An Interview with
Bassist of Cinderella
that took place early 2005.
Interviewed by Glenn Milligan
Glenn: What originally turned you onto playing the bass guitar?
Eric: I started out as a guitar player. When I was 17, a friend of mine needed a bass player so, I said I would fill in until he found someone. I found that I liked playing bass more than guitar and focused on that instead.
Glenn: Who are your favourite bass players and how have they influenced you?
Eric: I tend to like bass players who hold down the rhythm section rather than the ones who are flashy. My favorites include Tom Hamilton, Tom Peterson and Cliff Williams.
Glenn: How did originally become a member of Cinderella? Apologies as you've probably been asked this a million times!!
Eric: I founded the band along with Tom Keifer back in 1981. We had been in several bands together and had a good chemistry.
Glenn: What bands/styles would you say in your opinion personally influenced Cinderella?
Eric: We were always fans of the hard rock bands in the seventies. Later on, Tom explored more of the blues roots of rock.
Glenn: How did you feel when you first saw your debut album 'Night Songs' in the Shops and hearing yourselves on the radio?
Eric: It was a great feeling of accomplishment. We had been working hard for years to get to that point and to see the end result is beyond words.
Glenn: How was it supporting Bon Jovi in the early days and what do you have the fondest memories of and why?
Eric: Being on the Bon Jovi tour was a huge opportunity to put Cinderella in front of alot of people. We had just come off of supporting David Lee Roth on his first solo tour, which did very well, but Bon Jovi was selling out everywhere. What was so great about that tour was we got along so well with their band. It almost felt as if we were all in the same band.
Glenn: What have been your favourite support bands and why? (funnily enough I don't think Slaughter will be in the list)!
Eric: We had our differences with Slaughter back in 1991, but after touring with them in 2000, we resolved everything. All of our support bands have been great to hang out with, but the nicest guys would have to been Little Angels.
Glenn: What things do you miss about the 80's Glam scene? Are there bands that you wish were still around today?
Eric: I can't say I really miss much about the glam scene. I do miss the overall attitude of letting music be an escape from the everyday stress of life. There really weren't any bands from that era that I listened to.
Glenn: What 80's bands rock bands would you like to see reform and why?
Eric: It'd be The Little Angels for me but I can't see it happening - I loved their songs and the immense power they had as a unit.
Glenn: As well as playing bass, what made you decide you also wanted to be an Studio Engineer and Producer?
Eric: It just came naturally, I guess. When you picture how your music should sound, the only way to achieve that is to take control and learn how to get it.
Glenn: In Cinderella, what songs and albums are you most proud of and why?
Eric: Actually, 'Still Climbing' would have to be. We spent so much time and put alot of effort into making that record. Despite all of the problems and set-backs, I think we ended up with a great record.
Glenn: How do the songs come together in Cinderella - do you and Tom bring in the lyrics and go from there or do you all bring in separate demos or do you work on songs from scratch as a band unit?
Eric: Usually, songs are already written to some degree and we work out the arrangements in pre-production as a band.
Glenn: When playing in concert what do you enjoy playing the most and why?
Eric: I personally like playing smaller gigs. It's more rewarding and challenging to be face to face with an audience knowing that they can see and hear every nuance of the show.
Glenn: Are there songs in the set that you get sick of performing but have to because of the crowd demand? If so, which ones? Or do you love playing them all?
Eric: I just love to play. Everything gets boring to play at times, but there's more to playing live than the songs.
Glenn: What have been your favourite moments in the studio from both sides of the booth?
Eric: I would have to say getting to watch John Paul Jones conduct the orchestra for 'Heartbreak Station' and 'Winds Of Change'. I felt honored that he chose to score those songs for us and wanted to come in and conduct too.
Glenn: What made you decide to get involved with 'The Naked Beggars' along with Jeff?
