By Joe Hadsall
Globe Features Editor
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Bands have to work harder than ever these days to make it to the big-time. They have to do the work of record labels and face a lot more competition through online music sellers such as iTunes and Amazon.
Michael Gossard said he and his bandmates in Acidic are up to the challenge.
"The first thing any band should work on are the songs," Gossard said. "If it's not right, it's not ready. It's better to go out full force with songs you like."
The Southern California band returns to Joplin Monday with a concert at Guitars -- the band will open up for Tom Keifer, lead singer of Cinderella, who is touring in support of his debut solo album, "The Way Life Goes."
Gossard said the band has performed two other concerts in Joplin, one of them at the Kitchen Pass last May.
Fresh off a tour with Trapt, the band travels to Joplin for a single show before another tour through the Pacific Northwest, then joining with Oklahoma rockers Hinder.
The band has toured with a long list of other bands, including Filter, Fuel, Candlebox and Hawthorne Heights.
The band recently released its third album, "Copper Man," in March. Working with producer John Ryan, Gossard, bassist Ted Dubrawski and drummer Matt Whitaker, the band rehashed previous work to produce an album that eventually picked up a distribution deal with Sony/Red through MegaForce Records.
Gossard said the band took its own advice and reworked the album that eventually became "Copper Man."
"At first we thought about doing something like a live album," Gossard said. "We wrote a bunch of songs that we didn't feel confident using, so we went back to square one, wrote a bunch of new songs and practiced the hell out of them."
The result is a solid rock album that got featured on Nikki Sixx's "Side Show," a nationally syndicated radio show. Previous albums were featured in the publications Alternative Press, Pure Grain Audio, Music Review and Target Audience.
Gossard said band members strive to put together songs that can be played live with no backing tracks. Live shows are energetic and frenetic, he said.
"We just want to be up there and play what we love," Gossard said. "Anyone who has never seen us before, even if they don't know a single song, there will be one part where they are singing along with us."
After Cinderella broke up in 1995, singer Tom Keifer wanted to produce a solo album. After a gauntlet of mixing, remixing and producing, it was finally released this year.
"The Way Life Goes" features a blues-rock sound similar to the sound that made Cinderella famous, infused with a little country. Songs cover his struggles with a paralyzed vocal cord, learning to sing again and all the personal and emotional battles that followed.
Many of the songs are co-written with his wife, Savannah Snow. The album was co-produced by Chuck Turner.
Content to work independently until the album was finished, "The Way Life Goes" was released via Merovee Records, a part of Warner Music Group's independent labels.
Want to go?
Tom Keifer and Acidic will perform Monday at Guitars, located at 1800 W. Seventh St. Doors open at 6 p.m. The concert is presented by KXDG-FM. Tickets: $25, $20 in advance. Details: 620-674-2232.