Ron Keel readily admits that he’s a control freak and workaholic

Photo by Joe Schaeffer Photography

Ron Keel readily admits that he’s a control freak and workaholic

Keel, Steeler and Ron Keel Band frontman Ron Keel was recently interviewed by media journalist Mark Dean for Antihero Magazine.

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?”

You can read the rest of the interview with Ron Keel by media journalist Mark Dean at Antihero Magazine‘s website.