Why TESLA Fans Shouldn't Hold Their Breath For A New Studio Album

April 15, 2024

While appearing on the April 12 episode of SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk", TESLA bassist Brian Wheat and guitarist Frank Hannon spoke about the band's new song "It's All About Love" which they have been performing during TESLA's just-completed Las Vegas residency (see video below). Brian said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We just recorded [it] a couple weeks ago. And it's done and we're playing it live and this summer we should have it out."

Frank added: "It's actually the first song that J.K. [singer Jeff Keith] and myself wrote after a dry spell of writing songs during the COVID lockdown. And the first lyric of the song is, 'I wanna get back to where I started.' That was influenced by how we were feeling during COVID. So we chipped away. We made a little demo of it, and then we just kind of shelved it for a while, 'cause I always knew that I wanted the band and BDub [Brian] to produce it and make it sound rocking. And the original demo was really chill and almost sounded like AIR SUPPLY. It was mellow. And I knew, and I told Brian, I go, 'I love this song, but it needs to be rocked out TESLA style.' So that's what we did. And we worked on it over the past six months at soundchecks during the gigs, practicing it and really developing it and turning it into a rock song."

Asked if the plan is for TESLA to release a full-length album after issuing "It's All About Love" as well as the two previously released singles "Cold Blue Steel" and "Time To Rock!", Brian said: "No, not particularly. Because it takes too much time. Here's the thing. It's no secret, we're getting older. Jeff is 65, 66 years old… In order to do an album, it takes so much out of the band — time and energy. And right now, I think we're all on the same page that we'd rather take that time and energy and go around and play while we're still able to play at the level we play at, because we still play very well. Jeff Keith still sings very, very well. And we can address making an album where you can be in a studio and you can do things 26 times and all that thing, if you have to, later. But to sit there and make an album right now… Frank told you, we've been working on this song ['It's All About Love'] for six months."

Frank added: "It's different now. See, what people don't realize, for a band to make an album that's really great, you have to get locked in a room for about a year and really hash it out and argue and make demos. And then what you're doing is you're fabricating 10 songs, and you'll usually have two great ones and then the other ones are kind of half-assed written unless you spend that time doing it. And that's what we did on the first four albums, or all of our albums that we did up to this point. Now what we're doing is creating singles and touring and playing live and getting them out while they're fresh."

Continued Brian: "Plus there's the whole economic thing about it. We're not a independently multimillionaire wealthy guys. It's a matter of we have to take the time off. We are a working band. Trust me, if we were millionaires, multi-millionaires, and we could afford to take two years off, we maybe would, but we can't. We have to work. We're a working band."

Wheat added: "Look, I would love to go make a record, but like Frank says, I think the songs get compromised because you don't… We spent six months on 'It's All About Love', and I think we got this one right. Honestly, I'm really, really proud of it. It's what I think a TESLA fan would expect from TESLA — right down the middle. Jeff sounds great. Frank's doing classic guitar licks again. But it took six months. We just didn't pull it out of our ass. We worked on it. And to do a 10-song album, even if it's two months a song, that's a year… And quite honestly, you've gotta look at things for supply and demand. Like, how many people want a new TESLA record, a whole new album?

"I'm a statistics guy," Brian said. "And if you wanna get into this, I can go people buying records versus buying tickets. And there are way more people that are buying tickets than are buying records. And they wanna hear all them hits. And then there's the hardcores, which is a much smaller percentage, and you have to go, you have to look at it realistically and go, 'How much gas is left in that tank?'"

Some fans criticized TESLA for adopting a 1980s-style polished production for its latest album, 2019's "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.

In September 2023, TESLA released the official music video for its cover of AEROSMITH's "S.O.S. (Too Bad)". The song is a bonus track on TESLA's live album, "Full Throttle Live!", which arrived in May 2023. The LP includes the band's "Time To Rock!" single, plus other songs, all recorded in August 2022 at Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, South Dakota.

In September 2021, original 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.

TESLA's debut album, 1986's "Mechanical Resonance", went platinum on the strength of the hits "Modern Day Cowboy" and "Little Suzi". The 1989 follow-up album, "The Great Radio Controversy", produced five hits, including "Heaven's Trail (No Way Out)" and "Love Song", which hit the pop Top Ten.

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