Niclas Müller-Hansen of Sweden's RockSverige.se recently conducted an interview with guitarist Satchel (real name Russ Parrish) of Los Angeles glam rockers STEEL PANTHER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
RockSverige.se: After several albums, is working in the studio still fun?
Satchel: "It's fun for me to write, and I love to write and I try not to force it. I know some people that have records and go, 'Oh, we need to do another record!' and they go into writing mode and they write for a month. I can't do that. I just like to write all the time and for me personally… when I have enough songs that I like and enough ideas that I like, then I develop them and if I end up having enough songs to do a record, then I start to do a record. But I certainly don't wanna ever do a record where I feel I have to put a record out, because nobody wants to hear that anyway. I want our fans to enjoy the record that I enjoyed making and if you're not enjoying writing it, then something's wrong. In our band, we really enjoy playing together and making records has always been fun. It's fun in the studio and sometimes it's too much fun because you end up fucking around. It's kind of a good thing that studio time doesn't really cost any money now, because we would probably spend more than we need to on our records. Now we can pretty much do our records in a bedroom and have fun and try out different dirty words."
RockSverige.se: About the lyrics then: There's a huge difference if you, for instance, compare the U.S. to Sweden. Over here, you can say pretty much what you want and nobody really cares and you won't get bleeped or banned, but it's a different thing in the U.S. Have there been instances where that has happened to you, where you won't get played or things like that?
Satchel: "We don't expect to be played on any radio station. [Laughs] It was like that from the beginning. I think we wrote 'Death To All But Metal', like, fifteen years ago, and at that point, we were, like, 'Fuck record deals and fuck radio! We've got our fans and we'll just make records for our fans and do whatever the fuck we want.' That was the fun of it, like, 'Let's do the dirtiest shit we can and make it very anthemic and hooky, because I wanna see girls singing the filthiest shit back to me smiling.' That was the goal from the get-go. The United States is way more uptight with, like, the FCC and getting stuff on the radio. Honestly, even if we could get on the radio at this point, it wouldn't fucking matter anyway. It's not gonna sell us more records. We just have fun and we get played where we get played and for us it's always been about word of mouth anyway. We started as a live band and it was, like, 'Let's get a gig and if they can keep us there for six weeks, we'll have that fucking club packed every week and people will tell their friends.' That's how it is with our music too. We'll make the shit that we wanna make, and, of course, there's gonna be people that hate us, but the people that like us are gonna like us a lot and they're gonna tell their friends. If you're a new band and you wanna get a following, you just gotta do the shit that you really like and really depend on word of mouth, because people don't trust anybody except for people that they trust. Nobody's gonna listen to an advertisement and go, 'Cool, I'm gonna go get that.' Nobody trusts the media, nobody trusts the advertising, but when your buddy goes, 'Dude, you need to fucking listen to STEEL PANTHER!' then you're gonna go, 'Okay, you're right! I'll do it.'"
RockSverige.se: Do you have a master plan with STEEL PANTHER or do you just go album by album?
Satchel: "I think any band can only take it album by album and tour by tour. Honestly, any one of us could be dead in the next five years. We're all getting fucking old. [Laughs] Partying, our liver could fail, anything could happen… drug overdose, heart attack. I think the goal is to keep rocking as long as you can. We're lucky, luckier than the vast majority of bands. We've been together for many years and we still enjoy playing together and we still sound good. Of course, the older you get, the harder it is to sound good, because it's a very physical thing, playing in a band, but as long as we can keep playing and people still enjoy the way we sound and enjoy our show, we're gonna keep going. Keep going until we can't go anymore. Like I said, if we can't do records that are good, maybe we won't keep doing records, but I think we'll always play live because we've always been a live band and I don't think there's a better live band. We're one of the most entertaining bands that's ever been, and that's why we have fans that can literally go to hundreds of our shows and they never get bored. That's how we started and that's how we'll probably die. We'll die on stage."
Read the entire interview at RockSverige.se.
STEEL PANTHER's new album, "Lower The Bar", will be released on March 24 via Kobalt Music Recordings.