprentice?
Stix: I will throw it into the mix for discussion, Levi.
Levi: I'm very pleased.
Stix: Good. Yes. We will talk about it, and we will discuss.
Levi: Do you get groupies quite often wanting to come on the tour, or do you have a policy with that?
Stix: Oh no, there's a policy. Nobody rides the bus. No chicks ride the bus. Once the bus wheels start rolling, everybody off.
Levi: All right. So it's a one-time-only special?
Stix: One and done, dude.
Levi: Awesome, man.
Before I go, I'll just ask one more question. I'm just wondering, for all those bands that are trying to make it now, they're playing shows, they're not really going anywhere, what's the biggest bit of advice you can give them? What was the advice that helped you?
Stix: That's a good question, dude. So here's the advice: just keep fucking rocking, no matter what, because you're going to run into everybody and their mom who's going to give you every reason to stop.
Your parents are going to be concerned that you're not going to succeed in life. Record companies are going to go, "No, it's not good enough." People are going to tell you, "No, no, no, no, no," and you just keep going, and eventually you'll get good enough or you won't.
The one thing you will never be able to say is, "Yeah, I quit." If you really want to do it, the only way to really do it is to keep on rocking, for real.
Listen to the full chat!
The Steel Panther tour is only days away!!! Better get your ticket now! (Click The poster for a link to tickets)