GUITARIST JEFF LABAR ON A NEW CINDERELLA RECORD, “I DON’T KNOW HOW THAT WOULD WORK” spoke with Cinderella guitarist Jeff LaBar about his solo material and Cinderella. Excerpts from the interview appear below.

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 here.


11 Responses

  1. I guess one has to decide if it’s better to be a nostalgia act, or no act at all. In regards to Winger, their new album is quite good. The problem is that these bands could never quite shake the stigma of the pretty boy glam years, which is unfortunate.

    My teenage daughter absolutely loves 80’s pop, so music from that time can certainly still be relevant, I just think that a lot of the “metal” or hard rock from that time is mediocre and derivative. The big boys, like Motley made it through and still brings in the people, but everyone else kind of hung on their coat tails and now is hitting the bar and casino circuits. Not only that, album sales suck for everyone.

  2. The entire business model of the music business has changed, and is still changing. It seems like you have to promote yourself through social media and live appearances, and if you show some momentum, a record label might pump some $ into you, but only if you’re able to generate some lift off on your own first. Established bands might not have to go this route because there is an established (even if aging) audience there, so you’re not starting from scratch. It almost pays more to be good at marketing, than to be good at your craft/instrument. However, A great song can not be denied or manufactured through a record company, so there is still hope for bands with limited resources IMHO.

  3. Man, I’m conflicted on this subject a lot. Bands of this era need to get over the fact that they aren’t going to sell truckloads of cd’s anymore. The amount of cd’s Cinderella would sell in 2015 would be exactly the amount it should be!! the fan base that bought those albums in the millions in the 80’s is now 40 and over with kids and bills and most likely will NEVER know Cinderella released an album after “Heartbreak Station”. They will however go see them live to hear those classic songs and relive their youth again. They will also sit down, moan audibly, or go to get a beer when Cinderella goes “We’d like to play a new song now.”. It’s just the nature of the beast for acts like this now. it’s not like 80’s hair metal bands are the first bands to go through this. Every generation of music goes through it. It sometimes rubs me the wrong way that bands (KISS is hugely guilty of this) feel this arrogant sense of entitlement to see 2 million of their albums sell in 2015 and if it doesn’t start blaming the fans. Guess what? You’re selling EXACTLY the amount of cd’s you should be selling. I’d love for Cinderella to release new music with the reality check of what it will sell. I’ll purchase it and look forward to hearing 1 or 2 new songs live but understand dudes like me are in the minority in that regard. I also know about 5 of my buds who will care less Cinderella has new music out, will NEVER check it out, but will have no problem plunking down cash to see them live. It’s the dilemma bands of this ilk face now.

  4. I think the public would buy new stuff from Cinderella. They just need to approach it in a positive way and not like, “well no one is going to buy a new album, so why even try.” Winger is a very good example. Their latest album is fantastic and their approach is not to be the big thing they used to be, rather just putting out good music, good shows and making a living.

    1. Sad truth is nobody buys these albums and nobody plays them, except me and a few other specialty shows. VERY tough sell sadly despite how good the music is. Bums me out. So few care

  5. I guess u really don’t know what ha got till its gone
    For the record I’d rather hear new music and may be that is the problem
    I’m all for nostalgia but I’d rather hear new music if u like a band support them for the new stuff and hold off on that damn beer

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