November 9, 2014

Mark Weiss of recently conducted an interview with vocalist Michael Starr of Los Angeles glam-metal jokesters STEEL PANTHER. You can now watch the chat below.

Speaking about his early musical influences, Starr said: "For me, when VAN HALEN came out, that started the heavy metal of the '80s as I know it today. David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen… it was awesome, man. And I would study those videos and just, like… I watched 'Jump' probably four or five thousand times back in the day on MTV. And every now and then, [if you were] watching MTV, you [would] have to watch TRIUMPH or THE FIXX to get to VAN HALEN, which was a bummer… It's all these other stupid bands… But I love that stuff. That was, like, the main artery… That was, like, the heroin of rock for me — VAN HALEN."

Starr — real name Ralph Saenz — was the lead singer for the David Lee Roth-era VAN HALEN tribute band ATOMIC PUNKS from May 1994 to December 2008 (where he performed under the name David Lee Ralph). He was also briefly the lead singer for L.A. GUNS, with whom he recorded the "Wasted" EP.

STEEL PANTHER is currrently supporting JUDAS PRIEST on a North American tour. The trek kicked off on October 1 in Rochester, New York and will run through mid-November, wrapping up in Tacoma, Washington.

STEEL PANTHER's third album, "All You Can Eat", sold around 13,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 24 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on April 1 via Open E/KLS.

Photo credit: / Mark Weiss Photography

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