TESLA's JEFF KEITH: 'When We Play Live, We Don't Roll No Tape'
June 16, 2023
In a new interview with Robert Cavuoto of Sonic Perspectives, TESLA frontman Jeff Keith confirmed that his band doesn't use any backing tracks in its live shows these days. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "When we play live, we don't roll no tape; we don't roll no Pro Tools or nothing. When you see us live, we either sound good and we're doing it or we have an off night and we're doing it. We've never rolled tape. And now they say, 'Well, it's not really tape anymore, Jeff. It's a computer.' I go, well, either way, we don't do none of that. Like we say on all our records: 'No machines.' … We like to keep it real."
Back in 2021, when TESLA announced its first post-pandemic tour, TESLA guitarist Frank Hannon said in a statement: "We are so excited and anxious to get back to performing 'real' live concerts again. There's nothing like the energy of being in the same spontaneous moment with an audience of people. TESLA has always taken pride in being a high energy live band relying on performances without any backing tracks or pre-recorded help."
In recent years, more and more artists have been given a pass for relying on pre-recorded tracks, drum triggers and other assorted technology that makes concerts more synthetic but also more consistent. For better or worse, pre-recorded tracks are becoming increasingly common for touring artists of all levels and genres and they're not just used in pop music — many rock artists utilize playback tracks to varying degrees.
TESLA released a new live album, "Full Throttle Live", on May 26. The LP includes the band's latest single, "Time To Rock!", plus other songs, all recorded last August at Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, South Dakota.
Independently recorded, mixed and produced by guitarist Frank Hannon and bassist Brian Wheat, this new live album truly captures TESLA in pure honest form, and even dives deeper into their roots by recording a live version of the 1974 AEROSMITH classic "S.O.S. (Too Bad)" as a bonus track. The heavier song choices range from "Miles Away" to more recent hard releases like the aforementioned "Time To Rock!" and "Cold Blue Steel". But don't worry, there are old TESLA classics captured too, like "Changes" and "Lazy Days, Crazy Nights", all recorded as TESLA is best — 100% full-throttle live.
In September 2021, TESLA drummer Troy Luccketta announced that he would "take a little time from the road" to spend with family and friends. He has since been replaced at TESLA's gigs by Steve Brown, the younger brother of former DOKKEN drummer Mick Brown.
Due to overwhelming demand, TESLA recently added five shows to its residency at House Of Blues at Mandalay Bay Resort And Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The new dates will begin on Friday, September 29.
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