Thursday March 2, 2017
Tesla with The Cringe
It’s been said that lightning never strikes the same place twice. However, it does in the case of Tesla.
Over the course of their thirty-year career, the critically acclaimed iconic Sacramento melodic hard rock quintet—Frank Hannon [guitar], Brian Wheat [bass], Jeff Keith [lead vocals], Troy Luccketta [drums], and Dave Rude [guitar]—sold more than 25 million albums and performed to sold out crowds across the world. Their journey kicked into high gear with 1986’s platinum-certified debut, Mechanical Resonance, which solidified them as a household name and yielded signature anthems such as “Little Suzi,” “Modern Day Cowboy,” “Cumin’ Atcha Live,” and “Gettin’ Better.” Celebrating the record’s 30th birthday, the boys from Sacramento unleash Mechanical Resonance Live! which will be released on August 26, 2016 (Tesla Electric Company Recordings/Mailboat/Frontiers).
Recorded in the Spring and Fall of 2015 while on tour with Def Leppard, it spruces up the classic 12-song track listing with 21st century live renditions. Bringing everything full circle, they owe its genesis to the suggestion of a close friend and fan Phil Collen of Def Leppard…
“Phil came into our dressing room to have a talk with us one night,” recalls Frank. “As a true fan of Tesla, he suggested that we record a live rendition of Mechanical Resonance. It was just a brilliant idea. We immediately agreed with him.”
“We pride ourselves on being great on stage, and we were really able to capture that,” says Brian. “It’s a bit of déjà vu. 30 years ago, we were on tour with Def Leppard promoting Mechanical Resonance. 30 years later, we’re touring with Def Leppard and promoting Mechanical Resonance!”
For the first time since the record’s original tour cycle, Tesla dusted off deep cuts like “We’re No Good Together” and “Before My Eyes.” Mixed by Brian in his own studio, the recordings pack a powerful and passionate punch by preserving the original performances.
“Some of these live renditions are better than the performances on the original record,” continues Brian. “It’s just us doing what Tesla do best, playing live. I wanted it to be as in-your-face as it could be.”
“It’s completely honest and real,” Frank concurs. “When you listen to it, you’ll hear the imperfections and nuances, because it’s one-hundred percent us.”As much as it honors their legacy, Mechanical Resonance Live! hints at Tesla’s future as well. The band includes a brand new track, “Save That Goodness,” produced and written by Phil Collen. Energized by bombastic guitars, robust grooves, and an epic refrain complete with a choir call-and response, the song remains a welcome addition within their storied catalog.
“It’s definitely reminiscent of Tesla’s style, because it’s got a positive message in the lyrics, and the vibe is really upbeat,” Frank exclaims. “I can’t wait to play that live.”
“We love the way Phil works,” Brian goes on. “You’ll hear more of that quality down the line. It’s got the ‘Little Suzi’ good time vibe.”
The 21st century has become something of a renaissance for Tesla. Most recently, 2014’s Simplicity bowed at #14 on the Billboard Top 200. The group ignited ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! in addition to scorching stages at festivals such as Rocklahoma, Graspop Metal Meeting, and Sweden Rock Festival as well as the cruise Monsters of Rock! Remaining committed to philanthropy, they hosted a benefit for The Station nightclub fire in addition to playing a rally for the Sacramento Kings. They simply never stop.
As they prepare to cut their ninth full-length album with Collen at the helm, Tesla take a big leap forward as they glance back on Mechanical Resonance Live!
“I want people to feel like Tesla is still full of energy these days,” concludes Frank. “That’s it.”
“This is a band we started in Frank’s garage when I was 18, and Frank was 15,” Brian leaves off. “I’m proud we’re still standing this many years later. It’s a pretty cool place to be. I’d love for people to think, ‘That band has managed to stay in the game for 30 plus years, and they’re still playing great shows and putting out quality music.’ Now, just turn the shit up when you listen to it. It was made to play loud.”