Having spent the last few years living in South Dakota, veteran artist Ron Keel is primed for one very busy 2018. Following his recent signing to Dave Ellefson’s EMP Label Group, the Metal Cowboy will re-issue his 2014 album, aptly titled, Metal Cowboy Reloaded. The release is a remixed/remastered compilation that draws from Keel’s country/southern rock playbook while still maintaining the monstrous riffs and powerhouse vocals he’s known for.
This summer, The Ron Keel Band will also release their highly-anticipated debut, Fight Like A Band. An album that sticks to earthy Southern charms and showcases a bold musical direction for Keel and his bandmates.
AXS recently talked to Ron Keel about his new projects and much more in this exclusive interview.
AXS: What made you decide to reissue your album, Metal Cowboy?
Ron Keel: After I’d signed with David Ellefson’ s EMP label group so many ideas were being thrown back and forth. I had mentioned the Metal Cowboy album to them because it’s a big part of who I am. By the end of the conversation, we all agreed to reissue it. Because my hardcore fans may already have the album, I thought it best to create a new listening experience for them by remastering the entire disc, remixing all the songs and adding a few bonus tracks. I’m also excited about priming a new audience who maybe hasn’t heard of me or just knows me from Keel. David’s allowed me to evolve as the musician and singer/songwriter I am while still letting me embrace my roots. This is a great way to introduce my music and persona to a whole new fan base.
AXS: What can you tell me about the upcoming Ron Keel Band album, Fight Like A Band?
RK: Right now, we’re right in the thick of the writing process. The title track reflects the story of what I’ve been through these last few years. The guys in the band have been with me for three years now, and they’ve been my support group while my wife has gone through breast cancer treatment. It’s been difficult and tough for she and I these last few years, but we’ve remained positive. The guys have had my back and have been there with me through the hard times, and that message is what the song is all about.
AXS: Has relocating to South Dakota influenced you as an artist?
RK: As an artist, I think you create your own environment no matter where you live. I’ve been a nomad all my life, going from one town to the next. I moved to Nashville when I seventeen and put together the band, Steeler. Then I went to L.A. to become part of that 80’s Hollywood/metal scene. My time spent in Las Vegas and Nashville has also been well documented. Today, I really love the hard working, hard partying and hard rocking mentality of the people in the Midwest. It’s the perfect spot for me to continue my journey of doing what I do.
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