One of my favorite bands growing up was Cinderella. Their bluesy rock sound separated themselves from the typical “hair band” sound that seemed to rule the ‘80s. Bands like Winger, Extreme and White Lion dazzled fans with amazing guitar solos. Cinderella, on the other hand, dazzled fans period. Tom Keifer recently phoned in to talk about Cinderella, as well as his new solo album, “The Way Life Goes.”
Q – Most people know you from the band Cinderella. You now have a solo album out called, “The Way Life Goes.” How does this solo album compare to Cinderella albums in terms of sound and what Cinderella fans can expect?
A – I don’t think it’s a whole lot different. I’m still playing kind of the hard rock stuff I did with Cinderella. The fact that I wrote most of the songs by Cinderella and was the singer and did a lot of the guitar work, when I’m stepping out and doing solo work it’s not that big of a departure. In that sense, it’s still the type of music that I’ve loved.
Q – The album came out last month. How has the response been so far?
A – So far, really well, from what I can see. The fans seem to really like it; and good reviews that I’ve seen. So far, so good.
Q – I read that you had a partially paralyzed vocal cord. Was that true? How does that happen?
A – It was actually caused by a virus. I had it happen in the early ‘90s and it happened overnight and my voice just stopped working. It’s a neurological condition so there isn’t a cure for it in terms of medicine or surgery. I was told I’d never sing anymore. You have to retrain your vocal cords basically; that’s an ongoing process for me every day. To keep them in shape. As long as I can maintain it and work on it, it continues to get stronger. As the years go by I’m constantly trying to learn more about voice technique to maximize what I have.
Q – How is touring for you personally different today versus the early days of Cinderella?
A – It’s different every year. I’ve toured recently with Cinderella so as far as touring goes it’s not a whole lot different. Sometimes we’re in arenas or sheds; it’s a little more varied from night to night but we’re still playing some pretty large venues. In terms of the solo tour? We started off, I didn’t want to bite off more than I could chew, and we started off in very small rooms and taking it one step at a time. So it’s a little different with the solo thing but it’s fun getting back into these smaller rooms.
Part of the show is the new record and I play some of the Cinderella favorites as well. Once you walk up on stage and the lights go down and you’re playing music it all feels the same. It always felt that way with Cinderella when we were playing clubs or large arenas. At that point it becomes about trying to get the best performance that you can. That aspect doesn’t change.
(Photo Credit: Thomas Petillo)
Q – Do you primarily see Cinderella fans or are there new fans on this tour?
A – I think this tour is mostly Cinderella fans who want to hear the new record or are curious about the new record. I imagine there are some new fans; the record is getting some pretty good airplay. We may be finding some new people here. It’s pretty early stages; the record was just released two weeks ago. I’m just taking it one day at a time and we’ll see where it all leads.
Q – It seems that the musical landscape changes every couple years. First of all, what do you think about today’s music?
A – Some of it I like; some of it I don’t. I don’t think it’s any different from 30 years ago when I was growing up listening to music in the ‘70s. There was some I liked and some I didn’t like. It’s all about personal taste.
Q – Secondly, do you ever see the “hair band” movement coming back as strong as it did back in the ‘80s?
A – I don’t think a movement will. I think certain bands will be able to sustain and some won’t. That happens every decade or music trend; some bands can hang on and some can’t. I feel very fortunate with Cinderella. We haven’t had the right opportunity present itself to put out a new record in quite some time. We’ve managed to been able to tour quite successfully for years consistently and still can. We just finished up three years straight of some pretty kick ass tours. I’m very fortunate to have been a part of the success of that band.
Q – You touched on it a little bit but will Cinderella come out with a new album any time soon?
A – We’ll see. We haven’t had the right opportunity; we were burned a couple of times by record companies that ended up in lawsuits. That’s why I produced my record independently because we were on the heels of a record deal that had gone south. But we’ll see.
“The Way Life Goes” dropped April 30th and is available now. For more information visit www.TomKeifer.com.
Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Follow him on Twitter at @jasontanamor. Email Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org.