Take Aim: Amy Sciarretto vs. Tom Keifer
Tue, 09 Jul 2013 15:42:39
Tom Keifer was one of the most famous artists of the '80s hair metal era, fronting Philly-based band Cinderella. They were a bit bluesier than some of their glammier counterparts. With Cinderella on hiatus for now, the musician has gone solo, with a new album The Way Life Goes, out now. As children of the '80s and fans of anything the singer does in general, we had to invite him for a Take Aim sesh. He's a South Jersey/Philly area alum, just like our own Amy Sciarretto.
From your new album The Way Life Goes, pick one song, and share a writing or recording story.
Songs come about in different ways. Some snap together real quick and others can take up a couple of years before they come together. I will share a story about the second track "A Different Light," which I wrote with Savannah, my wife. That took forever. She brought the title to me in the studio. We were kicking around chords and melodies. We left it that night. It rolled around in my head for a year or so. I was inspired to write verse lyrics and took them to her. We finished verses, so we had a semblance of a song and it still didn't feel right. Something was missing. We went out at night for my birthday or something. We went to a club downtown and they played a bunch of old '80s dance tracks, like new wave, like Thomas Dolby. We noticed how they were creative, didn't follow rules and changed keys randomly. We thought maybe the song could use that, since the verses and choruses were in same key and didn't go anywhere. When we did that, the song was done. It had that much of an impact. It came over a long period of time. It took a night out in a club listening to '80s electronic music to inspire the missing link. Inspiration is all around us.
Any non-music skills, hobbies or talents?
I have spent most of my life developing my musical skills.
How do you look back on the '80s glam metal years? Do you have a favorite memory?
All of it. It was a creative, colorful time with the then-new media of MTV and videos and it seemed like every genre of music, from pop to electronic, everyone was pushing the envelope musically and visually. We had this new thing called videos. It brought a whole new creative outlet. It was a downfall as well, since things became overexposed, maybe? It was fun while it was going on. We lived on the road. Picking any one thing? I can't do it. It was everything. It was like a tornado came down and picked us up and took us along for the ride.
What's the best thing about going solo?
The most exciting thing is having new material out. We had a few failed attempts with Cinderella with new record companies. It hasn't been in the cards, so I began to self-produce. When we rock out on stage, to those older songs, the fans always make it feel like it's the first time. When it's new material, it's still fun.
What is the status of Cinderella in 2013?
We're on a hiatus. We toured for three years straight to the far ends of the earth for 2010, 2011 and 2012. We decided it would be good to take a little break. So that's where we are right now.
Nashville is Music City -- what do you love most about it?
Moving here was something I did in the mid '90s, since the music scene was changing, the band had split with Mercury. I was in Philly and South Jersey. I was without a band, without a label, and where I was wasn't the hotbed of creativity and music. The whole time I was there, I was part of a band, and it was no more, at that part of the time. I was looking for a shot in the arm and writing with people in Nashville, and I loved the whole scene. The amount of the talent, and the fact that there is a state of art studio on every corner made it feel like this is a great place to start over. That is why I moved here. Those were the things that attracted me and it has become home. It's four seasons -- I can never live somewhere where it's sunny all the time. I like a little winter, a little fall. It's similar to where I grew up.
Will you check out Tom Keifer's solo stuff?