Interview: Tom Keifer of Cinderella

Cinderella plays tonight at the LC. Originally they were going to be opening for the Scorpions but word came down yesterday that the Scorpions had to pull out of the date to give singer Klaus Meine a few days to recover for a cold that he’s been battling. Because of this, the show tonight (doors at 6) is FREE – no ticket required.

I had the chance to talk to Cinderella frontman Tom Keifer a few weeks ago for a feature that is running in this month’s MELT Magazine. Here’s that feature:

Tom Keifer’s voice first started showing warning signs of trouble in 1991 and by year’s end the Cinderella singer had been diagnosed with paresis of the vocal chords. Keifer underwent a number of surgeries and returned for 1994’s Still Climbing but by that point, grunge reigned supreme and hair metal bands of the ’80s were quickly cast aside. Cinderella soldiered on, hitting the road every couple of years.

In 2006, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Night Songs, Cinderella hit the road with the band that gave them their first break, Poison. Keifer admits that it was during this tour that his voice started having problems again: “I lost pretty much every part of my register.” A 2008 tour with Warrant and Lynch Mob was scraped before the first date because Keifer knew his voice wouldn’t hold up.

“My voice started coming into focus in the last year and feeling good,” Keifer told me from his studio in Nashville. “We just wanted to get back on the road so we informed our managers and agents to go out and get us some dates.”

Off-and-on this summer, Cinderella will hit the road as the opening act on The Scorpions farewell tour, including a June 30 date at Lifestyles Community Pavilion. “We’ve toured with The Scorpions in the past over in Europe,” Keifer says about the pairing, “So both bands are very familiar with each other. We have a history.”

On this tour, Cinderella’s not out promoting new material and Keifer says the band doesn’t have any immediate plans to hop into a studio. “Everyone is just glad that my voice is back and strong and we can go out and play our music and do some shows, just kind of think about having some fun this summer,” Keifer says.

Though Cinderella – which also includes guitarist Jeff LaBar (guitar), Eric Brittingham (bass) and Fred Coury (drums) – certainly played the part of a hair metal band back in the mid-to-late ’80s with big hair and leather pants, the Philly band’s blues sound was more akin to bands like The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith. Keifer says that his interest in second generation blues-based rock bands as a teenager led to the discovery of the artists that influenced those bands.

“I remember getting a record when I was 17 or 18. Somebody gave me BB King – Live at the Regal and it was the first blues record I ever owned,” Keifer recalls. “I heard his guitar and I was like ‘Hey, that sounds like Jimmy Page.’ My friend was like, ‘No, the other way around!'”

These days, Keifer digs modern rock bands like the White Stripes and Jet, both of which incorporate aspects of the blues into their music, albeit in completely different ways from each other and from Cinderella. “The guitar riffs that Jack White plays, and all the slide and open tuning, is very Delta/Zeppelin-esque kind of stuff,” Keifer says. “I always thought that was very cool, very creative.”

  • Good to see Cinderella back and with strong performances. Probably a good thing that the Warrant tour did not work out a few years back.

  • weedsteeler

    mentioning melt magazine just sinks your credibility completely.


  • Got room on the Weedsteeler staff for me? I’ll supply you with endless hair metal interviews.

  • Wes Flexner

    i am personally way into Chip finding on what these doods are doing these days.
    seriously…no irony. no joking

  • weedsteeler

    your name on the weedsteeler mast head would sink your credibility even more and do you really want to be assoc w. something that boarders on a hate site?

    • Robert Duffy

      i did see there was a “If 500 people join this group on Facebook Chip will be a writer on Weedsteeler” group

  • Well, I DID write for UWeekly for a few years :)

  • weedsteeler

    oh is u weekly a hate publication too?

    • Not a hate publication but if you think my credibility is sunk by writing for MELT, that’s nothing compared to UWeekly.

  • weedsteeler

    cards well played.

  • weedsteeler

    but there is still something about actually newsprint….
    a much better hand feel.
    can we agree on that

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  • Davey MF’n Jones

    Cinderella played to a capacity crowd at the LC in the Scorps’ abscence and I’m pretty sure no one was still bummed about the cancellation when they left the venue last night. Tom Keifer and crew put on the performance of their lives and sounded at least as good (better, I think) as they did on the Long Cold Winter tour the last time I saw them. They left it ALL on the stage like it was their last show ever. Inspiring, for sure.

  • tkeifer

    I want to be tommys sex slave

    • tom keifer . it is a subject that i feel cant be put into few words … there are many … if i had a chance to speak to him myself, that would be a conversation that he would not soon forget , an it would be an honor to mix minds with him , honestly i think if he were to have a conversation , it would be in his mind for eternity an each time he thought of it a beautiful thought would be in his mind an a smile on his face …an laughter for his soul…

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  • Peter K

    Touring is always great. but i’ve been waiting for the new album for years.

  • bernie (yes, im a girl)

    tom is AWESOME!!!!!!! He was born in an awesome yr as well. I greatly admire him for going thru all hes been thru with his voice and still sing and look as awesome as he does! NOTHING could make him “look bad.” He knows his stuff. Take lessons people! love ya Tom!!

  • Cynthia Childs

    Cinderella is the best band in the world for me!! Tom Keifer has so much talent n I’ve spent some time with him bk in the 80’s when my sister n myself went to a concert n we ended up going in the wrong door so we were the only 1’s in there. So after they got done w sound check, Tom, Eric n Jeff came out n went to the bar n ended up sitting w my sister n myself at our table n talked to us for bout 20mins. Tom gave me a tee shirt n my sister some autograph drum sticks. It was awesome! They has wonderful personalities!! Greatest night of my life!!!