It’s been said that lightning never strikes the same place twice. However, it does in the case of Tesla. Over the course of their thirty-year career, the critically acclaimed iconic Sacramento melodic hard rock quintet—Frank Hannon [guitar], Brian Wheat [bass], Jeff Keith [lead vocals], Troy Luccketta [drums], and Dave Rude [guitar]—sold more than 25 million albums and performed to sold out crowds across the world. Their journey kicked into high gear with 1986’s platinum-certified debut, Mechanical Resonance, which solidified them as a household name and yielded signature anthems such as “Little Suzi,” “Modern Day Cowboy,” “Cumin’ Atcha Live,” and “Gettin’ Better.” Celebrating the record’s 30th birthday, the boys from Sacramento unleash Mechanical Resonance Live! which will be released on August 26, 2016 (Tesla Electric Company Recordings/Mailboat/Frontiers).
Recorded in the Spring and Fall of 2015 while on tour with Def Leppard, it spruces up the classic 12-song track listing with 21st century live renditions. Bringing everything full circle, they owe its genesis to the suggestion of a close friend and fan Phil Collen of Def Leppard…
“Phil came into our dressing room to have a talk with us one night,” recalls Frank. “As a true fan of Tesla, he suggested that we record a live rendition of Mechanical Resonance. It was just a brilliant idea. We immediately agreed with him.”
“We pride ourselves on being great on stage, and we were really able to capture that,” says Brian. “It’s a bit of déjà vu. 30 years ago, we were on tour with Def Leppard promoting Mechanical Resonance. 30 years later, we’re touring with Def Leppard and promoting Mechanical Resonance!”
For the first time since the record’s original tour cycle, Tesla dusted off deep cuts like “We’re No Good Together” and “Before My Eyes.” Mixed by Brian in his own studio, the recordings pack a powerful and passionate punch by preserving the original performances.
“Some of these live renditions are better than the performances on the original record,” continues Brian. “It’s just us doing what Tesla do best, playing live. I wanted it to be as in-your-face as it could be.”
“It’s completely honest and real,” Frank concurs. “When you listen to it, you’ll hear the imperfections and nuances, because it’s one-hundred percent us.”
As much as it honors their legacy, Mechanical Resonance Live! hints at Tesla’s future as well. The band includes a brand new track, “Save That Goodness,” produced and written by Phil Collen. Energized by bombastic guitars, robust grooves, and an epic refrain complete with a choir call-and-response, the song remains a welcome addition within their storied catalog.
“It’s definitely reminiscent of Tesla’s style, because it’s got a positive message in the lyrics, and the vibe is really upbeat,” Frank exclaims. “I can’t wait to play that live.”
“We love the way Phil works,” Brian goes on. “You’ll hear more of that quality down the line. It’s got the ‘Little Suzi’ good time vibe.”
The 21st century has become something of a renaissance for Tesla. Most recently, 2014’s Simplicity bowed at #14 on the Billboard Top 200. The group ignited ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! in addition to scorching stages at festivals such as Rocklahoma, Graspop Metal Meeting, and Sweden Rock Festival as well as the cruise Monsters of Rock! Remaining committed to philanthropy, they hosted a benefit for The Station nightclub fire in addition to playing a rally for the Sacramento Kings. They simply never stop.
As they prepare to cut their ninth full-length album with Collen at the helm, Tesla take a big leap forward as they glance back on Mechanical Resonance Live!
“I want people to feel like Tesla is still full of energy these days,” concludes Frank. “That’s it.”
“This is a band we started in Frank’s garage when I was 18, and Frank was 15,” Brian leaves off. “I’m proud we’re still standing this many years later. It’s a pretty cool place to be. I’d love for people to think, ‘That band has managed to stay in the game for 30 plus years, and they’re still playing great shows and putting out quality music.’ Now, just turn the shit up when you listen to it. It was made to play loud.”
Hailing from New York, Voices of Extreme is a powerful hard rock ensemble that appeals to fans of dynamic, harmonic metal and melodic rock. All of the members have extensive experience in the industry and are now supporting their upcoming E.P. this summer. Recently, the band has reformed as a 3-piece with Don Chaffin (formerly of Red Lamb and Ram Jam) taking on lead guitar and vocals, Steven G. Knight on Bass, and Bobby Marks on drums.
If you long for the sounds of such vintage hard rock acts as Van Halen, Dokken, Queensryche, and Aerosmith (to name a few), then the Virginia-based quartet, Red Reign, is most definitely the band for you. Originally formed in summer of 2013 in Richmond, Red Reign singer/guitarist Carlton “Bubba”McMichael and drummer Sammy Lee started the group, after leaving a cover band to pursue all original music. A month after putting the plan together, bassist Larry Moore was added to the band, and guitarist Stevie Shred was added in early fall of 2015 to complete the band.
The group is hard at work on the follow-up to their debut full-length (‘Chasing Shadows’) – which is a yet-to-be-titled EP, that is being overseen by Grammy-nominated producer, David Ivory (Halestorm, Roots, Silvertide). “After signing with Chipster PR, we were directed to David Ivory, to help with the rewriting and rearrangement of songs for our upcoming CD,” explains Sammy. “David made the songs flow better rhythmically and brought in fresh ideas, to build on the original foundation of the songs. He also brought a different vision of how the songs were played, to put the band in more of a mainstream direction.”
Despite the recording not yet being completed, Sammy already has some favorite tracks to list off the upcoming disc. “All songs are great, but a couple that stand out are “Not That Way,””Chains,””Toxic.” But I would definitely say “Not That Way” is the most radio freindly, mainstream song. It has a great hooks, melodies and is so catchy that it will appeal to ALL music lovers.”
And the band is already making believers out of the music press, such as the following quote from Pitriff.com – “Listening to Red Reign, vocalist/guitarist Carlton McMichael jumps to the forefront as the leader of this band. His voice is clean without sounding dated, and his guitar playing is about as good as any unsigned rock guitarist I’ve heard in awhile. While he’s clearly a disciple of Eddie Van Halen, it’s equally clear that his pallet has been fleshed out with everything from ’70s era Blackmore through modern era crunch that is recognizable without having a figurehead player to hold it’s mantle. McMichael is not a solo act though, as he’s perfectly complimented by an underbelly created by bassist Larry Moore and drummer Sammy Lee.”And now with Stevie on board, his George Lynch/Slash-type leads will add a modern rock and roll edge.
While touring plans are yet to be determined in support of the upcoming release, Sammy hints at what fans can expect when attending a Red Reign performance. “When coming to a Red Reign show, you can expect a energetic, enthusiastic, genuine, high energy rock show, that is reminiscent of the ‘80s rock bands.”
And lastly, what lays ahead for Red Reign? “We look forward for the national release of the new EP. We then hope to promote and back that up with live performances. And by the way, the writing process has already started for the next release!”
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Over the course of TESLA's thirty-year career, which stated in 1986, the iconic Sacramento melodic hard rock quintet–Frank Hannon [guitar], Brian Wheat [bass], Jeff Keith [lead vocals], Troy Luccketta [drums], and Dave Rude [guitar]-has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide and played to sold out crowds across the globe, their three albums that followed “Mechanical Resonance” all went multi-Platinum. To say Tesla live is absolutely bombastic is an understatement, they are a hard rock band to beat all hard rock bands.