terça-feira, 13 de novembro de 2012

Entrevista / Interview - Tom Keifer

Tom foi entrevistado por Mike Ragogna do HUFF POST. Confiram.
Tom was interviewed by Mike Ragogna for HUFF POST. Check it out.


A Conversation With Tom Keifer
Mike Ragogna: Hey man!
Tom Keifer: Hey, how's it going?
MR: It's going well, how are you, sir?
TK: Very good, very good.
MR: You have a new album and first off I want to tell you that I'm really happy to be talking with you after all these years having worked on a couple of projects together in the past.
TK: Yeah, yeah we go back a ways there, man, and it's been a while since we've talked.
MR: Yeah. I've been aware of your challenges with your vocal cords, and I have to throw out there that this is some of the best singing I've ever heard you do.
TK: Oh, well thanks man. That's nice to hear after what I've been through. I was diagnosed years ago with a partially-paralyzed vocal cord and I've struggled with it for years and I have to train and do therapy every day and keep it in shape, so it's certainly nice to hear that it sounds good, so thank you.
MR: Oh yeah, of course. So let's get the history on how this new solo album came together, the writing, going to the studio, all that.
TK: I wrote for it for a long time. The idea for a solo record started in the nineties when the band kind of parted ways and we left Universal. It was just kind of a changing of the guard at that time and I just started thinking about a solo record, so I wrote for it for many years and the songs kind of just kept going on the pile and I never got around to actually making a record. Then I actually decided to start recording. We started cutting tracks for this record in 2003 and I just kind of went to that pile of songs that had been building up and picked some that I liked and I've just been working on it ever since. It was produced independently of a label, a kind of private investing, because the idea from the beginning was to just kind of make it until I was happy with it. I wrote with a lot of different people--my wife Savannah who's a great writer, co-wrote a lot of the songs on the record and also co-produced the record with me, and a good friend of mine here named Chuck Turner who's a great engineer and producer. So from the beginning, it was just kind of like, "Let's have fun and just make a great record and it'll be done when it's done." Little did we know it'd be nine years later. But here it is and it's done and we went through some crazy stuff and mixed and remixed and reworked things over and over and probably made a lot of mistakes along the way, but finally got it where I was happy with it, so here it is.
MR: How does that phrase about wine go?
TK: "We shall serve no wine before its time," I think is the saying.
MR: Exactly. This writing seems to be more personal than your Cinderella songs. Maybe it's the result of living in the area of the country you're in, Nashville, where songwriting is emphasized.
TK: Well, it's one of the reasons I moved here. I moved here in the mid-nineties when I first started thinking about doing a solo record because at heart, I'm a singer-songwriter and you're only as good as the song that you're singing. You can be the greatest singer or guitarist in the world but if you're not playing and singing a great song... That's always kind of the first priority to me, and I'm always trying to write a better song. When I started working here in the mid-nineties, I saw some insane songwriting and lyrics, and it was like, "Oh, I've got to live here." So I drove down here and bought a house and that was it. I looked at the house and said, "Okay, I'll take that one. Let's start writing songs." It's just a great creative community not only from the songwriting standpoint but the musicianship here is insane, and I had some amazing players on the record, a great rhythm section and keyboard player, and a couple of cool guest guitarists that played on it. I've even got Bobby Keys on one track because he was living here for a while and he played sax on one of the songs. It's just a great town to create music. I love it here.
MR: Yeah, and you're pretty much integrated, right?
TK: Yeah, I've been here since '97.
MR: That means that you must have at least once played The Bluebird?
TK: I have not, but I've been there. I haven't done a Writers Night since I've been here.
MR: Well, when you do your Writers Night give me a ring and I'll jump in the car.
TK: Cool.
MR: Have you got any thoughts about the Cinderella years, sir?
TK: In general? Just great times, man. The four of us just feel like the luckiest people on Earth who have had the kind of good fortune as a band together. We still tour together, it's still the original band and we still get along great. It's still a blast. We were just out this summer for a couple of months touring and I'll always have nothing but fond memories about that. What can you say about what happened in the eighties to us and a bunch of other bands? It was just magic.
MR: I'll bet you made Jon Bon Jovi proud.
TK: I'm sure.
MR: For anybody who's reading this and not catching that, Jon Bon Jovi kind of discovered you, huh?
TK: Yeah. He helped us quite a bit in the beginning there, put a good word in for us at Polygram with this A&R guy that ultimately led to us getting a deal. That was a very cool thing that he did.
MR: So I was bragging about your vocal prowess and I'd like to prove it to everyone. I think "It's Not Enough" might be a good showcase for that, what do you think?
TK: Ooh yeah, that's a good rockin' tune.
MR: Can you give the background on that one? Maybe how you wrote it and all that?
TK: That was co-written with Savannah and a friend of ours, Kent Agee, who lives here in town who's a great songwriter. I don't' know if there's any kind of real story behind that one. We were just sitting around in the living room one night with guitars and that just fell out. Sometimes songs have very interesting stories behind them and sometimes they just fall out. That was one of those where there was just three writers in the room and the next thing you know we, had a pretty cool song.
MR: It's kind of funny how you and I go back a while, but you don't know that I'm also pretty close to Kent Agee.
TK: Oh, you know Kent?
MR: Kent is a good friend.
TK: Oh cool. Kent was one of the writers on "It's Not Enough."
MR: Let's talk about another song, maybe one that's more revealing about you or more personal to you than the rest?
TK: Yeah, there are a couple that are very personal. The one that comes to mind that's probably the most personal is "Thick and Thin," which I wrote for Savannah. It was during a time when she was going through something pretty rough. She moved to Nashville to kind of live out her dreams here as a songwriter and an artist and she got signed to a big company here and they're grooming her as a songwriter and an artist and one day, the hammer just came down. It's the ugly part of the business, and none of us ever understand why sometimes. It's happened to me, it's happened to everyone who's been in the business, but it happened at a time when I was on tour with Cinderella and it was obviously a rough time for her and I was home for maybe a day and a half on a break from the tour and this had just gone down. I saw how heartbroken she was and the day I was leaving, she had an appointment somewhere and she left the house and I was just going to kind of get to the airport on my own; I felt horrible that I had to leave. She had just gotten that news and I know that's a rough thing, so I just sat down at the piano and I wrote that song for her to tell her that I'd always be there for her and I would never do anything like that to her. It was my way of saying that I'll always be there for you. That's how "Thick and Thin" came out, and I did probably the worst work tape demo real quick before I left. I left it on a cassette for her with the lyrics written before I went to the airport. That's how that song came about.
MR: Very sweet. Tom, my traditional question, what advice do you have for new artists?
TK: The best thing I can say is to always be true to what you love to do and to not try to follow trends and just be who you are. Try to write and play things that mean something to you and don't compromise who you are. Trends come and go, but you don't. Eventually the trend's going to be you, if you work hard and stick to what you believe in.
MR: Tom, that's a great line. "Eventually the trend is going to be you."
TK: If you wait long enough and work hard enough, yeah, it's possible.
MR: So else what is up on your agenda? What is happening for the rest of the year and on?
TK: Well we're just kind of getting started on doing press and the buildup to the release in Spring, so we're going to do a radio tour and we're working up to acoustic versions to do on the air, kind of breaking them down to the simplest form--one guitar and just sing the song. We're going to get around and play the record for people and talk to people. We're just getting going here.
MR: Nice. Tom, thank you again, this has been great. We have to have a much longer conversation in the future to really catch up. I wish you all the best. Let's actually talk real soon and have a casual conversation. I appreciate your time today.
TK: Great talking to you, too, Mike.

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