During an appearance on the latest episode of the "In The Trenches With Ryan Roxie" podcast, STEEL PANTHER guitarist Russ "Satchel" Parrish was asked if he can ever see his band transitioning into a more pop-influenced sound. He responded (see video below): "If you listen to our records, you can tell the radio's never gonna play us. We made that choice a long time ago, and it's a double-edged sword.
"It's even harder to get attention and to be heard as a new artist now than it was when we started, and we started more than 20 years ago, really," he continued. "And that was still when you could sell records; now you can't really sell records. So, really, just to get people to pay attention to you is a very, very difficult thing. But we made that choice a long time ago.
"We were always irreverent and we were edgy and we used a lot of cutting-edge, politically incorrect humor in our live show, and for me, the goal was to write songs that matched what we did as a live band. 'Cause we started as a live band, we've always been a live band first, and we have a great time live, and I wanted our records to match what we did live and write about the shit that we talk about live, which is sex and drugs and partying.
"Of course, we go straight for the jugular," Satchel added. "We don't use clever wording. That's the whole thing — we talk about exactly what we're talking about. There's no confusion when you hear STEEL PANTHER singing about something, and that's the beauty of it.
"You're always gonna have fans that tell you your new album sucks compared to your old album, 'cause that's just standard. But we just do stuff for ourselves at this point. And if we all love the songs, then we'll put 'em out. And if we don't, then we'll probably write more songs and put out songs that we dig. But that's also the beauty of where the music business is now.
"I don't personally feel pressure to write songs to get on the radio, 'cause there's not a whole lot of money in that anymore. We are a live band, and we write songs for our fans. Our fans are gonna get those songs for free anyway, so we just want people to enjoy it, and we wanna enjoy it. And if I wanna write a song about a gang bang at an old folks' home, I'm gonna do it, and I do it. It's part of the fun."
STEEL PANTHER's latest album, "Heavy Metal Rules", was released in September 2019. The disc, which is described in a press release as a "heavy metal version of a self-help manual and ultimate party album combined," was once again produced by Jay Ruston, who collaborated with the band on all of its previous recordings, including 2017's "Lower The Bar".
STEEL PANTHER specializes in imitating and exaggerating the less flattering aspects of 1980s hair metal, with unrepentantly crude, non-PC sexual content as a favorite lyrical theme.
The group's music has been described as "VAN HALEN meets MÖTLEY CRÜE meets RATT meets 'Wayne's World', complete with operatic shrieks, misogyny, shredding guitar solos and libidinal overdrive."
Twelve years ago, STEEL PANTHER changed its name from METAL SKOOL to its current moniker and shifted the focus of its act from '80s metal covers to originals.