TESLA bassist Brian Wheat, who is promoting his recently released autobiography, “Son Of A Milkman: My Crazy Life With Tesla”, spoke to “The Chuck Shute Podcast” about his relationship with the band’s former guitarist Tommy Skeoch.
“Look, we’re not gonna be friends,” Brian said (hear audio below). “He’s not gonna call me and say, ‘Hey, how’re you doing?’ and I’m not gonna call him and say, ‘Hey, how’re you doing?’ The one thing we had in common was TESLA, and he’s not been in TESLA for 16 years now. If I saw him on the street, I’d probably say hello and ask him how he was. And who knows how he would react? He might tell me to go fuck myself. And then who knows what would happen? I’d probably just go fuck myself. Or maybe I’d slap him. I don’t know.
“He was in the band, and he got several chances to stay in the band, and he chose not to,” Brian continued. “And then he went around saying some not-nice things about me. Why he singled me out, I don’t know, but he chose to. He didn’t say bad things about other people in the band — he just wanted to use me as his target. Probably ’cause I was the one that was the most vocal and honest about his shenanigans. So, being that as it may, I don’t have a desire to call him up and say. ‘Hey, let’s be friends.’ If he called me and said, ‘Hey, man, I’d like to clear the air,’ I would accept it. And I’m not saying he has to call me. I’m not gonna call him, ’cause what I know of him, he’d probably tell me to fuck off, so I’m not gonna call him. But it’s not like I have this deep desire to become friends with him, like there’s something missing in my life, ’cause there’s not. And I don’t wish him any ill will — I don’t have a voodoo doll of Tommy that I’m poking with a pin. I wish him all the best. I mean, I heard one of his songs the other day from his new band, and I thought it was really good. I was, like, ‘Great. Fantastic. That’s the Tommy Skeoch I know. That’s the kind of work I’m used to him doing.’ And then, after saying that, he calls TESLA — he says that the music we do now is lounge music. So every time I start to feel something for him, he opens his mouth and says something negative about the band or us. And I just figure, then again, he hasn’t grown up. I don’t know. The only time I really talk or think about him is when people like you bring it up. I don’t sit around and contemplate what it would be like if Tommy was here.”
Skeoch left TESLA in 2006 to receive treatment for substance-abuse issues.
In a May 2020 interview with “The Classic Metal Show”, Skeoch was asked if he thinks people are now more aware of the “edge” that he brought to TESLA while he was a member of the Sacramento-based act, on and off, for two decades. “Absolutely. Oh, yeah,” he responded. “To me, it’s been apparent from the get-go, but even early on, on my Facebook pages, just everyone, all they ever say is, ‘We still love TESLA, but it’s just a different band. There’s no balls there now.’ And these are not my words, man. I wasn’t gonna say anything, ’cause it’s just not appropriate. But, yeah, I think it’s a different band, and maybe not for the best. That’s my opinion. Everyone has an opinion. If they wanna listen to some more loungey, more kind of pop, lighter music, they’re doing that now. And if people like that, then go for it. I like to rock hard.”
“Son Of A Milkman: My Crazy Life With Tesla” arrived on December 15 via Post Hill Press.
TESLA spent most of 2019 touring in support of its latest album, “Shock”, which was released in March of that year via UMe. The follow-up to 2014’s “Simplicity” was produced by DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen.