DOWNLOAD 2017: We owe Download and Andy Copping says Steel Panther drummer

Steel Panther drummer Stix Zadinia has hailed Download Festival booker Andy Copping for having faith and foresight in the band in their early days to hand them a slot at the Download Festival.

Now as Panther prepare to take to the mainstage again in just over 60-days Zadina has heaped praise on Download Festival for helping them make their mark in the UK.

"It holds a special place on my heart because it's the first festival we ever played," Stix tells Classic Rock. "Andy Copping brought us out a week after our first album came out. He had the foresight to bring us out, and the UK fans embraced us from the very get-go.

"It's an amazing festival. I've played a lot of rock'n'roll festivals, and there's something special and kinda majestic about Download. It's got that mystique. You've got to really get prepared for Download, especially if you're on the main stage. It's not something you take lightly. You've got to go out there and kill."

Stix continued: “It was phenomenal (in 2014 on their last Download performance). When you start playing music and you're a rock'n'roll kid, you imagine playing to 80 or 90,000 people and them all loving what you're doing. And to be able to actually do that, especially at a place like Download, and have that reception from your fans... it's indescribable.

"For us, it's a party. And when you're at a party, everyone is involved in it. Everybody's interacting, and it's like one giant rager. That's how we like to do it."

Steel Panther's new album Lower The Bar is out now. The band will play Download Festival on Sunday June 11. 

eric@newrocktimes.com