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Tesla Members Talk New Album, Take Shots at Former Label

Jeff Keith
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Tesla are set to return June 10 with their seventh studio album, ‘Simplicity’ — and as bassist Brian Wheat promised during a recent interview, that title is no accident.

“The whole way through it was, let’s go in and make a record that isn’t over-produced. Or spend time doing a lot of overdubs, layers on Pro-Tools and stuff,” Wheat told Bravewords.com. “It was kind of let’s go back with the mindset of the first album — really spend time working on the songs and pre-production.”

The group emerged from the ‘Simplicity’ sessions with 14 tracks, including leadoff single ‘So Divine.’ That’s a lot of music for one record, but as Wheat went on to explain, the band members were truly enamored with this set of songs — and they figured the fans would rather get more great music for their money anyway. “It’s just a snapshot of where you are at that time and those are the songs we had,” he pointed out. “We couldn’t make up our mind which one or two to cut off, and you know the fans aren’t going to argue that there’s too much material here, so we just put them all on. If you don’t like one, skip it.”

Although the new record is being distributed by the classic rock-friendly Frontiers Records, Wheat stressed that at this point, Tesla is its own label; the band makes its own decisions, and isn’t apt to take suggestions from people in corporate offices — and that goes double for the people at their former label, Geffen. Although the Geffen years produced the group’s biggest hits, there’s no love lost between them. “I just turned down a greatest hits. Geffen Records wanted to put out another greatest hits and I told them to go f— themselves,” Wheat recalled. “Literally, that’s what I told them. They’ve put out enough greatest hits and watered them down.”

Next: Top 10 Albums on 1991

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