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THE NEW NORMAL: Kane Roberts On Breathing Life Into His Incredible New Album!

THE NEW NORMAL: Kane Roberts On Breathing Life Into His Incredible New Album!

Legendary guitarist Kane Roberts’ is an unstoppable force in rock music.

Of the iconic images of the ‘80s in rock n roll, one that stood the test of time is Alice Cooper’s then-Rambo-looking guitar player shooting fires on the crowds from his M-80 shaped guitar. That guitar player was none other than Kane Roberts: an accomplished musician and singer, who went on to record four solo albums (including the “Phoenix Down” project released on the Frontiers label in the late ‘90s). Kane’s name and abilities came to prominence on Alice Cooper’s “Constrictor” album, which was followed by his self-titled debut solo album in 1987. More albums and tours with Alice followed, making Kane a well-known face in the business especially for his guitar skills, his body-builder image and iconic machine-gun guitar.

As a solo recording artist, he landed a few Top 40 hits and his varied musical background includes recording, writing and touring with artists such as Rod Stewart, Alice Cooper, Desmond Child, KISS, Diane Warren, Alice in Chains, Berlin, Guns N’ Roses and Garland Jeffries. He also wrote or recorded music for films like “Light Sleeper,” “Penelope Spheeris’ Decline of Western Civilization,” “Friday the 13th IV Jason Lives” and “John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness.” In 1991, his second solo album, “Saints and Sinners” for Geffen Records included the Top 40 Billboard hit “Does Anybody Really Fall In Love Anymore,” originally written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.

Kane is back with a new album and this time he made it special by involving amazing friends including Alice Cooper guesting on lead vocals in the main video/single “Beginning of the End” together with Alissa White-Gluz (of Arch Enemy). The song also features an appearance from Babymetal powerhouse drummer Aoyama Hideki. Kane also reunited his former Alice Cooper bandmates Kip Winger, Paul Taylor and Ken Mary on the album opener “Above and Beyond.” Other guest appearances include Nita Strauss (current Alice Cooper guitarist) appearing on lead guitar on “King of the World” and Lzzy Hale (of Halestorm) co-write on “The Lion’s Share.”

Three years in the making, “The New Normal” offers a unique artist ready to get back in the spotlight. Absolutely not to be missed, Kane melts the old and new in metal in an outstanding album. Enjoy it with open mind and get ready to be blown away! Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with the legendary Kane Roberts to discuss his life in music, fueling his creative fire and breathing life into his epic new album, ‘The New Normal.’ 

You created a tremendous career in the music industry. How did music come into your life and begin to take hold?

For me, as a kid, I started finding music like Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page, anybody named Jimmy actually! [laughs] No, no, I’m kidding but it was Led Zeppelin and bands like that. I became instantly obsessed with the guitar. It was one of those things! My parents got me this big, heavy Kay guitar. People who play guitar know these things, but it weighed like 50 lbs. and I was trying to deal with it! [laughs] As time went on, it took over my life. I ended up getting into a regular college, but I ended up quitting and going to the New England Conservatory of Music. Shortly after that, I ended up moving from Boston to Manhattan and that’s where Alice Cooper and his organization heard my music. They came in and saw me play without telling me. I ended up going to their office in Manhattan and meeting Bob Ezrin, Shep Gordon and Alice. I got this real sense that I was standing in front of people that changed the culture of the world. They shocked the world with their music, imagery and the messages that they put out. I got a sense that I was standing in the presence of history-makers. To be honest, I don’t get nervous in situations like that and I was fully jazzed about it. One of the reasons that Alice and I still continue as friends today, this is true, is because during that meeting, literally within 10 to 15 minutes, he and I became best friends. We’ve talked about that before. It’s almost like we knew each other before. It’s one of the reasons why my career kept rolling along because I ended up being managed by Shep and all that stuff. That is the quick, “Reader’s Digest” version of how I got into music.

Kane Roberts is just getting warmed up!

What went into finding your creative voice as a player?

I think people are born attracted to different things. For example, I’ve always loved visuals and movies with soundtracks. I was always very aware of the music. When I heard some of these bands, I started visualizing myself playing or in the different situations the lyrics were singing about. It came to a point where it completely took over my life. One of the things that happened was that when I picked up my guitar, I started getting the gratification of, “For those 2 seconds I sounded a little bit like Jimmy Page” or whoever the guitar player was. That immediate gratification and sense of visualizing myself playing on a big stage became my food or nutrition. It was what I needed to get through the day! I was lucky. I speak to some people and I say, “What do you want to do with your life?” They say, “Jeez, I don’t really know.” I kinda knew at a very young age. I was 10 or 12 years old and I realized music felt so good to me. I became obsessed with listening to all types of music, which is something I still do today. I listen to the stuff from my past and my roots. I listen to jazz. I listen to a type of music from Japan called Enka, which is a type of traditional music. I also listen to a lot of the new metal that is out there; bands like Ghost, Volbeat and Lacuna Coil. I’m always absorbing stuff! As that happened, like I said, I went to a normal university, but I knew this wasn’t the right place for me. Ultimately, I ended up at a music school, which I think was the beginning of learning about all of the discipline it took and how you must focus your brain on stuff.

What lessons did you learn early on that impacted your career trajectory?

