STEEL PANTHER singer Michael Starr spoke to Ornella Carlone of Germany's Comebackstage about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's follow-up to 2019's "Heavy Metal Rules" album. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Satchel [guitar] writes all the songs for STEEL PANTHER, and Stix [Zadinia, drums] and I write stuff to Satchel's music. So, we've been able to finish two songs so far in pre-production, and then we have about 12 more that we're gonna record. So what we're doing is we're having a different process right now because of COVID, and the different process is we normally don't demo up what Satchel writes. He'll make a demo, and then we usually just go in the studio and then we add our parts to it. But this time we're doing it in pre-production, which means he writes a demo for a song, he presents it to us, we learn what we wanna learn and then add our personalities to the songs. But now we're recording 'em at Stix's house. Because we don't wanna spend the money on doing it with a producer, 'cause right now we're just barely making it. And we're not signed to a label; we have our own label. So whenever we put out a record now, we pay for everything upfront. So that's why we're doing it this way, this process — making sure that we're totally ready to go, and then we're gonna take those 14 songs and go record 'em for real, in a real studio and a producer."
Starr went on to say that he and his bandmates are in no rush to get the new music completed.
"As far as a timeline for our new music is concerned, we don't really have one because we don't know what the fuck's gonna happen," he said. "'Cause everything could shut down. Tokyo shut down yesterday, U.K. is getting more cases, and you just never know. So we're just gonna keep going down this path."
As for the musical direction of the new STEEL PANTHER material, Starr said: "I can tell you this: the cool thing about the music that we're doing is it's a departure from what we normally do, but it's all based on the same thing: getting fucking high, getting laid and partying. What STEEL PANTHER sells is fun. And I think the people need this right now. I know I do. I wanna escape and laugh and have a good time and rock. So, for me, performing is great. It makes me forget about all the bullshit that's going on, and I can just be in that moment and enjoy being around other people."
Last December, STEEL PANTHER released a re-worked version of its song "Fuck Everybody" from "Heavy Metal Rules", now re-titled "Fuck 2020". The newly recorded version included updated verses that reflect the insanity of last year.
"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."
Thirteen 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.