Ron Keel readily admits that he’s a control freak and workaholic
In terms of whether it has been nice to actually step back and take a more hands-on approach with how his career works and operates now that record labels are not pumping huge amounts [of money] into bands and videos, the singer stated (with slight edits):
“Another great question, and for me, personally, I’ve always been hands-on. Whether it was the guitar or the microphone or the contracts, or everything that I do. I am a control freak, that’s why my band in the 80s was called Keel. That’s why my band now is called the Ron Keel Band. I am a control freak, I like to be in charge, but I also appreciate the value of having a great team around me. Fantastic musicians that are like brothers to me. A great road crew, a great record company like Highball Music and Bill. The infrastructure. The PR team that we’ve got, Jody and Michael. So, I have a huge, amazing team surrounding me, but I am kind of the captain of the ship. I do steer this thing in whatever direction I think is appropriate, and I am very hands-on.
I do enjoy it, even when we’re filming the new music video or the new single, “Red, White and Blue,” off the South X South Dakota album, I’m out there on a forklift with a camera in my hand circling the shoots, because I’m running the camera. I think that is a control freak, and that is certainly hands-on. But I’m much more comfortable with my hands on a microphone and a guitar. I do enjoy other aspects of the business too. I enjoy what we do and what I do. It’s not a job. It is work, it’s a lot of work, it’s exhausting, but I enjoy it so much that it’s not a job.”
With respect to whether he has any other interests or hobbies that he likes to spend time doing outside of music, Ron Keel indicated: “That’s a great question as well. You’ve got a lot of great questions today.” He then added:
“I wish that I could talk about all the other stuff in my life, but there really is, there are two things. There are music and family. Because music is such a diverse field for me. I can do, literally when I wake up in the morning, whatever I want to do. I can work on the radio show, I can write a book, I can write a song. I can play guitar, I can practice, I can do interviews like this one. There’s so much to do in the field of music that it feels like a hobby to me. I have a choice each day whether I will pick up the guitar, or pick up the pen, or pick up the computer, the laptop. And I enjoy all those different aspects of music.
And I’m a workaholic. I do work non-stop, all day every day until I pass out at night. From the first cup of coffee to the last shot of whiskey, Mark, I am working my ass off. And I kind of feel like at this stage of the game, there’s a time limit. I do take inspiration from guys like Sammy Hagar or Steven Tyler or Rob Halford who are doing this on a very high level at what could be described as advanced age. Because Halford, Tyler and Hagar, those three guys I just mentioned, they’re, what, 70 or more I think at this point, and they’re still delivering a great voice and great show and great songs. So they give me inspiration that I can maybe do this another ten years.
But there’s more behind me now than there is in front of me. The clock is ticking. I’ve got a lot I want to do while I can still do it. So yeah, I keep the pedal to the metal full time, all the time. And every now and then I will watch a movie or I’ll go on a long drive or go camping. But my life is a vacation. For 30 years I’ve been on the road, seeing the world and hanging out with people that I love. What could be more rewarding than that?”