JEFF KEITH Defends TESLA's Collaboration With DEF LEPPARD's PHIL COLLEN: 'We Were Trying Something Different'

April 26, 2020

In a new interview with "The Classic Metal Show", TESLA singer Jeff Keith was asked about the criticism that has been leveled at the band for adopting a 1980s-style polished production for its latest album, "Shock". The follow-up to June 2014's "Simplicity" was helmed by DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen, whose own group is no stranger to slicked-up, glossy-sounding recordings.

Asked if he can understand why some fans were taken aback by "Shock"'s less organic approach, Keith responded (hear audio below): "Yes, I can understand that. We definitely knew we were trying something different. We were trying a more of a 'sonicy'-sounding record with the approach that Phil Collen is accustomed to. And so we knew we were trying something different, but the beauty of it was that we still stayed within the roots of TESLA and it's still TESLA. But Phil Collen [co-wrote] a lot of that record, and he, of course, produced it. He's got different approaches on things. And so it was fun and exciting for us to try some new things.

"Usually with TESLA, we'll go in and record a song in the studio and we'll stay on that song until we feel we have it what's called 'in the can,' and then we'll move on to the next song," he continued. "Where with Phil, with him in the studio, one day I would sing the chorus to a song that I worked on yesterday or the day before, and then I would go to a verse of another song, and I would go and work on the bridge to another song. And so we worked on three or four different songs in one day, which is different than what TESLA would usually approach recording. So it was fun. It was exciting.

"I can understand it when people go, 'Well, it's definitely different than a usual TESLA record,' which that's what we were trying — something new and different," he added. "And to work with Phil was absolutely fantastic — he's a great guy who knows a lot of things, with all of his experience of recording. So we definitely did try some new things. So I understand where the fans go, 'Well, that's a different approach than TESLA would normally make.' And hey, it flat-out is. But for the most part, our fans, the response we got from it was they were excited about the record, they knew it was a different approach than we normally would do, but they still appreciated it that it was still a TESLA record."

"Shock" was released in March 2019 via Ume.

Collen previously co-wrote and produced the TESLA song "Save That Goodness", which was released in August 2016 and included on the "Mechanical Resonance Live!" album.

TESLA released "Five Man London Jam" on March 27 on Blu-ray, 2LP vinyl, CD and digital via Ume. The recording celebrates the 30th anniversary of TESLA's landmark "Five Man Acoustical Jam" album.

TESLA's current lineup includes four of the five original members: Jeff Keith (vocals),Frank Hannon (guitars),Brian Wheat (bass) and Troy Luccketta (drums). Guitarist Dave Rude joined in 2006 as the replacement for Tommy Skeoch.

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