Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: October 2009
Brian Rademacher: Hey Michaelthis is Brian Rademacher from RockEyez. How ya doiní today?
Michael Starr Hello Brian hold on a minute let me get out of the bathroom. How ya doin buddy, Iím ready to rock.
Brian Rademacher: Saw you recently at Mexicali Blues in New Jersey what a great show. I have been photographing bands for a long time from back in the early eighties and you guys are what photographers love. Great stage presences with a killer show. After the eighties it was a dry spell and all the stuff STEEL PANTHER is doing is the stuff I love and with a sold out show everywhere you play apparently everyone else wants the same.
Michael Starr Ya man your old school. That is what exactly what we set out to do ever since we started this band. We have always been a metal band and the damn point was we never got that deal. We actually split up got back together, split up got back together. I tried different projects. Satchel tried different projects. We got back together and we still couldnít get a deal and NIRVANA and PEARL JAM and that changed the whole climate in everything we believe in. A lot of our buddies cut their hair off, starting wear flannel shirts, jeans and combat boots and going alternative. Weíre not doing that man. We just started playing VAN HALEN, MOTLEY CRUE and GUNS N ROSES and people dug it. We just kept doing and doing it and started to add our songs into the sets. Our motto was weíre gonna bring heavy metal back and the way we want to bring it back and the way we want to bring it back is by personal experiences and how funny it may sounds to people and how ridiculous and shocking it is to people itís true and it happens. If you canít laugh at yourself and have fun itís probably not the record for ya.
Brian Rademacher: Well when we just saw you live it looked to me like you were having a great time on stage and enjoying every minute.
Michael Starr Yeah man when we went to see bands back in the day they had fun, they looked cool, it was a party and I wanted to be invited. Thatís what weíre trying to do and bring back that lifestyle and people are digging it. Itís not people like your age and my age itís people with their kids that are thirteen and kids in college that are coming. Moms and Dads are taking their kids to our shows because itís cool to see what mom and dad listened to back in the day and the kids love it.
Brian Rademacher: Are you a little surprised that the shows youíre playing are being sold out everywhere. Even the show in New Jersey at Mexicali I was about twentieth in line and a guy came out and said if you donít have a ticket you might as well go home because the show is sold out. Lucky for us your PR person Glen Parrish took care of us.
Michael Starr Yeah ya know, itís been this way since we started out. Our promoter booked the tour in London and they booked us in rooms that were small. They under estimated the power of metal and STEEL PANTHER and it turned out we needed bigger rooms. So they booked bigger rooms and they were sold out. We booked the show in New Jersey four hundred people. I mean itís not an arena, itís a club. Sold Out we could have easily done a venue for seven hundred people and maybe sold it out for two nights.
Brian Rademacher: I am sure that would have happened. Just watching the show and looking at the crowd all were having a great time and singing along to the songs. It was fantastic. Even my daughter Sara took my CD and told me thatís her favorite CD. Thatís my oldest daughter sheís eighteen and sheís singing the songs in the house. I told her she better calm down we have younger kids.
Michael Starr Michael is busting out laughing, ainít that crazy. Iím sorry about that, not really. When I was a younger kid Cheech & Chong came out my mom was like No you canít listen to that get rid of it. The first thing I did was get that and my friends got it, it was defiantly a statement.
Brian Rademacher: Yeah her favorite song is "Asian Hooker", hopefully she donít become an American hooker.
Michael Starr laughing: oh my God.
Brian Rademacher: Iím so glad that style music is coming back because itís my favorite.
Michael Starr Iíll tell ya we are having a heck of a time getting radio air play. Itís not because the radio director donít like the music, they love it. They canít get past the FCC, they can play a hip hop record about killing people and doing drugs but when it comes to a white heavy metal band singing about that stuff we canít do it. So we are coming through the back door, we just hit the billboards chart as the number one comedy record in American. We are going to bring heavy metal back; we are like herpes we just wonít go away.
Brian Rademacher: Congratulations itís a great record. Letís go back to your youth. Do you remember what the first record you bought was?
