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The story behind the song: Death To All But Metal by Steel Panther

Michael Starr and Satchel on the track that made Panther megastars

It's a reworking of an old song

Satchel: “When we started to focus on Steel Panther being what we are today, we had a lot of riffs laying around for other songs. The lyrics changed over time. We were bagging on other bands, then 50 Cent came out and we had to throw him in there. It was one of the first songs we did and today it defines what we do – we are heavy metal, we own it and live it every single day."

Kanye inspired the vocals

Michael: “When we were recording in the studio, I was having a hard time making it sound how we wanted it to sound, so we put up pictures of all these bands that we fucking hated in the vocal booth. It was mostly rap and hip hop, and I’d look at them and totally get inspired by how sucky they were. There was big picture of Kanye West and I was like, ‘I hate that guy!’ I wanna thank him personally for inspiring me to sing Death To All But Metal as well as I did.”

We thought 50 Cent might kill us for trash talking him

Michael: “I really thought we’d get a cap in our ass from 50 Cent because that dude’s been shot himself. He doesn’t take himself too serious either, though, obviously.”

Satchel: “That’s because he’s got fuckin’ a billion dollars. And I don’t think he’s got heavy metal in his record collection so he probably hasn’t heard us. But we did write a song about Tiger Woods and I play golf, and I really wanna know if Tiger Woods has heard it. I’m friends with people on the PGA Tour and they’ve told me that he’s heard but I wanna know for sure. If I was Tiger Woods and I heard that song, I’d be cranking that shit up all the time like, ‘Yeah! This is my jam! I fuck the bitches!’

Some bands enjoy being ragged on

Satchel: “The Goo Goo Dolls were the first band we called out – the first lyric is ‘Fuck The Goo Goo Dolls, they can suck my balls’ and those guys put the video on their webpage as soon as they saw it. To them it was awesome. I thought it was really great that they didn’t take themselves too seriously. Let’s face it, we don’t take anything very seriously, and that’s a good way to live. If you take yourself too seriously you’re going to be fucking miserable.”

We didn't realise what a hit we had on our hands

Michael: “We didn’t know it was going to get airplay, I didn’t see that coming, but I heard it on satellite radio and I was like, ‘Holy shit, they’re actually playing it!’ The President of our label actually wanted it to be the first single. I can’t believe he did that, I thought it’d be Eyes Of A Panther, but he said we had to make a statement and this was the song.”

Satchel: “It was a wise choice – it was the song to open up with and it’s still the song we close every show with.”

The video set records at MTV

Michael: “We got a list from MTV for our video about what we’d have to take out for it to be on MTV and it was a record- setting list of edits. It would have just been a long beep. I still have the list that they sent, framed in my studio.”

Satchel: “But it was good, it was about three weeks before MTV went off the air. Like it says, ‘Fuck those fucking fuckheads who programme MTV…’”

Michael: “All the PDs [programme directors] at MTV can suck my dick.”

Lower The Bar is out now via Steel Panther Inc/Kobalt. Steel Panther are playing Chicago Open Air, which takes place July 14-16, where we'll be celebrating 30 Years of Metal Hammer. Tickets on sale now.


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