As the music and hairspray world was recently rocked by the shocking news of the departure of STEEL PANTHER's original bassist Lexxi Foxx, the California glam metal jokesters have been endlessly reviewing submissions from their global search for a replacement. Singer Michael Starr, guitarist Satchel and drummer Stix Zadinia have been watching over 1669 individuals submit their videos playing various songs from the band’s catalog as well as explaining why they would be the perfect replacement. The collective brain trust of metal's sexiest trio has narrowed the submissions down to the final 32. In a March Madness bracket-style competition, the band is reaching out to the public to help narrow them down to the final eight. Each day, two new finalists will be posted at this location and the public will have a chance to vote on who they think should be the band’s new bassist. Early entries by Rikki Dazzle and Rikki Thrash have made it to the finals and both musicians will perform live with the band during their December shows.
STEEL PANTHER states: "Two finalists are in, eight more to be selected. That's where you come in! Welcome to 'The Road To The Road' tournament! From over 1669 submissions, we've narrowed the field to the top 32 and we want YOU to help us determine the top 10! Every day between now and December 24th, we're featuring two bassists as we work our way through the bracket below. All you have to do is check out the videos and vote for your favorites! Let the games BEGIN!!"
STEEL PANTHER will be rounding out the rest of the year with a handful of select tour dates. The band has eight shows remaining that will make stops in Las Vegas, Nevada; Louisville, Kentucky; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; St. Louis, Missouri; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Tempe, Arizona. The band will be ringing in the New Year in Suquamish, Washington.
Two months ago, Lexxi — whose real name is Travis Haley — 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."
When STEEL PANTHER first announced Lexxi's exit in July, 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.
During an appearance on a recent episode of the "2020'd" podcast, STEEL PANTHER guitarist 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."
Thirteen 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.
Haley, who was an original member of STEEL PANTHER, recently announced the formation of his new band HOLLYWOOD GODS N' MONSTERS with longtime friend and television celebrity from MTV's "Pimp My Ride", Diggity Dave.