Michael Starr Actually, it was an a-track, no wait it was a 45 of QUEENíS "We Are The Champions". I took the bus to the mall and bought it myself. Then, after that I brought VAN HALEN on a-track and I listened to that over and over again. Itís my favorite record of all time and I also love SCORPIONS.
Brian Rademacher: Do you remember the first concert you went to?
Michael Starr Yeah I remember it well. I took a couple hits of acid and I went and saw PRINCE and THE STONES. All I remember is Prince getting shit thrown at him and getting booed off stage. THE STONES came out and all I remember I had to pee and had to hold it for seven eight hours.
Brian Rademacher: That was a great bill.
Michael Starr Yeah it was but I didnít that back then plus holding my pee for that long wasnít fun.
Brian Rademacher: How were you in school?
Michael Starr All the teachers liked me a lot because I could sing. I got in trouble a lot for talking and being disruptive but when I hit fifth grade the music teacher took a liking to me and started work with me vocally. I liked her a lot too, her name was Miss Sheldon totally hot with big boobs, and she had awesome boobs. When I hit a really hard note she would hug me, I really put those things together early in life and I said if I sing really good chicks will dug me. She would put in musicals and plays in school so people could see me sing and I thought that. But they just came so they could get out of class. But that was cool.
Brian Rademacher: Tell me about the ATOMIC PUNKS VAN HALEN Cover band.
Michael Starr That was the band that we started to play covers and we started another band a VAN HALEN cover band so I had two bands going because I needed cash. THE PUNKS were really good we did a lot of jamming and made some good money.
Brian Rademacher: Did any of the members of VAN HALEN ever come to any of your shows?
Michael Starr Yes I had the privilege of playing with Michael Anthony several times. I ran into Eddie a couple times at the store Staples and we talked and he thought the guitar player sucked and he told me our guitar playing wasnít that good. I said alright, already. Dave came to our show and ended up taking our guitar player and went on tour with him. Then he fired that guitar player and came back and took our new guitar player. He called us his farm team.
Brian Rademacher: Tell me about the time you were in L.A. GUNS?
Michael Starr Thatís was pretty cool that was like David Lee Roth and Vampires together. It was my first time being in a band that had record sales and making good money. It was a little hard for me to come in a replace a killer singer like Phil Lewis a great singer. I am a real fan of L.A. Guns. Its hard coming in to a band that had success and replacing their singing, it was a lot hard than I expected. I went in there and I didnít it my way.
Brian Rademacher: Yeah I was a fan of Phil Lewis when he was with the band GIRL with Phil Collin of DEF LEPPARD that was a great band.
Michael Starr I never heard of them, were they before L.A. GUNS?
Brian Rademacher: Yeah you gotta check them out. They released a few records that were amazing.
Brian Rademacher: You also played a small part in the movie Rock Star?
Michael Starr Yeah if you blink you will miss me. We did three days of shooting and I got to hang out with Zakk Wylde, Jennifer Aniston and Mark Walberg and the whole cast. I was in the trailer getting my make-up done and Jennifer was on the phone saying I love you too Brad and blah, blah, blah and she turns around and says how ya doing. I sit down and say holy fuck Iím sitting next to Jennifer Aniston. It was like cool. I couldnít talk too nervous. I also sung California Girls for that movie with her. Nobody knows that.
Brian Rademacher: So whatís your impression right now of the guys in STEEL PANTHER?
Michael Starr Well we are peeking now; we are like an NFL team thatís heading into the play-offs. Weíre so unified. We all have each otherís backs and nothing can break that core. We all have that same vision. The best way is call them my Brothers. We are stoked to be where we are at; we worked really hard to get here. But I gotta tell you it took a lot and in the past we wanted to kill each other and we actually got a therapist which was Lexxií idea. They call him a life coach; they actually work with corporation and departments and work with them to unify them. We were his first band ever and we put everything on the table about each other. Things that were pissing us off and we work with each other and grow. It was a great idea and helped a lot.
