Guitarist Satchel of California glam favorites STEEL PANTHER has confirmed to Meltdown of the WRIF radio station that the band has commenced the recording process for its fifth album. The follow-up to 2017's "Lower The Bar" is once again being produced by Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX, STONE SOUR and URIAH HEEP, among others.
"It sounds awesome so far," Satchel said (hear audio below). "We're doing this little tour, so we've gotta take a break from doing some recording, but we're gonna probably start the lead vocals in about a month. The whole thing will be done [and] it will be ready to be released, hopefully, by the middle of next year."
He added: "All the basic tracks are done — so bass, drums and rhythm guitars. I'm currently… It takes me maybe six minutes to do all the guitar solos; it doesn't take long… The hard part is the lead vocals, 'cause our singer doesn't sing in tune very well. So I have to stand there with a bullwhip and hit him hard."
The guitarist went on to praise Michael Starr, calling the STEEL PANTHER frontman "my favorite singer in the world" and "the best heavy metal lead singer I've ever seen live. There's certain guys like [Ronnie James] Dio, who was in a class of his own," he added. "I've got a lot of favorite singers — [Rob] Halford [JUDAS PRIEST] was great; Bruce Dickinson from [IRON] MAIDEN — I love him. There's a lot of guys through the metal history that are legendary, but I don't know anybody who can sing better night after night and perform like Michael Starr. He's the man."
Asked if fans can expect to hear any special guests on the upcoming STEEL PANTHER disc, Satchel said: "We've got a a lot of people that we wanna get, and we're starting to make phone calls now. But there's people that I would like to get on the record. But I don't wanna throw names out there and have them not be on there; I'd rather have them be a surprise anyway. But there's always people on our records. We had Vivian Campbell [DEF LEPPARD] on a record. We had Corey Taylor [SLIPKNOT, STONE SOUR] on our first record. Scott Ian [ANTHRAX] was on our first record. Robin Zander was on our last record, which is awesome, 'cause I love CHEAP TRICK. There's bound to be a few people on the new record, so we'll see how it pans out. We'll see if everybody's still alive when we call 'em."
"Lower The Bar", was released in March 2017 via Kobalt Music Recordings. The disc included eleven songs recorded at studios in North Hollywood and Sherman Oaks, California, with an additional two tracks on a Best Buy deluxe edition.