New TESLA Guitarist: 'It Was Just Like Joining A Local Band'

Classic Rock Revisited recently conducted an interview with new TESLA guitarist Dave Rude. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Classic Rock Revisited: How did you get this gig?

Dave: I have my own band and we have a MySpace page. It has been up a couple of years. Frank actually found me on my Myspace page. Frank and I have a mutual friend. Frank was looking for a guitar player. He went under the guise that he was looking for his solo band but he was really looking for someone for TESLA. He went to someone else's site that he knew and I was on his top friends. He clicked on me and checked it out and sent me a message. We met at a club and went over some cover tunes and got along really well and a week later I was on tour with his solo band and training to be on tour with TESLA. People ask me if it was a stressful audition. I tell them it was just like hanging out with friends. I am sure you have talked to all of them before and you know that. It is so cool to hang out with them. They have no ego. It was just like joining a local band.

Classic Rock Revisited: Did you believe that it was really Frank who was emailing you? Or did you think it was bullshit.

Dave: I would have thought it was bullshit but my friend called me and told me that Frank was going to be contacting me about playing with his solo band. When I got the call I was like, "What the fuck? This is so cool. I might be able to play in some clubs with Frank." I had no idea it was really for TESLA. I got home from work and there was an email from Frank.

Classic Rock Revisited: Tommy was a huge member of that band, both as a musician and as a visual part of the live show. Were you nervous about replacing him?

Dave: Tommy was a big part of the band and I was a huge Tommy fan and am still am. I was not that nervous because I felt so at home. I was a little worried that the fans would not take it well because he was such a big figure in the band but they have been great. The Frank Hannon tour helped because I met a lot of the fans at the shows. They were in small clubs and we would hang out. Everyone embraced me really well and when it transferred into TESLA then everyone already knew me. I was expecting "Where's Tommy" signs but everyone was really cool. TESLA fans love their guys and they love the music. I think they are happy that the band is still going.

Classic Rock Revisited: Had you seen TESLA live before you joined them?

Dave: I was younger when they were touring the first time around. I got "Five Man Acoustical Jam" when I was in seventh grade. I loved that record. It didn't leave my Walkman for months. My favorite TESLA record is "Psychotic Supper" — I fucking love that record. I was too young to see them in their heyday. I was super bummed when they broke up. I saw one of the reunion shows at the Fillmore in San Francisco and I was just blown away with how good they were. That show was sold out and I went with a friend of mine who had a ticket and I hoping that I could get a ticket from a scalper. I was bummed out because I couldn't get a ticket. I tried to by a ticket from some girl who was walking by. She told me she worked there and could get a comp ticket so she let me have her ticket for free. I saw the band again with the SCORPIONS later the same year. I was blown away again. I remember that I tried to give Tommy's tech a CD of my band to check out. I hung out afterward and was trying to get autographs.

Classic Rock Revisited: Are you still with your other band?

Dave: I am still doing the DAVE RUDE BAND. We are finishing up an EP with Michael Rosen, who co-produced "Into the Now" and engineered "Real to Reel". He produced our EP and we will have new songs up soon on our MySpace page. We are going to be touring during the gaps in TESLA's schedule. The DAVE RUDE BAND will tour when I am not with TESLA. TESLA is very supportive of me doing my stuff. I love doing my band as well as TESLA.

Read the entire interview at www.classicrockrevisited.com.

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