STEEL PANTHER: ‘We May Never Find A Replacement’ For Bassist LEXXI FOXX
In a new interview with RAMzine conducted at this month’s Download festival in the United Kingdom, singer Michael Starr and drummer Stix Zadinia of Los Angeles glam-metal jokesters STEEL PANTHER discussed their ongoing search for a permanent replacement for their original bassist Lexxi Foxx. Michael said: «We tried out over… We had how many video submissions… probably [over 700]. And we went through every single video. And we did some test runs with some people. And when we find the right guy, you guys will know.»
Added Stix: «On this tour, we have our friend Spyder with us, who is a great friend and an even better bass player. He’s not that great a friend. I’m kidding. He’s awesome. We’ve known him since 1990. He’s one of our homies and he’s killing it. And we cannot wait to jam with him. But we are still searching for the permanent guy ’cause Spyder‘s got another gig; he’s got a paper route that he works on.»
Continued Michael: «We may never find another replacement for Lexxi. We love him. We miss him dearly. And I’m glad he’s doing what he wants to do in life. But replacing him, it’s like trying to replace Stix or me — it’s impossible. So we may never, ever have a bass player. We might just be trying out bass players until I die.»
Stix: «And every time we get a new guy, we just say, ‘Hey, come out. There’s no money involved. So just try out.’ We just keep doing it forever.»
Eight months ago, Lexxi — whose real name is Travis Haley — told Rocking With Jam Man that he hadn’t spoken with his former bandmates since his exit. «I still talk to the singer a little bit; I have in the past,» he said. «But I think that those scars and I think that the departure, the way that it went down, I think there’s some sore spots. But that’s tough for me to talk about.
«That was something that I’m very proud of — to be that character for such a long period of time, and to play with those cats,» he continued. «They’re all amazing musicians. And I just think that it is different to not have that [in my life] — I’d been in character for so long — but I have to say it’s a little refreshing as well.»
When STEEL PANTHER first announced Lexxi‘s exit in July 2021, the band jokingly said that Foxx «started his side business, ‘Sexy Lexxi’s Prettiest Pets,’ to bring in money for Botox during the lockdown.» After realizing that «his love for making pets pretty was greater than his love for being pretty himself,» he chose «to hang up his mirror and focus on his newfound passion: making ugly dogs pretty,» the group wrote in a statement.
Back in December 2018, Lexxi sat out a STEEL PANTHER tour after being admitted to «sex rehab.» The real reason for his absence was never officially disclosed.
During an appearance on an episode of the «2020’d» podcast, Satchel stated about Lexxi‘s departure: «We didn’t want him to quit. Nobody wanted him to quit, including a lot of fans. I’m sure a lot of fans are very sad that he left. But he’s the guy who left the band. I think he’s got his own things he’s dealing with, and he just wanted to go and do that. So, I don’t know… I can’t answer for Lexxi Foxx. But we will all miss Lexxi Foxx, and we all wish him the best in everything that he does. But we didn’t fire him; he quit the band. So we’re gonna have to move on and get somebody else who’s younger and foxier and doesn’t need as much Botox,» referencing the drug doctors have been using for years to treat wrinkles and facial creases.
Formed in 2000, 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.»
Fourteen 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.
Haley, who was an original member of STEEL PANTHER, recently announced the formation of his new band HOLLYWOOD GODS N’ MONSTERS with longtime friend and television celebrity from MTV‘s «Pimp My Ride», Diggity Dave.