Ex-STEEL PANTHER Bassist TRAVIS HALEY (a.k.a. LEXXI FOXX) Says He's Had To Put A Pause On Music While Focusing On Family LifeDecember 13, 2022
Former STEEL PANTHER bassist Travis Haley (a.k.a. Lexxi Foxx) has revealed in a new interview with Border City Rock Talk that he is "putting a pause" on his music career while focusing on his family life. The latest development comes more than a year since it was announced that Haley was joining HOLLYWOOD GODS N' MONSTERS, the new band featuring Travis's longtime friend and television celebrity from MTV's "Pimp My Ride", Diggity Dave.
Speaking about his decision to step away from music for a while, Haley said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "If it wasn't for these guys [in HOLLYWOOD GODS N' MONSTERS], I probably would have still been on break. Unfortunately, there was a lot of things that were on my plate that I didn't see happening when we initially got this thing going; there was a lot of hiccups. But for the most part, right now I can say those hiccups are… I'm thankful for them. I have a little baby girl now, and I relocated, and I moved just outside Chicago, kind of just to get out of that whole area and kind of just start anew with the family. And obviously I had to put a pause on music. And not being in the band that I was previously in, STEEL PANTHER, I don't know what I would have done. I'm glad that I got out when I got out, and then things happened the way they [did], because being on tour right now… It's tough enough to catch up with these guys on gigs, but I can't imagine being on tour… I'm just thankful enough that I'm able to get this time with my family and obviously to take care of myself, stay healthy and raise a beautiful family, a beautiful baby girl."
He added: "So that's where I'm at right now. And it does suck that I can't be there for a lot of the gigs, but in the meantime I'm thankful to have my extended family that's given me this time off. I'm thankful for their understanding."
When STEEL PANTHER first announced Lexxi's exit in July 2021, the band jokingly said that Foxx "started his side business, 'Sexy Lexxi's Prettiest Pets,' to bring in money for Botox during the lockdown." After realizing that "his love for making pets pretty was greater than his love for being pretty himself," he chose "to hang up his mirror and focus on his newfound passion: making ugly dogs pretty," the group wrote in a statement.
Back in December 2018, Lexxi sat out a STEEL PANTHER tour after being admitted to "sex rehab." The real reason for his absence was never officially disclosed.
Three months ago, STEEL PANTHER singer Michael Starr told the "Everblack" podcast that he was still in regular contact with Lexxi. "I just talked to him today," Michael said. "He's doing good, man. He did exactly what he wanted to do. He started a family. He's living in Chicago. Him and his wife just had a baby. So Lexxi Foxx is not gay. I thought he was gay this whole time. It's so weird."
Starr continued: "The party never stops. Just because he's not on tour doesn't mean he's fucking having a good time. And we miss him. I fucking miss him. And we still stay in touch and talk. We talk just about every other day — just stay in touch with one another. I mean, we were together for 27 years, 26 years, and we know each other's moms and dads and all of our cousins. We know everything about one another. So it's been really, really sad not having him in the band, but I understand why he's doing what he's doing. And he was one of the smart guys — he saved up all his money. Not me — I'm still living at my mom's. Let's go."
In September, STEEL PANTHER announced the addition of Spyder as the band's new bassist.
"Spyder has filled in for Lexxi many times," Starr told "Everblack". "He's a super-close friend of the band. We've known him for years. As a matter of fact, [STEEL PANTHER guitarist] Satchel and I were in a VAN HALEN tribute band for a while, and Spyder was the bass player in that. We have a rich history with him… He did all of Europe with us and he did a great job.
"First of all, I just wanna say this: Lexxi Foxxcannot be replaced," Michael added. "That's just the way it is. It's like trying to replace David Lee Roth, in my opinion. You can't fucking replace Lexxi Foxx. And also trying to find somebody that has the ability to make somebody laugh, do choreography moves from 40 years ago, jump around on 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's an incredible writer, and the stuff he writes [is] not easy to play. So you've really gotta be able to play bass, you've gotta be able to sing, you've gotta be able to engage the audience, you've gotta be able to talk to 'em. There's a lot that goes into it… Seriously, it's really hard to find someone that has all those qualities and you can hang out with them. 'Cause you think about it — the show is an hour and a half. The other 22 and a half hours we're together either sleeping or hanging out, soundchecking or whatever. So it's a lot of time to spend together offstage. So you'd better be cool with him."
Last year, Lexxi told Rocking With Jam Man that he hadn't spoken with his former bandmates since his exit. "I still talk to the singer a little bit; I have in the past," he said. "But I think that those scars and I think that the departure, the way that it went down, I think there's some sore spots. But that's tough for me to talk about.
"That was something that I'm very proud of — to be that character for such a long period of time, and to play with those cats," he continued. "They're all amazing musicians. And I just think that it is different to not have that [in my life] — I'd been in character for so long — but I have to say it's a little refreshing as well."
During an appearance on an episode of the "2020'd" podcast, Satchel stated about Lexxi's departure: "We didn't want him to quit. Nobody wanted him to quit, including a lot of fans. I'm sure a lot of fans are very sad that he left. But he's the guy who left the band. I think he's got his own things he's dealing with, and he just wanted to go and do that. So, I don't know… I can't answer for Lexxi Foxx. But we will all miss Lexxi Foxx, and we all wish him the best in everything that he does. But we didn't fire him; he quit the band. So we're gonna have to move on and get somebody else who's younger and foxier and doesn't need as much Botox," referencing the drug doctors have been using for years to treat wrinkles and facial creases.
Formed in 2000, STEEL PANTHER specializes in imitating and exaggerating the less flattering aspects of 1980s hair metal, with unrepentantly crude, non-PC sexual content as a favorite lyrical theme.
The group's music has been described as "VAN HALEN meets MÖTLEY CRÜE meets RATT meets 'Wayne's World', complete with operatic shrieks, misogyny, shredding guitar solos and libidinal overdrive."
Fourteen years ago, STEEL PANTHER changed its name from METAL SKOOL to its current moniker and shifted the focus of its act from '80s metal covers to originals.
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