Lexxi Foxxx, (seen here second from the left), bass player with Steel Panther, chats with Kevin cooper about what he does in his downtime, supporting Def Leppard and Motley Crew on their 2011 tour of Europe, his love of playing the Download Festival and the release of their forthcoming album Lower The Bar
Lexxi Foxxx is the bass player with Steel Panther, an American comedy rock glam metal band from Los Angeles, California, mostly known for their profane and humorous lyrics, as well as their exaggerated on-stage personae that parody the stereotypical 80s glam metal lifestyle.
Changing their name in 2008 from Metal Skool, the band signed a contract with Republic Records and they released their debut album Feel The Steel which featured hit singles Community Property, Death To All But Metal, and Eyes Of A Panther. The record’s success caught the attention of the Grammys, making it onto the Best Comedy Album ballot in October 2010, although it failed to reach a nomination.
Due to their growing popularity, Steel Panther were invited by Def Leppard to join them and co-headliners Mötley Crüe as their special guests on the Mirrorball Tour in December 2011. Exactly one week after ending the UK arena tour in London, Steel Panther opened for Guns N’ Roses at the Forum in Los Angeles, on December 21 2011.
Their second album Balls Out was received extremely well and led to them being asked to play on the main stage at the Download Festival in June 2012 before 100,000 people and they were joined on stage by Corey Taylor of Slipknot to play Death To All But Metal. Their third album, All You Can Eat led to a 2014 tour of Europe and was called Spreading The Disease (S.T.D).
With the release of their latest album, Lower The Bar, due out later this month, Lexxi has taken some time out to relax but he found the time to have a chat with Kevin Cooper and this is what he had to say.
Hi Lexxi how are you today?
I’m doing fantastic how are you?
I’m very well thank you and firstly let me thank you for taking the time to speak to me today.
Not at all, it’s my pleasure Kevin, thank you so much.
And just how is life treating Lexxi Foxxx today?
Life at the moment is fantastic, everything is great. We have got a new record coming out on the 24th March and I have to say that everything is really good. We have been given some time off to finish the record and it has been so nice being back here in Los Angeles. It’s been great to be in a position to recharge the batteries before we head off to Europe to promote the new record. I’m really looking forward to being back out on tour once again and being able to see the world again.
I first saw you here in Nottingham back in 2011 when you were supporting Def Leppard and Motley Crew at the Nottingham Arena. What surprised me was that the place was bursting at the seams; everyone wanted to see and hear Steel Panther. That simply doesn’t happen.
Wow! That was a really cool experience for us. Both of those bands especially Def Leppard have been huge influences on us and everything that we stand for which is whooping, bitchin’ and playing heavy metal music. We really were stoked to be able to play on that tour over there in the UK where Def Leppard are from and for us to be a part of that bill really was something amazing for us.
Everyone who I spoke to after the show said that Steel Panther should have headlined.
(Laughter) I don’t know about that but we were just thankful to be on the tour. Def Leppard are just the coolest band; Joe (Elliott) was so nice to us. It was such a humbling experience for us to be touring with those guys. They supported us in a way that we can only thank them so much for. They really were so kind and after that tour we have since used their wardrobe people. A lot of the people on their crew are now on our crew; they really were just so very kind towards us. I’m really pleased that you got to see us with them.
How do the UK audiences treat you, do they appreciate what it is that you are doing?
Yes they do, they really do get what it is that we are trying to do. I really feel that I should say a massive ‘thank you’ to all of our fans over there in the UK because it was you guys that put us on the map back in 2009 when we released Feel The Steel. We actually have more fans over there in the UK than we actually do here in the States (laughter). We love to tour the world but the UK is and always will be so special to us; we get treated so well whenever we are over there. You guys have just taken us under your wing in the UK and anywhere we go over there the fans have been totally amazing. So I would suggest that you keep an eye out for the new album because if there are any kind of treats or gifts that go with the new record, you guys will get them first (laughter).
Lower The Bar will be released on 24th March, are you pleased with the record?
We are so excited for this record. Of course we are going to say this because it is our record but I personally think that it is our best work so far, I really do. Satchel has written some songs which truly reflect our experiences of touring together with being in a band that is on the road all of the time. There are a lot of songs that he comes up with and I sometimes read them wrong and push in the wrong direction but that’s okay, that doesn’t matter as long as I look good, that is all that I give a shit about (laughter).
I’ve been looking at your tour schedule for this year and it doesn’t look as though you will be able to fit the UK in this time around?
I think that it is going to be one of those things where it is not going to be something huge because we have been beating it up so much over there towards the end of last year. What we are going to do is if we do anything then it is going to be random and something quick. Michael and Satchel were recently over there doing six solid days of press in order to support the record. As a band we will probably go over to the UK but it will be unannounced because we recently did a run over there. In fact we have been over there a bunch so I think that we are going to wait this one out but if we do play something it will be a small intimate affair. If we don’t get over this time then I guarantee that the next time that we tour the UK it will be a big one. We really would love to play Wembley again perhaps with a couple of good acts but at the same time we really want to let this new record soak in a little bit.
On the subject of small intimate gigs, on Sunday 11th June you will once again be playing at the Download Festival. Are you looking forward to that?