Eric: Naked Beggars started out as my wife's band. I was producing demos and eventually got more involved. We decided to make an independent record and start touring to support it. Our guitar player, at the time, couldn't tour so I asked Jeff to join. He fit in perfectly and now we are recording our second record.
Glenn: I notice that you produced and engineered 'The Naked Beggars' album as well - what other bands have you offered your services to and how did the sessions go?
Eric: I've worked with many up and coming bands, none of which I'm sure you've heard of. I always have fun with the ones I work with.
Glenn: Do you find that a lot of fans come to see The Naked Beggars due to yourself and Jeff being members of the band?
Eric: Of course, but they usually say they were surprised that we were such a serious band.
Glenn: Do you have plans to incorporate the band as part of a Cinderella Tour in the future as we have so far missed out on 'The Naked Beggars?
Eric: Probably not.
Glenn: What age range do you see at Cinderella concerts these days and what is the male to female ratio on average?
Eric: The age range is surprisingly broad. There are about equal amounts of women and men at our shows.
Glenn: What other bands would you like to work with, with regard to Engineering and Producing?
Eric: There are many, but unfortunately, time is the issue.
Glenn: What gigs and festivals stand out to you in you career so far and why?
Eric: The first arena show, with David Lee Roth, was such a rush that all I remember is just a blur. The first big festival we did was Donington. Prior to playing, everyone had told us horror stories about opening bands getting hazed by the audience, but we had no problems and the show was awesome.
Glenn: Why has it been so long since Cinderella have released a studio album - is it simply down to the fact that you are always in demand as a touring act or are there other reasons?
Eric: We had signed a deal with Sony back in 1998 and after demoing songs for three years, they dropped us and we have just now settled the legal issues. I don't know if Cinderella will ever record again. I think that Tom will be doing some of the songs we had demoed on his solo record though.
Glenn: What have been your favourite road stories that you can talk about?
Eric: We prefer to keep that sort of thing private.
Glenn: What made you decide to change your hair style to what you looked like a few years ago (straight blonde hair etc) - did you get bored with it and fancy something new?
Eric: Yes. I thought the long blond hair just didn't suit me now that I'm older.
Glenn: Do you see much of the ex-members of Cinderella AKA 'Britny Fox' - do you see those guys at all?
Eric: I haven't seen nor heard from any of those guys in years.
Glenn: Here's a thought - what about a re-united tour with Britny Fox and Cinderella? Could you ever see it happening? Call me as mad as a hatter if you like !!
Eric: Well, we actually have never toured with Britny fox. I think we did a show with them very early on. If the original line up reformed, we would probably like to do something.
Glenn: What do you like to listen to when not involved with Cinderella or The Naked Beggars?
Eric: Silence! My musical taste is quite varied.
Glenn: What albums would we find in your top ten and why?
Eric: Well, like I said, My taste varies and I listen to different albums depending on the mood. I mostly enjoy the older or classic albums, but like some newer records too. The last albums I've listened to are from: Chris Whitley, Ministry, Frank Zappa, Bowie, Crack The Sky, Dead Boys, Primus, Duran Duran, Devo, Tool and Slipknot.
Glenn: Where do you like to hang out when you are socializing and why?
Eric: We usually just have people over at our house. We, Naked Beggars, rehearse, record and run our business from home and always have lots of friends around at any given time.
Glenn: How come it has been such a long time since you last played in the UK?
Eric: It's more difficult to go there without tour support from a label. We have been offered tours, but the cost outweighed the budget. I'm still hopeful that we will be able to go there in the near future.
Glenn: What are you most looking forward to in 2005?
Eric: I have quite a few things happening. Cinderella is headlining the 'Rock Never Stops' Tour this Summer. We also have a live DVD coming out this spring and a new CD and DVD 'Best of' collections coming out in late winter. Naked Beggars are in the studio now recording our second album 'Spit It Out' which will be distributed worldwide this summer with a tour scheduled to follow the Cinderella tour.
Big thanks for the great Interview Eric. Special thanks to Ron Arold for setting it up too!