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| 18 November 2023 | Reply

Photo credit: Todd Jolicoeur – Toddstar Photo

According to a recent press release: “California’s greatest export Steel Panther are doing their part to share the message that things aren’t always what they seem online with their new music video for “On Your Instagram.” The band felt it was important to issue this public service announcement that aligns with the lyrics from the fan-favorite track off the band’s latest album On The Prowl. The song talks about how the Instagram age of fake setups and heavily filtered photos has ruined society. It is only being exacerbated with recent AI craze. The video follows the assistants of two social-media influencers as they question the false realities they are perpetuating for their bosses. The influencer’s worlds come down when the assistants quit after deciding to be the real version of themselves.” After some issues with connections and transcription, drummer Stix Zadinia offered up another opportunity to jump on the phone to discuss some upcoming shows at The Machine Shop and more…

Toddstar: Thanks for round two Stix. I appreciate it, brother.

Stix: My pleasure, bro. How are you?

Toddstar: Good. I’m so excited. A double dose of Steel Panther coming to Flint, MI’s The Machine Shop in December on the Holidaze tour. What is it about Steel Panther that works with places like The Machine Shop across the world where you guys can sell out and have multiple days?

Stix: First, The Machine Shop, let’s face it, it’s a dirty rock club, right? It’s a dirty, sweaty, beautiful rock club. Legendary if I do say so, and what Steel Panther and The Machine Shop have in common is we’re both dirty, we’re both rock and roll, and people love to come see us and get super weird. So, I think you factor those two things in, they go hand in hand. I think there’s no better place for us to play than The Machine Shop or somewhere like that because it’s all about rock and roll.

Toddstar: I couldn’t agree with you more. I have a flight booked so I can get back from Tampa to fly into Flint to see one of the shows in December.

Stix: That’s awesome, dude.

Toddstar: This is being booked as the Holidaze tour.  In the past you dropped a couple holiday singles. Are there any other holiday surprises other than the normal Steel Panther shenanigans up your tattooed sleeves for this run?

Stix: Dude, no. You know us, we do one thing and we do it well. We play rock and roll, and we wear Santa Hats during the holidays. That’s what you’re going to get. You’re going to get Santa Hats, you’re going to get going to get some rock and roll, and you may get an STD.

Toddstar: Awesome. Well, you are about nine months out from the release of On the Prowl, so it’s out there infecting the masses. What can you tell us about the album looking back that you think the fans either didn’t get then or still don’t get, even though they’ve been spinning it for nine months?

Stix: That’s a hard question to ask answer because I’m not them, but it seems like people are getting it. I guess the one song on the album that didn’t get as much love as I hoped that it still will is a song called “Magical Vagina.” It’s a celebratory song and I think that both males and females should embrace it.

Toddstar: I always appreciate when males or females embrace magical vaginas for sure.

Stix: Oh, everybody does.

Toddstar: Currently, “On Your Instagram” is the one that I’m spinning the most. It’s so hook laden, so catchy, and so relevant. My question is how have you guys been able to avoid, so-called cancel culture? You guys push every boundary possible and yet there’s not a new Tipper Gore out there trying to take you off the face of the earth.

Stix: I think because we’ve been doing it so long that people are just like, “Oh, that’s just Steel Panther.” When we say stuff that might be shocking or considered politically incorrect, I think people just assume it’s okay thinking “That’s just what they do.” It’s like trying to cancel Eddie Murphy for Delirious. You can’t because it was killer when he did it and you can’t cancel Eddie Murphy and I just don’t think that you can cancel Steel Panther because it is what we do and if you don’t like it, just turn it off.

Toddstar: I agree with that. Stix, looking back over the last couple of years with the shutdown, the change of the music industry, and everything else, how different was it for you all from start to finish? Was the process a lot different? You have a new bassist in the fold and stuff like that.  How different was the actual writing and recording process for you guys?

Stix: Well, it was very different for us to record this record because we did it all at home on our own. We didn’t go to a big studio and hole up for a few weeks and we did it literally at home. I had Michael start coming to my house to do vocals. Satchel did all the guitars at his place, Spyder did bass at his place and then I did drums. I did go into a room to record drums that was sonically appropriate and then we had Jay Ruston mix it.  That was the difference for us and it’s something that we’re really proud of.

Toddstar: Is there anything you would’ve done differently looking back at it or are you happy with the way this turned out and the progression and the advancement of the Steel Panther cause and sound?

