In a brand new interview with "The Classic Metal Show", STEEL PANTHER drummer Stix Zadinia (real name Darren Leader) was asked if the #MeToo movement has made it more difficult for the him and his bandmates to continue performing songs that ooze with misogyny and sexism, and inviting girls up on stage to flash their breasts. He said (hear audio below): "I remember being at festivals a couple of years ago and we started getting questions about #MeToo. And they're, like, 'Are you guys concerned about it?' and we're, like, 'No.' We do what we do, and we fucking rock, and we sing about pussy and we sing about partying and we sing about heavy metal. And we sing about the shit that we do every fucking day. And there's no way that this band, that any one of us four, would ever consider going, 'You know what, guys? Maybe we should tone it down so we don't bum anybody out.' It's the whole reason we fucking started playing music, man. There's a freedom about being in STEEL PANTHER that we can say what we want, how we want. And the way that you feel about it as a listener, that's exactly what we're going for. We want people to fucking feel like they can just let their fucking hair down with STEEL PANTHER. That was very intentional. We're, like, 'We're not fucking changing for nobody.'"
During the same chat, Zadinia once again defended STEEL PANTHER against criticism over the guitar effect preset they released last year called "Pussy Melter". The "Pussy Melter" was blasted by a number of other musicians, who came forward to express their disdain for the name, citing its sexist undertones, and rallying for the product to be pulled.
"There were a lot of conversations about, like, 'I can't believe this is a real thing happening,'" Stix recalled about his band's reaction to the controversy. "It was never a question of whether or not we should continue down that road. And I think how we handled it — I'm proud of how we handled it. We didn't go after anyone. We didn't say, 'Fuck you!' We didn't go after the people who kind of came after us.
"Look, I get it. If you don't like something, that's totally fucking cool," he continued. "If you don't love STEEL PANTHER, or you hate us, it doesn't matter and everyone's entitled to however the fuck they feel. But the problem was, when people start going, 'I don't like that, so I'm gonna try to make sure nobody else has access to it,' that's where we fucking stood our ground; we said, 'Fuck that!' And that's what we were kind of railing against. That somebody was offended, I get it — that's cool. Not everything is for everyone. But you can't fucking police the world. When it comes to America and free speech and calling something a 'pussy melter' when you have fucking porn out there, people fucking on the tube sites — which, don't get me wrong; I fucking love it — but if you're offended by that, then just don't fucking watch it. But you can't try to shut it down so other people can't enjoy it. We were, like, 'Fuck you! You're not the boss of us.' … We can all agree on some certain shit that's not acceptable, and there is some shit that crosses the line. But 'Pussy Melter' is not one of them."
STEEL PANTHER's fifth studio album, "Heavy Metal Rules", will be released on September 27. The disc was once again produced by Jay Ruston, who collaborated with the band on all of its previous recordings, including its last LP, 2017's "Lower The Bar".