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February 20, 2019

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Q+A: Thompson Square’s Keifer Thompson talks ‘Trans Am,’ hair and love for his wife

Thompson Square

Dove Shore

Husband-and-wife Keifer Thompson and Shawna Thompson of Thompson Square headline at Aliante Showroom on Saturday, May 30, 2015, in North Las Vegas.

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John Popper, center, and Blues Traveler with Shawna Thompson and Keifer Thompson of Thompson Square as they arrive for the 49th Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Las Vegas.

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Shawna Thompson and Keifer Thompson of Thompson Square with their award for Vocal Duo of the Year at the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand on Sunday, April 7, 2013.

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Shawna and Keifer Thompson of Thompson Square arrive at the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 1, 2012.

Thompson Square Trans Am

Thompson Square Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not

Husband-and-wife Keifer Thompson and Shawna Thompson of Thompson Square just celebrated 16 years of holy matrimony; have two No. 1 hits to their credit — “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not” and “If I Didn’t Have You”; and are working on their third studio album, with the lead-off single “Trans Am” already on radio.

The dynamic duo also has great hair.

Keifer Thompson chatted over the phone ahead of Thompson Square’s show at Aliante Showroom tonight at 8, and the topics included the new sound on their upcoming album, Mexico and why he loves Shawna so much:

Tell me about your new single “Trans Am” and your new sound on your upcoming third album.

It’s so exciting to have new music out after spending the better part of last year writing this album. It emulates what we do live. It’s music you listen to in the car while driving fast and crank it up. It’s fun. “Trans Am” is the first single off the album. It’s a feel-good summer song, a great song that came together organically.

Do you have plans to shoot a video for “Trans Am”?

We’re shooting it the middle of next month.

Why a grittier, more aggressive sound on the new album?

It represents us musically, our diverse music and the music we write. It’s another chapter in our musical life, and it’s good to change everything around.

How was it working with new producer Dann Huff?

I have admired Dann from afar for years. He knows how to make a song a hit, so it was an honor when he agreed to produce our single and album. It’s really cool, man, working with someone like him — it’s quite an honor.

Do you recall why Shawna and you decided to form a music duo?

We had been married for three years and were playing together all the time, and things started moving in that direction. It was supposed to be that way from the first day.

What was the feeling when your single “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not” made it to No. 1, your first No. 1?

Indescribable! Everybody dreams of hitting No. 1, and it became one of the biggest songs of the year. We can’t plan for it, but we’re very blessed. It changed everything for us and continues to do so, the power of one song.

What else are you working on right now besides concerts?

We’re still working on the album to get it done and determining the best of the best. We’ll write for a few more months. It’s exciting and completely different. It’s totally us and refreshing.

What is one remaining goal in your career?

My main goal at this point — it was never being the biggest like Garth Brooks status — is to be together and have fun. The day it stops being fun and being a grind and frustrating, I don’t know, man, it’ll be time to stop doing it. We enjoy what we’re doing.

Am I correct in that you just celebrated your 16th wedding anniversary on May 15?

You are correct!

Congratulations — how did you celebrate, and what’s your secret to a successful marriage?

Being best friends, you know, and letting go of that pride when you’re wrong. It’s tough on both sides — not just guys, women, too. Learn to extinguish fights and let me them go. It’s hard to do even now.

And have fun. That’s the biggest thing. We have jobs that we love to do, not jobs we hate and bring to the house and dinner table that’s a massive thing that snowballs into other parts of your lives.

We haven’t celebrated yet, but we’re headed to Mexico for six days before Las Vegas. It’s our first vacation in six years. Since we’ll be in Las Vegas soon after, we’ll find a way to celebrate there, too. I love it out there; it’s so much fun.

What is one of the best things about working together as husband and wife?

If you marry the right person, if you marry your best friend, you get to hang out with your best friend all the time. We love the same stuff and places — motorcycles, four-wheelers, fishing. We have a lot of fun together.

And one of the most challenging?

Probably being together all the time (laughs)! The fatigue manifests into arguments and frustrations, like agreeing on stuff like merchandise and production. I think it’s healthy to miss somebody, too — it’s a beautiful thing.

You have great hair. Why are you always wearing hats?

This year I’m not wearing a hat! It was all about identity, being different than everyone else. Nobody else was wearing a hat, but I dropped the hat to mix it up. I’ll never be the artist who wears that one hat for branding. I can’t do that.

Tell me one thing that you really love about Shawna.

I love the fact that she can make me laugh. That’s a hard thing — it’s a guy’s job to make the girl laugh. She’s really funny, man, she gets me down on the floor being stupid. It’s one of my favorite things about her.

Anything on your must-do list while you’re in Las Vegas?

There is so short of time, but I would love to see a show. We’ve seen “Michael Jackson One,” “The Beatles’ Love,” “Le Reve.” I try not to gamble. She’s the gambler!

Thompson Square headlines at Aliante Showroom tonight at 8.

Don Chareunsy is the Las Vegas Sun’s arts and entertainment senior editor and has been a journalist for nearly two decades.

Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous fame” has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at

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