First, I'd like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions for us. I've been a longtime fan :)
RK: It’s my pleasure, thanks for the chance!
How old were you, when you first decided to become a musician?
RK: Very young, two years old jumping up and down on the bed with a hairbrush in my hand. First guitar lesson when I was six, first bands when I was around eleven…I was out of control, and me becoming a musician was out of my control! Music has always been my way of satisfying my creative urges and overcoming the adversity that life has thrown at me, a place to escape to where I can live by my own rules.
How have you grown over the years as a musician & as a band?
RK: Of course – I think if you’re not growing, you’re dying. I’ve always enjoyed trying new things, finding new ways to express myself and entertain people at the same time. The passion and energy of my youth is still there, I’m just an overgrown kid living a dream, but with maturity comes the skill to craft better songs, control your voice, and push the right buttons on stage that make people smile, scream, applaud, and throw their fists in the air.
What made you decide to get Keel back together?
RK: We’d been talking about it for years, and our 25th anniversary was kind of a now-or-never thing, and a lot of stuff lined up just right and allowed us to pull the trigger – the resurgence of interest in our music and 80’s rock in general, having a great agent who could make things happen for us…but the real key to the reunion was that we still had our friendship with each other as well as the hunger to take on this challenge.
What is your favorite part of being a 'rockstar', recording, touring or the fans?
RK: Rockstar is a state of mind, and a way of life – I think you have to be one in order to become one, if that makes any sense – but for me it’s all about the music. I’d be singing, playing, writing and creating no matter what, because it’s who I am, not just what I do. That’s my job, to create and keep on creating – all that other stuff, whether people like what I do or not, is out of my control. You gotta understand, not every musician is a rockstar, and not every rockstar is a musician…I love recording, I love doing shows, and I really love the fans who have allowed me to live this amazing life.
What would you say is your biggest accomplishment?
RK: Living through it. After all the years, the miles, the pleasures and the pain, to still be standing and delivering the goods. I’m just proud to still be alive and kicking, healthy and happy, looking forward to the next challenge, the next gig. I’m also very gratified that I’ve been able to enjoy so many different experiences and adventures, not many people get to feel what I’ve felt and go where I’ve been not only geographically, but musically and personally. Of course I treasure seeing our records climb the charts, touring the world and playing with icons like Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Crue…but my biggest accomplishment has to be coming through it all being able to still celebrate the little victories, still getting a thrill every time I hear my music on the radio, or whenever I get a sincere positive message from a fan who appreciates my work.
What's your favorite thing to do when not touring or recording?
RK: Almost all my activities are creative – right now I’m enjoying finishing up work on my autobiography, "Even Keel: Life On The Streets Of Rock & Roll," developing my own radio show, stuff like that. I am starring in a Las Vegas show as well, "Country Superstars Tribute" at the Golden Nugget – I portray Ronnie Dunn from Brooks & Dunn in the show, which is a blast. I spend as much time as I can in the mountains, camping, exploring, and 4-wheeling.
I'm gonna break it up a little with a few random multi choice type questions. :)
Which do you like better, beer or booze?
Blondes or brunettes?
RK: Happily married. But I’ve never been the kind of guy who has a ‘type’ – I try to see the beauty in all things…
Redheads or rainbow colors?
RK: Again, happily married…but variety is the spice of life in music, food, and haircolor. I do like highlights, and Renee has sported a number of different colors and styles through the years.
Cartoons or reality tv?
RK: I like the tough guy action adventure reality shows, especially "Deadliest Catch." And having worked with Gene Simmons when he produced our first albums, I am a big fan of "Family Jewels."
Are you looking forward to your European tour that’s coming up?
RK: We are extremely excited to be embarking on our first headline tour of Europe, and we hope it becomes an annual tradition. We are pulling out songs from throughout our history, even a Steeler song, playing a long show, and we have a great crew and tech staff. I am feeling and sounding great, actually stronger and healthier than I’ve been in many years, but I’m sure I’ll give it all to the audience and come home battered and exhausted…
When do you think you'll be touring the states again?
RK: For better or for worse, we get lumped into the same category and demographic strata as a number of other bands that are out there touring themselves into oblivion, riding around in a beat up van and playing for peanuts. We’re not in a position to do that. We decided when we put the band back together we were going to do it right or not do it at all – big events like Rocklahoma, M3, this Europe tour, next year’s Monsters Of Rock Cruise, these are the types of events we can sink our teeth into. We are always listening to offers and are ready to rock if the situation is right – and if a support slot on a strong U.S. tour were to present itself, we’d find a way to make it happen.
Thanks for taking time to answer a few questions. Wish you the best of luck on your tour & safe travels.
RK: Thank YOU and all the fans out there who keep this kind of music alive, KEEL loves you and appreciates you.
Last Updated (Saturday, 17 September 2011 11:54)