Michael Starr insists that playing in Steel Panther is not easy

Steel pant Vocalist Michael Starr said it wasn’t easy being a member of the band after they revealed the replacement for former bassist Lexxi Foxx.

The group announced his resignation a year ago, but only recently named Joe “Spyder” Lester—a longtime collaborator who previously covered Foxx—as a permanent member of the lineup.

“He’s doing good, man,” Starr said of Foxx in a new episode of the Everblack Podcast (video below). “He did exactly what he wanted to do. He started a family. He lives in Chicago. Him and his wife just had a baby.”

“We were together for 27 years, 26 years and we know each other’s mums and dads and all our cousins,” the frontman added. “We know everything about each other. So it’s been really, really sad not to have him in the band – but I understand why he does what he does. And he was one of those smart guys: he saved all his money up. Not me – I still live with my mother.”

Starr described Spyder as a “super close friend of the band,” noting his long history with Steel Panther’s newest member. “Actually, [guitarist] Satchel and I were in one Van Halen tribute band for a while and Spyder was the bass player in it. We have a rich history with him… He did all of Europe with us and he did a great job.”

According to Starr, the challenges of hiring a new bandmate included “trying to find someone who has the ability to make someone laugh, do choreography moves from 40 years ago, jump around the stage and know what to wear… And not only that – most people think that Steel Panther’s music is super easy to play, and it’s not. Satchel is an incredible writer and the stuff he writes? Not easy to play. So you really have to be able to play the bass, you you have to be able to sing, you have to be able to engage the audience, you have to be able to talk to them. There’s a lot that comes into play.”

Ultimately, Starr said the decision came down to chemistry, both on and off stage. “Seriously, it’s really hard to find someone who has all those qualities and you can hang out with them,” he explained. “The show is an hour and a half. The other 22 and a half hours we’re together… sleeping or hanging out, soundchecking or whatever. So that’s a lot of time spent together offstage. So you better be cool with him. “

Steel pant back to the road with a tour of New Zealand and Australia starting on Oct. 17, with dates in North America beginning on Oct. 28.

Watch Michael Starr’s interview

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