TOM KEIFER: 'I Own The Name, But I Would Never Call My New Band CINDERELLA'November 15, 2017
CINDERELLA frontman Tom Keifer was recently featured on the "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" podcast. The full interview can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On the recent "deluxe reissue" of his 2013 solo album, "The Way Life Goes":
Tom: "The original release came out in 2013 and got off to a great start. The record company worked 'Solid Ground' and 'The Flower Song' singles, and then somewhere along the line, there was a... I refer to it as a bit of a corporate shake-up, shall we say. We were faced with losing the masters and the record being pulled from the shelves. I still don't know all the details of what happened there. But before all that happened, we had discussed the idea of doing the deluxe or an expanded edition. Basically, we had to kind of lawyer up and spend a bit of time getting the masters back. When we did, we decided for bonus tracks, rather than a lot of deluxe releases, what happens is they put songs that were left over from the original sessions. We decided to do some new recordings of things that were inspired by the original release and touring, so the first two songs that came to mind were 'With A Little Help From My Friends', which is the first creative endeavor that my touring band I took on together the first night in rehearsal. We've kind of turned that into an amped-up, hard rock version of the Joe Cocker arrangement and have been playing that on tour ever since in the encore. We've had countless requests for studio versions of that song, as well as the 'Nobody's Fool' duet with Lzzy Hale which came about along 'The Way Life Goes' tour trail where we did some shows together and she and I have sang it many nights on stage.
"Rather than going back to leftovers from the original release, we went in last year after we got the masters back after a little bit of legal work and went into the studio with Vance Powell, who's an amazing producer, [and] with my touring band. It was the first time we recorded the touring band, and the chemistry live translated very well into the studio, and laid down those two tracks, and documented the whole thing on video. You really feel like you're in the studio, watching the band and the producer and Lzzy all work together. We put a lot of time into making it a special, expanded edition, and we're happy to have it back on the shelves after it being really not available for about two years."
On when he plans to start working on a new album:
Tom: "This record took a very long time to make — it took nine-ten years to create this one. When I'm in the studio, I don't really write. Once the record was released and we put this band together and we've been touring, it's kind of like back out into the real world. That starts the process of filling the well — you're back on the road, you're traveling, playing music, meeting people, you're living life — so over the last four years that we've been out touring and building this new band on the road, there's been lots of song ideas building up — those little seeds that come to you as you're riding on the bus, or anywhere. We want to get in the studio... we're kind of targeting the fall of 2018 to go in and start recording a follow-up record, and we're going to record it with the band that I've been touring with, because that worked out very well in the studio when we recorded these bonus tracks. The chemistry that we've had live on the road translated very well into the studio, and that's not always the case. That was very refreshing to walk into the studio and just bang these tracks out in about two days, and everyone contributed creatively and worked very well together. It's a great chemistry that we have."
On CINDERELLA's legacy:
Tom: "I've always been a believer in quality over quantity. I don't think there's any right or wrong way to create music, or to make a record. I think if you can record a song in 10 minutes for $100 and it's amazing, great, but if it takes two months and $100,000 and it's great, either way, there's no right or wrong. We put a lot of time into the CINDERELLA records. We had the benefit of a major label behind us, who did really not interfere with the creative process. We had free reign to do what we wanted, and I'm very proud of those records. Should've, would've, could've — yeah, it would have been great if we could have made some more records, but it didn't happen that way. I've tried not to have any regrets when I look in the rearview mirror — as a matter of fact, I really try not to ever look in the rearview mirror. I keep my eyes forward, and I'm proud of the records that we made, and I'm proud of 'The Way Life Goes'. That took a long time and was very unconventional, but the creative process, it is what it is. Sometimes life gets in the way too, because there was the whole issue with my vocal paralysis that certainly caused some setbacks for me. That was out of my hands. Life throws things at you that you're not expecting. We certainly weren't expecting to be dropped by Mercury Records after earning them hundreds of millions of dollars. That was a bit of a shocker. I think John Lennon said it best — 'Life's what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.' It is what it is."
On why CINDERELLA hasn't toured without guitarist Jeff LaBar, who has acknowledged battling alcoholism:
Tom: "I don't want to speak on the internal workings of the band and what's going on. I'll leave it at what I've said before — there have been issues within the band that date back decades, and the wheels have come off. That's all I'm going to say about that, because I'm not going to say anything else that goes on between us — but it's been covered by not only me in the press, but other members have done interviews. Speaking on the name issue, I just don't think it's credible many times, at least for me in my heart and the way I feel. I own the name, but I would never call my new band CINDERELLA. It's not CINDERELLA. I'm building something new, and it hasn't been easy. It's like starting over, but I'm riding on a bus with a group of people who are extremely talented, and extremely committed to what we're doing. A lot of people say, 'Why are you still touring?' When the record first came out in 2013, because I chose not to use the name CINDERELLA, I was starting over. We've been building this band on the road from very small clubs to now where we're headlining or direct support on major festivals and fairs, and it's been a punching match. I'm proud of what we've done, and it's been really fun to build this with this band. It's actually more gratifying to have built it as something new. I would never just get a bunch of new people and call it CINDERELLA. That's just not... it's just not me."
On recent his health scare:
Tom: "I started feeling really weird when I was warming up. I collapsed about 15 minutes before the show, got hauled off in an ambulance. By the time I was in the ambulance, I was pretty much numb from my chest down, and felt like there was a boa constrictor wrapped around my chest. I spent the night in the hospital; they ran a lot of tests. Fortunately, my heart checked out fine, and it turned out that it was severe dehydration and heat exhaustion. I've had heat exhaustion and dehydration before—– never this severe... I've never had that sensation all the way up to my neck. It was scary."
"The Way Life Goes - Deluxe Edition" was made available on October 20 via Cleopatra Records.
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