As musicians, we always think about the music industry. “Is it good? Is it as good as it used to be? Is it better?” My personal opinion is that none of that stuff matters. In many ways, the music industry is better for you today than it has ever been. Back in the day, once you got a record deal, you walked into this huge machine and you were taken out of a lot of the process. In some ways that’s good because you say, “Oh, they’re going to take care of this. They’re gonna take care of that. They’re gonna do all the promotional stuff and whatever.” Today, you have to do stuff yourself. You have to work YouTube and the social networks. The one rule I learned back in the day was that if you become great, the world will beat a path to your door. You have to believe that! You have to believe that there is some sort of a system that is in the universe that has some sort of sense, not of justice, but that if you are doing great things people will notice. Music is a very human activity and it involves other people. There was one point, when I was practicing, that I went up to this really remote location in Maine. All I did was practice. I was working at this ballroom and I just practiced all day and night, as a kid. I was 19 years old and that was all I did. When I came back and I walked back into the jet stream of my friends and everything, it was difficult for me because I had done such a solitary thing for so long. I learned that it involves other people. You always have to have the sense that if you are doing something great, that there is going to be somebody in the audience that will notice. I remember one of Motley Crue’s managers, Doug Thaler, came to see my band play. We had met very early on in my career. We had sold out a 200-seat club, which is pretty small. I said, “Jeez, I hope that someday we can sell out bigger venues.” He said, “If you can sell out a 200-seat place, you can sell out an arena. It’s just the matter of getting your music out there and getting the right opportunities.” That’s the part that’s a little difficult. How do you get face time with the people who are going to push you into the right zone? That means you just have to be obsessed and get out there and do everything you that you can. There is the 10,000-hour rule, where you hit 10,000 hours, you can pretty much do anything you want in terms of practicing.

You have an incredible work ethic and it’s served you well. Was that instilled in you or something you developed over time?

It might have been stuff that maybe my parents instilled in me; the idea that you have to work to get things. One thing that I have shared with Alice and something we have talked about is how people always talk about how bad it is to be obsessed with things. Well, I think it’s a good thing! What kind of balance are you looking for in your life? For example, you’re a writer. This is what you do for your creative push out there in the world. The times that you are obsessed with it and it’s all you can do, that’s when you get the system going of getting better, learning and evolving. I think that is what happened with me. Like I said, music became my drug so to speak. It became my recreation, my fun, my hobby, my work and my future. I was just lucky to start perceiving it that way somewhere in my teens and later teens especially. As soon as I ended up with Alice Cooper, got out on stage and was doing all that sort of stuff, that is when I began to learn about the real world. I was lucky to keep that sort of vertical curve going but I never felt like it was too much work. I never felt like, “Jeez, I need to take a break.” In another sense, I was one of those guys who never wanted the tour to end. Everybody else wanted to go home but I could’ve been out there nonstop for 10 years and it would have been great!

How have you evolved over the course of your career?

I started listening to other people and a lot of times I was copying what they were doing. I would write a song and it might be similar to a Van Halen song or whatever. You rely on your roots, whether it’s bands from the past, blues or whatever. That stuff will have its way with you but as time goes on you begin to change. One of the things that’s really critical when you’re writing, practicing or soloing, is knowing that Mr. Mediocre is sitting right next to you saying, “Just do this easy thing that you always do.” You have to push that guy away and that helps you get closer to the envelope you are trying to push. For example, when I was recording this new album, I decided not to take the easy road and not to do the expected thing. It wasn’t an effort to walk away from my roots but a matter of being really honest with stuff.

There is another thing that, I think, is a very strange phenomenon. Whatever it is you do creatively, if you say to yourself, “I’m going to stop … ” and you stop. Now, I didn’t do this, but let’s say I did. Let’s say I stopped, walked away from it and in 10 years I picked it up again. In that 10-year period, I still evolved as a musician because who you creatively absorbs the things you see during the day, the people that you meet, emotions that you feel and girls who you fall in love with or get your heart broken by. All of that stuff is absorbed along with the music that you hear. It changes you as an artist. If you start getting your chops back together, your technique and skill, you’re going to be a different musician. I think once you start pushing the creative boulder, at whatever age that is, it’s going to keep rolling to a certain degree. Maybe your skills won’t, if you walk away, but you will keep moving in some direction because it encompasses every aspect of your life. The thing is with me that I have evolved as an artist and writer.

I’m still writing a little bit, I was playing a lot of guitar and singing a bit, but I wasn’t doing anything in the public jet stream. When I sat down and started this record, I had changed! I had been listening to so many different things and the things that I gravitated towards were different and we were noticing that! This album actually took me three years. It’s because, after six months, I would listen back to what I was doing and say, “Jeez, ya know, I’m singing a lot better now. My instinct is to do this, but this other thing has emerged. Let’s re-record that vocal!” I was lucky to be in the studio where I had a chance to do that. I also had a record company that said it’s okay to take three years, which was pretty incredible! [laughs]

Kane Roberts’ ‘The New Normal’ is available now via Frontiers Records.

Tell us more about your vision for this album, “The New Normal,” as you entered into the creative process.

I didn’t want to do anything proactive. In other words, I didn’t want to say, “I want this record to appeal to this crowd. I want to make sure that I don’t sound like this anymore … .” or “I want to sound this way or that way.” I had to sit down and do things that I like. I was really fortunate to be working with my co-producer, Alex Track. He’s also a musician, so we would create something and then just go on instinct. Our first run at the songs were all just what we like, and it was that kind of a thing. Then, we would start to structure the songs and give more of a substantive feel and make the structure a little bit more interesting. We started thinking that each song could be like a script to a movie. We thought of the whole piece in a very cinematic sense, which is calling back on that visual sense that I have. We’re actually putting together a video for one of the songs, “Beginning of The End,” which features Alice Cooper and Alissa White-Gluz. I was actually able to get Alissa and Alice in the same location to shoot the video, which was a miracle unto itself! [laughs] My point is that we decided not to do a performance video. We wanted to make it a series of visuals that had a sort of obtuse narrative to it, where people can write their own script to it visually. It’s kinda the way we felt with the whole record. The messaging on the record is a little different than the normal thing of, “I met a girl and she broke my heart.” It’s not in that realm. It’s got more of a, for lack of a better word, modern approach to the way the world is. That’s why I called the album, “The New Normal.” On the cover, you see this girl with tattoos all over her and she’s wearing this insane mask and everything. If you saw that image 30 years ago, it would’ve completely shocked you! Today, you’re looking at it and going, “Ya know, I’ve seen that before.” So, there is the new normal, ya know?! [laughs]

I’m glad you mentioned the cinematic aspect of the album because having listened to it at length, that stood out to me.

