After three decades of constant recording and touring, the members of Tesla decided they needed a break from the road. They took a year for themselves, but that break ended on May 5, when the NorCal rockers hit the stage at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. BAM’s Chris Kentzell was there to witness the show, and had this to say, with the help of some Tesla song titles:

“This modern day cowboy had one lazy day and one crazy night! The lights went dark, and the crowd came ALIVE as guitarists Frank Hannon and Dave Rude, vocalist Jeff Keith, bassist Brian Wheat, and drummer Troy Luccketta swarmed the stage and belted out ‘I Wanna Live’!

“Treating the full house to a 13-song set list, plus an encore of ‘Lil Suzi,’ it was a killer night of music at the Regency Ballroom. Not to name drop, I will just say– there were a few metal musicians in attendance having a great time watching Tesla as they ripped it up! Things always seem to be getting better every day with these guys.”

The question on everyone’s mind is: what happened to Tesla? Where did they go? Well, they’ve been busy! And they made good use of their year-long hiatus.

Guitar slinger Dave Rude has been doubly blessed. Along with getting to know his new baby son, Camilo, he has spent much of his remaining spare time in the studio on his side project, The Dave Rude Band. The band’s new album, The Key, will be released on June 4. Also appearing on this album are local boys drummer Josh Schmidt and bassist Marco Guzman (who just happens to be Dave’s brother-in-law). Dave has more to say about The Key in this audio interview with BAM Magazine’s Kat Stevenson.

Tesla’s Dave Rude talks about The Key:

The cuts I’ve heard from The Key are killer! Whether you’re a Tesla fan or a Dave Rude fan, this is one of those one-of-a-kind, “must have” albums. It features 10 riff-laden songs that are the essence of American hard rock. My pre-order is in! If you’re like me and need to have this album, go directly to ratpakrecords.com or daverudeband.com, and order your copy immediately.

Guitarist Frank Hannon, a founding member of Tesla, also has a side project, The Frank Hannon Band. In 2012, the band released an album, Six String Soldiers, and they have been touring the US. As of this writing, their scheduled show in Oklahoma was cancelled due to weather. Many thanks to whatever higher power for keeping our boys safe!

Troy Luccketta, amazing drummer that he is, has been in high demand. Besides running his own recording studio, he has been on the radar of some pretty prominent bands and individuals. He played with Ronnie Montrose’s most recent touring band, recorded with members of Y&T, and performed under the direction of legendary conductor Terje Mikkelson of the Radio Munich Orchestra for Keith Emerson’s latest release, Three Fates Project (which is absolutely phenomenal!).

As for the rest of the men from Tesla, I didn’t get the chance to speak with them, but I’m sure they are just as busy as their bandmates. After all, great musicians don’t lie down–they just go gray. A thumbs up to making things work, Tesla! Cali loves you guys, and please keep playing.