Re-energized Telsa to rock Utah
with concert and 'Real to Reel'
By Shannon Gibbs
Editor's note: The Salt Lake City Tesla concert
has been rescheduled for July 27 at Great Saltair. Fans
should keep their tickets, which will be honored at
the new date. Real to Reel enters the Billboard
Hot 200 chart this week at No. 48.
June 13, 2007 | For 20 years Tesla has rocked the
music world, and now the band is back and better then
Nothing can keep these musicians from delivering what
fans crave. With their new album release Real to
Reel they pay tribute to those that have changed
their lives. From the legends of rock 'n' roll to the
fans who have kept them coming back with more, Tesla
knows how to deliver real to reel rock 'n' roll.
Unlike '80s hair bands that copied each other, Tesla
stands alone in that it blazed its own trail and introduced
the world to what rock 'n' roll could really be. With
a distinct mix of classic rock intertwined with a hint
of the blues, creating a sound the world had unknowingly
been waiting for, Tesla surpassed all in its genre .
. . by not conforming to generalities of the times.
Tesla's new album Real to Reel was released
June 5, a day dubbed "Tesla Tuesday" and celebrated
with band appearances and other events for eager fans.
The band kicked off its tour June 7 and will hit Utah
on June 22 at the Great Saltair in Magna. It's a show
well worth the wait, and when you buy a ticket, you
receive the second CD from Real to Reel free.
This is the only way to get the second CD, so grab your
tickets while you can. It fits inside the Real to Reel
case that contains the first CD in this two-album set,
which is on sale now.
This tour also gives Tesla a chance to show where
the band came from and where it is going.
The Hard News Cafe sat with Frank Hannon, Tesla guitarist,
for an interview Monday.
HNC -- So for starters, what made you guys decide to
do Real to Reel?
Frank Hannon -- We have always liked doing covers.
We started off as a cover band in the early '80s and
we have always enjoyed playing covers. When you do a
cover song, you learn a lot. . . . You learn a lot about
someone else, how they interpreted songs. We like to
explore those songs that way, and we have been wanting
to do an actual cover album for the past 10 years. It
turned into the concept of Real to Reel because
through that time, through those years of conceptualizing
it, it developed into recording it all analog and recording
it all live and keeping as real as possible to the original,
the way the original songs were recorded, which would
have been on analog on a tape machine. . . . A lot of
cover albums have been done already but we have been
planning this one for many years.
HNC -- What process did you use to decide which songs
Frank -- Well, throughout the years we have covered
and tried different songs in our shows. Going back to
Five Man Acoustical Jam, we did some Stones
tunes, some Beatles tunes, you know, it starts off with
our favorite artists. You pick your favorite artists
and then you experiment with several songs by that artist.
Like we tried several songs before we ended up with
Hand Me Down World. We tried No Sugar Tonight
and it didn't really sound good, so we would try several
songs by our favorite artist and one would fit. . .
HNC -- I know you guys just barely started your tour,
but how has it gone so far?
Frank -- It's some of the best shows we've ever done.
The band is . . . it's more inspired and on fire then
we ever have been. We sold out the past three shows.
In Hollywood, California, we played the House of Blues
and it was sold out. And we have a lot of energy now.
We just did a Rockline performance, which is probably
one of our best performances
HNC -- Did you guys think that when you reunited in
2000 that you would be where you're at today?
Frank -- Well, yes. We've always known that this is
what we loved to do. A lot of the problems that we had
are no longer with us anymore. So we're better off .
. . in a better place today then I imagined us being
in 2000 because a lot of the negativity is gone.
HNC -- So Dave Rude, you recruited him as a guitarist
-- what made you decide on him out of others?
HNC -- I personally myself auditioned several guitar
players and I've played with a bunch of guitar players
throughout my career and I knew what I was looking for.
When I found Dave on MySpace, he had a song on there
called Come On, Come On that had a great rhythm
guitar feel, and really it was his rhythm guitar that
I liked the best. And then when we got his personality
in the band he was so positive for the band that that
was it, his personality was the cincher.
HNC -- So it's been a good experience having him as
part of the band?
Frank -- It's been a great experience, yeah; he brought
a new breath of fresh air and light, positive energy
to the band.
HNC -- So do you think he completes Tesla and where
you guys are at today?