Yes we are, and you have absolutely no idea just how much playing Download means to us. Speaking of the UK and us being over there, when were there in 2009 that was our first time playing Download and let me tell you I had goose bumps. Not the goose bumps down my penis but goose bumps all up my arms. Satchel said that it was herpes on my arms but when I was backstage they were covered in goose bumps when I heard tens of thousands of people all shouting ‘Panther, Panther, Panther’ and you have to remember that this was the first big show that we had played after Feel The Steel had been released there in the UK. It really was our first big tour experience and for us to be greeted like that playing during the daytime on the Third Stage, well we simply couldn’t believe it.
That was a very humbling experience for us; we just couldn’t believe it. That was the coolest situation that Steel Panther had been in, I can’t even remember in how long. We love playing the Download Festival. We may miss a year due to recording commitments together with the fear of wearing ourselves out but it has been such a humbling experience for us to go over there and to be treated as we are, especially at the Download Festival which is my favourite, it really is. Hands down it’s the best one, it really is. It is such a treat for us to be there and again for us to be asked back especially with this new record. Playing new songs; we feel like our fans deserve to be treated to a new record and new material.
Going back to the album I really do love what you have done with Cheap Trick’s She’s Tight. Who’s idea was it for you to cover that particular song?
It was a group decision to cover that track because back when we were all kids we started out as a cover band. We would travel around just playing songs from the bands that we liked and all of the band love Cheap Trick. So we thought that we would do something like that. We wanted to give something back to one of the bands that all four of us love; a band that we have always loved and we just thought that it would be a cool bonus thing to put that track onto the record. We never intended to make a video for the song but we thought, what the hell, why not (laughter). So we put it out there especially for our younger fans so that we could try to let them know that Cheap Trick are bitchin’. So we are all hoping that by putting the track onto the new record the younger fans will hear it and say ‘who the fuck are they’ and then go and look up Cheap Trick. Hopefully they will then see just how kick ass Cheap Trick are.
I have to ask you is there anyone or anything that is off-limits?
No I don’t think so (laughter). I think that if there is anybody or anything that affects us or affects anything in the world then the rest of us will take lyrics and ideas to Satchel and that is how we usually do things. It’s great for us to be able to sing about a dickhead such as Kanye Omari West (laughter). I suppose that I really shouldn’t say that but we would be happy to use it in a song, let me just say that.
And when Lexi Foxxx has any down time, who does he listen to?
Whenever I do manage to get any downtime I tend to stick to my roots. To be honest there is not a lot going on right now that I will listen to and so I tend to play the same stuff that I did as a kid. I still listen to Ozzy (Osbourne) and okay, if you want me to be totally honest with you, sometimes I will listen to some R&B. In particular some of the early Michael Jackson things I will be happy to listen to for a while but then that’s it I will simply go back to Heavy Metal (laughter). Once I have stopped dancing around and moonwalking on my carpet I will go back to my roots and listen to Whitesnake, Cinderella, Dokken, Europe; I really do still love listening to all of those guys.
How long does it take for you to get ready to go out on stage, especially with your make up?
(Laughter) out of the entire band it takes me the longest. I also have to have the biggest dressing room too because the rest of the guys don’t want to be anywhere near me because there is makeup going all over the place. If I am being totally honest with you it probably takes me about an hour and ten minutes to get myself ready. However, the older I get the longer it takes. Even though I have some time off right now, I am currently in Beverley Hills getting some plastic surgery. I am having needles poked in and pulled out; I am getting my hair highlighted; I’m getting my face all stitched up and pulled back together with a whole bunch of staples in the back of my head and all that kind of shit. So in answer to your question, the older I get the longer it takes.
What would you say has been the highlight of your career so far?
That’s easy, being in this band and putting out as many records as we have together with touring all over the world, in particular Australia, Japan and the UK. Every night is a highlight. I’m just thankful to wake up every morning and to be alive, I really am. That’s it. If something happens tomorrow and I die, you know what, then the highlight will have been my life. It has been a real highlight for me to have been in this band, to have been able to tour the world, and put my penis into a bunch of girl’s vaginas and party but once again, I’m old so I no longer take anything for granted. It could all go crashing down in flames any day so I feel thankful to be able to do what I am still doing.
What was the first record that you bought?
The first record that I bought was Off The Wall by Michael Jackson. That was the very first record that I bought because my mom was poor, she wasn’t hot back in the day so she couldn’t make a lot of money out there on the streets. So I had to wait until I was a little older to be able to afford a record so I think that was probably the first one.
Who did you first see performing live in concert?
Okay now, but you can’t print this shit (laughter). I have to come clean and tell you that the very first person that I saw live in concert was Kenny Loggins.
Exactly, Kenny Loggins (laughter). Again my mom was on the streets and wasn’t making as much money as she could so any band that came into town she would sell herself and Kenny Loggins liked my mom so we stayed on his tour bus for a little bit. I was a lot younger then and we did whatever we could for cash back in the day.
What was the last song or piece of music that made you cry?
I was watching the Grammy Awards not too long ago and whatever the last song was played at the awards made me cry because I simply cannot believe just how shitty music is today (laughter).
Great questions Kevin and thank you for having me. Thank you so much and I look forward to seeing you the next time that we are over in the UK. Bye for now.