Steel Panther Drummer: 'KISS Is More Influential Than Nirvana'

Singer Michael Starr not as confident about the answer. Who do you think is more influential?

Steel Panther Drummer: 'KISS Is More Influential Than Nirvana'
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Steel Panther were recently asked an interesting question in relation to this year's Rock Hall inductees - who's more influential, KISS or Nirvana?

Responding to Artisan News' question first, drummer Stix Zadinia somewhat confidently noted, "KISS," but singer Michael Starr wasn't as certain, giving a more elaborate answer.

"Really? God I have to say I'm dramatically affected with what happened to Nirvana. I really am. I mean, that really changed - it f--ked my world up, man," Starr kicked off. "I was rockin' with KISS and Van Halen, all of a sudden boom, this guy with short blonde hair comes out with a dirty sweater and some big jeans and I was like, 'Damn, s--t's changing!'

"But I didn't change," the vocalist stressed. "You know why? 'Cause heavy metal rules. Anyway, I think that they both had a lot of relevance in the transition of each style of music, but it combulates into a fundamentical..."

After being instantly ripped by his bandmates for using words like "combulates" and "fundamentical," Michael continued, "So you combulate these bands together, you can't put them in the same thermicity because intermatically, times are changing, incrementally - it happens man, and there's nothing you can do."

In related KISS news, bassist Gene Simmons touched on the matter of Philip Seymour Hoffman's passing, giving the late actor zero sympathy. "I don't think it's sad at all," he told Rolling Stone. "He was white in this racist world. He was f--kin' rich. And he was a movie star. If you wanna take your life, good luck to you. You know what's sad? A loving husband or mother who crosses the street and gets run over by a truck. That's sad. Because you didn't have anything to do with it."

Back to the big question - who's more influential: KISS or Nirvana? Let us know in the comments.

