GUITARIST JEFF LABAR ON A NEW CINDERELLA RECORD, “I DON’T KNOW HOW THAT WOULD WORK”
BMG: As far as songwriting is concerned, how much did you contribute to the proverbial “heydey” of Cinderella?
Jeff: With Cinderella, Tom wrote most of the songs, so we all had our hand in arranging them. Throughout the Cinderella years, (bassist) Eric (Brittingham) and I, our place was to take Tom’s songs, his skeletons of songs and arrange them. Basically, all we did was add bridges, breakdowns and solo sections. Stuff like that. But Tom was the main songwriter there. The difference between then and now being that I am the songwriter in all of my solo stuff. These are songs that I’ve written over the years since the heyday of Cinderella. I’ve compiled some guitar riffs that didn’t have any vocals or lyrics and I’ve compiled lyrics that didn’t have any music. I actually got down to business in 2012 and started putting it together from all of the different stuff I had from over the years.
BMG: Realistically speaking, will there ever be an all new Cinderella record? There’s certainly a demand for it…
Jeff: The last time we had a label behind us was back in 2000 and those are the demos that turned into Tom’s solo record. I don’t know. Record labels these days… I don’t think anybody is signing. We could make a record ourselves and present it to a label, but it’s probably not going to happen. We could do all kinds of records on our own. I would love to record as a band…as Cinderella again. I would image that some record labels would dig it and come try to sign us, but I just don’t know. That’s a very tough question. I don’t know how that would work.
BMG: As the nostalgia for the ’80’s continues unabated, will we see Cinderella touring on a more frequent basis?
Jeff: The problem is when we tour, we are essentially a nostalgia act. In reality, it’s the older people that love the old records that come out. I’ve seen REO Speedwagon, Journey and all of them in concert and it’s always the older people that come out and want to hear the old hits. Unfortunately, we are kind of in the same boat, but at the same time, there are several bands from our genre like Poison, Ratt, Warrant and Winger that still put out records. But how many people actually buy them? That’s the problem. Who’s actually going to buy them? That’s the rub. …We would absolutely love to put out a new record and get lumped in with all of the other ’80s bands out there that still record and put out records that nobody really buys. …I know it’s terrible, but it’s true, ain’t it?
BMG: In retrospect, how did it feel to tour with Bon Jovi at the height of the Slippery When Wet (1986) success? I would imagine a portion of the successes Cinderella achieved was directly due to the groups touring together…
Jeff: Oh my God, that was awesome. When we first we went out, we opened for the very first David Lee Roth solo tour. So Poison and us were on tour together for both of our first tours, opening up for Loudness. And then both us and Poison were up for the first David Lee Roth solo tour and we got it. And we thought ‘Oh, this is it.’ We did five months opening for David Lee Roth, which was unbelievable and the most fun, and the biggest life lesson I’ve ever had. Then we went out with Bon Jovi, who helped us get signed and then released Slippery When Wet. Jon and (ex-guitarist) Richie (Sambora) actually put in a good word for us and the guy that signed Bon Jovi, Derek Shulman, signed us as well. They were like “Obviously, we should put Cinderella on tour with Bon Jovi. We got two bands from the same record label.” Back then, you didn’t need a third or fourth band to sell a concert ticket, so, yeah, us and Bon Jovi together for seven months. During that seven months, Bon Jovi went to number one and Cinderella went to number three. We were selling out four and five nights in arenas per city. We did four shows at the Spectrum in Philadelphia and we sold out five shows in Detroit. …We were set up in two different arenas. I think it was Joe Louis (Arena) and Cobo (Hall). We also did five shows in St. Louis. …Both of us were on the same label, so that was obviously a very good idea, but those days are long gone now.”
BMG: Cinderella toured with Loudness? That seems like such an unlikely pairing. Were you familiar with them?
Jeff: It was the only tour we could get at the time. …I was a big fan of Loudness and gotten to know them and gotten to be friends with them. It was just a small tour that was going out. We were doing like auditoriums and small theaters and it was just what was going on at the time. It just so happened, Cinderella was on the east coast and Poison was on the west coast and they both needed someone to open for and we got thrown together. That’s how our history with Poison started. …Since then, we’ve toured with Poison at least a half a dozen times.
Read Jeff LaBar’s entire interview with BigMusicGeek.com here.