I wanted the songs to almost sound conversational in the lyrics. “Beginning of the End,” once you get Alice Cooper into it, it turns into some really bizarre, crazy, horror movie, shock sorta thing because Alice is so dominant. However, a lot of the other songs are dealing with how we feel about life and those thoughts that are in our heads and spoken in a more current way, as opposed to what was being done before in rock. I’m not the only one doing it, I’m just saying that’s the approach that I took, so I’m glad you noticed!

As you mentioned, you have tremendously talented people involved on this album. What did they bring out in you creatively?

Take a guy like Kip Winger for example. He’s someone I knew from Alice’s band and, of course, we remained friends. He’s still prolific! He’s got his solo thing and still touring and recording with Winger. He also got the Grammy nomination for classical music. He’s someone who is really on fire still, when it comes to playing. The same thing is true with Ken Mary, who is playing with Flotsam & Jetsam now. That’s not an easy ride on the drums, ya know! [laughs] He’s killing it! I wanted people whose standard was so high that I had to step up and meet the standard. I knew I would get great stuff from them. If the foundation of what I am doing is on that high of a level, it’s only going to help me! I called up Nita Strauss. She was the first person I called because I wanted to go back and forth on a guitar solo. The song is called “King of The World.” When she plays that first riff, that’s some serious ball-clanging shredding going on there! I was amazed and I thought to myself, “I’ve got to get my fuckin’ act together!” It woke me up, ya know! She’s playing so good that I have to play good as well too because she’s such an amazing artist. So, I pulled in people who were doing something different. Alissa and Nita are both knocking down walls and shattering glass ceilings all over the place! With Alissa, Arch Enemy walks out on stage and it’s these big guys playing this massive metal and suddenly Alissa walks out there and owns the audience and owns the stage! It’s just an unexpected thing but it pushes us into thinking about the world a little differently. They’re both really dedicated, serious, professional artists. I really lucked out across the board!

Kane Roberts, Alice Cooper and Alissa White-Gluz.

Where do you see this project headed in the near future?

Right now, I’m into a video mindset, as opposed to touring. The touring thing requires an amount of response to the record, it’s that sort of a thing. It requires a certain way to view how many people I can reach. Right now, I want to do a series of three to five videos. That’s my first thing to make this thing a visual and audio project for people. We purposely recorded this stuff, so it had moments of cinematic atmosphere, like I said. I’m really going to concentrate on that to start and if it seems to be a viable enterprise or something I ought to do, I will go through the hard work of putting together a killer band and do some live shows as well.

Bringing “The New Normal” to life has been a big part of your life for the past three years. What was the biggest challenge along the way?

The biggest challenge was the unknown. I always relish that! There is a song called “Leave Me In The Dark” on this album and it’s about the things that we don’t know. I didn’t know what to expect in a lot of ways, but I was very hungry for it because from what we don’t know, from the dark, that’s where faith emerges. In other words, if it’s completely dark and you take a step, you’re thinking, “There’s gotta be floor there or something!” At least that’s your hope! So, you take the step! I’m not talking about this in a religious sense, although that works for some people. I’m talking about real self-discovery as you move forward in this world. At the end of the day, when I finished the record, I was really pleased with the whole process! You think about it and five days a week, five nights a week for three years and I put together this video with Alice and Alissa — I really got into it! It’s one of those things where I was spitting blood to get this stuff out there! [laughs] I hope everyone appreciates it but putting this stuff out into the public jet stream, like I said, there are going to be haters and lovers and everything in between but I look at it as being all good!

You invested a lot of time on this over the past three years. What is your focus now that you have those days and nights open! [laughs]

Ya know, I don’t know if I’m going to do another project. What I think is that if I can fill my days and nights with developing these videos and watching the response, that might influence what the creative process might be moving forward. I’m already mapping out the second video while we’re producing this one. I think that’s how this project will fill my days and nights over the next year or so!

Kane Roberts in the wild.

That’s awesome! We are just scratching the surface of your life in music. What is the biggest lesson we can take from your journey as an artist?

I think it goes back a little bit to what I said before. If you find yourself thinking, “I don’t know what I want to do,” then you’ve got to check yourself. You have to think to yourself, “What is my real job in life?” I think the real job is to wake up happy every day. People would say to me, when I was a kid, “There are millions of guitar players out there. Why do you think you’re going to make any noise?” My answer was unclear. I would say, “I’m gonna do it. I’m not going to stop. No matter what I’m going to keep going.” I just knew I was going to do that. However, the real reason was that I wanted to be happy every day and that’s what made me happy! I was lucky enough to get that stuff on my fingers and in my hands, from listening and singing when I was very young. I said, “This is what I want to do.” As you know, Ernest Hemingway is this amazing author. Somebody said to him, “Why did you become a writer.” This was in the 1950s or something like that. He said, “So I could wake up at 4 p.m. every day.” In other words, “I wanted to do what I wanted to do!” That was it! I think that is something we have to take care of. I talk about obsession and balance. Part of that balance is having to walk out, make money, live and do all that stuff but if you have that one time during your day where you walk into your room and you’re doing the shit that makes you happy, then I think life is going to be good! Like I said, if it becomes something your obsessed with in that light, I think the world will beat a path to your door. I think that’s the sort of unknown, faith and dark that I operate in.

It’s cool to hear the excitement in your voice about this project and the creativity it will usher in. Just chatting with you briefly, it’s hard not to be inspired. Any chance you might do a book at some point to spread this energy further?

