Interview with Cinderella’s guitarist Jeff Labar

Written by on August 21, 2014 in August 21, 2014, CD / DVD Releases, Gigs / Tours / Events, Interviews, Music and DVD Reviews, News To Shout About! - Comments Off on Interview with Cinderella’s guitarist Jeff Labar

I spoke with him on August 11, 2014 talking about his first solo album to be released Rat Pak Records to be released on August 26.

Cinderella’s guitarist Jeff LabarAA: Hi Jeff, how are you doing?

JL: I am doing pretty good!

AA: You finally get to release your first album. So how does it feel to get that weight off you?

JL: How does it feel to get the weight off me? You know what? I think I got the weight off me when I started it. I have been threatening to do a solo record for years and I didn’t do much writing with Cinderella for years and been kind of been resting on my laurels a bit and touring every summer or every other summer. I have all these songs and my wife and eventually my tour manager/ manager (Larry Morand), basically when Tom Kiefer put his solo record out, they both kicked my ass all the way into the studio. (Laughter) The weight was I didn’t know if I could do it. Once I started doing it, Oh Okay, I said I got this. I wanted to make a pure solo record even though I started off as a drummer and not a very good drummer that I would want on my record. So I got some great drummers to play on some tracks. And I sang and played everything else. The weight come off when I started and got three songs down is when I signed with Ratpack records.

AA: I saw the first video they released. Is your wife in the video?

JL: My wife plays the bartender and my son Sebastian on guitar.

AA: So your wife had no problem being in the video?

JL: (Laughter) she wanted to be in the video, she almost demanded it. There is a story line to the song about the relationships not working out and going through stages, going through the meeting in the beginning, middle and end of past relationships. She says I want to be bartender, because they are going to hire some model to play the love interest. I just want to be in it. So we figure out and make you the bartender. When I got the details of the video, I said I should leave with the bartender. I got to put together my own band through the video. As I said, I played and sang everything on the record. I flew my son down, Sebastian, who plays in a fabulous, fantastic band called Mach 22. He played guitar for me. I got Jasmine Cane, a great solo artist a fabulous singer and songwriter around here at Nashville. And Matt Amn from the best rockabilly band in the world called Hillbilly Casino. So, that is my band and then we got this woman calls herself Goldie Fatile who plays the ex or love interest.

AA: Can you briefly go over the songs on the album? Are there certain themes about the songs?

JL: When I signed with Rat Pak, we agreed that I should put out an EP for short attention span theater that music fans are these days. I was asking why not put out one song at a time. They said nah give us five songs for an EP. I said okay, and then let’s put a full length album afterwards. Joe O’Brien at Rat Pak, he said give me two more songs. I was like okay and if you have more time I can give you five more. He said no; no just give me two more. So I threw down a couple acoustic pieces like two interludes. Two acoustic instrumentals pretty much influence by Jimmy Page when I was a kid. So we figured we out a seven song EP and released them one at a time and a video or two and call them ‘Side A’, after this run to see how it gets received and I will get back in the studio and do another seven. Five songs on this “No Strings” is a straight head hard rock song. I have a song called “Hello and Goodbye” which is an acoustic ballad which is almost country/ twang-ish a little bit.

I have a blues song called “One For the Road” which is a three four timing, kind of like a waltz shuffle blues.
Then I go two really two hard songs. One is like a speed metal kind of with double bass all the way through. And one is a slow drop beat druggy, drop beat tooth heavy Sabbath song.

AA: So you have a variety of music genres and influences?

JL: Yeah, of the all the songs I written over the years, I try to pick ones that represented my musical tastes. One part of my life I was listening to Anthrax and Metallica. I have two songs that are similar in that style that allows me to listen to classic rock like Zeppelin, Sabbath and Alice Cooper. So yeah, I got different stuff. And for my Cinderella years we did stuff like “Coming Home” and other acoustic stuff, so I wanted defiantly wanted to break out the acoustic. Playing with Kiefer all these years, he’s pretty much had gotten me into blues. I have one Blues song “One For The Road”, I defiantly did that on purpose. So I picked out each song from my musical taste.

AA: That is good because it shows your musical influences and artistic side too.

JL: Yeah, well it is my first record on my own and so I wanted it to be a representative of all of me.

AA: Well now it is all about you.

JL: (Laughter) Yep it sure is! That is funny.

AA: With album to be release soon are there plans for you do to do some shows?

