TESLA has set "Shock" as the title of its ninth full-length album, tentatively due in the fall. The long-awaited follow-up to 2014's "Simplicity" was helmed by DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen, who co-wrote and produced the TESLA song "Save That Goodness", which was released in August 2016 and included on the "Mechanical Resonance Live!" album.
When asked in an interview with "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" why TESLA decided to bring in an outside producer this time around, guitarist Frank Hannon said: "Phil had a great amount of energy and compassion for the band, and when he showed us that he had that for us, we wanted to give it a shot. And it's the first time that we've ever made a record where we've let someone come in and co-write the songs and really teach us some new things. 'Cause we're pretty hard-headed, so to have a guy with his experience, who's worked with [Robert John] 'Mutt' Lange, who has produced these really killer albums, we decided, 'Let's give it a shot and see how it comes out. And it's something new that we're gonna learn.' And so it was great."
Hannon also talked about what inspires TESLA to keep making fresh music at a time when so many of the rock fans are seemingly not interested in new albums from their favorite bands and just want them to remain in the past and be nostalgia acts. "Well, each guy in the band has their own different motivations," Frank said. "Me, I'm always motivated to keep learning and keep trying new things. But, again, on this album, I would say it was Phil Collen who got the band as a group motivated to try some new stuff and to learn some new recording techniques and new ways to write songs. So Phil Collen has motivated TESLA at this point. Like I said, for me, I'm motivated by learning and trying new stuff, and that's what my solo albums are for."
TESLA singer Jeff Keith told The Salt Lake Tribune last year that Collen encouraged the Sacramento-based band to adopt a slightly different recording approach.
"With Phil, we'd come in on a given day, work on maybe the bridge on a particular song, work on the chorus on this song, and then work on a verse — all in one day, all on different songs," Keith said. "That was really fun and exciting, 'cause you could put the ideas down, take 'em home, chew on 'em for a couple days… It was really fun doing it in that way, and it's the first time we've ever really done it like that."
TESLA's most recent release, "Mechanical Resonance Live!", was made available in 2016 via Tesla Electric Company Recordings/Mailboat. The effort celebrated the 30th birthday of the original multi-platinum album and featured classic hits as well as the aforementioned "Save That Goodness" single.
TESLA will support STYX and JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS on a summer U.S. tour that kicks off May 30 in Irvine, California at the FivePoint Amphitheatre
TESLA's current lineup includes four of the five original members: Keith, Hannon, Brian Wheat (bass) and Troy Luccketta (drums). Dave Rude (guitar) joined in 2006 as the replacement for Tommy Skeoch.