Brian Rademacher: How was it like being on stage having a chick in the front of the stage with her face in your crotch and even the girl from WDHA salivating at your dick? Thatís Godly!!!
Michael Starr I gotta tell you dude that fucking awesome. When I am standing in front of my closet and looking at my cloths getting ready to pick out what Iím going to wear on the road. I pick out things that will get a chick totally hot that was to suck and suck all night. So Iím going to bring this and I want to have that and match it all together and bring it on the road. When I get on stage and I have the chicks freaking out like that and wanting to fuck all night, thatís a great feeling and I accomplished something. I donít have a guitar; all I have is a microphone, a microphone stand, my voice and a cock. Letís be honest our drummer is not the hottest guy right. Straight up he still gets sex and he gets the most chicks if you add it up by weight. (both laughing) Stix is getting laid. I mean looking at STEEL PANTHER we have three guys that are lead singers that girls want to fuck and we have Stix. Not many bands out there now have three guys thatís chicks want to fuck. So we are pretty lucky.
Brian Rademacher: So tell me a little about the new CD?
Michael Starr The new CD "Feel The Steel" was produced by Jay Ruston he worked with Desmond Child. I was turned onto him by my trainer who is a band called PAPERBACK HERO and he just cut their record which sounded amazing. So we brought all these songs we had for a long time some fifteen years, some are newer and Jay worked with us. We actually started working on this record three and a half years ago self financing it and doing everything on our own because we couldnít get a deal and finally get a deal with Universal and started rerecording and working the record. We recorded sixteen songs and eleven made the record. So there are some B sides out there on the net, so start looking them up
Brian Rademacher: So you guys are off to Japan?
Michael Starr Yeah we are playing a show called Loud Park with JUDAS PRIEST, ANTHRAX, DOKKEN and US!!! Itís fuckiní unbelievable. Yeah in Japan I actually get to see over them because Iím talker than all of them. Last time we were in Japan I got hit on by a gay Asian dude, it was kinda trippy. He said Hi mister you want to have coffee, I no thanks dude (laughing). I told him Iím into blondes buddy.
Brian Rademacher: What are your hopes from here on in?
Michael Starr Itís really not hopes but I have a vision of the record going multiplatinum, maybe a top ten record, couple Grammys and we are going to be forced upon the media playing our record. So far our sales have already double from the first week and still selling and it shows people still want STEELPANTHER.
Brian Rademacher: I am so glad the US finally gets some metal of a vintage style and STEEL PANTHER is the way.
Michael Starr Letís me tell you dude if we can do in the US what we do in the UK that would be great. The UKL we get tons and tons of air play and they love it and we get tons of press like Kerrang, Rocks On, Metal Hammer and a couple other ones. Itís like the old days of Cream, Hit Parader and we are in every one of them. If people want to check that out we post that stuff on our site.
Brian Rademacher: Did you go into music for the girls?
Michael Starr I originally got into music because of David Lee Roth and Metal. I found out if I play music the teacher is going to give me those great big boobies, but as far as other things. I want a new car, a rockstar car and see what that guys doing, I want to do that now. Thatís my inspiration.
Brian Rademacher: So at what age did you first have sex?
Michael Starr I was a late bloomer, I was seventeen. Well with a womanÖ I still know her; she has five kids and lives in Wyoming.
Brian Rademacher: So whenís the first time you went muff diving?
Michael Starr Hot Damn thatís a great questions dude.
God damn, I totally like eating pussy, when I grew up and you saw a girl that had hair coming up from her shorts I would say I wanna fuck that bitch. I tell ya dude eating pussy is one of my favorite things and thatís why "Eatiní Ainít Cheating" is one of my favorite songs.
Brian Rademacher: Letís me tell you Michaelgoing to see STEEL PANTHER was amazing, you guys put on a great show enjoyable professional and everyone has a great time. I wish you guyís success and hope everything goes well.
Michael Starr Thanks buddy I totally enjoyed the interview, talk to you soon.
A live review and tons of photos will be posted shortly of STEEL PANTHERĎS Mexicali Blues show in New Jersey on RockEyez.com