Michelle J. Mills of Pasadena Star-News recently conducted an interview with CINDERELLA frontman Tom Keifer. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On battling vocal cord paresis, also known as vocal cord paralysis, which is the inability for one or both of the vocal cords to move due to abnormal nerve input to the laryngeal or voice box muscles:
Keifer: “The onset of the problems was pretty sudden, almost overnight. It was towards the end of the tour [in support of CINDERELLA‘s third album, ‘Heartbreak Station’]. We only had a few weeks left when I noticed that my voice just started breaking and cracking, more in the middle register of my voice, and I couldn’t control the notes.”
On seeing a physican in Philadelphia who poked the insides of Keifer‘s throat; the right side yielded a gag response, while the left was unresponsive:
Keifer: “He did some other tests and he looked down my throat and then we had the big scary talk where he came in and said, ‘The good news is you’re not crazy, there is something wrong with your voice, but the bad news is it’s a paresis, which is a fancy medical term for partially paralyzed.”
On how his vocal paresis also has a good side:
Keifer: “One of the positive things that came out of this whole mess is that from the voice training I learned a lot of things and developed different areas of my voice. The middle part of my voice in particular, it’s probably a little stronger than it used to be, although it’s still volatile from day to day. But on a good day I can do things that maybe I couldn’t do before this.”
“I think if there’s anything to be learned from it, there’s never an ill wind that doesn’t blow some good if you stick to something and you have enough belief and you work. I’m certainly not out of the woods, it’s something that will always be with me and it’s always going to be a struggle, but I’ve been able to regain enough to do what I love to do.”
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