Dave Rude says Tesla always fear being bottled at festivals – but they've always escaped the worst excesses of violent crowds because even fans of extreme music end up enjoying the band's classic rock vibe.
The guitarist has got used to finding his band sandwiched between much heavier acts on the summer circuit. He tells TeamRock Radio: “Sometimes we’ll be on bills like Download, when there’s a lot of really heavy bands.
“We did a show in Germany last week with Testament and fucking Annihilator and all these hardcore bands. Every time we’re about to get onstage at those festivals I think, ‘Man, we’re gonna get bottled – it’s gonna be nuts.’
“But no: there’s dudes with leather jackets and upside-down crosses tattooed on their faces, going ‘Love will find a way!’ All the Slayer fans fucking love Tesla.”
He compares his outfit to the way Aerosmith seem to cross so many musical boundaries. “I mean, everybody loves Aerosmith,” he reflects. “It’s classic for a reason, right? That’s why everybody loves it. It seems like it never really goes away.”
And he studiously refuses to pick up any theatrical pointers for some of the more out-there acts they’ve played alongside. “We’re very much old-school,” he states. “We just kind of do it. We don’t do production and we wear whatever we want to wear. It’s just about playing.”
Tesla, who played at Donington yesterday, released seventh studio album Simplicity earlier this month.