Going ‘Balls Out’ With Steel Panther’s Lexxi Foxx
No one could possibly bring back the hair metal era of the ‘80s quite like Steel Panther. Their comedic yet skillful take on a genre that refuses to be forgotten is over the top, in your face and totally addictive, topped off with a side of equal parts Aqua Net, spandex and fishnet.
With a mission to bring back metal to the masses, Steel Panther returns with their second album, titled ‘Balls Out,’ boasting a wide range of ridiculously, sexually charged lyrics set to sing-a-long choruses, blow your mind guitar solos, and of course, a signature hair solo or two.
We recently caught up with bassist Lexxi Foxx to talk Steel Panther, Aqua Net, annoying celebrities and all things bitchin'!
So congrats on your new album ‘Balls Out’ -- why don’t you tell us a little bit about it.
For sure, we had some experiences on the road last time we were out, and what we did was we all wrote down our ideas. We came up with a bunch of good ideas and things we could write about for the record. We put them all in a hat to decide what one we would work on first and then we said ... no screw that … [guitarist] Satchel was just going to sit down and write songs about what he wanted. We all agreed to do that, when he wrote the songs, we'd go in the room and put in our two cents and that’s what happened. It all came out pretty bitchin’. We all had pretty cool ideas, but once we give Satchel an idea, he goes home with it … to his mom’s house, and works on it, and brings it to rehearsal the next day.
So how would you compare ‘Balls Out’ to your previous release ‘Feel the Steel’?
This record has different words and it’s a different album cover, so that’s a big difference. We’re not on the front cover, which kind of bums me out because I think we look bitchin’ but I think the chick is cool too.
I know, I kind of miss seeing you guys on the front.
Do you? Told you! That was my idea to put us back on the front but those guys said no. I think we look bitchin’! The chick looks cool, but I kind of like us on the front.
I noticed you were inspired by some pop culture icons throughout some of the songs; what can you tell me about the tune ‘Just Like Tiger Woods’?
I hope people don’t think that we’re dissing Tiger Woods; the song is saying that he rules. There are so many things he can’t do anymore, and we’re bummed for Tiger -- the text messages and all that kind of stuff will catch up to you. We’re kind of just saying that we’re the heavy metal version of Tiger Woods. He rules, and it’s not a diss on Tiger at all, we want to be just like Tiger Woods.
Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger collaborated on a song and Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt makes an appearance as well. Nuno strikes me as more of a serious guy, how did you get him on board?
Nuno is so great. I forget exactly where it was; I think we were doing an awards show and he had come backstage to say hi, he’s come to our shows before so we know him. We just asked him, “Hey Nuno, do you want to play on our record?” And he said, “Dude, I’d be totally stoked on that.” So he came in, he laid down the guitar part to ‘It Won’t Suck Itself” and that’s basically it. He’s such a bitchin’ dude, and now he’s playing with Rhianna; he was heavy metal before and he is still heavy metal because his hair looks bitchin'!
In your live show, you guys have created something that tops all solos with the hair solo! Do you remember your first hair solo and how did you come up with that?
I do remember, it was a long time ago. Believe it or not I think it was at the House of Blues years ago. What happened was Satchel said to me, “Hey Lexxi, why don’t you do a bass solo.” The drummer at the time did a drum solo, Satchel did a guitar solo, Michael did a vocal solo, and then they were like, Lexxi, why don’t you do something. Satchel said why don’t you just stand in the middle, stand there and look, and just flip your hair around like you’re at a photo shoot. And I was like “Oh I can totally do that!” So Satchel was on one side and Michael was on the other side, it was really bitchin' because I just had my hair highlighted and the tips done so it was really flow-y, and it started to fly and flop around. Everyone started clapping and I was like “YES! I can do something bitchin’ly!” And that’s the hair solo was born.
I know you take pride in your ‘bitchin’ good looks; would you consider yourself the style leader of the band?
Yeah kind of, I like to mix and match. I do, I really do. I like to shop for heavy metal bitchin’ stuff. I’ll look at the guys and make sure everyone looks good. Michael is kind of the hair guy, even though I take pride in my hair.
As far as make up and clothes go, that’s kind of my field right there. It’s really what’s on the outside, not what’s on the inside because no one can really see inside you. People see you on the outside so you need to make a long-lasting impression and look good all the time so people think you’re awesome.