I think at some point I might write something. If I did, it would be a smaller book with illustrations. It would be more of an experience kind of book, as opposed to a straight read. There would be a lot of content, but the point would be, rather than expounding upon stuff for 300 pages, I would keep it really tight and make it about lessons in life. One of the things I’ve learned is to break up the pattern. That comes from lifting weights, where you don’t always do the same routine. If you go to work every day, take a different route one of those days. Do something different. All that stuff shakes us up and tips over the apple cart. I think it makes us something more as people!

That’s a great outlook! Thanks so much for your time today!

Thank you so much, Jason! I really appreciate the opportunity. I look forward to talking with you again soon. Have a great day!

Follow the continuing adventures of Kane Roberts through social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. ‘The New Normal’ is available through all music retailers now via Frontiers Records!

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Tom Keifer Releases Video For “The Way Life Goes,” Deluxe Edition of Acclaimed Solo Album Due October 20th!

Tom Keifer Releases Video For “The Way Life Goes,” Deluxe Edition of Acclaimed Solo Album Due October 20th!

TOM KEIFER just released the latest video for the title track, “The Way Life Goes,” from his critically acclaimed debut solo album in connection with the highly anticipated release of THE WAY LIFE GOES – DELUXE EDITION, an expanded compilation chock full of bonus content and special artwork.

THE WAY LIFE GOES – DELUXE EDITION is set for release October 20 on Cleopatra Records. Pre-orders are now available on Amazon and on Cleopatra’s website. The package will include the original album that has been remastered by Richard Dodd (Kings of Leon, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum). It also has two brand new studio tracks recorded in Nashville by three-time Grammy® Award-winner Vance Powell (Jack White, Chris Stapleton) with KEIFER and his bandmates (#keiferband: Tony Higbee, Billy Mercer, Paul Simmons, Paul Taylor, Savannah Keifer, and Kendra Chantelle). Fans will finally get to hear the long-awaited studio recording of The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends,” which KEIFER performs at all of his concerts, plus a powerful new take on the Cinderella classic “Nobody’s Fool,” newly recorded as a duet with Lzzy Hale of Halestorm.

THE WAY LIFE GOES – DELUXE EDITION will be wrapped in an all new six-panel digipak designed by artist David Calcano (creator of the Fantoons comic strip series) with 20 pages of one-of-a-kind unique illustrations depicting each song.

As KEIFER explains, “Everything from the new artwork, documentary, videos and bonus tracks contained in the DELUXE EDITION is a sum of all the amazingly talented people who came into our world as a result of the initial release. The two bonus tracks were specifically chosen and recorded as we felt them both to be special collaborations that came about while touring for THE WAY LIFE GOES.”

New band members Jarred Pope (drums) and Kory Myers (keyboards/vocals) join the #keiferband lineup in 2017. Writing has begun for a follow-up to THE WAY LIFE GOES with recording slated for Fall 2018.

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Tom Keifer To Release Deluxe Edition of ‘The Way Life Goes’ In October

Tom Keifer To Release Deluxe Edition of ‘The Way Life Goes’ In October

TOM KEIFER once sang, “You’re only going once around the ride.”

He’s proving that theory wrong with the highly anticipated release of THE WAY LIFE GOES – DELUXE EDITION, an expanded compilation of his critically acclaimed solo debut album, THE WAY LIFE GOES, chock full of bonus content and special artwork.

THE WAY LIFE GOES – DELUXE EDITION is finally set for release October 20 on Cleopatra Records. Pre-orders are now available on Amazon and on Cleopatra’s website. The package will include the original album that has been remastered by Richard Dodd (Kings of Leon, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum). It also has two brand new studio tracks recorded in Nashville by three-time Grammy® Award-winner Vance Powell (Jack White, Chris Stapleton) with KEIFER and his bandmates (#keiferband: Tony Higbee, Billy Mercer, Paul Simmons, Paul Taylor, Savannah Keifer, and Kendra Chantelle). Fans will finally get to hear the long-awaited studio recording of The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends,” which KEIFER performs at all of his concerts, plus a powerful new take on the Cinderella classic “Nobody’s Fool,” newly recorded as a duet with Lzzy Hale of Halestorm

“The reason that I picked up guitar, the reason that I sing the way I do, was all because of that guy,” said Hale of KEIFER’s influence on her at a young age. The two first performed “Nobody’s Fool” live together in Atlantic City, NJ in September 2013.

“I remember the first time seeing Lzzy perform live at the House of Blues show in Atlantic City and being absolutely floored by the power of her voice and performance,” KEIFER continues. “She’s an amazing artist and has been a great inspiration to me as well.”

There will also be a bonus DVD with music videos, tour clips, and “The Way Life’s Goin,’” a 30-minute documentary produced by Tammy Vega (KEIFER’s longtime official photographer) about the creation of the bonus tracks, exclusive interviews with the band filmed during the new recording sessions, and live footage.

THE WAY LIFE GOES – DELUXE EDITION will be wrapped in an all new six-panel digipak designed by artist David Calcano (creator of the Fantoons comic strip series) with 20 pages of one-of-a-kind unique illustrations depicting each song.

As KEIFER explains, “Everything from the new artwork, documentary, videos and bonus tracks contained in the DELUXE EDITION is a sum of all the amazingly talented people who came into our world as a result of the initial release. The two bonus tracks were specifically chosen and recorded as we felt them both to be special collaborations that came about while touring for THE WAY LIFE GOES.”

New band members Jarred Pope (drums) and Kory Myers (keyboards/vocals) join the #keiferband lineup in 2017. Writing has begun for a follow-up to THE WAY LIFE GOES with recording slated for Fall 2018.

