- Michael Starr (Ralph Saenz) – zanger
- Satchel (Russ Parrish) – gitarist, zanger
- Lexxi Foxx (Travis Haley) – bassist, zanger
- Stix Zadinia (Darren Leader) – drummer, zanger, toetsenist
Metal Shop / Metal Skool (2000–07)
The quartet began to gain popularity on the Sunset Strip during the early 2000s under the name Metal Shop (soon changed into Metal Skool, then into Steel Panther). Their lineup consists of vocalist Ralph Saenz (“Michael Starr”), drummer Darren Leader (“Stix Zadinia“), bassist Travis Haley (“Lexxi Foxx”), and guitarist Russ Parrish (“Satchel”). The band did weekly shows on Monday nights at the Viper Room, and subsequently the Key Club, playing covers of 1980s hair metal hits while parodying the bands that made the songs famous. Despite the name changes, and some members putting in time in a Van Halen tribute band, they finally managed to gain some success. In 2003 Steel Panther released Hole Patrol, their self-produced debut extended play. The band appeared in a Discover Card advertisement as Danger Kitty and in the sitcom Drew Carey Show as themselves. Also in 2003, their song “Death to All But Metal” was included in a compilation CD called Hey, That’s What I Call Sludge! Vol. 1 put out by the Metal Sludge web site. Their cover of the song “Fantasy” by Aldo Nova was used as the opening musical theme for the MTV program Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory. On November 27, 2007 Metal Skool played original songs as well as covers of KISS songs at the Gene Simmons roast, they can be seen in the background of Gene Simmons’ reality show Gene Simmons Family Jewels. That year, they also appeared as themselves on Las Vegas in the episode “The High Price of Gas”.
Feel the Steel (2008–10)
In April 2008 the band decided to change their name from Metal Skool to Steel Panther, making a new debut at The Rockin’ Saddle Club in Redlands, California. In an interview with Michael Starr, he states that the band’s name wasn’t inspired by Steel Dragon, the band with Zakk Wylde and Mark Wahlberg in the movie Rock Star (in which Michael Starr makes a cameo appearance). In May 2008, the band signed a contract with Republic Records (owned by record label Universal Records) announcing plans for a new studio album.
Steel Panther released Feel the Steel on June 8, 2009 in the United Kingdom and on October 6, 2009 in North America through Universal Republic, making it their major record label debut. Feel the Steel debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Comedy chart, No. 123 on the Billboard 200 chart and would eventually peak at No. 98 on the Billboard 200 chart. The record features hit singles, “Community Property” and “Death to All but Metal” as well as notable guest vocal performances from Corey Taylor, Justin Hawkins, and M. Shadows. Sometime collaborator Dean Cameron, also credited with co-writing “Supersonic Sex Machine” on Balls Out, directed and co-wrote a pilot presentation in an attempt to land Steel Panther their own television program.
The record’s success also caught the attention of the Grammys, making it onto the “Best Comedy Album” ballot in October 2010, yet failing to reach a nomination.
Balls Out and British Invasion (2011–13)
Steel Panther released their second album Balls Out on October 31, 2011 in the UK and on November 1, 2011 in North America also through Universal Republic. Balls Out continued their revival of the 80s heavy metal genre and debuted at No. 1 on the UK iTunes Rock chart surpassing Megadeth’s TH1RT3EN and Lou Reed’s and Metallica‘s Lulu. Balls Out also debuted at No. 4 on the US iTunes Rock chart, No. 40 on the Billboard 200 chart and at No. 1 on the Billboard Comedy chart with first-week sales of 12,000 copies in the US.
Due to their growing popularity, Steel Panther were invited by Def Leppard to join them and co-headliners Mötley Crüe as “Special Guests” on the Mirrorball Tour in December 2011. Exactly one week after ending the UK arena tour in London with Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe, Steel Panther opened for Guns N’ Roses at the Forum in Los Angeles, CA on December 21, 2011.
On December 6, 2011, Steel Panther announced their second solo UK tour in support of their newest album Balls Out. Tickets for the shows went on sale on December 9, 2011, with many ticket providers selling out their allocations within a month. Brazzers sponsored the Australian tour of Steel Panther in early October 2012, which sold out in Brisbane, Sydney (two shows), Melbourne, and Adelaide. Another headline UK tour took place in November 2012. In late 2012, Steel Panther’s European tour was crowned a huge success. They played sold out shows, particularly in Germany.
Steel Panther released their first Live DVD British Invasion in September 2012. The DVD was released worldwide on October 22, 2012. The DVD was filmed at Brixton Academy in London and features a two-hour concert/documentary based on the band’s sold-out British tour.
Steel Panther played on the main stage at Download Festival in June 2012, during which they were joined on stage by Corey Taylor of Slipknot to play “Death to All But Metal”. Taylor wore wellies on stage. They played in front of a crowd of over 100,000 people. Steel Panther toured Australia in December 2013, supported by Buckcherry and Fozzy. Shows were sold out in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth between 6 and 12 December.:
All You Can Eat and Lower the Bar (2014–present)
In late 2013, Steel Panther announced a new tour in the year 2014, titled the “Spreading the Disease (S.T.D.) Tour”. They toured Europe throughout February and March 2014. In support of their latest album, Steel Panther began touring North America in May 2014, their first headlining tour of America. In June, they moved the tour to Europe and continued to tour through August 2014.
The band released their third studio album All You Can Eat on April 1, 2014 on the independent label Open E Music, via Kobalt Label Services. The album was officially announced in September 2013. The first single from the album is “Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World“. The second single, “The Burden of Being Wonderful”, was released January 21, 2014.
The third single, “Gloryhole”, was released in April 2014 on Steel Panther’s VEVO channel. On March 26, 2014 the album was leaked online and available for downloading on various websites, most likely after being streamed by the German tabloid Bild. The online stream was approved by Steel Panther.
It has been mentioned that the Sydney show was recorded for a DVD for a deluxe release of All You Can Eat, however it is currently unknown if it will be an Australia-only release. Steel Panther played the main stage at Download Festival in Castle Donington, UK on June 15, 2014. They were watched by more than 100,000 people and shared the stage with Alter Bridge & Aerosmith.
In June 2014, the band announced a short UK Tour with 4 dates scheduled for March 2015, supported by Skindred and The Lounge Kittens. The band sold out almost every venue on the tour, which included Wembley Arena, London. In April 2015, the group had a cameo in the music video for the Ninja Sex Party song “Road Trip” to tell of their sexual exploits that year. Michael Starr contributes vocals to “6969” on NSP’s third album Attitude City as the head Dick Elder.
On January 7, 2016, Steel Panther’s acoustic album Live from Lexxi’s Mom’s Garage became available for pre-order with the new song “That’s When You Came In”, preceding the album’s release on February 26. The band went on the Adult Swim call-in show FishCenter Live to promote the album on January 22, 2016. In September of the same year, Steel Panther released a cover of Cheap Trick’s “She’s Tight” featuring Robin Zander with the announcement that their fourth studio album Lower the Bar would be released on March 24, 2017.