The Darkness' Justin Hawkins on Steel Panther's lyrics: "Their humour is fully way past the line and they're not gonna stop"

Justin Hawkins The Darkness
(Image credit: Justin Hawkins Rides Again)

Justin Hawkins has offered his take on Steel Panther's latest single 1987 over on his YouTube channel.

In a new video titled, Why Do People Like This Band?, The Darkness frontman dissects the song musically while sharing his personal opinions on the "divisive" group who are famous for their knowingly offensive lyrics which he describes as "misogynistic and ‘Me Too’-defying".

Sharing his thoughts on the "interesting phenomenon" that is Steel Panther, Hawkins reflects on his 2009 contribution on their debut album Feel The Steel, as well on the moments he's shared the stage with them.

He explains, "This has always been my observation about Steel Panther: when I first had the opportunity to sing with them I was like, 'Oh yeah cool I'd love to do that, that sounds brilliant'. And I'd seen them live when they did a lot of covers as part of their residency on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles in 2008-2009. 

"I was there quite a lot doing my session guitaring and songwriting and I'd always go and see these guys and they were awesome. They played really note-perfect covers of these brilliant songs from the '80s and they didn't have that many of their own songs in there so I didn't quite know what to expect."

Of his reaction to first noticing the explicit nature of the lyrics during his 2009 collaboration with the band, he said: "And when they said, 'Oh here's the lyrics', I was looking at them and going 'What?'. It's really a long way outside of my wheel house in terms of the way the humour is fully way past the line. And they don't give a fuck, it's pretty impressive. 

"I wonder if you could put a bed of incidental music that clouds that out somehow, because they're not gonna stop" he adds.

Elaborating on his thoughts on the lyrics, the singer continues, "So I was basically shocked by the lyrics that they sent over. I sang it but it was kind of with a degree of resignation to what it was. It's a long way past the line that I like to put. I like to have one foot in each but they go a long way past it. But they offset it with some brilliant playing."

In spite of his indifference to their lyrics, Hawkins admits to being a big fan of the LA quartet's music, and shares love for their guitarist, stating: "When you actually hear what Satchel’s playing, he is a rude guitar player. Like a really outrageously good lead guitar player.”

Speaking of Steel Panther's recently-released new song 1987, which sees the band nostalgically reflect on an earlier era, the frontman explains, “It’s almost like a departure for Steel Panther because they usually have a lot of misogynistic and ‘Me Too’-defying kind of sexy-based lyrics with a lot of expletives in it.

"And this is actually quite heart-warming. It makes me excited about the record actually, I think this is a brilliant new look on them.”

"Regardless of your position on Steel Panther, who I understand are a divisive band firmly in the comedy realm, they're so good. The stuff they're playing is really authentic."

Watch the full review below:

Watch the video for 1987 below: guitarist Satchel didn't get that shredded Gojira shirt in 1987, unless he owns a time machine... 

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.