Tesla, the multi-platinum selling rockers from California, will be making a stop in Niagara Falls, New York, on October 31st, in support of their latest release ‘Forever More.” Thanks to their die-hard, loyal fan base and their younger generation offspring, Tesla (formed in 1984) still performs to sold out crowds around the world. Backstageaxxess.com caught up with guitarist Dave Rude and found out what it’s like to be a member of a band you grew up with. Dave also talks about his own band and how he ended up as Tesla’s guitarist. Here’s what Dave had to say:
Dee: Tesla is on tour and getting ready for a Halloween show at the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls, New York. What can fans expect?
Dave: Looking forward to coming to Niagara Falls. I was in Niagara Falls a few months ago for a day off.
Dee: Did you know there is a large statue of Nikola Tesla in Niagara Falls?
Dave: I think I saw that.
Dee: What can fans expect at the upcoming concert?
Dave:The tour will be underway for about a month before the Halloween show and we vary the set list night by night. There are always some classic Tesla songs and a few songs off the new album ‘Forever More.’ We enjoy putting those in and are getting great crowd reaction. It’s lots of rock-n-roll, guitar solos, improvisation and the whole fun bit. It’s gonna be cool!
Dee: Tesla’s first concept video for “Fallin’ Apart” is on the new album. How does the concept translate to the stage?
Dave: Live, we don’t have any videos going. We just play the song and live, it goes over pretty well. We rotate songs though. We look at the set list from the last time we played and try not to repeat ourselves.
Dee: You’ve been with Tesla for three (3) years now. Tell us a little bit about you and how you became Tesla’s guitarist.
Dave: I’ve got my own hard rock power trio, Dave Rude Band, where I sing and play guitar. We’re based out of Oakland, California. We have a myspace profile and a little over three-and-a-half years ago, Frank Hannon from Tesla was cruisin’ around myspace, looking for a guitar player. He happened to come across our profile. We had an old demo up there and it was pretty funny THAT demo got the gig. We were cool, but it was really rough. Frank emailed me on myspace and asked me to try out for his solo band and then when I went up there, he was actually looking for someone to be in Tesla too. I was blown away, but I was also very excited because I grew up listening to Tesla and I love the band. Everything was cool. It was totally out of the blue. I didn’t know the guys at all. It was a random thing and then worked out real well. About two months after that email, I was the guitar player in Tesla.
Dee: That’s an awesome story. Thanks for sharing it with Backstageaxxess.com. What did your friends think when you told them you were in Tesla? Did they think you were feeding them a line, or did they believe you right away?
Dave: It was funny (laughs). A couple of my friends actually called it before I did. It was 4 or 5 days for emailing back and forth before I went to meet Frank and jam with his solo band. He didn’t tell me about Tesla until after I went to meet him. It was just for his solo band at first, and that’s all I thought it was. All my friends were like “Dude, he’s gonna ask you to join Tesla!” It was funny that everyone predicted it and then it came true. Everyone believed it, but they were kind of like “wow!” They knew I was telling the truth, but they were blown away just like I was.
Dee: You were 8 years old when Tesla’s first album, Mechanical Resonance, was released. Does being the youngest guy in the band make any difference to you or the rest of the band?
Dave: Not really any difference. They are all real cool, normal, down to earth guys who have always treated me very well. They’ve been nice, respectful and open to me. They’ve always treated me like a full member of the band and I’ve always felt comfortable with them. I grew up listening to older music than most people my age, so we have a shared musical background. We all get along really well musically and personality wise as well.
Dee: What made you pick up the guitar in the first place? How old were you?
Dave: I didn’t start taking lessons until I turned 9, but started banging around on one when I was 2 or 3 years old because my Mom had one around. I always, always wanted to play. I thank my lucky stars every day!
Dee: You mentioned your solo project, the Dave Rude Band. You recently released “Carry Me Home”
Dave: Yeah, that’s it! Our new CD. We just released it ourselves and are shopping it to labels and managers. We’re looking to re-release it as a major release. We’re real proud of it and we’ve gotten a lot of good response. You can check it out at http://www.myspace.com/daverudeband.
Dee: You described your initial Dave Rude Band effort as “think Shinedown having a drink with Buckcherry at a Kings of Leon afterparty and you’re on the right track!” Could you elaborate on that a little bit for us?
Dave: It’s definitely got a classic rock influence to it, but we put our own spin on it. That’s kind of the whole ethos…to have an original hard rock sound. We don’t want to be a rehash band or a retro band. We don’t want to just copy other bands. We could just go copy Nickelback. I love Nickelback, but we don’t want to copy them. We want to have our own unique identity. I think of what bands we would fit well on a bill with and Shinedown would be perfect. Buckcherry would be perfect. Kings of Leon, less than the other bands, but we definitely have that spacier, soulful pop side. “Carry Me Home” definitely has a Kings of Leon feel to it. Just a little bit heavier. That would about say it (chuckles).
Dee: Will your band be doing a tour too? Or are you focusing on Tesla right now?
Dave: Right now, just focusing on the Tesla tour. We usually do a month on and a month off. During the month off with Tesla, DRB does a lot of shows on the west coast.
Dee: Tesla is also going to be a part of the Shiprocked Cruise, heading to Jamaica in November, with Queensryche, Ratt and Skid Row to name a few.
Dave: I’m looking really forward to it. I’ve never been on a cruise before. I don’t really know what to expect. There will be a lot of bands. I know that we will be hanging out and there will be at least one show every night.
Dee: What can we expect from Tesla in 2010?
Dave: We will be working on some other projects and doing some Tesla shows, but taking some time off for other projects too. We will also start working on new Tesla material come summer.
Backstageaxxess.com would like to thank Janie Hoffman of all things possible for setting up the interview.For more information on all things Tesla, you can go to www.teslatheband.com.