Heart of Steel: Interviews

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 our label.


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 there.


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 happens.


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 keep building.

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