Cinderella performs at Wild Bill’s in Gwinnett on July 29. Doors open at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 (general admission in advance); $26 (general admission at the door; $30 (table seat); $60-$100 (VIP). For more info, visit www.wildbillsatlanta.com or call 1-800-745-3000.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 25 years since Cinderella’s “Night Songs” album, the one boasting fist-pumping rockers “Shake Me,” Somebody Save Me” and power ballad “Nobody’s Fool,” arrived.
While the band has certainly had its share of difficulties over the years – drummer Fred Coury left in the early ‘90s to form Arcade with Ratt’s Stephen Pearcy, Tom Keifer has dealt with challenging vocal cord issues – Cinderella’s bluesy rock has found a comfortable home on classic rock radio given the band’s bigger-than-some-think repertoire.
Remember “Gyspy Road”? “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)”? “Coming Home”? “The Last Mile”? “The More Things Change”?
Yep, all MTV staples until grunge ushered them off the air.
When the band announced last year that the original (as hitmakers) lineup – Coury, Keifer, guitarist Jeff LaBar and bassist Eric Brittingham – was back and touring, fans were happily surprised.
Now in the midst of a 25th anniversary tour that started in April, Cinderella seemingly loves life together – onstage and off.
Earlier this week, LaBar called from the band’s tour bus as it rolled through Charlotte, N.C., to talk about life in Cinderella-ville.
Q. Does it feel like it’s been 25 years?
A. You know, sometimes it feels like the time went very quickly. Other times, it’s like, yeah, I’ve been doing this for 25 years!
Q. How do you stay in shape for a tour?
A. Just doing what I onstage, really, but I work out whenever I can, on the treadmill and in the gym or fitness center when I have time or a place. At home, I run five times a week.
Q. You had some lineup changes over the years, but at what point did you decide it had to be the classic guys for it to work?
A. We put out one record without Fred during the ‘90s grunge era, when the ‘80s bands were kinda on their way out. We didn’t do anything for two or three years and then a record label approached us about doing a greatest hits record with a new song. We all got back together [for that] and it was like we never left each other. We did a song at Fred’s studio and from there it was like, let’s keep doing this. It just felt right, so we put together a tour.
Q. I imagine the backstage scene is a little different these days.
A. I don’t really hang backstage, but yes, it’s very different. Back in the day we played arenas and the after show would turn into a party. We’d take one room and serve drinks and dim the lights and whatever happened, happened. Not so much anymore. I don’t know if it’s just because we’re older, but there’s no desire to hang backstage. When we’re done, we usually just go to the bus and hang out there. If we have friends or guests, we go hang with them in a room. We’re playing so many different venues—clubs, theaters, amphitheaters, festivals — and at [the festivals] I’ll go out and tool around in the field and look at the vendors and just hang out.
Q. Do you guys take your families out on the road?
A. Oh yeah. My wife just went home – she was out for about 10 days.
Q. Where is home these days?
A. I live in Nashville. Fred was the first to move to Nashville and we all followed and then he moved to L.A.!
Q. How did you wind up there?
A. I moved to Nashville not on purpose. I started getting studio work in Nashville so I was flying and driving there so much. The last gig I got outside of Cinderella was in ‘04 and I’m still in Nashville from that! I went there for a gig that lasted three years, Naked Beggers, Eric’s wife’s band. I did one track on their first record, and then Eric and [wife] Inga wanted to put it on tour, and we toured for almost a year, made another record, and then toured again. In the meantime I met my wife, and now Nashville is just where we are.
Q. I’m sure you miss Philly.
A. I totally miss Philly. It’s the food. I miss a privately-owned family pizza shop, cheesesteaks, all of that. I get back sometimes, but not often enough. All my family is there. I was just home last week for my brother’s wedding, but it was in and out – I only had one day off from the tour and specifically asked them not to book a show that night.
Q. Going back to Cinderella, do you feel like you got unfairly lumped in with a lot of the hair bands, even though you guys always played more muscular music?
A. Unfairly? I don’t know. When we came out we were playing that kind of music, and you know, if it looks like a duck and it sounds like a duck [laughs]… We came out when that kind of music was going on. At the time, it was called rock music. It wasn’t until after the fact that it was dubbed ‘hair metal’ or whatever. I don’t think it was unfair because we were a part of a genre. But I do appreciate it when people set us apart. It’s nice to hear, but I don’t think there was anything unfair about it.
Q. Tom has had some vocal issues in the past, but how is his voice holding up?
A. It’s been great. He’s singing like a champ.
Q. It sounds like you’re pretty happy still hanging out with these guys.
A. We have a blast. After 25 years, we still make each other laugh. We’re not only the same four guys after 25 years, but we even ride on the same bus which is even more amazing. We still enjoy each other’s company, which is nice. I don’t know which is better, onstage or offstage. Onstage it’s a blast, we still love doing it, and offstage, we still make each laugh.
Q. Several of you have done production work – is that something that you think will continue since you’ve said there are no plans for a new album?
A. Fred, mostly, does a ton of stuff. I do stuff for tribute records, like someone will hire me to do a guitar track. Fred does a lot of commercial work, music for TV shows, commercials. He does a lot of stuff for Disney and music for the Los Angeles Kings. I’m going to start a solo record when this tour is over. Eric is busy having babies – well, his wife is! He has three grown kids and two babies now.
Q. Even though you’re not working on a new album, isn’t there ever a time hanging out on the bus when you start jamming and something just happens?
A. When we come offstage we pretty much leave our instruments behind us. We watch movies and TV. We’re actually pretty boring if you’re looking at us from the outside! Some of us individually bring gear into the dressing room or hotel room and write stuff for commercials since a lot of these guys have outside projects.
Q. What’s the plan for the rest of the year?
A. I don’t know if there’s an actual end in sight! Halfway through August we’ll stop for a little bit and do some more dates in September, maybe do some Europe and South America in the fall and some ‘fly dates’ in between.