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BALLS OUT. For Steel Panther, this is more than just an album title. It is a mission statement, a modus operandi, and a way of life.
Singer Michael Starr: “Balls Out says it all. It’s the way we rock out – with our balls out. And after a show, our balls are out too. It’s a double entendre!”
Drummer Stix Zadinia: “Balls Out describes our music, our band, our show, and our lifestyle. It encompasses everything that we are.”
Guitarist Satchel: “It’s more than a reference to our music. Balls Out is also a calling from a higher heavy metal power to live life with the pedal to the floor… And a reminder to take your nuts out of your spandex on a regular basis and let them breathe a little.”
Bassist Lexxi Foxx: “It’s bitchin’ to have your balls out. It feels good.”
STEEL PANTHER is the hottest band out of Hollywood since Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses and Poison ruled the Sunset Strip. Arriving in 2009 with debut album Feel The Steel – hailed by Kerrang! magazine as “close to perfect” – Steel Panther has won a legion of fans across the world. And now the band is aiming even higher with second album Balls Out. Released worldwide through Universal Music on November 1, 2011, Balls Out is another masterpiece of kick-ass rock and roll.
“This record is going to make the fans we have be even more into us,” Satchel says. “And it’s gonna appeal to a lot of new people too.” Stix Zadinia believes that Balls Out can be as big as the albums that turned Bon Jovi and Motley Crue into superstars in the 80s. “This will be our Slippery When Wet, our Shout At The Devil,” he says. Michael Starr goes further. “I think we’re surpassing Slippery When Wet. Balls Out is gonna be our Thriller!” But Stix adds: “Thriller is a lame analogy – it’s not metal.”
Balls Out features 14 new Steel Panther anthems, including 17 Girls In A Row, Supersonic Sex Machine, lead single If You Really Really Love Me, piano ballad Weenie Ride and the homage Just Like Tiger Woods. One track, provocatively titled It Won’t Suck Itself, features guest appearances by Chad Kroeger of Nickelback and former Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt. And comedian Dane Cook narrates the epic introduction piece In The Future.
Recorded in Los Angeles and produced by Jay Ruston, who also helmed Feel The Steel, Balls Out is described by Starr as simply “a great party record”. And as Satchel defiantly states, Steel Panther remains as uncompromising as ever: a band that will stick to its guns no matter what. “We’re already on top of the heavy metal hill,” he says. “We got there with our first record. And right now we’re just trying to keep other bands from knocking us off. We don’t wanna grow as artists. We wanna stagnate in our own coolness. And with Balls Out, I think we accomplished that.”
STEEL PANTHER was, for a long time, rock’s best-kept secret: a cult legend on the LA scene. But in recent years the band has enjoyed huge acclaim from fans and peers alike. At sell-out club shows in Hollywood, Steel Panther has been joined on stage by rock and roll icons such as Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Paul Stanley of KISS, Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, Justin Hawkins of The Darkness and all three members of Green Day. Across the Atlantic, the band has shared arena stages with ZZ Top and rocked an audience of 30,000 at the UK’s Download festival. And in Germany, Feel The Steel was proclaimed ‘Best Debut Album’ in the Metal Hammer awards.
As the four guys began work on Balls Out, they knew they had a lot to live up to. “Feel The Steel was so good,” says Satchel, “so there was definitely a lot of pressure this time. But we knew what our fans wanted – and that’s rockin’ songs about pussy and getting high and shit. Steel Panther is party music.” As Michael Starr declares: “Party metal is so awesome and fun. Everybody misses it. So we’re carrying the torch.”
What Steel Panther has achieved with Balls Out is a sophomore album to rank alongside the great second acts in hair metal: Shout At The Devil, Warrant’s Cherry Pie and Poison’s Open Up And Say…Ahh! “I’m not taking anything away from the legend and the legacy that those bands created,” says Stix, “but with Balls Out, only time will tell how much better it is than any other second record ever recorded – even Led Zeppelin II. I just don’t know that humans have heard the kind of sounds that are gonna come off this record – for better or for worse. Some people will say, ‘Stix, you’re high.’ And though that may be true, I stand by my words. Balls Out is certainly the best second record Steel Panther has ever done.”
STEEL PANTHER gave career-boosting cameo roles to a four of their rock star buddies on Feel The Steel. Corey Taylor featured on Death To All But Metal, Justin Hawkins on Party All Day (Fuck All Night), M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold on Turn Out The Lights, and Scott Ian of Anthrax on Asian Hooker. On Balls Out, there are three special guests. Dane Cook narrates In The Future with what Satchel calls “a really powerful vibe.” And on It Won’t Suck Itself, Chad Kroeger and Nuno Bettencourt bring their own unique magic to the party.
“Chad Kroeger wrote that song with us,” says Stix. “And frankly, he is one cool motherfucker. We went up to his pad in Vancouver, and this is a dude who has an actual ice hockey rink in his house. It’s mind-blowing! And Nuno Bettencourt delivered such a perfect solo for that song. He’s been Rihanna’s guitar player for the past two years, and he got really excited when we asked him to play on the record because he doesn’t get to play many heavy metal solos anymore.” Satchel adds modestly: “Nuno’s solo is so ripping, I almost didn’t have it on the record because it outshined me a little bit.” Lexxi Foxx is more philosophical. “For me, it doesn’t matter how we sound. But for this album I’ve had some more Botox done, and the pictures look amazing. We all try to look as good as we can – because it’s all about what’s on the outside, not what’s on the inside. If you look bitchin’, you’re gonna get chicks.”
For Steel Panther, taking Balls Out to the world is not a job – it is an honor and a responsibility.