Tom Keifer came ready to play and he packs in the riffs in this edition of Loudwire’s Gear Factor, powered by Sweetwater. The longtime Cinderella vocalist and current solo artist has a new album coming out, but took some time to reflect on some of the music that helped him get to where he’s at today.
Keifer takes it back to the early days, telling us, “There were a lot of kids in my neighborhood or teenagers that were older than me and they were coming up on that ’60s hard rock stuff. There were a few garage bands that played around and they were older than me and I used to sit and watch them jam in their garages and one of the guys across the street showed me the Cream riff for “Sunshine of Your Love,” which was the first hard rock riff that I ever played. It just felt so cool that I played it over and over and over again.”
“Another huge influence on me was Michael Schenker and UFO,” stated Keifer before playing a bit of “Only You Can Rock Me.” “What was so great about that song is that the solo was like an anthem, it’s so melodic in that song and Michael Schenker’s ability to mix really nasty blues with melody, he was just like nobody else.” He also serves up a bit of “Pack It Up and Go.”
The singer-guitarist also reveals the blues had a huge influence on him, crediting Johnny Winter, Elmore James and B.B. King. And what kid of a certain age didn’t gravitate toward AC/DC? “I remember hearing “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC. I’d tune this little crappy radio next to my bed when I was a kid and I was like, ‘Aw man, who is that singing?’ Bon Scott was just so badass, and the rhythm guitar, just the electricity of that sound,” stated Keifer, rocking the instantly recognizable riff.
Finishing out the segment, Keifer gave us a glimpse of a couple of tracks he’s worked on for the new album, first rocking up the aptly titled “All Amped Up,” and teasing a bit of the single “The Death of Me.” “The name of the album is Rise, and it’ll be out Sept. 13. You can pre-order now. It’s got tons of heavy stuff, it’s got some acoustic stuff and it’s got stuff in between,” says Keifer.