Singled Out: Steel Panther
"The Burden of Being Wonderful" was one of the last songs written for "All You Can Eat". The entire record was pretty much in the can. Then, one day, there was a conversation amongst our management/ record company peeps about how hard core our new record was lyrically. They all had their panties in a bunch, sitting there whining about how hard it would be to get us on the radio and into more traditional outlets with such "aggressive" lyrics. But I decided to write something that day that was anthemic, catchier than the Ebola virus, and with subject matter that was not only fine for toddlers, but undeniably Steel Panther as well.
Def Leppard is a hit machine. So "Hysteria" became my template. I started to muse about what it must be like to be Jared Leto. To have an ego that big. To feel as if you had been touched by the hand of God. I thought about how I wanted to stab him in the neck. Then I thought about all the super hot, insecure young women that he gets to take advantage of on a nightly basis. When I was done masturb**ing, the lyrics were complete.
I demoed the song in my closet and after playing with some production ideas, (adding the melody on the strings, putting some delay on the vocals in strategic spots), I emailed it to the rest of the band through the magic of Al Gore's internet. It was decided by all we should go into the studio the next week and record it for the new record. I'm glad we did. Now the world can begin to understand the burden that Jared Leto lives with every day.
Here is the second song: "Gangb**g at the Old Folk's Home" is based on a real life experience that happened to our singer, Michael Starr. He still delivers pizza a couple nights a week in Reseda. One day we were at band rehearsal getting high and he told us about the Gangb**g he had taken part in the night before. At gunpoint. None if us believed him at first, but after a couple of months we all noticed the girls he was hanging with looked more like Bea Arthur than Pamela Anderson. I assumed this was residual trauma from the "incident".
Stix suggested it might be cathartic for Michael if we put his experience to music. I agreed. The initial riff came from something I was jamming with Stix at a soundcheck. Pure metal. The lyrics pretty much follow the gory details of the orgy itself ( haha gory- orgy anagram!) , including the near death experience of Mrs. Agnes Bartholemew. Ironically, as Michael dictated his experience to me and I put it to music, I began to understand that this was NOT the sickening, humiliating experience that I had assumed it was. For him, it was the greatest, most liberating sexual experience of his life. I think I captured some of the joy he must've felt in the huge, anthemic chorus that even the most dedicated hospice worker would have to sing along to. For the rest of the world, it's another totally bitchin' Steel Panther song, and a peek into the sex life of a great Metal front man. And a true freak.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album here!