Upon its initial release, THE WAY LIFE GOES garnered rave reviews. To wit:

“A collection of 14 blues howlers, Stones-y rock and, yes, big ballads, the album calls to mind Cinderella but with an even more rootsy undercurrent.” –Joseph Hudak, Rolling Stone

“…14 songs that stay true to form – killer blues-rock playing and tones, hooks galore, and strong songwriting. If you’re a fan of harder-edged rock and long to hear genuinely enjoyable new tunes, it may be just the thing; the opener, ‘Solid Ground,’ offers pure Keifer guitar and vocals with a feel reminiscent the Stones’ Exile On Main Street while the remaining tracks are, much like his life the last 15 years, an up-and-down ride.”–Ward Meeker, Vintage Guitar

“…the record features such vital, vibrant guitar tones and parts that are immediate and honest.  They also have that cool, interlocking, layered quality that made so many classic rock albums so, well, classic.  Keifer flat-out knows how to play vibey guitar parts with ungodly tone, and fans of the Stones, Zeppelin, Steve Marriott, and early Aerosmith should definitely take notice.  And, although you wouldn’t wish hemorrhaging vocal cords on anyone, this guy is singing better than ever to complement his great 6-string parts.” –Matt Blackett, Guitar Player

THE WAY LIFE GOES marks the first release of any kind by Keifer since Cinderella’s last record, 1994’s STILL CLIMBING. In many ways, it picks up right where the band left off. The first single, ‘The Flower Song,’ echoes ‘Maggie May,’ the familiar grit in Keifer’s voice approximating Faces-era Rod Stewart; but for the most part the album replicates the blend of pounding hard rock, soaring ballads and blues and country tinges that characterized Cinderella’s sound beginning with LONG COLD WINTER.”–Shaun Brady, Philadelphia City Paper,

“’The Flower Song,’ his premiere solo offering, smacks of the Black Crowes/the Faces.” –Katherine Turman, Village Voice (NY)

Here’s the complete track listing for THE WAY LIFE GOES – DELUXE EDITION:

DISC 1: CD

1. Solid Ground
2. A Different Light
3. It’s Not Enough
4. Cold Day In Hell
5. Thick and Thin
6. Ask Me Yesterday
7. Fool’s Paradise
8. The Flower Song
9. Mood Elevator
10. Welcome To My Mind
11. You Showed Me
12. Ain’t That A Bitch
13. The Way Life Goes
14. Babylon

BONUS TRACKS
15. Nobody’s Fool feat. Lzzy Hale
16. With A Little Help From My Friends
17. Nobody’s Fool (Piano Version)

DISC 2: DVD

Chapter 1) The Way Life’s Goin’ (Documentary)
Chapter 2) Solid Ground (Music video)
Chapter 3) The Flower Song (Music video)
Chapter 4) It’s Not Enough (Music video)
Chapter 5) It’s Not Enough (Lyric video)
Chapter 6) Album Promo
Chapter 7) Cathouse Live
Chapter 8) Count Vamp’d Las Vegas
Chapter 9) Farm Rock Chicago

Check out TOM KEIFER at any of the following tour stops:

Sat 9/23 – Hopewell, VA – Beacon Theatre
Sun 9/24 – Big Flats, NY – Tag’s Summerstage
Thu 10/5 – Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Irving Music Factory
Fri 10/6 – Lexington, KY – Manchester Music Hall
Wed 10/11 – New York, NY – B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
Thu 10/12 – Derry, NH – Tupelo Music Hall
Fri 10/13 – Chester, PA – The Block at Harrah’s Casino
Sat 10/14 – Warrendale, PA – Jergel’s Rhythm Grille
Fri 10/20 – Little Rock, AR – Arkansas State Fair
Sat 10/28 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium
Fri 11/3 – Galveston, TX – Lone Star Rally at Saengerfest Park
Sat 11/4 – San Antonio, TX – The Rock Box
Thu 11/9 – Pasadena, CA – The Rose
Fri 11/10 – Santa Clarita, CA – The Canyon
Sat 11/11 – Big Bear Lake, CA – The Cave
Sun 11/12 – San Juan Capistrano, CA – The Coach House
Thu 12/7 – Joliet, IL – The Forge
Fri 12/8 – Dubuque, IA – Q Casino

www.TomKeifer.com
www.facebook.com/TomKeiferOfficial
http://twitter.com/TomKeiferMusic
www.instagram.com/tomkeiferofficial
www.youtube.com/user/tomkeifermusic

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THE WAY LIFE GOES: Tom Keifer On His Creative Journey, New Music and More!

THE WAY LIFE GOES: Tom Keifer On His Creative Journey, New Music and More!

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In 2013, Tom Keifer released his highly-anticipated debut solo album, “The Way Life Goes,” to rave reviews. At the time of release, he couldn’t have foreseen the tremendous impact the album would have on him both personally and professionally. As his journey to bring this collection of incredibly soulful tunes to the masses began to pick up steam, Keifer soon found himself connecting with scores of amazingly talented people. These connections would soon begin to unlock new adventures for him as an artist and plant the seeds of inspiration for future work.

Flash forward to 2016. As a thank you to the fans who supported him and the solo project for the past few years by attending shows, Keifer and his bandmates (#keiferband: Tony Higbee/guitars and vocals, Billy Mercer/bass and vocals, Paul Simmons, drums and vocals, Paul Taylor/keyboards and vocals, Savannah Keifer/vocals, percussion and piano, Kendra Chantelle/vocals and percussion) entered a Nashville studio earlier this month to record with four-time Grammy® Award-winning producer/engineer Vance Powell (Elle King, Chris Stapleton, Jack White). These new tracks will be featured as bonus material on an expanded, deluxe edition of “The Way Life Goes”, set for release later this year. A true labor of love, the package will also include the original album that’s being remastered by Richard Dodd (Kings of Leon, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum), a bonus DVD with video extras, a documentary about the creation of the bonus tracks, and exclusive interviews with the band filmed during the new recording sessions. The deluxe set will be wrapped in a new expanded art package designed by artist David Calcano.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Tom Keifer to discuss the incredible impact “The Way Life Goes” has had on him creatively, what fans can expect from the upcoming deluxe edition of the album, and what the future holds for him and his band in the months to come.

