Dave Rude, American guitarist for Hard Rock band Tesla.
How was it working on your solo album Dave Rude Band the Key?
It was a blast! Every month or two we’d go down to American Made Studios in Fresno, CA to work with Marc Kapetan who produced the album. All the basics were tracked live in the same room so we’d do a few songs and then start overdubbing and leave with a finished song by the end of the weekend. Usually I’d go back and record more guitar tracks and do the solos after we got a good basic take. Then I’d do the lead vocals and backgrounds. After that we’d add any effects or sonic coloring to give the songs that extra oomph. Marc really helped a lot with getting this record sounding so good. All the drums are live–no samples or sound replacement like most recordings. Everything is really organic but still huge and modern sounding which can be a hard balance to strike. He just used mic placement and mixing to get the sound we were going for.
Where did the influences come for writing this material on the Key?
I grew up on a lot of classic rock–Zeppelin, G’n’R, Aerosmith, Metallica, etc–and that all comes out in my writing. After so many years of listening to old school hard rock I got a little bored with it and started getting into newer bands as well. I also listen to a lot of pop, country, jazz, and blues and it all comes out subconsciously in my writing. When that all mixes together it comes out as a mix of classic rock–big riffs, solos, singalong choruses–and newer styles to give everything a sonic twist. “The Key” doesn’t sound like a throwback “old school rock” record and it doesn’t sound like a uber-modern radio rock band either. It’s somewhere in between but a lot more unique. Also, Marco Guzman’s bass playing and influences being from Peru and hearing a lot of Latin music like Salsa and Cumbia growing up but still loving Kiss and Motley Crue give the songs a totally different feel. And Josh Schmidt’s drumming really adds a lot to the record as well ‘cuz he grew up playing fast, aggressive punk rock, but also studies Latin jazz and is into all sorts of crazy prog bands like Mars Volta so his playing helps keep the songs sounding fresh and new.
Any tours coming soon for Tesla or Dave Rude Band?
Tesla is pretty much on the road off and on all the time. We’re out right now for a busy summer touring season and we’re starting to work on a new album for next year which is sounding great so far. I’m not doing any DRB shows for the time being. Between Tesla and writing songs for country and pop artists I don’t have enough time to devote to doing another full time band at the moment. But I’m planning on making an instrumental guitar record later this year and putting it out on Rat Pak Records so I’ve been working on the songs for that a while now too. Lots of stuff is coming up and I’m stoked for all of it.
When writing a song is there such a thing as investing too much time? Definitely. It’s a tough line to dance around because you want to get the song as good as possible but you also don’t want to tweak the life out of it. You need to keep your perspective so you don’t go too overboard trying to change and rewrite it a hundred times. But you need that same perspective to realize when a song does need rewriting. Usually waiting a day or two before listening back to your idea will help give you the distance needed to make a good decision on how to move forward.
What equipment are you currently endorsing, etc.
I play Epiphone and Gibson guitars, Krank amps, D’Addario strings, Dunlop effects and picks, Rapco Horizon cables, LM straps, Pedaltrain boards, and TonePros bridges.
Anything new for Tesla in 2013?
Yes. We are working on a new album right now while we’re on the road and hope to get it out by early next year. Just started playing a new song on stage this week.
What were your earliest influences in life?
Besides my parents, it was definitely Michael Jackson and Prince.
What could we find interesting in your music collection at home?
Probably most people would be surprised by the pop stuff: Katy Perry, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, etc.
Someday do you see a biography being written about the experiences you acquired or will acquire in your life?
I’d like to write an autobiography one day. But it will be about Will Ferrell.
Could you describe what goes on in a day in your life as a musician on tour?
I usually workout before soundcheck, then spend a while before soundcheck getting my amp tweaked to the venue ‘cuz each place sounds different, soundcheck, maybe play a little more after everyone leaves the stage, kill some time, get dressed for the show, start playing guitar backstage, stretch out for about 10 minutes, play a little more, put in my in-ear monitors, hit the stage, have dinner, kill time, read, go to sleep.
Where do you see Music in 100 years from now?
Extra questions for Dave Rude
Life without music would be – lame
Favorite movie – The International
Favorite sport- Competitive ice cream consumption
Favorite food – see above
Favorite drink – Carlsberg
Favorite saying – “Man, I love Carlsberg!”
Favorite car – Mercedes-Benz
Favorite book – “The Feast Of The Goat” by Mario Vargas Llosa
Favorite band – U2
Star Wars or Star Trek – Absolutely both
PC or Mac – Mac