Frank -- Oh definitely, his energy is probably gonna
prolong the life of this band another 20 years.
HNC -- Nice, that would be awesome because you guys
have been around for almost 25 years.
Frank -- We have been making records professionally
for 20 years but we have been together for 25.
HNC -- How does it feel to have that longevity?
Frank -- You know it feels great. It even feels better
looking forward now that we don't have the negative
problems, the derailing of it. We have had so many ups
and downs in the past 20 years and now it looks like
we're just gonna have a lot of smooth sailing ahead
HNC -- What do you think Tesla's best achievement
to date has been?
Frank -- Best achievement to date. . . . Learning
to work through problems and communicate and . . . learning
to communicate, learning to listen (laughs.) A lot of
people can talk and spout but not a lot of people can
HNC -- Very true. Do you think that '80s music is
making a comeback? Many would say that in the last 10
years music has lost its emotion. I think there was
a lot of emotion in '80s music, is it coming back because
Frank -- Yeah, I think younger people are really starting
to appreciate the energy of '80s music, and the high
energy feeling of it and because there was so much negativity
in the '90s and downer kind of music that I think when
kids get a taste of rock 'n' roll they like it. Makes
them feel good.
HNC -- How do you expect your concert date this Friday
in Utah to compare with past shows here?
Frank -- From our end . . . well ,our shows that we're
doing, we are going to be doing a lot of our new stuff,
some of Real to Reel. It's going to be about
half Tesla songs and half Real to Reel songs.
So it is going to be a lot different from previous shows
that people have seen. And filled with a lot of jamming
and a lot of musicianship.
HNC -- Awesome. . . . Do you guys have any pre- or
post-show rituals you do to get prepared to go on stage
or to chill out afterward?
Frank -- Well everybody in the band has their own
kind of rituals, like some guys work out, some guys
stretch out. We don't smoke out or do any of that stuff
HNC -- Do you do anything for yourself, like meditation
or something, because it is overwhelming, I would think,
to go on stage and face the crowds and its gotta suck
out a lot of your energy to play.
Frank -- Yeah… for me its not anxiety its more like
a race horse in the starting gate, waiting. It's the
waiting that's hard to do. Its not really nervous its
more like anxious, you just wanna get in there, get
on the stage an go. And ya know, when the five of us
are on stage that's when everything is in a great frame
of mind. Sometimes there's a lot of BS you gotta deal
with prior to it that you just wanna get on stage to
get away from it all.
HNC -- Have any of your fans motivated you to create
any specific songs throughout the years?
Frank -- Yeah, we have written songs about . . . being
influenced by fans, some of them that we have lost.
Fans, friends that have died. We have lost some close
friends and the older you get the more experiences you
have in life, you know. We were really heavily affected
by 9-11. A lot of that is depicted on our last album,
which is Into the Now. There are a lot of songs
about that kind of stuff on that album.
HNC -- Do you have any regrets?
Frank -- Regrets? No. I mean, you know. . . .
HNC -- What I mean is, some people see them as regrets
but some people see them as learning experiences.
Frank -- Right, yeah, I don't look at them as regrets.
I would have waited to get married till I was older,
don't get married tooyoung. Wait till you're older.
HNC -- (Laughs.) I can relate to that. Do you bring
your wives and kinds on tour with you, and do they enjoy
Frank -- Sometimes, yeah, oh yeah, they enjoy it.
HNC -- Just one last question for you: What would
you like to say to your fans, both old and new?
Frank -- I would just like to say thanks for giving
us the chance to share music with them and to checkout
YouTube and check out our new video Thank You
'cause that's how we feel. We want to thank everybody
for being there, for coming to the shows and enjoying
our music. We did a cover of the song Thank You,(Led
Zeppelin) and it's a video of it so check it out.
HNC -- I have not yet seen the video of that but the
song. . . . I was so impressed when you re-made that.
That is one of my all-time favorite songs.
Frank -- Thank you, it's a beautiful song, you know,
out of all the Led Zeppelin songs there are, to me,
that's one of the prettiest, most beautiful messages
right there. So check out the video, it's again, on
YouTube and our Web site, www.teslarealtoreel.com.
• • •
Check out Thank You, and many other hits
both new and old live June 22 at the Great Saltair before
you miss your chance. This concert date is bound to
be one of the most memorable shows one could ever experience.