What went into the process of finding your creative voice early on?

Tom Keifer

Tom Keifer

Much like most artists, you have your influences and the things you cut your teeth on. I go back into the ‘60s and ‘70s with the hard rock that was inspired by the American roots music — blues, country and gospel. I came up on the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Rod Stewart and Janis Joplin. I think you just want to emulate them when you are younger. That starts by covering them. I played in tons of cover bands. Eventually, I decided I wanted to start writing my own music. When I started writing my own music, I heard a voice in my head and there was no one in the area that sounded like what I heard in my head, so I just started singing in that voice myself. For me, the creative process and writing is something I feel that is ongoing. I think most people who write songs and perform would tell you it is a process that you are constantly trying to improve. The way I feel about it is that the next time I write a song, I want to write a better one. The next time I do a performance, I want to sing or play the song better. It is kind of an ongoing process. The recording end of it is also a big part of the creative aspect. When you are in the studio, that is kind of where you paint the picture of your songs. I guess that is why they call it a recording artist. [laughs] When we went into make the first record [with Cinderella], we were very green and didn’t know very much about that process. As a result, the record came out a simpler production, would be the best way to put it. It is very basic. That really grew as time went on with Cinderella and even with my solo record, where you are getting better at using all the colors in the studio and bringing in different instrumentation. On “Long Cold Winter,” the second record we brought in dobros, pianos, acoustic guitars and things that weren’t on the first record. We went even further on “Heartbreak Station.” There are so many aspects of creativity and I guess to dig in and grow in each area every time you step into the studio is really important.

Where do you look for inspiration to fuel the creative fire these days?

I have been listening to a lot of Top 40 radio. When the solo record was released, “The Flower Song” was being played on the Top 40 channels on Sirius XM. Our family started tuning in because you always like to hear your own song on the radio! [laughs] It was kind of cool to hear “The Flower Song” right after Kendrick Lamar and then Taylor Swift would come on. It was like, “Wow! Back on Top 40!” That is where all Cinderella’s big hits were because we crossed over. It is kind of a situation where I’m back where I started in a way. Obviously, the Cinderella records were big in the rock format too but when they really crossed over, they went to Top 40 radio. It was exciting to be on that format again. We kind of got hooked on listening to it. My son really loves that channel, so I listen to that a lot in the car when I am riding around with him. I have discovered some really great artists from there ranging from Imagine Dragons to Bruno Mars to Elle King. She is my new favorite on there and I think that record is really killer! That is actually one of the records that led us to Vance Powell, who is the producer we hired to record these tracks for the deluxe set of “The Way Life Goes.” I find that format to be very creative and there is a lot of inspiration there in terms of production elements and songwriting. Not all of it is my taste in music but it is certainly more colorful and interesting creative format than a lot of the other formats out there.

The last time we spoke, it was just before the release of “The Way Life Goes.” You covered a lot of miles and it has been a wild ride for you since the release. What impact has this album had on you personally and professionally?

Tom Keifer's 'The Way Life Goes'

Tom Keifer’s ‘The Way Life Goes’

It has been beyond my expectations in terms of many things. The way it has been received by the fans and the press and in reviews has been amazing. It has also brought some truly incredible people into my life. Being able to work with my wife, Savannah, in creating the album and now with her being part of the touring band has been a really, really cool thing. The band that came together for the tour has had a really, really great chemistry from day one. I thought I was going to have to audition for months because the record was created with session musicians. When it was time to release it and go on tour, I had to put together a band that could convincingly play the new stuff and the Cinderella stuff and be people who you want to be around! That was kind of a tall order. What is amazing is that the very first people who walked into the very first audition are the same people who are on this bus I am standing on as I talk to you. [laughs] It feels like it was the band that was meant to be. The chemistry on and off stage has been really amazing and they are a really great inspiration to me. They are amazing musicians and people and we have just been having a ball. That is part of the reason we have continued to tour behind the record. As different as things are today, it takes awhile for the music to seep in. There isn’t one format or outlet that is going to take you platinum overnight. It is a very different climate. We are out, as our bass player Billy [Mercer] likes to say, taking the music to the people! [laughs] You know, it is a pretty long tour cycle for a record but the record took forever to make and I feel very blessed to have this band and these people in my life. We are just having a good time out here!

That is great to hear! As you mentioned, you are preparing a deluxe edition of “The Way Life Goes.” What has gone into the process of bringing it to life and what can we expect?

Tom Keifer

Tom Keifer

It is kind of a celebration of what I was just talking about, in terms of the really cool things the release of the record has brought to life and how life has expanded. What inspired it was a piece of artwork that was given to me as a gift from my tour manager. It was a collage of illustrations by an artist named David Calcano. He has done some artwork for Rush and Mr. Big. He also created something called Fantoons. He is a pretty well known artist and he is pretty amazing actually! The collage was illustrations of members of my new band, illustrations that kind of brought some of the lyrics of the record and its songs to life and illustrations that depicted life situations. I remember opening it as I was sitting on the tour bus and looking at it. I was thinking, “Wow, life has really expanded since the release of this record.” It made me think about how fortunate I was to have this band and Savannah involved. Since the band came together, because of the chemistry, we have been talking about recording the band. There have been a couple of songs we have been wanting to record.

