TOM KEIFER INTERVIEW
Date: December 8, 2017
Interviewer: Ruben Mosqueda
TOM KEIFER RECENTLY REISSUED A DELUXE EDITION OF ‘THE WAY LIFE GOES.’ SLEAZE ROXX HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS THE DELUXE PACKAGE, WHICH FEATURES A DOCUMENTARY OF THE RECORDING OF THE BONUS TRACTS (“NOBODY’S FOOL” WITH LZZY HALE, “WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS” AND A PIANO VERSION OF “NOBODY’S FOOL”), ADDITIONAL LIVE FOOTAGE, NEW ARTWORK, WHICH MAKES THIS AS CLOSE TO A NEW RELEASE AS YOU CAN GET.
Sleaze Roxx: Funny we should be talking right now. This Friday December 8, 1986 was my first time seeing Cinderella. You guys were opening for [David Lee] Roth and it was an incredibly good time.
Tom Keifer: Oh, man. That was such an incredible experience opening for Dave. We went from playing clubs to opening up for the David Lee Roth Band in arenas. A lot of years went into constructing the songs and refining them — then boom! Lightning struck [laughs]! I tell people it’s like this tornado picked us up and took us on this wild ride, which continues ’til this day.
Sleaze Roxx: You have been touring hard behind ‘The Way Life Goes’ — your solo debut album. I picked the album when it was released three to four years ago. What I wasn’t aware of is that the album was pulled?
Tom Keifer: It was released four years ago. Yeah, the story is starting to circulate in the press. The album took nine years to create. We worked on the album and there was no label involved. We completed the album and we found a label that was over the moon to release it in 2013. ‘The Way Life Goes’ exceeded our expectations and received wonderful reviews [including from Sleaze Roxx]. The first single “Solid Ground” did very well on rock radio. We started touring this band. The press gave us great reviews. Then there was a corporate shakeup at the label and we got caught in the middle of it. Ultimately, this resulted in the album being removed from shelves and online. We’ve been touring as you stated for the last two years and we’ve had no album available. With all the work we put into creating it and all this promotion that we’ve done behind it; we decided to ‘lawyer up’ and get the masters back.
The idea was that once we got the masters back, we would reissue it but we wanted to get back in the studio with this band and cut some additional tracks. We spend about a quarter of last year working on the bonus content and the packaging. We also worked on a documentary on the recording of the bonus tracks for the deluxe edition. We are absolutely thrilled to have ‘The Way Life Goes’ back available for people to purchase. I’m so proud of what we have done with the relentless touring, getting this band road tested, going from clubs to top billing on some festivals. We’ve had some curve balls thrown at us along the way but we’ve kept going.
Tom Keifer‘s “Solid Ground” video:
Appears on the debut solo album, “The Way Life Goes”, available now on iTunes (USA) : http://bit.ly/14Il9Um and iTunes (UK) : http://smarturl.it/TomKeiferiTunes Like Tom Keifer on Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/TomKeiferOfficial Footage was shot live on location at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville, TN on 2/20/13. Video shot and edited by Jared Rauso.
Sleaze Roxx: Oftentimes, labels reissue albums with bonus content six to nine months after an album’s initial release and the fans get enraged because it should have been released in that form in the first place. I just want to make clear such is not the case here.
Tom Keifer: I hear what you’re saying. It happens. With us, it’s twofold. When we got the masters back, we wanted a new distributor to get it back on shelves and if we’re going to reissue it, then make it a deluxe version. We wanted to do something more special than your average deluxe edition. We didn’t want to use the typical extra tracks or leftovers from the recording sessions. We went deeper with the newly recorded tracks, the documentary and the new artwork.
Sleaze Roxx: I can’t imagine promoting a record with non-stop touring and playing new material alongside the back catalog and people discovering you have new tunes via the live performance and you can’t get them the music in their hands.
Tom Keifer: When you spend nine to ten years creating an album, you used your money to make it, you get positive reviews and then it goes away? It was very frustrating to say the least. When we’d read stuff online like “We just say you live and we can’t find the record!” That was extremely frustrating. Even worse, I have heard from people who had purchased it digitally in 2013 and it was removed from their iTunes!
Sleaze Roxx: A very cool moment after the initial release was your appearance on Late Night With David Letterman. What was that like? That must have been surreal.