142 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    dorpzot
    Kiss definitly took marketing to a whole new level.
    DimeBatteryDrrl
    Is that really how we define influence tho? I know the question is not very specific, but other than the make up, KISS didnt show up and change the course of the music scene forever. i am NOT a nirvana fan boy what-so-ever, but we must acknowledge that what they did surely change all of rock 'n roll forever.
    xxdarrenxx
    It's hard to compare, because of the generation difference. Nirvana obviously had more impact to the younger people as of now. However, I read many interviews over the years by accomplished musicians/guitarists, and they all say they were influenced by the like's of kiss when they started playing. Ace Frehley was the first guy for example with Dimarzio pickupups and advertising them in his 3 humbucker guitars. Look at Dimarzio now, one of the top pickup company. Now I wouldn't say he's the reason, but pretty influential . Kiss also took theatrics to a whole new level, and I can't help but notice, that after them the whole hair scene came up with people dressing up and having big theatrical shows. So as it stands, maybe not as influential now, but certainly for a lot of your favorite guitar players and musicians.
    Second Rate
    Whether you like their music or not, many pioneering musicians in various subgenres of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal that have emerged since 1980 have routinely cited Kiss as a reason they picked up instruments. Based on the fact that one of you has what appears to be a picture of Gary Holt as your avatar, and the other is called DimeBatteryDrrl, I'm going to assume you're both fans of "extreme metal." If you are any kind of fan of that type of music, and deny the influence of kiss, you are a madman.
    cheesefries
    "God gave rock and roll to you, gave rock and roll to you Gave rock and roll to everyone (oh yeah) God gave rock and roll to you, gave rock and roll to you Put it in the soul of everyone"
    iommi600
    "Back to the big question - who's more influential: KISS or Nirvana? Let us know in the comments." UG, you are asking for the virtual version of the Cold War to start right here.
    EpsilonX
    I want to say Nirvana. Kiss were influential when hard rock was still being developed and there was a lot of room to experiment. By the 90s, tons of different styles were already in place, and Nirvana basically came along and completely changed the game. Kiss just seemed to develop what was already happening sound-wise. I think i'm going to give it to Nirvana because of that. Plus, I just like them better
    Lilnetty
    I like your comment , and agree that sonically/musically,Kiss were not influential at all.However, lots of styles were being blended in the late 80's when Nirvana came along,and Kurt borrowed well.Even from Kiss! Nirvana's blend of MELODY and acid hangover/depressoid lyrics is irresistable , and Butch Vig made sure it sounded great on the radio (how often do you hear Bleach?). Great melodies are always fashionable.
    gypsyblues7373
    KISS were incredibly influential. Their sound informed much of '80's metal, and they were vritually the hard rock equivalent of Velvet Underground: just about everyone who ever bought "Alive" started a band, from Poison to Pantera.
    N3WW4V3N1NJ4
    Steel panther will be super influential just wait 15 years and Hair bands will again be more popular than electronica!
    N3WW4V3N1NJ4
    I would very much like to see a full on Hair metal revival sort of as if the 1980s were happening all over again. That would be better than this post-grunge trash, by which I mean Nickelback...
    EvanBrosky
    There seems to be a thrash metal revival that is pretty awesome, I'm pretty sure Hair can make a comeback soon
    Sebo
    I don't wanna piss any Panther fans, i really like them myself. But come on, their interviews are basically a comedy show and a (funny) joke. Do you really expect to get a serious answer from them ?
    Oh_My_Goth
    I think he's right there. Kiss influenced a HUGE amount of bands when it comes to stage shows and ''doing your thing'', hell even Rammstein claim Kiss have been one of their biggest influences. Most of the rock and metal musicians born in the 70's and 80's I know stated, that Kiss was the biggest thing when they were kids. ...but doesn't change the fact that I hate Kiss ( and Nirvana ).
    sewoo55
    I swear to god the UG writers come together and discuss how to start shitstorms
    ryancide
    wasn't KISS an influence on nirvana? so therefore, by extension, an influence on every band that was influenced by nirvana?
    theclassicrock
    Not really. If people drew from the element of their sound that was inspired by KISS then yes KISS influenced them. But if people were influenced by another part of Nirvana's sound then KISS shouldn't get any credit.
    notaconotaco
    I mean... it's not even close, is it? KISS didn't change anything in music. Nirvana changed everything. I think Tom Petty said the only band more important than Nirvana is the Beatles, and it's pretty tough to argue against that.
    iommi600
    You know what album changed everything? Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf
    lemmyisgod97
    SFTD is a great album but it didn't change anything.
    iommi600
    I know, I was joking. That was a reference to the guy who keeps mentioning that album on every single "top 10" article just to troll the shit out of them. Seems like my fellow UGers got up on the wrong side of the bed today, though.
    K33nbl4d3
    KISS were the inspiration for several of the first generation of visual kei bands. While visual kei now is a completely different genre, the early influence of KISS is pretty important. And I say that from the viewpoint of really not enjoying KISS's music. You might argue the irrelevance of visual kei - I can see that, as much as I love it - but then you still can't say KISS changed nothing.
    Izzy-Sweet
    I'd have to say KISS. Sure, Nirvana started a new generation while KISS just enhanced theirs, but as far as musical and performance influences go, KISS have this one.
    Abacus11
    I have to reluctantly agree. KISS were more influential but not in a good way. Ever wonder where boy bands like N'Sync come from? How about crappy pop-metal bands like Poison? That's right... KISS laid the groundwork for terrible bands to be very successful based on gimmicks and image. Nirvana helped to bring punk rock and art rock to the masses in the early 90's. They weren't even close to the first but they helped introduce millions of suburbanites to music that may have never gotten out of specific scenes. So... KISS is more influential but Nirvana is a BETTER influence.
    grendelsounds
    Dude you need to go back further back in history than KISS to find aggressively promoted shitty pre-fab boy bands. Try all the safe pretty boy knock offs that record companies tried to jump on after Elvis. Then there's the massive success of The Osmonds, Jackson 5, and The Monkees in the 60s. You could even throw in the very early Beatles. Yep KISS did their uber marketing well, but associating them with boy bands is just wrong.
    Iommianity
    lol, if you think KISS were the archetype for disposable pop, you have literally no idea what you're talking about. Teeny boppers have existed since the 50s. If you want to dislike KISS for whatever legitimate reasons, fine, but it might help your argument if you got a clue. KISS wrote their songs, played their own instruments, and started their band. Not even close to the same thing, so I'm not sure why this revisionist history is considered a fair point.
    Jazz1992
    "He was white in this racist world. He was f--kin' rich. And he was a movie star. If you wanna take your life, good luck to you. You know what's sad? A loving husband or mother who crosses the street and gets run over by a truck. That's sad. Because you didn't have anything to do with it." Harsh but true.
    K33nbl4d3
    Not really, no. People don't just commit suicide because they want to. You might not feel he had any problems, Gene apparently doesn't, but until you've tried being him you don't know. Even if everything was more or less fine in his life externally, pressure or any number of other things associated with success could've ****ed with his mental state. If you think you or Gene Simmons - or anyone else - has any idea what it was like to be in his position, or that you or he can judge a man's death to be less tragic because he committed the deed, you are vastly mistaken. Worse, Simmons' issue seems to be that he was a rich, white man. This particular git might be living easy off his latest line of toilet paper but his ego's even bigger than I thought if he thinks he can claim insight into the life of someone he didn't know (I'll admit that's an assumption - but can you imagine him saying that about a friend?). That said, I guess being rich must be great for Simmons at least, he's got so little worth complaining about he's resorted to bitching about the lives of people he's never met.
    K33nbl4d3
    To be honest, I should have done half a second's research there - he was having drug issues at the time. Does being rich or white make that not a problem?
    andreas.liepede
    At least Nirvana/Kurt made the music he liked, not what the "market" liked, Nirvana did'nt do it for the money, which KISS did/does. Nirvana played underground music that got mainstream attention.
    FlameOn
    Kinda ignorant comment. Kiss didn't make a dime from their first few albums and those albums still contain concert evergreens (Deuce, Strutter, Cold Gin, Let Me Go Rock N' Roll, C'mon and Love Me, Black Diamond, Rock and Roll All Nite, etc.)Kiss definitely polished their sound once they got popular, but besides the production the style of songs/songwriting isn't really that different. I think there's a strong argument that they started and continued doing the style of songs they wanted.