TESLA Bassist On Making Videos, Running A Record Label
September 24, 2007
Cameron Edney of Inside_Out66 recently conducted an interview with TESLA bassist Brian Wheat. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Inside_Out666: You guys recently filmed a video for the LED ZEPPELIN cover "Thank You" [view clip below]. Many bands openly state that they hate making clips but as we know it's a must in this business. Take us through a typical day on the set of a TESLA clip?
Brian Wheat: That clip was done in about two hours actually [laughs]. We went into my recording studio with this young kid we know who we call "emo kid." He's a young film maker who's only twenty one. He showed up with three or four buddies and cameras and in two hours we were done filming. It was over pretty quick! That same day we wound up recording two more songs which were "Hand Me Down World" and "All The Young Dudes". Troy had finished the drums and left about six thirty that evening while Frank and myself finished backing vocals at around three in the morning. In twelve hours we had done the video and recorded two songs.
Inside_Out666: During the Eighties and even the early Nineties I can remember seeing so many different hard rock and metal videos on our televisions, but these days they are few and far between. Do you feel it is still important to spend money making film clips that don't get anywhere near the airplay they deserve?
Brian Wheat: My view on clips in this… they're good to have! They were invented to be a promotional tool and they still are a great promotional tool. But to spend half a million dollars making a fuckin' video is insane. It's all about the song man! When people hear the song, it makes them react and want to go out and buy the records. Videos are nice to have but we're not film makers here man, we're music makers. My view on clips is to do what we did with "Thank You", knock it out real quick, have fun doing it and not take it too serious like you're trying to make a fuckin' movie!
Inside_Out666: Do you find it a lot less stressful having your own record label rather than working for the larger corporate companies? Do you feel like you have more freedom to do whatever you want?
Brian Wheat: Of course! It's less stressful 'cause you know what's going on. No ones lying to you. If you've spent one hundred thousand dollars marketing a record you know you've spent it, not spent thirty when they're telling you you've spent one hundred! Which is really what happens!
Inside_Out666: TESLA fans are incredible and extremely dedicated. What are your thoughts on fans getting TESLA tattoos?
Brian Wheat: It's funny to see people with my name tattooed on their arms. I'm flattered, it's crazy [laughs]. I'm in the band and I don't even have a tattoo of TESLA on me [laughs]. The first time it kind of freaked me out a little bit! This chick said "sign my stomach I'm gonna get it tattooed!" I said, "No, you don't wanna get my name there." She came back a couple of weeks later and she had all of our names tattooed on her stomach.
Inside_Out666: You have grown up influenced by some of the greatest bands in rock 'n' roll history such as THE BEATLES and LED ZEPPELIN. Do you feel you have played a large role in influencing many of today's hard rock acts?
Brian Wheat: Ah, I don't know man. There are young bands that come up to us and say they grew up listening to us. Just the other day we played a big festival and PAPA ROACH, BUCKCHERRY and HINDER were also on the bill. It was really nice to see them all sitting on the side of the stage to watch our set. We played before the three of them and they all had quite a bit of respect for us which was really nice.