Soulmotor's Brian Wheat: Motoring Along
Interviewed By Keith McDonald
Brain Wheat is better known as the bass player for the hard rock outfit
Tesla, known for their hits "Modern Day Cowboy" and "Love Song." But when
Tesla decided to call it a day, Brian quickly found himself without a
gig. Determined to carry on musically, he formed the band Soulmotor with
two of his buddies releasing a studio album a few years back that saw
moderate success. When Tesla reunited with itís original members; Brian
put Soulmotor on the back-burner while Tesla played one sold-out show
after another. Now as Tesla prepares a new studio album, Brian found
time to release a follow-up Soulmotor album that recently hits stores
entitled Revolution Wheel. I had the opportunity to speak with Brian who
filled me in on whatís been going on. You can check out their website at
www.soulmotor.com or www.sanctuaryrecordsgroup.com.
Tell me about the new album
I produced it; we recorded it in my studio at home. We recorded it in
the course of a year. We took our time on the songs because with the
first record we recorded it in four weeks and mixed it in six or eight
days. This was recorded in a year and mixed in five weeks. So, a lot of
time and care went into this.
How did Soulmotor start?
Well, I was in another band before Soulmotor. When that band broke
up I was out of a job. So like anyone else laid-off, you go look for
another job. I knew Darin and Tommy for years and years. We got together
and wrote some songs (and) thatís how it came about.
Is Soulmotor a side project?
Side project, no. I wouldnít call it (that). The thing is Tesla
broke up and vowed to never get back together again. Iíd call it the
other band. Iíd absolutely like to keep doing it as well as doing Tesla.
What is the status of Tesla right now?
Weíre working on the studio album and will tour through the summer.
Youíll hopefully see a new studio album the first half of next year.
Is it difficult juggling two projects at the same time?
Itís gotta be thought out. There hasnít been yet, weíll have to see.
What are your tour plans for Soulmotor?
If thereís a demand for people to see the band, weíll play. We sold
about 15,000 on out first record so thereís not a huge following. Weíd
like to build on that. Weíll probably play some dates.
Does being in Tesla help Soulmotor get notoriety?
No, I donít think the two (are similar). Tesla fans are really into
Tesla and donít wanna know about anything else. The fans we have,
theyíre kids and arenít into Tesla.
How has Sanctuary Recordsí support been so far?
At this time, I donít wanna comment on Sanctuary Records.
Will there be a single released?
Shutdown is at radio and weíd like to see more of a commitment from
What are your thoughts on MTV and VH1?
I think MTV and VH1 are great. I think people who arenít on it hate
MTV. When MTV came out it was like the Internet, there was nothing like
it. Theyíre powerful.
How would you describe your music?
Itís heavy music. has a lot of rhythm, melodic, big guitar and
vocals. If you like the heavier, active commercial rock thatís out
What do you think of the melodic rock scene?
I follow the radio charts every week and rap/rock isnít doing shit.
Puddle of Mudd, Creed are really happening. Thereís a lot of melodic
rock (out there). Melodic rock is the top 10 tracks at radio.
What new bands do you like?
Puddle of Mudd, Sevendust, Staind, Linkin Park, Fuel, Nickelback. I
like a lot of new bands.
How does the songwriting process come about?
It comes from me Tom and Darin, the three of us. Basically we go
into the studio around 11:00 in the evening. We come out in the morning
and in that one writing session thereís usually a song. Thatís how it
Whatís the future for Soulmotor?
Hopefully to build upon what we started and build a following. The
three of us really enjoy working together. Keep doing whatever we can to