KEEL Frontman Discusses Recording Of SABER TIGER Album From 1997 - "I Was Puking And Dying And Sweating My Ass Off…"
January 16, 2010, 8 years ago
KEEL frontman Ron Keel discusses his one-off performance as part of Japan's SABER TIGER for their Project One album, which was released in 1997, in a new interview. The album also featured guitarist / founder Akihito Kinoshita, ANTHEM bassist Naoto Shibata and ex-EZO drummer Hiro Homma.“It was an amazing experience,” says Keel. “At the time I was singing country music in a bar in Phoenix, making $50.00 a night. I enjoy playing that sort of honky tonk stuff from time to time, but 50 bucks a night isn’t a lot of money (laughs). And we were playing for five hours a night. One night I got home at 2:00am and I’m half lit, and there was a fax waiting for me on the machine. It was from Fandango Records in Japan saying ‘We’ve just signed Akihito Kinoshita, he is the Yngwie Malmsteen of Japan, he has three Greatest Hits albums out, we’re looking for an American singer for his next album.’ The idea being that they wanted to be able to sell the record in Europe and the US. At the end of the fax is said ‘How much would you charge to make a contract?’”
“I had a few cocktails in me so I called them up, told them who it was, and they pretty much re-iterated everything that was on the fax, and then asked how much it would cost for me to make the album. I said ‘80 grand’ (laughs).”
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BW&BK; has received the following press release with regards to Keel's comeback album, Streets Of Rock & Roll:
Frontiers Records reports that Keel will unleash their brand new album, Streets Of Rock & Roll, on January 29th in Europe and February 9th in North America.
The new recording contains twelve new rock anthems in the tradition of Keel's The Final Frontier, Keel and Lay Down The Law albums: commercial hard rock featuring the twin-guitar attack of Marc Ferrari and Bryan Jay, drummer Dwain Miller and bassist Geno Arce’s rock solid groove, Ron Keel’s powerful vocals, and a collection of songs which the band feels is their best ever.
"We are not re-inventing our style – Streets Of Rock & Roll is a perfect follow-up to our previous albums,” says Ron Keel presenting the new album. “The only real evolution is in the quality of the songwriting, musicianship, and production; the excitement and energy of the reunion really ignited our creativity and Marc, Bryan, and I were able to collaborate as a songwriting team like we’ve never done before. One characteristic this album shares with our classic releases is diversity – there are power anthems, relentless metal, and commercial hard rock. Some of the songs are designed to make you pump your fist and stomp your feet, some have lyrical content that is a little deeper and aims for the heart. There is a power ballad, “' Anybody Believe', which I think is an instant classic and will be a very important song for us, one of those rare compositions that capture magic and translates it into words and music.”
Keel first exploded onto the scene when The Right To Rock, their major label debut produced by GENE SIMMONS of KISS, became the fastest-selling debut album in A&M; Records’ history. Frontiers Records will commemorate the 25th anniversary of this historic release with The Right To Rock: 25th Anniversary Edition, simultaneously with Streets Of Rock & Roll.
This newly remastered edition adds two bonus tracks: 'Easier Said than Done' (Remix) and a newly recorded version of the immortal metal anthem:
For this recording, Keel invited their fans to participate via the internet – Keelaholics could download a guide track, sing along with the chorus, and send in an MP3 to be blended with the all-star chorus of the song which also features Paul Shortino (ROUGH CUTT, QUIET RIOT), Lez Warner (THE CULT), Ron Mancuso (BEGGARS & THIEVES) and other members of the Las Vegas rock scene (even Graham Russell from AIR SUPPLY joined in).
Keel has sold over 2 million albums, garnering a reputation as one of the genre’s most entertaining live acts by touring with/opening for BON JOVI, VAN HALEN, AEROSMITH, MÖTLEY CRÜE, and many more. They were unanimously hailed as 1985’s “Best New Band” in publications such as Circus, Metal Edge, and Hit Parader, and released three charting albums which spawned radio & MTV hits such as 'Because The Night', 'Tears Of Fire', 'Somebody’s Waiting' and of course 'The Right To Rock'.
In 2009 Keel returned stronger than ever with festival appearances across the US at Rocklahoma, the M3 Festival, the South Texas Rock Festival, and the MidWest RockFest in addition to sold-out headline shows in Hollywood and Phoenix. The excitement and energy of these shows and the fans’ response fuelled the creative fires that spawned Streets Of Rock & Roll and led to the band’s union with Frontiers Records.
"We’re working on festival dates in the US and Europe for 2010 and we’re ready to rock when opportunity knocks”, explains Ron, adding, “I can’t emphasize enough how much depends on sales – the more copies of Streets Of Rock & Roll and The Right To Rock: 25th Anniversary Edition we sell, the more attractive we are to concert promoters and venues who can help us get back on stage where we belong – so we’re hoping that fans of commercial hard rock will embrace these albums and add them to their collection.”
The new album was produced by Pat Regan (KISS, DEEP PURPLE, WARRANT and many others) and features guest background vocals by Jaime St. James (BLACK N BLUE, Warrant) and Paul Shortino, who produced and recorded Ron’s lead vocal tracks.
"The feeling in the band is triumphant,” concludes Ron Keel. "We’ve been back together for over a year now, we’ve got some great shows under our belt, and the new album is finished and ready for release. We are thankful to all the fans for the incredible response to the reunion, and we’re very proud of our new music. We can move forward with the confidence that we’ve accomplished a lot of our goals and done it on our own terms.”
Keel is confident that hard rock fans everywhere are going to feel right at home on the Streets Of Rock & Roll, and plans are underway to promote this new release with shows around the world in the year to come.
Streets Of Rock & Roll tracklisting includes:
'Streets Of Rock & Roll'
'Hit The Ground Running'
'Come Hell Or High Water'
'Push & Pull'
'Does Anybody Believe'
'No More Lonely Nights'
'The Devil May Care (But I Don’t)'
'Lookin’ For A Good Time'
'Brothers In Blood'