STEEL PANTHER drummer Stix Zadinia says that his band “really felt unwelcome” during its tour with MÖTLEY CRÜE several years ago.
The Michael Starr-fronted glam rockers from Los Angeles, California, who are mostly known for their profane and humorous lyrics, as well as their exaggerated onstage personas that parody the stereotypical 1980s “glam metal” lifestyle, have shared the stage with some of the biggest rock bands in the world, including DEF LEPPARD and JUDAS PRIEST. But while many within the rock and roll world “get” STEEL PANTHER, not everyone was as friendly and accommodating, according to Stix.
The drummer, whose real name is Darren Leader, told Music Life Magazine: “[MÖTLEY CRÜE members] Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx did not like it when we went on tour with them in 2011. And that was the only time that we really felt unwelcome. The thing with those guys is I think they thought we were actually making fun of them directly. And I just gotta chalk that up to their egos being too big, because nothing that we do has anything to do with them directly. But we ended up doing the tour and it went off great and everything was totally fine,” he said, adding that it was a European tour and that DEF LEPPARD was actually the top-billed band on the jaunt.
“LEPPARD was fully supportive of it,” he continued. “They were amazing dudes, and I am not kidding you, that on the first day of the tour, they knew every single one of our names. And when you’re DEF LEPPARD, you don’t have to do that. It’s just a testament to the kind of dudes those guys are, all of them. They and their crew were very, very generous.”
Despite MÖTLEY CRÜE’s apparent reluctance to embrace his band, Stix believes that STEEL PANTHER is “very accepted now. I mean, JUDAS PRIEST took us on tour with them and now we’re out with STONE SOUR, which is a heavy band that is taken pretty seriously,” he said. “We have worked to become sort of a rock and roll staple. Corey [Taylor, STONE SOUR frontman] is a huge fan and all those guys in STONE SOUR are super cool. If a dude like Corey Taylor, who is in SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR, can appreciate what STEEL PANTHER does, then I think even the most hardcore metal fan should at least give it a shot. We may not be your cup of tea, but you can’t just write us off before you’ve given us a fair shake.”
Sixx told Australia’s Music Feeds last November that he didn’t care for STEEL PANTHER’s music. “You know, it’s not my thing,” he said. “That’s just me personally. I don’t know. It doesn’t feel… I guess a lot of people think it’s funny and they’re kind of a joke band and that’s cool. But that’s not my cup of tea. I kind of take my music a little more seriously.”