Q&A: Cinderella Bassist Eric Brittingham on a Quarter Century of Touring

​Cinderella hit the spotlight in 1983 when Jon Bon Jovi saw them perform in their hometown of Philadelphia. It's an '80s-rock fairytale fitting for their feminine title. Cinderella's fame grew during the era of glam and hair bands, but it managed to grow with the times. The band continues to excite fans on tour again after 25 years. Its sound is still heavy, but with more of a blues-rock influence. Band members haven't needed to spend much time reflecting on knowing what they've got, since what they had isn't gone yet (Too much?).

We spoke with bassist Eric Brittingham, who was easy with a laugh and talked candidly about the state of the music industry and their grueling tour schedule. The band will play at Revolution Sunday evening. 

New Times: Are you enjoying your 25th anniversary tour? 

Eric Brittingham: Yes, it's been pretty good so far. Just feeling the heat a little bit. That's the only drawback -- most of our shows are outdoors. Makes it a little difficult.

It's been a hot summer. How is touring different now than when you were younger? 

There's actually less places to play than there used to be. For our first two records, we toured, I think, for 18 months straight. It used to be a lot different. The whole record industry and touring industry was completely different 20, 25 years ago. More people went to shows, brought records; they don't do that so much now. We just do a summer tour now, go out for three or four months maybe. We try to generally cover most areas, whereas 20 years ago, we'd go out and spend a couple of weeks in each state. Like Iowa, for example, we'd be there for like three weeks playing dates, multiple dates in certain cities. There's none of that anymore. 

How do you feel like the changes in the music industry and in public preferences have influenced you over the years musically?
Trends don't really influence you musically, or actually, they shouldn't. Especially the type of band that we are. We write more from life experience rather than trying to keep trying with what's going on. It hasn't had much of an impact. It has an impact on whether we ever record another record or not. Which is probably unlikely. It's just there's no market out there anymore. So many bands, they make their records in their bedrooms for next to nothing. This band is just not going to do that. We go the proper route to a studio, try to make a quality product. We're trying to compete with artists who make records for next to nothing; it'd be impossible to do. In that sense, it's influenced us. 

Your sound has evolved a bit since you started. You have more of blues-rock sound. Have you always been into that since before you became famous? 

Yeah. It's a major influence. It's not direct. It's from other groups that were blues-based rock bands. That's what we grew up listening to, and that's what influenced us the most. Our singer, he's into classic blues; I'm not so much. I'm more of a fan of Southland, Deep Purple, Aerosmith, AC/DC that are blues-based rock bands. That's where our sound is derived from for sure. 

What's your personal favorite thing about being onstage? 

I just like performing. It's a way to get all your frustration out. It's the one little hour and a half out of your life where you can just be yourself and just do your thing. So I look forward to doing it. 

Jon Bon Jovi first helped you get your start. Do you keep in touch with him? 

No. Tommy, our singer, talks to him from time to time. We don't really stay in good touch with those guys, even amongst ourselves! We all have families. I'll talk to the guys like once a month, maybe. Three of us live in Nashville, and our drummer lives in LA. 

Do you do a lot of studio recordings in Nashville? 

I keep busy doing sessions. They're not big-name things, I just do demo sessions and indie stuff. I have several friends who own studios, and they call me up to come in and play on some tracks. I keep busy doing that. I had a side project for a while. 

You said earlier that you aren't going to record an album together again necessarily...

We always get asked that. Like I said, we don't have any plans anytime soon. We've seen other bands of our genre and era that've put records out. It's funny, because the fans complain that you haven't put anything out, and then you do, nobody buys it. They'll go download a few clips for free. The way we'd like to make a record, we're not going to go the cheapo route. We'd like to go in a proper studio with a producer, and you're not going to make a record for under half a million dollars, and if you're going to sell 20,000 units, you will not even recoup what it cost to record it. The whole free internet download crap has put a damper on the record industry. We have a lot of material. Our singer recorded a studio album but hasn't put it out, probably for the same reasons. I did a side project; I did three records, and I didn't sell that many units, so I didn't even recoup what I put into it. The whole industry is in the toilet for the moment. In the meantime, we have fans that enjoy the music we put out. We go out and play the hits. Try to make them happy and have fun doing it. 

Can you share with us the craziest thing you've seen tour this time around? 

I think the craziest thing in general is that we just did a three-week tour of Europe, and we did it all as fly dates. Sixteen people, band and crew. A typical day is, we get a wakeup call at 4 or 5 a.m. All of our gear, which is about 42 bags, plus our carry bags, and get three hours before a flight to whatever country we're going to, stand in line, check all this crap in, barely make the flight. Sit there. We spend most of the day traveling. We get there, play the gig, get done, get back to the hotel, unwind, get to bed at maybe 1 or 2 in the morning, and get up at 4 again and do it all over again. When we got back to the States, I counted in five weeks, there were two nights where I had more than three hours of sleep. 

That is the craziest thing! How many times do you think you've played in South Florida? 

A lot. Back 25 years ago, we'd do multiple dates. We'd spend a couple of weeks in South Florida. I remember doing in-stores down there. Very early on, our first tour, we had an in-store, with about 3,000 people come in, that kind of attention, we just said wow! It was the '80s, so we signed everything. We got done with the show. I think we had a day off, so we stayed in Fort Lauderdale, and I had my wife out. We're just walking down the street. This girl comes running up -- "Hey, do you remember me?" I was like, no. She drops her top, and there's my signature across both of her boobs. My wife's jaw dropped on the sidewalk. It was quite some time before I signed another boob. 

Will you be signing boobs here in Fort Lauderdale? 

Probably not. We don't get asked to do that too often anymore. Those were wilder times back then.

Cinderella. 6 p.m. Sunday, July 31 at Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $15. Click here.

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Liz has her master’s degree in religion from Florida State University. She has since written for publications and outlets such as Miami New Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Ocean Drive, the Huffington Post, NBC Miami, Time Out Miami, Insomniac, the Daily Dot, and the Atlantic. Liz spent three years as New Times Broward-Palm Beach’s music editor, was the weekend news editor at Inverse, and is currently the managing editor at Tom Tom Magazine.
Contact: Liz Tracy