I noticed that drummer Stix Zadina is rocking a new ‘do; he’s changed his hair from curly to straight. Did you have any influence in that?
Not really, he got a permanent done awhile ago and it was just so curly and just weird looking, so I said why don’t you just take it and straighten it out a little bit so it’s more flowy and when you rock, it looks bitchin’, maybe you can put a fan back there kind of like I do, but then I was like, no don’t put a fan back there because I want to have the only fan in the band. So what he did, he took a straightening iron and straightened it out a little bit. Now, I like it, I just think he needs a little more layers, we’re almost there but it’s very Crystal Gayle at the moment, but we’ll get it there. Stix looks great, he’s really been working out a lot, but we’ve got to get his tips done, and maybe some highlights, but I don’t want to focus too much on Stix, this is my interview.
Let’s get back to you. So in a recent interview, Satchel alleged that he played the bass tracks on the album; care to respond to that?
No ... I played the ... well ... you know, I played the original bass tracks on the album. I went in there and I did it, and if someone goes in there and redoes certain things, than that’s totally fine with me. I went in there and I gave it a shot. I listened to the tunes, I went in there, and I knew a couple of them. I rehearsed them the night before so I was ready for the studio and so I went in there and knocked them out. If they don’t like them, that’s fine. If Satchel went in there and rerecorded some different bass parts, then I’m cool with that but again, I don’t really care about the music. I do, but it’s more about looking bitchin’ and that’s why I wish we were on the cover, coming back to that earlier question you had.
I like when the bass sounds great, but its way more important when someone goes to a rock concert that they see bitchin’ kicks and bitchin’ flips and stuff like that, choreo-bitchin' moves that we all do at the same time, that’s what I focus on. Plus, I had to get out of the studio that day, I had to hurry up and do the last song, my mom has her sister in town, that would be my cousins, and I had to watch them.
Whenever Steel Panther plays in L.A. or Vegas, there’s always videos that pop up of celebrities in the music and movie fields that end up on your stage. Has anyone ever got onstage that you just wanted to kick off?
Geez-o-man, yeah! For me, there’s a lot of that. Some people are cool, some people I don’t mind watching get up there and watch them attempt it, it’s so funny that so many 'quote unquote' musicians get up, I guess a lot of them are drunk anyway, so I can’t really say much about anyone myself. For me it was fun watching Kelly Clarkson get up, or Jessica Simpson, because they’re hot bitches and I like when the chicks come up more than the dudes. Lindsay Lohan came up one time that was awesome. I think we did ‘Jessie’s Girl’ with Lindsay Lohan and that’s when I wanted to kick her off. It was fun looking at her a bunch but then when she started singing I wanted her to go far away.
I noticed you’re still rocking the old school, ‘80s, full on aerosol Aqua Net bottle, both on stage and off. Do you worry about what you’re doing to the environment to stay looking pretty?
Well, not really. I don’t understand why everyone is so concerned about the environment because whatever misses my hair goes on the ground, and then the janitor comes by and sweeps it all up anyway. It’s not going into the earth. It’s going onto the ground, and then it gets cleaned up, it’s not like I just leave my Aqua Net lying around. Plus, I wash it out, so it doesn’t stay in my hair and it doesn’t stay in the environment so I don’t know what everybody is all in an uproar about.
Where did you even find that stuff; I didn’t think they even made it anymore?
If you go to old vintage hair salons and they have boxes of it back there. Now, what they do is they order it just for me. I should be endorsed by Aqua Net, that’s the only endorsement I don’t have of products I use. That sucks.
For music fans who may be hearing about the band for the first time, can you tell us one random thing about each of your band mates?
Here’s what I can say, I can say that Satchel, he books all the flights. He’s really good at guitar. Michael [Starr], is the lead singer, and he’s kind of a combination of I would say Vince Neil and David Lee Roth, he does really bitchin’ kicks and he sings really, really good. Stix is the drummer, and sometimes when he gets mad he wants to punch people. And then me, I look bitchin’, and I think that I’m the bitchin’est looking one in the band and my ma always tells me that, too, so I know it’s totally true.
They’re my brothers and we’re bringing heavy metal back. It’s really tough to find three dudes as bitchin’ as those guys are to bring back heavy metal and tour the world. We’re going to the U.K .and then we’re touring with Motley Crue and Def Leppard, then we’re going to Australia, it’s all kind of crazy.
Watch the Steel Panther Video for 'If You Really Really Love Me'