Axel Steel (November 3rd 1969, Peoria, Illinois, United States Of America) is a character in the Guitar Hero series. He is one of only a handful of characters to appear in every game in the series, a distinction only shared with Johnny Napalm and Judy Nails. He represents the Heavy Metal style in all of the games; more specifically, the "old school" of Heavy Metal, i.e. the precursors from the 1970s and 1980s.


Axel Steel (right) as he appears in the first game


No frills, no fluff. Axel Steel is a shredder from the old school. He was put on this planet for two things, to drink beer and to play some Rock N' Roll. Looks like he's almost out of beer.- Guitar Hero in-game bio.

We all know Axel Steel is an awesome guitar player, and that he's the common thread in the legendary bands SideWinder, HellDozer, and MegaThreat. But did you know he got his first guitar out of a pool hall trash bin? Or that his first big break came while hauling equipment for Dopple Ganger? Their guitarist passed out temporarily - and Axel stepped in - permanently. If he's not tearing into the guitar, Axel says he likes to draw motorcycles and skulls, just like he did in school. His friend and band mate, Skip Alldaway, says Axel plays guitar so fast, "there should be caution labels on his albums".-Guitar Hero manual bio.

Famous for his driving riffs and up-front attitude, Axel Steel first picked up a guitar in an attempt to quell his boredom during suspension from elementary school. The rest is history. Metal history. - Guitar Hero II in-game bio

Just a city boy, born and raised in South Peoria, Axel Steel is a fan of arena rock and partyin' in the parking lot. King of the stadium show and master of the tailgate, Axel Steel is a hard-riffin' powerhouse. - Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s in-game bio

After attaining genuine superstar status, Axel retreated to hometown bonfire parties and barnyard jam sessions. Now he's back in the limelight and looking to destroy anyone and anything dull enough to stand in his path of headbanging destruction! - Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, Guitar Hero World Tour, Guitar Hero: Metallica, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits, and Guitar Hero: Van Halen (the latter two, up until "barnyard jam sessions") in-game bio

In his recent published autobiography 'Broken Axel', the noticeably more mature man of Steel wrote, 'I killed emo. And disco still sucks.' - Guitar Hero 5 in-game bio

Human description: As a matter of fact Axel's back, he's got halls packed from front to back, surfing rowdy crowds and playing loud; without doubt this rocking lout returns for one more bout. - GHWOR

Warrior and spirit description: Axel feels the blood of rock beating in his veins, taking his music to a new level undreamed of by humankind. Where one there was inspiration now here lives genius. - GHWOR

Appearance and OutfitsEdit

In all of the games, Axel's basic appearance is that of a muscular young man, with medium-length brown hair. In the Neversoft installments, he looks significantly older, has a slight five-o'clock shadow, and has more hardened features.

Guitar HeroEdit

Axel wears a black, short-sleeved T-shirt with a ripped-sleeve denim jacket and somewhat old jeans, he has a light brown semi-long haircut.

Guitar Hero IIEdit

He wears a long-sleeved shirt under his denim jacket, with spikes protruding from the shoulders. He lost a lot of weight in the game and has a costume called other shirt.

His alternate outfit is a basic navy worker's shirt with a pair of black jeans and shoes. In addition, in the Xbox 360 version, he sports mutton chops when wearing this outfit.

Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80sEdit

Axel wears a purple track jacket, black shoes and a black band on his head. Aside from that, he does not look much different from his Guitar Hero II incarnation.

Guitar Hero III: Legends of RockEdit

This time, his look is a blend of his GH1 and GH2 looks. He has regained his muscle and wears a black leather jacket, under his old sleeveless jacket and he now looks a bit older.

His alternate outfit is a tribute to the late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell. Axel wears a black vest, camo shorts and black and white sneakers. He also sports a long goatee with a red tip, just like Dimebag's. In addition, he also wears a black trucker's cap in the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC versions and also in all versions of Guitar Hero Aerosmith.

Guitar Hero: World TourEdit

Axel wears the "Black Vest" style from his "Shorts" outfit in GH3, except his shoes are changed.

  • Torso : No Sleeves, Please
  • Pants : Camo Whamo!
  • Shoes : Feet On Fire
  • Accessories : Diamond Head (left arm), Leathery Spike (right arm)

Guitar Hero: MetallicaEdit

Pieces worn by default (these can be changed in Rock Star Creator):

  • Torso: The Wreckless One
  • Pants: James Old School
  • Shoes: Axel Kickers
  • Accessories: Rings

Guitar Hero: Smash HitsEdit

Axel wears the "Black N Blue" style from his "Jeans" outfit in GH3.

  • Torso: Fire Proof
  • Pants: Metal Head Basics
  • Shoes: Axel Kickers

Guitar Hero 5Edit

Axel has four alternate attires in the game. Three of them can be unlocked after beating certain challenges with the correct instruments. Unlike the previous band entries, his outfits cannot be changed (instead, their pieces are unlocked for use on custom characters).

  1. Stormbringer: Default outfit. Axel wears a black leather vest over a red plaid vest over a sleeveless skull-print T-shirt (Layered Vest), black pants torn at the knees with a black bandanna hanging at the waist (Junkers) and black combat boots (like Floppy Combatants, but the pant legs are worn inside the boots).
  2. Battlescar
  3. Hog Wild
  4. Shoulder Blades

Guitar Hero: Van HalenEdit

Axel wears the exact same outfit from World Tour except he wears Rings on the left arm instead of Diamond Head.

Band HeroEdit

In Band Hero, Axel's appearance is greatly different from his previous appearances. But his first default outfit as seen in GH5 appears in this game.

  1. Digby: Axel can now be seen with a different haircut and sporting a goatee while wearing a black t-shirt with a gold design on it, jeans with a long chain hanging off the belt, black boots, a spiked bracelet on his left arm and a black wristband with yellow letters on it on his right arm.

Guitar Hero: Warriors of RockEdit

Normal formEdit

Axel looks very similar to his previous incarnations. Axel's transformation is a clear reference to Iron Maiden's mascot, Eddie, specifically his Powerslave-era incarnation.

Warrior formEdit

Axel becomes a mummy with his torso destroyed, leaving only his spine visible from the chest down. Axel's guitar, Sacryfyce, resembles a Gibson Flying V with a pyramid-like design.

Axel Steel

Warrior Axel

Guitar Hero LiveEdit

While not appearing in the game physically, Axel's name is shown to be one of the nine opponents in GHTV's Premium Shows.

Warriors of Rock SetlistEdit


Basic EffectsEdit

The player can earn up to 2 Ankhs that will revive him/her with the rock meter in the yellow section should he/she fail the song. Any Ankhs left over when the song ends will be converted into one power star each.

+ EffectsEdit

The player can now earn up to 5 Ankhs rather than 2.


  • The first part of Axel's Rock the 80's bio is a reference to a line in the Journey song "Don't Stop Believin'". The line in Axel's Rock the 80's bio reads, "Just a city boy, born and raised in South Peoria." The line in "Don't Stop Believin'" goes, "Just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit."
  • Axel's bio in the original Guitar Hero features a reference to a famous line from the 1988 film They Live. The line in Axel's bio reads, "He was put on this planet for two things, to drink beer and to play some Rock N' Roll. Looks like he's almost out of beer." The line in They Live goes, "I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass... And I'm all out of bubble gum."

Production Edit