In 1990, Tesla was on the rise as a band, having released two albums and a couple of really cool hits, “Love Song” and “Modern Day Cowboy.” They were very hot on the touring trail, putting on concerts with so much energy and vitality it was knocking fans back in their seats. Tesla stayed grounded and the musicianship was excellent. So it was no wonder that by the end of 1990, they would find themselves shooting towards the top of the music and MTV charts with an acoustic version of an old Five Man Electrical Band song called “Signs.” It was proof that Tesla’s magic lay in being a live band, where they still shine brightest twenty-six years later.

Opening the current Def Leppard tour, Tesla are still earning respect the old fashioned way: with good songs and rock and roll rooted in the blues vs glam. Having that strong rooted base, they have been able to stand up to the test of time, even though they took a break as a band for several years, and as of 2016 are working on new music with Leppard’s Phil Collen aboard as producer. “We’ve done one song already and we’re actually doing it in segments,” Collen told Songfacts earlier this year. “When we’ve got some good songs, we’ll record them, and we’ve got a few on the go already.” Tesla drummer Troy Luccketta reiterated to me that everything was sounding great so far.

Luccketta, who was born and raised in northern California, has been with the band since the beginning so he’s seen the highs, the lows, the struggles and the achievements. “I feel blessed to be thirty years into it and still have a job that I absolutely love,” he acknowledged during our interview prior to their set at the Cajundome in Louisiana. “Whoever knew, right?”

Click here for the full interview.