There was a time when hair metal bands toured arenas and had their videos in heavy rotation on MTV. Nowadays, you’re more likely to hear everyone tell you that rock ‘n’ roll is dead.
But Steel Panther may provide evidence to the contrary. The Los Angeles-based comedic hair metal band has spent nearly two decades gigging regularly and packing houses. They play Ace of Spades on April 13.
“People are always going to say that rock is dead. It’s easy to say that because the recording industry is dead,” says Steel Panther guitarist Satchel. “We’re a bunch of old dudes. We don’t care if rock is dead. We were never in it for the money or the popularity—just for the genuine love of heavy metal.”
There aren’t a lot of newer groups playing ‘80s style metal these days, but when the old bands go on the reunion circuit, they still draw large crowds. And of course there’s Steel Panther, which draws a lot of people. As far as they are concerned, they are the best band in the world.
“Straight up, there’s not another band out there in the world that can compete with us,” Satchel says. “We’re the best looking, we write the best records and we’re the best live band out there. That doesn’t sound humble, but you can’t be humble when you’re as awesome as we are.”
The group’s rendition of ‘80s hair metal is spot-on in every way—the tight flashy clothes, the sparkling makeup, the high-pitched vocals, and of course the neatly manicured hairdos—almost comically perfect.
Steel Panther’s popularity can be at least partially attributed to nonstop gigging and word of mouth. They held a 13-year weekly residency at the Sunset Strip House of Blues, and according to Satchel, packed that club every week.
They’ve also toured relentlessly and released four records, the last three on Universal's label.
For the show at Ace of Spade, the band will play several Steel Panther favorites, but at least half of their set will be devoted to the classic ‘80s metal songs that defined that scene: Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, Twisted Sister, Guns N Roses.
It’s a comfortable role for the group, which started as a cover band.
What the group is doing now isn’t much different from what it was doing 10 years ago, and it’s unlikely to be much different from what it’ll be doing in another 10-20 years.
“I think it's clear at this point that we're going to be around for a while. Until somebody in the band dies we're just going to keep on touring,” Satchel says. “It's hard to predict the future but I do know that the future for Steel Panther is very bright because we're super awesome.”
When: Friday, April 13, 7 p.m.
Where: Ace of Spades, 1417 R St.
Info: 916-930-0220, aceofspadessac.com