CINDERELLA frontman Tom Keifer spoke to Love Is Pop about his early '90s battle with vocal cord paresis, a neurological condition on the left side of his voice box that almost put an end to his career.
"There's no treatment for it," Tom said. "It's a neurological condition. It's like if someone had a paralyzed arm or a partially paralyzed arm. My vocal cord was partially paralyzed. So, there's no pill, medicines or surgery that can really fix that. I was told I'd never sing again. And they said if I had any prayer of singing again that I would just have to work with speech pathologists and voice coaches and try to train because the cord had some motion. I had to strengthen it and get it to respond symmetrically with the right cord. And there isn't an exact science on how to do that and it's taken me decades — literally — to get it where it's consistent and works most nights, fortunately, now. I sound as good [as], if not better than, I did before the problems. I feel grateful that I was able to overcome that."
While treating and managing his vocal cord condition — a process which has included six surgeries — Keifer recorded his debut solo album, "The Way Life Goes", which was released as an expanded, deluxe edition on October 20 via Cleopatra Records.
Asked about his current pre- and post-show rituals, Keifer said: "The most important ones are warm up and cool down. The warm-up is about an hour to about an hour and fifteen minutes every night and I do that a couple hours before the show. Because you need to leave a little space between the warm-up and performance. And then the cool-down takes about five or ten minutes and that has to be done, too, because it helps alleviate the swelling and inflammation that comes from screaming rock 'n' roll. So it's an important thing. Those are the things that not only get my voice and breathing apparatus right [but] center me and focus me. Because a lot of it has to do with deep, low breathing like yoga almost. I don't do yoga, but a lot of the breathing techniques that are incorporated in the vocal warm-up are very much like that. So, it kind of calms the nerves and all that stuff."
"The Way Life Goes - Deluxe Edition" includes 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 (Tony Higbee, Billy Mercer, Paul Simmons, Paul Taylor, Savannah Keifer and Kendra Chantelle). Fans also get to hear a powerful new take on the CINDERELLA classic "Nobody's Fool", newly recorded as a duet with Lzzy Hale of HALESTORM.
There is also 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" is 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.