Friday the 13th and I get to talk with a guy that had everyone’s attention back in the day when metal ruled the arenas and the airwaves as well as MTV (yeah back at the ‘remember when MTV played music videos?) Yet, despite a day that most people freak out over and I never did understand that one; I got to speak with Tom Keifer. Many of you fans of the eighties metal waves remember him as the lead singer/lead guitarist of Cinderella. What many including me did not know was that the band still tours to this day.
But that is not why I was talking with Tom; we were talking about his new solo album ‘The Way Life Goes’. It really is vintage Keifer if you will, with that bluesy feel and vibe along with some deep song writing for the vocals all while making it something that makes you jam along at any show or on the car sound system. The man hasn’t lost a beat nor his voice as has been so over documented I am not getting into it (and he appreciated that). He also is one of the most laid back people that I have spoken with in awhile.
In the making over the course of a decade, the album simply is impeccably written and mastered; with each song being its own story, its own journey with the perfect blend of soul and rhythm. Rock the way it was originally intended to be. Take a read below and go get Tom Keifers 'The Way Life Goes' today.
Interview with Tom Keifer
So Tom, how’s it going today?
It’s going good bro! How’s it going? (we both laugh, we chatted a bit ahead of this)
Hanging in there, it’s a pleasure speaking with you! I still have some Cinderella CDs, my band covered some of your songs back in the day; you guys had a groove about you and were quite theatrical, can you talk about those days just a little bit?
I look on those with just the best memories; it’s where it all started for me. I feel fortunate to have been part of that band and continue to be you know we still tour a lot and the success we had. That was just a crazy time back then; everything just happened so fast. It was like this storm picked us up and took us on this incredible ride! It was cool, very cool.
I didn’t know you guys still toured and I was going to ask about that, if you all kept in touch and all that.
Oh yeah! We’ve toured a lot in the last ten years! We haven’t had a new record out but we’ve toured quite a bit. We took this year off because I’m doing my solo thing but we were going to anyway because we have toured so much.
I’ll have to look for you guys at a venue nearby then sometime!
Okay, I’m not going to go into all of your throat issues as it’s well enough documented and I know how a freak physical change screws everything up having been going through that myself.
Yeah, everybody already knows all about all that stuff.
How’s your voice holding up?
I thank God every day that I can still sing, you know? I was told I never would again and it’s been a long battle getting it back and it’s a daily maintenance and struggle. If I do the right things and I maintain it the way I am supposed to its strong. I’ve been touring all year and been touring with Cinderella so, it’s good!
So do you guys still plug in and do the full show?
Oh yeah! I do it on my solo tour, too!
That brings us to your latest album ‘The Way Life Goes’. Can you tell me about the making of it and all that?
Well it was a long time in the making, a labor of love as they say. Produced independent of any label; I didn’t want any deadlines or any of that. We cut the first tracks in 2003 and just continued working, writing, recording and re-recording and scrapping stuff and starting over until it was what I was hearing in my head so, it was quite the process.
The songs are great man, you have a way of writing songs that are really catchy and have a vibe to them, your creative process is it just something in your head or?
Well, it’s life experience. I try to write from real inspirations. All of my heroes as writers, singers, and artists are people who were heavily influenced by American roots music like blues, country, and gospel; you know about real things. The struggles of life, the ups and downs; falling in and out of love that sort of thing and try to maybe put a positive message in there when I can (laughs) without getting to cheesy; try to point out the silver linings without getting to corny (laughs) But, that’s where I write from.
You guys just did some dates with Halestorm; how were they and what are you doing now?
The shows with Halestorm were just awesome. We did two shows up in the northeast; we did the Atlantic City House of Blues and the York County Fair. Just great shows, I think the two bands have a lot of common fans and it was two generations of fans coming together. Lizzy and I did a duet of Nobody’s Fool in their encore which was really cool. They are a great band and very down to earth people, it was very cool!
What are you up to now? What’s next?
We are looking to go back out on the road later this year into next; we are on a little hiatus as we toured from February to June. So we are looking for Fall into Spring, something like that.
Hey, you got to take a break!
Yes! Sometimes you need a little rest! You got to regroup!
How have the fans been at the shows? Compared to back in the eighties and the arena rock days?
Well, we’ve played a lot of different kind of shows this year. It feels the same, whether you’re in a small club or on a big stage; it’s always just felt the same to me, that energy and connection with your fans. I approach it the same as I always did and I still feel that today. I feel very grateful to still be out there doing this.
Any new album plans? How about a new Cinderella?
Well, we’re on a hiatus; it’s not for lack of desire on our part I always say, but it’s got to be the right situation. We’ve been burnt by the record companies a couple of times and that leaves a bad taste in your mouth when you’ve put a lot of work in it. It’s really the reason why I decided to produce my album independent of a label; you create what you want and then you find a label who likes what you created and we found a great label that has been amazing in support of the album.
I just talked to John Waite the other day and he was saying much the same thing.
Well you know, from the record companies perspective if their going to invest a bunch of money into making a record; you don’t know what the records going to be! So, in this day and age of limited funds because of the piracy of music, record companies don’t have the same resources that they used to. Stepping in and paying for the record and then be responsible for all the marketing too; it just made sense to me to make the record I wanted to create and find a label that listens to the finished product and says ‘We’re in’. And I think you are right, more and more people are doing it this way.
All right man, well I remain a big fan and hope to see you out soon; is there anything you want to say to the fans and the readers out there?
Thank you for everything! I never forget that it’s the fans that keep the music alive and I am grateful!