We had also been talking about doing a documentary. When I opened this gift, Tammy Vega, who is a photographer and videographer who travels with us constantly, was sitting right next to me. She is amazing and we call her the eighth member of our band. She is a really talented girl. The wheels started turning and I thought, “This could be an album cover, what I am looking at here. Tammy could do this documentary. We could record the band and do the songs we have been wanting to record. We can tie all the things we have been talking about doing and let David repackage the record completely.” The artwork is completely new and David has done 20 pages of art for each song and it’s crazy. It is pulling all these people and things we have been wanting to do together and celebrates what we feel has been a really special couple of years that we have spent together out touring with this record. I think the fans are really going to like it. The tracks came out amazing. The artwork is amazing. The documentary not only covers a lot of stuff on the road that Tammy has filmed but she was also right in the studio with us when we were recording the bonus tracks with Vance Powell a couple of weeks ago in Nashville. She had cameras hidden around the studio and it is really an intimate inside look at the process. You are literally inside the vocal booth with me while we are doing takes! You see us around the console as we are talking about the playbacks. There are also a lot of interviews and it is really great!

Tom Kiefer and his very talented friends.

Tom Keifer and his very talented friends.

Can you tell us about the songs you and the band cooked up at this point?

We aren’t announcing what they are quite yet but we will be shortly. The only thing I can say about them is that they are songs that came about as a direct result of the release of this record. They are something that came about as a result of this project and all the touring we have been doing. When we announce what they are, I think it is really going to make sense to fans. Some people have asked me, “Why aren’t you just making a new record?” Well, we are actually in the process of writing but the songs that we selected and intentionally went into the studio to record, a few weeks ago, are things that don’t really make sense for a new record. They make sense with “The Way Life Goes.” That will make sense when the deluxe version is released and everyone knows what it is.

You mentioned working with Vance Powell on these tracks. How did you two cross paths and what did he bring out of you and the band for these songs?

We were vetting different producers for this project. Like I said, I felt from day one that the chemistry with this band was really amazing and I had been wanting to record it. I wanted to make sure the first time we did it, we did it right! We were looking into some serious producers. Vance is no slouch! [laughs] He is a four-time Grammy Award winning producer, so we are not fuckin’ around here! His name came up and I was familiar with the artists he had worked with from Jack White to Chris Stapleton to Elle King, as I mentioned before. Our drummer, Paul [Simmons], had been friends with him for a while. We were thinking he might be cool, so Paulie approached him and told him what we were up to. He said, “Yeah, cool!” He was into it! We had some pre-production rehearsals and then we went into Southern Ground Studios in Nashville and rocked out for a few days. We wanted it to be a live recording, built from the ground up and didn’t want it to be too processed. One of the first discussions I had with Vance was, “This band plays and sings incredibly. We have seven people who sing in the band and I want to capture all of that at once.” He is very good at that process and has done it a lot, so that is how we approached the tracks. Obviously, we went back and enhanced them and did some overdubs and stuff but the heart and soul of the tracks are really live off of the floor.

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As you said, you are already looking ahead to your next record. Where are you headed musically?

You know, it is hard to say because it is in the writing process. The writing process for me is like collecting seeds from here and there. Some of the seeds are lyrical ideas. Some are melodies that pop into your head and you jot a few things down and they start to develop. There are some things that are starting to develop into songs. It is hard to say what it is going to be like until you actually get into the studio and start recording or at least playing them with the band. Like I mentioned before, there are so many ways you can paint that picture at a studio or with the band. “Is this going to be a heavy song with guitars or is it going to be a ballad with piano?” It’s not at that stage yet and is more in the writing process where we are starting to collect those song ideas. That is something I don’t like to rush because I like them to come from real inspiration and real life stuff. There has been a lot of life going on over the past few years, so the well is being filled! The way I write, the way Savannah writes, who was a big part of the writing with the first solo record, and the way a lot of the people I write with write is by going out and living life to fill the well. Then, all of a sudden, these ideas and inspirations start coming to you. Sometimes, I will go a couple of years without writing a song but I am living life, being inspired and gathering things to write about. Now, those are starting to come out. They started coming out last year. In those periods where you are not writing, it is always like, “Will I ever write a song again? Ohhhh noooo!” But then they just start falling out. [laughs] That is what is starting to happen and the state that it is in now. The stage we hope to be in next year is in the studio with a producer, maybe Vance because we certainly love working with him, and laying it down. Then we’ll have more of an idea of what it all feels like.

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So much can be said about the climate of today’s music industry. As an artist who is immersed in it and out doing his thing, what excites you about being an artist today?

The fans excite me more than anything. It is their enthusiasm that is really satisfying. Playing live has always been my favorite aspect. I mean, I love writing songs, painting the picture in the studio and recording them. You go through the struggle of love and hate in the process. Sometimes it is very easy and sometimes it is a challenge. Sometimes you are trying to pull something out of thin air while trying to create this song or this sound. Sometimes it is as simple as, “There it is” as it comes out of the studio monitors and then other times it is, “No. That’s not what I am hearing in my head.” Then you have to really struggle to find that. It is a great process and I enjoy it but there is nothing like once you have finally found it and then you take it out on the road and you are in the moment playing it live. There are no do-overs and you are sharing that moment with people who are returning the energy and singing the songs back to you. That inspires me more than anything!

What is the best lesson we can take away from your journey as an artist?

I think it is important to remember that nothing is impossible. Before Cinderella was signed, I was told it was a pipe dream and the odds were a gazillion to one. You just have to believe in yourself, always do your best work, make it about the work and the music and not about the ancillary benefits that come with it. It should always be about the music!

Thanks for your time today, Tom. I loved “The Way Life Goes,” so I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us with this deluxe release, as well as new music! I wish you continued success!

Cool, brother! Good talking to you again and thanks for covering what we are up to! I appreciate it! Take care!

