“A chat with Dave Rude from Tesla.”

By Bob Zerull

The last couple years have been amazing in terms of veteran acts and amazing new music. Motley Crue released the hit album “Saints of Los Angeles,” Metallica returned to form with “Death Magnetic” and Guns n’ Roses, well, at least Axl finally released “Chinese Democracy.” In late 2008, we also saw the release of Tesla’s remarkably modern and heavy new effort entitled “Forever More.” It might be the band’s best album yet.

Zoiks! Online recently talked with Tesla’s new guitarist, Dave Rude (The Dave Rude Band) about the new album. Rude also described what it’s like to be the new kid on the block and what it’s like to have found success via MySpace without being named Dane Cook.

Q – How did you get involved with Tesla?

A - I’ve got my own band (The Dave Rude Band) and I sing and play guitar. We have a MySpace page. Frank Hannon (Tesla’s lead guitarist) saw our MySpace profile. He sent me an email. We got together to jam and next thing I knew I was in Tesla.

Q – What was the audition process like?

A - It wasn’t really an audition. I was a fan of their music but I didn’t really know anything about Tesla. I didn’t know they were looking for a guitar player. (Frank) asked me to jam in Sacramento. (He) said they were looking to find a guitar player for Tesla. I learned the new songs jamming on tour with Frank’s solo project.

Q – Were you a fan of Tesla as a child?

A – Yeah, I grew up listening to them. When the acoustic record (“Five Man Acoustic Jam”) came out, I was in middle school. I was a fan from then on. I’ve seen them a handful of times since.

Q – Who else influenced you as a child?

A - Guns n’ Roses’ “Appetite for Destruction” was my favorite record and favorite band. The standards like Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith. I love Jane’s Addiction, The Black Crowes, and U2. My favorite guitarist is Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Q - What made you want to play guitar?

A - I don’t know, I just always wanted to do it. You know what, Michael Jackson, he was probably my first biggest influence. Even though he didn’t play guitar, I just wanted to be a singer. Prince and “Purple Rain” were big when I was little too.

(Photo: Ross Halfin)

Q – How did it feel to go from playing clubs to arenas?

A - It was great. I thought it’d be more drastic than it was. I had always played my music on stage with the attitude that there were ten to 20,000 people there. So I always give my all. Sounds silly but it’s true. There’s more adrenaline, but it’s just cool. To tell you the truth, when you’re on the big stages you can’t see past the first few rows.

Q – How’s it like being the new guy in a band with members fifteen to twenty years older?

A - It’s pretty easy. I like the mellowness of it all. We don’t drink or party. Everybody’s married, so there are no chicks around. The partying gets boring. It’s no fun playing with a hangover. The mellowness is something I definitely enjoy.

Q – What role do you play in the song writing process?

A - We wrote the album together and I got to write some of the parts. We did kind of just get together and jam but really we got together to write with our producer. Then we’d jam on parts in the studio. Almost every song has three to four different writers. I don’t think anybody brought in a whole song without it being modified. Frank brought in “Breaking Free” (the first single), the hook riff and chorus, and I came up with the bridge and added a riff to the chorus. Frank and I do a lot of trade off solos and stuff. The album itself is contemporary with what’s happening right now but it’s still genuine.

Q - Will the Dave Rude Band ever open for Tesla?

A - We haven’t yet. Not sure if we ever will because all the guys in Tesla have other projects. I actually don’t think it’d be a bad idea if we all opened. It could happen. We (The Dave Rude Band) just released a new CD called “Carry Me Home.” We’re currently looking for a label now.

Q – How would you describe the Dave Rude Band’s sound?

A - It’s hard to describe your own music, you know? I’d want to say more modern, but I think the new Tesla album sounds very modern. The way I describe it is Shinedown doing shots with Buckcherry at a Kings of Leon after party.

For all Tesla info including tour dates, videos and more, please visit:


Bob Zerull is a frequent movie and concert goer who talks about his ventures to arenas and theaters more than any person should be allowed to do. Now, he puts them down on paper. Visit: www.cadaverchristmas.com. Email Bob at bob@zoiksonline.com.

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