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Interview: Steel Panther's Satchel



I’ll be honest and say I’m envious. I went to one of your shows and there were wall-to-wall, smokin’ hot women everywhere. I was sitting in the back thinking, “Oh my God! My whole life has been a huge mistake!”

Next time you come to a show, come backstage and I will totally let you have sex with any groupies that are there. I’ll throw you a bone. Not a literal bone, but a figurative bone. You can have any of the groupies that are there after we’re done with them. Just wipe them off and go to town.

You’re a good guy.

Thanks.

I really like your acoustic solo on the song “Girl From Oklahoma.” You’re usually known for face-melting guitar solos, but that solo is simply beautiful. It’s art.

When you get that kind of inspiration, it has to come from somewhere like God or Allah or Buddha. I don’t even know who it is, but it’s something otherworldly… like someone sent it down from another planet in the solar federation and it came out of my fingers.

It sounds like you’re reaching into your softer side.

My what?!

Your softer side.

My what?!

It sounds like you’re exploring your softer side. Your delicate side.

I do have a softer side. Sometimes if I’ve been doing a lot of cocaine, I can’t get a boner. That’s where my softer side really shows. That solo is very melodic and very emotional. That song and that solo are there on that record for one thing. Let’s face it, girls love ballads, and it gets their vaginas very wet and moist. That way, after we’re playing a song like that, they come backstage and we can skip all the foreplay. We just go right downtown if ya’ know what I mean. We get to business and that’s what that’s there for. Girls think, “Oh that solo is so emotional. This guy is really a guy I can get to know.” They don’t realize that I really don’t want to get to know them. I just wanna have sex.

What’s your main stage rig?

I usually go direct into a Marshall JCM2000. It’s got a lot of gain, and I don’t have to use any external foot pedals or distortion or anything. I just crank it up. I don’t even use any reverb. I just go totally dry so you can hear every note, and then I let the sound guy put stuff on it so it’s all garbled out front.

Do you control everything from the volume of your guitar?

Yeah, I’ve got a footswitch that will switch me to a clean channel. Obviously you need that once in a while, but most of the time it’s distorted and loud. That’s what heavy metal is all about. Sometimes I’ll turn my volume knob down like old-school Van Halen for the cleaner stuff, but usually we’re just loud and distorted. I just use one rippin’ channel on a JCM2000 and crank it.

No pedalboard at all?

Not really. I’ve tried those before but most of the solos don’t have that many effects on them. Once in a while I’ll add some reverb and delay, or experiment with a new distortion pedal, but right now I’m just running it dry. To be honest, I do so many kicks and jumps onstage the pedalboard just gets in the way.

You wear your guitar very low and do lots of stage kicks. Do you ever accidentally smack yourself in the balls?

I do so much blow I can’t even feel my balls. One time I tried to throw my guitar around my back, backwards like the band Cinderella. I hit myself in the head. It was good though, because it’s when I started to write some of my best songs.

What’s your main guitar?

Right now I’m playing a Kramer Pacer. I have a couple of those and I’m diggin’ them. They were made a long time ago, and they’re just awesome. Totally vintage! I don’t know what kind of wood they use, balsa or basswood, but it sounds awesome—killer tone, sounds awesome, looks great and it’s got a Floyd Rose on it. They got the tone. It’s rad. I’ve got a Gibson Explorer that’s really nice too, but the Kramer is the main one I’m using now.

You have a lot of stylistic information on Feel The Steel. Who were your guitar influences?

I started out listening to guys like Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath and Ritchie Blackmore. One of my favorite guitar players of all time is Buck Dharma from Blue Oyster Cult. He’s one of the greatest rock guitar players that ever lived. His phrasing is impeccable. His note choices are phenomenal. There are other obvious guys, like Eddie Van Halen. He was great. Alex Lifeson from Rush is insanely great and underrated at the same time. I was inspired when Yngwie first came out. He had so much fire and feel. He was awesome.

I hear a little of that neo-classical style on “Asian Hooker.”

Yeah, there’s a little bit of Yngwie going on, but obviously Yngwie got a lot of that from Ritchie Blackmore. I’m classically influenced. I like Paganini even though I don’t think his hair was as cool as it could have been.

The hair styles were different back then.

They didn’t have hair spray back then, that’s the thing.

What do you listen to in your car?

The first Dokken record. I’ve been listening to a lot of Judas Priest lately, too. Sad Wings of Destiny is a great record. It’s all about the tunes. I’ve also been cranking AC/DC, Kix and Rhino Bucket lately. I’ve mostly been in AC/DC mode.


The guitar solo on “Stripper Girl” has this bitchin’ legato thing. It sounds like it’s all left hand with absolutely no pick. How the hell do you do that?

It’s a little bit of right hand, too.

But it’s so seamless. I can’t hear the pick attack at all.

That was intentional, because sometimes the pick doesn’t need to be used. That solo was one take in the studio. I dropped my pick but I just kept going. It’s a lot of left hand, but I do a lot of tapping with my right hand, too. I picked up the pick at the last minute to do a pick squeal. It worked out well. I like that solo.

Do you guys consider yourselves rebels?

In this age we are rebels because a lot of people are afraid to wear spandex and makeup. We are the new alternative. We’re the alternative to “Alternative.” It used to be that “Alternative” was the alternative to heavy metal. Now metal is the alternative to “Alternative.” So we’re like alternative alt. Control, alt, delete. That’s what we are.

What does the future hold for Steel Panther?


This record is going to come out, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to make us the biggest band in the world… probably bigger than U2 or Led Zeppelin. We’re going to be bigger than pretty much any band in the world, so after that things are going to get really busy. I’m probably going to have to quit my job at Target, and we’re probably going to have to tour. The other guys in the band sell drugs, but they’re going to keep doing that. That’s always good supplemental income and you can pretty much do that anywhere. We’re going to blow up, the record is going to take off, and we’re going to have to spend more time hanging out with groupies because we’re going to get hotter chicks.

Oh yeah.

The chicks get hotter, and it gets really hard to turn them down because you’re like, “When am I gonna get to have sex with this girl again?” So we’re gonna do that a lot, which is having sex and keep on rockin’, which is what we’ve been doing for twenty or thirty years. It’s going to be incredible. In between all that we have to write the next record. It took us twenty-five years to write Feel The Steel, so it’s going to be very difficult to live up to a record as good as this one.

I just hope you guys don’t lose the fire along the way.

We probably will. We’re probably going to self-destruct because we’re going to have so much success. We’re all probably gonna
SATCHEL'S GEAR BOX
Guitars
Kramer Pacer
Amps
Marshall JCM2000
Marshall 2x12 Cabinet
have to go to celebrity rehab. There’s going to be a lot of problems in the future, but don’t worry about it. If we do have another record that’s half as good as this one, you’ll be stoked. Expect the worst and be happy for mediocre.

Whatever you do, don’t mellow out.

Dude, there’s always gonna be distortion on my guitar



For more information on Steel Panther, check out these links:
Steel Panther Official Website
Steel Panther MySpace
Behind the Music Video