To get the latest news and information on Tom Keifer, visit his official website at www.tomkeifermusic.com. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter

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Tom Kiefer Working On Bonus Tracks With Vance Powell For Deluxe Edition Of ‘The Way Life Goes’

Tom Kiefer Working On Bonus Tracks With Vance Powell For Deluxe Edition Of ‘The Way Life Goes’

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In 2013, TOM KEIFER released his highly-anticipated debut solo album, THE WAY LIFE GOES, to rave reviews and immediately kicked off a non-stop touring schedule. Flash forward to 2016.

Now, as a “thank you” to his fans who have supported him and the long-awaited solo project for the past few years by attending one packed show after another, KEIFER and his bandmates (#keiferband: Tony Higbee/guitars and vocals, Billy Mercer/bass and vocals, Paul Simmons, drums and vocals, Paul Taylor/keyboards and vocals, Savannah Keifer/vocals, percussion and piano, Kendra Chantelle/vocals and percussion) will being entering a Nashville studio later this month to record with four-time Grammy® Award-winning producer/engineer Vance Powell (Elle King, Chris Stapleton, Jack White).

The new tracks will be featured as bonus material on an expanded, deluxe edition of KEIFER’s critically acclaimed 2013 solo debut album, THE WAY LIFE GOES.  Set for release later this year, the package will also include the original album that’s currently being remastered by Richard Dodd (Kings of Leon, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum), a bonus DVD with video extras, a documentary about the creation of the bonus tracks, and exclusive interviews with the band filmed during the new recording sessions.

The as-yet-untitled deluxe set will be wrapped in an all new expanded art package designed by artist David Calcano (creator of the Fantoons comic strip series) with one-of-a-kind unique illustrations depicting each song. KEIFER credits a framed collage designed by Calcano of images depicting life, members of his band and songs from THE WAY LIFE GOES that was given to him by his tour manager, Gene Aldridge, as the inspiration to release the deluxe edition.

“That one gift,” said KEIFER, “instantly made us think about all the incredible people, adventures and inspiration that had come into our lives over the last few years. The new deluxe edition is our way of celebrating the way life’s gone since the initial release. It’s been an amazing journey!”

The new package’s bonus track song titles, release date and some other very special surprises will be announced in the coming weeks.

Upon its initial release, THE WAY LIFE GOES garnered rave reviews. To wit:

“A collection of 14 blues howlers, Stones-y rock and, yes, big ballads, the album calls to mind Cinderella but with an even more rootsy undercurrent.”–Joseph Hudak, Rolling Stone

“…14 songs that stay true to form – killer blues-rock playing and tones, hooks galore, and strong songwriting. If you’re a fan of harder-edged rock and long to hear genuinely enjoyable new tunes, it may be just the thing; the opener, ‘Solid Ground,’ offers pure Keifer guitar and vocals with a feel reminiscent the Stones’ Exile On Main Street while the remaining tracks are, much like his life the last 15 years, an up-and-down ride.” –Ward Meeker, Vintage Guitar

“…the record features such vital, vibrant guitar tones and parts that are immediate and honest.  They also have that cool, interlocking, layered quality that made so many classic rock albums so, well, classic.  Keifer flat-out knows how to play vibey guitar parts with ungodly tone, and fans of the Stones, Zeppelin, Steve Marriott, and early Aerosmith should definitely take notice.  And, although you wouldn’t wish hemorrhaging vocal cords on anyone, this guy is singing better than ever to complement his great 6-string parts.”–Matt Blackett, Guitar Player

“…an amazing, raspy voice and a knack for writing songs that lodge themselves on the brain and refuse to leave for days…”–Gerry Gittleson, Los Angeles Daily News

“The Way Life Goes marks the first release of any kind by Keifer since Cinderella’s last record, 1994’s Still Climbing. In many ways, it picks up right where the band left off. The first single, ‘The Flower Song,’ echoes ‘Maggie May,’ the familiar grit in Keifer’s voice approximating Faces-era Rod Stewart; but for the most part the album replicates the blend of pounding hard rock, soaring ballads and blues and country tinges that characterized Cinderella’s sound beginning with Long Cold Winter.”–Shaun Brady, Philadelphia City Paper

“’The Flower Song,’ his premiere solo offering, smacks of the Black Crowes/the Faces.”

–Katherine Turman, Village Voice (NY),

In touring news, TOM KEIFER and his band has confirmed lots of new tour dates that will keep them on the road throughout the rest of the year. Check them out at any of the following stops:

TOM KIEFER TOUR DATES:

Sat 4/2 – Sunrise, FL – Markham Park – Rockfest 80’s
Thu 4/7 – Agoura Hills, CA – Canyon Club
Fr 4/8 – Pasadena, CA – The Rose
Sat 4/9 – San Juan Capistrano, CA – Coach House
Mon 4/11 – Tempe, AZ – Marquee
Sat 4/23 – Fayetteville, NC – Fayetteville Dogwood Festival
Thu 4/28 – Chester, PA – The Block Entertainment Center/Harrah’s
Fri 4/29 – Englewood, NJ – Bergen Performing Arts Center
Sat 4/30 – Columbia, MD – M3 Rock Festival
Thu 5/12 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey Live
Fri 5/13 – Houston, TX – The Pub
Sat 5/14 – Kinder, LA – Coushatta Casino Resort
Sat 5/28 – Herrin, IL – HerrinFesta Italiana
Fri 6/3 – Nashville, TN – Farm Rock
Fri 6/10 – Saginaw, MI – FirstMerit Bank Event Park
Sat 6/11 – Elgin, IL – Arcada Park
Wed 6/15 – Alameda, CA – Alameda County Fair
Sat 6/18 – Tucson, AZ – Kino Sports Center
Fri 6/24 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
Fri 8/12 – Three Forks, MT – Rockin’ The Rivers Music Festival
Sat 8/20 – Calgary, AB. – Deerfoot Inn & Casino

* More dates to be announced.

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