Tesla “I Wanna Live”

Ken Nicholson
Add Date:
October 23, 2008


What’s up rock fans? It’s Andy Gesner and the staff from HIP Video Promo, here with brand new material from one of the most successful hard rock bands of the past two decades. Tesla never shared all that much with the lite-metal bands that were dominating the charts when they broke onto the national scene. There was nothing “glam” about the electrifying quintet – they played straightforward, hard-hitting, hooky blues rock in the vein of Aerosmith, ZZ Top, The Black Crowes, and other great American rock bands, and won huge crowds without resorting to cheap theatrics or showbiz frippery. While other chart-topping acts paid little attention to their subject matter, Tesla had hits with thoughtful songs about the history of electronics and their groundbreaking namesake. And time and time again when many popular groups have seemed prefab, the Sacramento combo has always been firmly grounded in classic rock tradition – consider, for instance, the band’s inspired choice of cover songs, many of which went on to become hits. They are the blue collar rockers, a part of America whose jobs are disappearing but desire to rock out is alive. Made in America. A rare thing indeed.

No wonder, then, that Tesla has outlasted almost all of their contemporaries. The cast of characters is almost identical as it was in the beginning, too: charismatic Jeff Keith upfront, videogenic Frank Hannon on the six-string, hard-rocking Brian Wheat on bass, and powerhouse drummer Troy Lucketta holding it all together. (Recently, auxiliary guitarist Dave Rude has added an infusion of youth and energy to the band’s sound.) Twenty years into their journey, they’re as ferocious as ever – still proudly proletarian, and still putting the music first. In fact, since true professionalism like theirs can be awfully self-effacing –especially in the smoke-and-mirrors world of hard rock – it’s worth pausing to remember just how much Tesla has accomplished. Here’s a band with three platinum discs, sixteen million records sold, several coast-to-coast stadium tours, two top ten hits, and a well-earned place on classic rock radio playlists

And their hit streak continues unbroken – since 1987, Tesla has placed more than twenty recordings in the Mainstream Rock Top 40, including two in 2004 and one in 2007. The group that, arguably, kicked off the “unplugged” craze on rock radio and MTV with their wildly-popular Five Man Acoustical Jam has, by that measure, been one of the most commercially-reliable acts in rock and roll, regardless of whether we’re talking about the 80’s (The Great Radio Controversy), the 90’s (Psychotic SupperBust A Nut), or the 00’s, (Into The Now). Now, Tesla has returned with Forever More, their latest set of smoking, riff-heavy, instantly memorable rave-ups. And like their 2007 release Real To Reel, the new album has been released on the group’s own Tesla Electric Company Recordings. The band that helped define the major-label sound of the late Eighties has embraced the digital-indie present without missing a beat.

You’d expect a group as unpretentious as Tesla to prefer performance clips, and in fact, their in-concert videos (remember the engaging clip for “Signs”?) always feel wholly natural. “I Wanna Live”, the first single from Forever More, is a reminder to seize the day, and it’s paired here with a clip that features members of the band living to the fullest. There’s plenty of footage of the band in action, too, performing with the same sense of commitment that made them huge fan favorites. Jeff Keith is front and center here – as he should be – rock-climbing, horseback riding, and soaking up the summer sun. But he never looks more alive than he does when he’s fronting the group, singing his heart out, straight to the camera.

It is a major source of pride to be working with the legendary Tesla to promote their newest video for “I Wanna Live.” The band will be touring the US this month and have been kind enough to supply us with plenty of copies of Forever More, so don’t hesitate to get in touch for all of your on-air giveaway and video interview needs. If you need more info, call Andy Gesner at 732-613-1779 or e-mail us at info@HIPVideoPromo.com. You can also visit www.TeslaTheBand.com to find out more about Tesla.

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