Tom Keifer: Yeah, that was surreal. I had never done live TV before so it was a new experience. Honestly, I was a little freaked out about it [laughs]! I was kind of nervous for sure. We got a chance to perform “Solid Ground” which was very cool. That was a first in all my years. Even with Cinderella, I had never done live TV. It was great for the album and the band for sure.
Sleaze Roxx: At this point in time the band is is well oiled machine. How much live recording have you done?
Tom Keifer: We have been recording tons of stuff while on the road. We have tons of stuff archived and there be a live record at some point in the near future. It’s a work and progress, we have been mixing some stuff. There’s also some live video stuff that we have captured. We have great chemistry. The bonus tracks on the album mark the first recordings in the studio of the band together. My favorite part of the bonus content of the deluxe edition is the documentary because it shows the chemistry that we have together as a band. We have a great vibe and they’re incredible musicians. It’s been effortless live and in studio with this.
Sleaze Roxx: Is it safe to assume you’ve written new material with this band? Is it also safe to assume it won’t take as long to release it?
Tom Keifer: [Laughs] It will not take nine to ten years to release another album [laughs]! We have no desire for that [laughs]! Last year when we cut the bonus tracks, Savannah [Keifer] and I didn’t want to wear that hat so we hired a producer. We needed a kick ass producer that could get these recorded between our busy schedule of touring and family time. We had a window of like two days to get this done. He really cracked the whip and did a fantastic job. Tentatively, we have a target time of getting into the studio in the fall of 2018. We want to continue touring behind the deluxe edition through the summer [of 2018]. I think we’ll definitely be working with a producer so we don’t wind-up taking nine to ten years on another record [laughs]!
Tom Keifer‘s “It’s Not Enough” video:
Appears on the debut solo album, “The Way Life Goes”, available now on iTunes (USA) : http://bit.ly/14Il9Um and iTunes (UK) : http://smarturl.it/TomKeiferiTunes Like Tom Keifer on Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/TomKeiferOffi… Footage was shot on tour throughout 2014.
Sleaze Roxx: Before I let you go, I have to ask what it was like working with [drummer] Cozy Powell [Whitesnake, Rainbow, Black Sabbath] and [bassist] John Paul Jones [Led Zeppelin]?
Tom Keifer: Both were amazing experiences. When we went in to record ‘Long Cold Winter’, we were in need of bringing in a drummer since Fred [Coury] wasn’t going to do it, since he was a bit inexperienced in the studio at that time. [Producer] Andy Johns had to make that difficult decision. We were sitting in the studio with our A&R guy saying, “You know you can get anyone you want.” I don’t remember who but one of us said half jokingly, “Well, how about we get Cozy Powell [laughs]?” He’s this legendary drummer as you know. The A&R guy looks at us and says, “Okay, done [laughs]!” It was really that simple. He came in to perform on the record and he was just simply amazing, particularly his chops. He was just so schooled in the blues and roots of jazz. You can hear that on the tracks “Long Cold Winter” and “Coming Home.” He had just such finesse and swing that really helped make that record what it is. The drumming just stands out on that record.
With John Paul Jones, I grew up listening to his playing, not just his bass playing but his orchestration that he did but also his work on the mellotron on stuff like the “Rain Song” and the colors that he added to the band. Funny enough, his name was brought up when we were recording ‘Long Cold Winter.’ We had some orchestration mostly on “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone).” We didn’t use him mainly due to time and budget constraints but his name was in the back of my mind from there forward. Then when we went into recording the album ‘Heartbreak Station.’ The songs “Heartbreak Station” and “Winds Of Change” had some rough strings that were on the demos that I had recorded on a synthesizer. I went to my manager and mentioned that Andy [Johns] had mentioned that if we were going to do this, that we ‘really’ do this and get John Paul Jones. We reached out to his management and we sent him the demos and he expanded on what I had done and added the orchestration. He flew in during the recording of the record and he directed the orchestra, while we watched [laughs]! Meeting him and watching him was just such an amazing experience. John Paul Jones is incredibly humble and down to earth. It was a pleasure to work with him.
Tom Keifer‘s “The Way Life Goes” video:
Tom Keifer “The Way Life Goes” (Official Music Video) Order here: http://tomkeifer.cleorecs.com/ Directed by Vicente Cordero Cinderella vocalist Tom Keifer presents a special Deluxe Edition release of his critically acclaimed solo album, The Way Life Goes!