How I Wrote Community Property, By Steel Panther’s Satchel
Every glam metal band needs a big power ballad and Community Property is Steel Panther’s. If you’re not aware of the song, it’s a tender tear-jerker about the loneliness of being on the road, with lead vocalist Michael Starr assuring the girl he left behind that, ‘My heart belongs to you… But my cock is community property’.
Here guitarist Satchel tells us how a simple trip to the gym inspired this untrammelled outpouring of honesty and emotion…
“I was actually inspired to write this song, believe it or not, when I was down at the gym. This was years and years ago, and I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the gym, but most of the time they play the fucking worst music in the world. It’s pop radio shit and they played a bunch of really terrible songs. They were cliched and saccharine and I thought, ‘What we really need is the truth. Because all these songs are just feeding people absolute bullshit.’ ‘I’m gonna love you forever baby, we’re going to climb the mountain, ain’t no mountain high enough’, it’s a big fucking lie!
“So really I wanted to write the truth, which is basically what Steel Panther always does. Community Property seems to connect with people because of that. My heart really does belong to you, but guess what? There are a lot of girls out there and I want to put my penis in their vaginas as much as possible. I think that women really responded to that and it’s amazing, 10 years later, in the #MeToo movement age, that women really do understand that the truth is a powerful thing. They respect that. They would rather be told the truth and be, ‘Hey, I know you love me and yes, you’re going to fuck all my friends, but that’s cool. I’d rather have you tell me that straight up than lie to my face.’ That’s where the inspiration came from for the song.
“Taking the first step of honesty can be difficult, but for me it’s a very freeing thing, being able to wear your heart on your sleeve. Open up and be honest. We have a new album coming out and there’s a song called Always Gonna Be A Ho and that’s another slice of pure honesty. It’s about everybody. I think deep down we’re all hoes and once you accept your inner ho, you’ll have a much easier time living with yourself. A lot of people compartmentalise and rationalise the things they do; whether they’re making out with someone at the club or getting their dick out when they have a girlfriend or boyfriend at home.
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“We’ve evolved as a band and now we have songs like Always Gonna Be A Ho. It’s a very personal song in the same way as Community Property, because I’m never going to be able to stop that genetic drive that’s driven evolution for 3.5 billion years. All I want to do is fuck, and acceptance is a very freeing thing.
“In terms of musical inspiration, the ’80s and metal have always been about the power ballad and every great metal record seems to have one great power ballad on it. Writing a song like Community Property was a no-brainer for us. I’m inspired by every age of the heavy metal power ballad, but there wasn’t a particular song or band that inspired us. It was more just that laying bare, searing honesty… and musically it was just borne out of the genius of my inner soul.
“I think Community Property was instrumental in spreading Steel Panther. It’s one of our most popular songs for a number of reasons. It’s obviously very hooky, it connects with women on a musical level but – and I keep on saying this – it comes down to the truth. A lot of people think that we’re funny or some sort of joke band, but we are really educated and we’re speaking the truth about human relationships. We do like to have a good time and can party with the best of them, but underneath all that we’re bringing the truth.
“It also had a great video and I was method acting, which meant I had to sleep with half a dozen of the girls who were in it. I don’t remember their names or what they looked like, but if I went back and watched the video I could point them all out to you.”
Steel Panther’s new album Heavy Metal Rules is released September 27.
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