Stix: No, dude. I’m super happy with how it sounds. It sounds like a $100,000 record to me, and we did it for a fraction of that and I’m super proud of what that record sounds like. I’m super proud of how it sounds and the vibe of it. It’s a fun record.

Toddstar: It’s definitely a fun record. I have songs that I keep going back to time and time again. “1987” cracks me up. That’s the years I graduated high school, so it’s so relevant to me every time I listen through it. Looking back at this album, are there any songs – you already mentioned “Magical Vagina” that didn’t get the attention you wanted it to – that you wish you guys could or would dust off and throw into the live set?

Stix: That’s a hard question to answer. I think I would like to do a song called “Heavy Metal Rules” from the Heavy Metal Rules album because it’s a heavy-duty song and I think people would dig it, but I think it might be slow for a live set if I’m being honest.

Toddstar: Well, looking at you specifically Stix, you’ve done some stuff outside of the realm of Steel Panther, and you’ve been able to have collaborators within the realm of Steel Panther. I love the stuff with Crobot. Who’s out there that you’d still like to work with?

Stix: I’d like to do a duet with Fred Durst from Limp Bizkit, and I would like to write a ballad for James Hetfield to sing. Those would be the two people I’d like to collaborate with.

Toddstar: Fair enough. Who out there still inspires you to get behind a kit and do what you do daily?

Stix: Rod Morganstein from Winger on drums and Bobby Flay the chef. That guy loves what he does.

Toddstar: Is that because you’ve truly crossed that line of do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life?

Stix: It is dude. I play drums in a band, and we sing about chicks and partying. I mean that’s the dream, right? You want to do what you love, and I am fortunate enough to get to do that. It’s not lost on me.

Toddstar: That’s awesome. If you could go back through the Steel Panther catalog and pick out one song title that you think would describe and be an appropriate epitaph on your tombstone at the end of the day, what song do you want to be your encapsuled nutshell, so to speak?

Stix: I’m trying to think. “Death To All But Metal.” That would be the thing that would encapsulate my whole existence.

Toddstar: If you could talk to a young Stix Zadinia way back when he decided to sit behind a kit, hold a set of drumsticks, and venture into this crazy world called rock and roll, what piece of advice would you give yourself back then knowing what you know now?

Stix: Oh man. Always check id. That would be the first one. Dude, always check ID and then always have a number for a rock doc so you can get a shot of penicillin when you need it. That’s what I would tell myself.

Toddstar: (laughs) Living the dream for sure. With the end of the year and the days coming up and then the holidays, what’s next for you guys? I know you guys are only about a year out, you’re usually a couple of years with releases. Are you looking to take On The Prowl out for another spin next year live? Are you, are guys already thinking about the next rock record? What’s going on with you guys and the future?

Photo credit: Todd Jolicoeur – Toddstar Photo

Stix: Well, we had our meeting, we have weekly meetings, and we talk about what we want to do, and we talk about creating content. We’re talking about doing an EP, a whole bunch of different stuff. It’s hard to say right now because we’re so enmeshed in this tour cycle, but there’s no shortage of things that we’re talking about doing. So, I can’t give you any specifics because we don’t know exactly yet, but we’re talking about a whole plethora of things. Sure. We ain’t stopping.

Toddstar: That’s what I wanted to hear. Final thing Stix… I know you’re a busy guy and I again appreciate you giving me a second round at this, but going back through the history of time, if you could pick one album that influenced you, that you would’ve wanted to be there, whether it was recording, writing or just being in the room, all magic was made. What album resonates the most with you through the history of your life?

Stix: Well, there’s two. There’s the Beatles White Album and Poison Look What The Cat Dragged In.

Toddstar: You couldn’t have picked a more diverse Fab Four.

Stix: That’s what I’m saying. And when you say Fab four you mean Poison. I get it.

Toddstar: Like I said, I graduated in 1987. I absolutely mean Poison. Well listen man, I appreciate the time. I appreciate all you guys do. You guys have made this so much fun from the first time I was turned on to Steel Panther. I can’t wait to rock The Machine Shop on December 6th with you guys. I wish you guys well and safe travels until then.

Stix: Thank you, brother. I’ll see you out there and thanks for the time. I appreciate it.

Toddstar: Sounds good, man. Talk to you soon.

Stix: Okay dude. Take care.








Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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