Brian Wheat Says Tesla Is Not A ‘Thinking Man’s Band’ Unlike Rush

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In a recent interview with Metal Edge, Tesla bassist Brian Wheat was asked about being defined as a ‘thinking man’s hair-metal band.’ Wheat responded that Rush was a band that could be called this title, unlike Tesla.

Brian Wheat founded Tesla along with the guitarist Frank Hannon in 1981. After the lead vocalist Jeff Keith and the drummer Troy Luccketta joined the band, they released the debut album ‘Mechanical Resonance’ in 1986. The album reached number 32 on the Billboard 200 chart.

In the earlier days of their career, they hit the road for tours with impactful names like Alice Cooper, Def Leppard, and David Lee Roth. Later, songs such as ‘Love Song’ and ‘Hang Tough’ from the second album, ‘The Great Radio Controversy,’ became hit singles. In 1990 the live album ‘Five Man Acoustical Jam,’ which included acoustic versions of hit tracks like ‘Gettin’ Better’ and ‘Love Song,’ came out.

The band’s most recent work was the ninth studio album ‘Shock.’ Def Leppard’s co-lead guitarist Phil Collen was the producer of this record, which was released on March 8, 2019. The band has become number 22 on VH1’s list of Greatest Artists of Hair Metal. Tesla is also defined as a ‘thinking man’s hair metal band.’

Recently, Brian Wheat opened up about his view about this title when the interviewer brought it up. Wheat stated that he finds it absurd to be labeled this way and that they reflect their uniqueness no matter what others say. According to the bassist, this label is more suitable for Rush, unlike Tesla. Wheat added that they create their successful works not by thinking about them for a long time but by how they feel.

Brian Wheat responded when asked about the label ‘thinking man’s band’:

“I think it’s bullsh*t to put any label on us; it’s just someone’s opinion, some writer who sits back and chews on pencils and goes, ‘Oh, I think I’ll go give this a clever little name.’ I mean, ‘hair band,’ ‘rock band,’ ‘blues-based rock,’ whatever you want to call us, we are what we are. A thinking man’s band? I think they would say something like that about Rush.

I think Tesla has always been more guttural. It just comes from the gut. We’ve never really thought too much about any of it, like ‘Five Man Acoustical Jam’ wasn’t calculated; it was just an accident. We don’t sit and think, ‘If we did this, we could be successful doing this or that.’ We just enjoy playing music together, and that’s what keeps us going.”

As Brian Wheat has explained in the interview, Tesla has given importance to proceeding by listening to their gut feeling while creating. They have not spent a long time thinking while making a piece of music; instead, they have been going with the flow, as Wheat mentioned. The group has enjoyed their work and created successful records with this mindset.