JL: Nothing planned yet, because I don’t have a band. Everybody is asking me that and I have been asking my son Sebastian. The problem is, well not a problem. The guys I got to do the video with have their own gigs. The opportunity would have to be there, the offers would have to be there to lure them away from their other bands. My son said already said he would do it. My son is fantastic guitar player and I am sure I can find other musicians around here. And go to a rehearsal room and see I can carry a full show as the singer/ front man. I have never done that before. I have never sang lead vocals for a whole show. I have to see if my voice can do it. I would have to carry a band and talk to the audience. And not come off silly (Laughter), that would be hard for me.

AA: Silly is good.

JL: So yeah, I am defiantly thinking about it. That would be the next step.

AA: Maybe as an alternate to do shows locally maybe as an acoustic set to try out?

JL: Nah, I already done that and had my fill of acoustic sets. For the past year here I have been in band called Cheap Thrill with Eric Brittingham my bass player from Cinderella. We started out as three piece acoustic act and I kind of got tired of it. It is harder, because we are playing rock songs on an acoustic so you have to solo on a acoustic. It is hard for me; I am just not a fan though I like to do it every now then. But we were doing it all the time. And sitting on a stool for ninety minutes or two hours, it’ just kind of boring (Laughter). I am sure is neat for the fans to see that every now and then. But we were doing them a lot.

AA: Fans of Cinderella and fans for you would like to see you do some shows.

JL: Oh yeah, I know and I am thinking hard about that.

AA: So Chris “The Wizard” Collier produced your album?

JL: No, I produce the record with my engineer Rick Honeycutt. Chris Collier mixed it. He mixed the six of the seven songs. The first single I did for the record, “No Strings” was mixed by Fred Coury.

AA: Oh Okay

JL: He was heavily involved. When I first record this as I said when I recorded the first three songs for the record. When I recorded the “No Strings” I sent to right over to Fred, my drummer for Cinderella to his studio at California to mix. He had time to do it and made it sound fantastic. I sent him twenty eight tracks of none sense (Laughter). He cleaned them up for me and threw some pixie dust on them tracks and made them sound fantastic. And Troy Lucketta from Tesla, he threw down the drum tracks for me for that song. So that song was the first thing that made it all happen. With Troy and with Fred, that was getting over the hump. Fred would have mixed the whole album but he got busy scoring a television show for NBC called the Night Shift. A medical drama that just got picked up for another season and he was just too busy and would have loved to. Fred has it going on out there so we got Chris Collier through Rat Pak who produce the Lynch Mob record for Rat Pak.

AA: Yeah, the Sound Mountain Sessions EP. Prior to this have writing music for other artists?

JL: No, no I have not written for anyone else. I find it hard to write with anyone else. There a couple songs on this cd I did write somebody and that was quite a while ago, and his name is Todd Johnston. He doesn’t do it anymore but he was the only person I have found capability to sit in a room and write together. I tried it since then, hey I live at Nashville where there are song writers and when you get out of the house and trip over a song writer as you hit the sidewalk. You know, I tired, I tried to write with other people and it’s hard. I have to be alone when I am writing, alone with my thoughts.

AA: Were any of the songs written many years ago?

JL: Yep, bits and pieces I had written over the years during the heyday of Cinderella. Some songs I had no music, just lyrics and ideas and riffs. Some songs had lyrics and music, so I went into my archives and piece stuff together. And pretty much I made them all new.

AA: What I have heard this is good and good for Jeff.

JL: (Laughter) Good!

AA: And keeps you motivated and fresh with your music.

JL: Everybody I have talked to has said the same thing.

AA: The question always asked at Cinderella shows is, will the band ever put out a new album?

JL: I doubt it, and I have been pantry that question for twenty years now. And Tom put out a solo record which started as Cinderella demos fifteen years ago, fourteen years ago. Our last record came out in ’94, twenty years ago. I am not going to count it out. Tom always says we are not going to do it. I don’t say say were not going to do it but I don’t foresee it happen. He is putting out solo records. I do foresee us getting back together and touring I hope. We are all doing our own things now and always seem to find each other in the end and we are the same four guys for almost thirty years now. And go out for three months during the summer time. So it won’t surprise me if did that next summer and wouldn’t surprise me if we didn’t for a couple summers.

AA: The Cinderella shows I have been to the fans have been ecstatic to see you guys. Maybe the band will be on the 2016 Monster of Cruise where you and Tom can showcase your songs as well.

JL: That be a great idea!

AA: The fans will like and long over do. It was good talking to you. It has been burning inside for you, which now is now released and blaze trails with this album

JL: Thanks, It was good talking to you.

AA: Take care of yourself and hope to see you performing for this album.

JL: Thanks again. Bye.