STEEL PANTHER guitarist Satchel says that he still loves MÖTLEY CRÜE even though he thinks "Nikki Sixx is a dick."
The latest war of words between STEEL PANTHER and MÖTLEY CRÜE began when STEEL PANTHER singer Michael Starr and drummer Stix Zadinia were asked in a 2019 interview which musician from the past they would like to bring back. Starr replied, "I'd bring back Vince Neil," and Zadinia chimed in, "He's not dead." Starr pressed on, saying: "I'd bring back Vince Neil from back in the day because that guy is dead."
After news of STEEL PANTHER's comments made the rounds, Sixx tweeted: "The singer in Steal Panther [sic] can go fuck himself … wanna-be band putting down Vince Neil?" One fan then pointed out that STEEL PANTHER sometimes plays MÖTLEY CRÜE songs during its concerts, to which the CRÜE bassist replied, "That's why they are assholes. Backstabbers."
Satchel addressed the Sixx online feud in a new interview with Ultimate Guitar. Asked if STEEL PANTHER's upcoming "Concert To Save The World" livestreamed event is "a plan to steal the audience from MÖTLEY CRÜE," Satchel replied: "You know what? MÖTLEY CRÜE had tour plans. And that shit got canceled, right? I mean, I'm a fan of MÖTLEY CRÜE. I think that Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx can act like total dickheads much of the time, but that's also what comes with being a rock star sometimes. The guys want to act like dickheads and they do — and that's cool. I still like the songs. But we can't steal their fans any more than they can steal ours. People are gonna be fans of both bands, and I'm always gonna love MÖTLEY CRÜE no matter how big of a dick Nikki Sixx is, because I like how they sound. Our bands are not mutually exclusive, and you don't have to hate STEEL PANTHER to love MÖTLEY CRÜE and vice versa. And you don't have to hate MÖTLEY CRÜE to say Nikki Sixx is a dick as well. [Laughs] I still love MÖTLEY CRÜE even though I think Nikki Sixx is a dick — these things are not mutually exclusive. [Laughs]"
Asked if everything is "cool" between the two bands now, Satchel said: "I don't have anything going on with those guys. I don't really give a fuck one way or the other. Like, if I saw them, I probably wouldn't go hang out with them 'cause Nikki Sixx seems like he doesn't like my band so I probably wouldn't buy him a beer. But I don't have anything against MÖTLEY CRÜE and I wish them the best in the future. But it seems like we annoy Nikki Sixx — and I'm fine with being annoying to Nikki Sixx 'cause I don't really give a fuck. But I don't think we're going to be on tour with MÖTLEY CRÜE anytime soon; that's what I reckon."
Last year's episode was not the first time members of STEEL PANTHER and MÖTLEY CRÜE had traded barbs. In 2017, Zadinia said that his band "really felt unwelcome" during its tour with MÖTLEY CRÜE several years ago. The drummer 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.
Sixx told Australia's Music Feeds in 2016 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."
Back in June 2015, Starr revealed in an interview that Lee "was pretty upset over the fact we poked fun at Vince Neil. He didn't like it. He just thinks we're just a joke, like a stupid joke band that shouldn't be playing with them. But all their fans like us."
Starr added that members of MÖTLEY CRÜE simply "take themselves a little too serious," except for Vince Neil, who "totally loves it."
"You know, he told me, 'Hey, Michael, when we retire, you can have all our fans,'" Starr said.
In 2018, Satchel acknowledged that not everyone is a fan of his group's over-the-top, juvenile sex-and-drugs schtick. "There are bands that hate our guts," he told Meltdown of the WRIF radio station. "We did a tour a few years ago with DEF LEPPARD and MÖTLEY CRÜE. And DEF LEPPARD, they got us on the tour, and it was an arena tour in the U.K. And they love us — they were so nice and so cool. And MÖTLEY CRÜE was on the tour, and they hated us. They wanted to kill us — every night they wanted to kill us. They talked to us, like, once the whole tour. And Tommy Lee and I, we just got into it — we butted heads a lot. 'Cause Tommy Lee… I don't know why he hates us so much. Listen, I extended the olive branch. I wanted to be friends with them. I think some people feel threatened. I think maybe Tommy Lee feels like we're poking fun at him personally. But we're just having fun… And someday maybe MÖTLEY CRÜE will be our friends, but I think Tommy Lee would love it if one of us got hit by a bus."