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10 Quick Ones with RON KEEL – January 2018

| 10 January 2018 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “EMP LABEL GROUP has announced the formation of EMP OUTLAW, a Southern Rock/Outlaw Country Imprint, set to reissue METAL COWBOY, the 2014 independent release from legendary Steeler/Keel vocalist Ron Keel, in stores 3/2/18. 2018 will also see the studio debut from Ron Keel Band, the highly anticipated follow up to METAL COWBOY, entitled FIGHT LIKE A BAND. After a storied career that began as lead vocalist for Steeler, which would also go on to include guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen, and selling millions of records under his eponymous KEEL with classic albums THE RIGHT TO ROCK and THE FINAL FRONTIER (both Produced by KISS’ Gene Simmons), Keel veered off into brave new territory with the decidedly Southern Rock/Outlaw Country feel of METAL COWBOY.”  We get Ron to answer our 10 Quick Ones about new music, his influences, and more…

​​​​​​​1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

We’ve got two releases this year from EMP Outlaw, the new imprint from the EMP Label Group: METAL COWBOY: RELOADED hits the streets first, on March 2nd. This is a fully remixed and remastered edition of my 2014 solo album with a couple of very special bonus tracks and new artwork and packaging. And while this is very personal project for me, almost like autobiography set to music, there are some incredible contributions from some big time friends like Frank Hannon from Tesla, Mike Vanderhule from Y&T, a vocal duet with Paul Shortino…Travis Toy from Rascal Flatts added so much to the identity of the album with those nasty dobro tracks, which really put some cowboy icing on the metal cake. Hidden nuggets…well, yeah…I wrote it, produced it and recorded it and I hear something new every time I listen to it! This summer we’ll release the debut from the Ron Keel Band on EMP Outlaw – FIGHT LIKE A BAND. We’re capturing the personality of the band by combining brand new original music with covers of classic songs from throughout my career history.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Easy – The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, 1964. I was two years old and it was all over, man. All I ever wanted after that was to be in a band and sing rock n roll on TV. I learned how to play drums by banging on tables with silverware, had my first guitar lesson at six, my first band at nine, on the road by 14 and never looked back.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Well, of course the Beatles after that first childhood trauma…I think we’re all influenced a little by everything that touches us, so narrowing it down to five is tough but I’ll try. How about KISS, The Eagles, Judas Priest, Garth Brooks and The Beatles? Does that qualify as multiple personality disorder?

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

If you’re talking about singers, I’ve always dreamed of singing a duet with Ann Wilson from Heart. If you’re talking about co-writing a song with someone, I’d like to work with Chris Daughtry, I love his writing style.

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

I can’t even describe my music to myself!!! But sometimes we have to put a label on it to let people know what I’m about – so I call it hard rockin’ southern country metal.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Being a small thread in the tapestry of other people’s lives, having a special connection with strangers far away that you’ll never know.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Not a lot of cooking happening on the road, it’s the backstage catering and the late-night burgers. But I’ll be the first one with a drink in my hand and the acoustic guitar!

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I’d always dreamed of being a DJ and hosting my own radio show, and I’ve been lucky enough to do that in real life – I’ve had a successful worldwide syndicated show, been a #1 rated FM rock jock, and now I am rocking online and partying every day on

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

Yeah, just two. I was on the road when my father died, and I was on the road when my mother died. If I had it to do over, I would cancel those shows and get my ass home to be by their side when they passed. Sometimes, the show must not go on.

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I’d rather go forward in time and participate in all the future albums I want to write, release and record. I cherish the past, rock history, all that – but life’s too short for regrets or looking back wishing you were a part of something you weren’t. I’m going to steamroll ahead and enjoy the future – and I hope you and your readers will join me at





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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