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BAD REPUTATION: Adelitas Way’s Rick DeJesus Talks Longevity and New Music

BAD REPUTATION: Adelitas Way’s Rick DeJesus Talks Longevity and New Music


It takes more than just raw talent to claw your way to the top of the rock ‘n’ roll game. Adelitas Way frontman Rick DeJesus knows that all too well. Over the past decade he has poured his blood, sweat and tears in the band. The Las Vegas-based hard rock outfit formed in 2006, but it wasn’t until 2009 that they went mainstream with their debut on Virgin Record. Their anthemic song “Invincible” made its way into numerous television spots, including the “CSI Miami” finale, serving as the theme song for the weekly WWE Superstars show, in the THQ video game “Raw vs Smackdown” and as the theme song for college football on the Fox Sports Network. “Invincible” has also been featured on ESPN Monday night football and The ALCS on Fox.

The band’s sophomore effort, “Home School Valedictorian,” arrived in summer ‘11 spawning four Top 5 singles including two #1 hits at Rock Radio. The record was the band’s highest selling album to date, selling more than 150,000 copies and close to 1 million singles. At the end of 2012, Adelitas Way began writing their third album, the first featuring Andrew Cushing and Robert Zakaryan with writing credits. In July 2013, they entered the studio with Grammy Award-winning producer Nick Raskulinecz to record. The album “Stuck” was released July 29, and had a Top 10 single with “Dog on a Leash” (#6) at active rock.

DeJesus will be the first to tell you the band’s journey to the top has been far from easy. However, his laser focus and dedication his craft have kept the band on course for long-term success. In 2016, Adelitas Way has plans to once again capture the imagination of fans and rise to the top with a brand new album, “Getaway.” Currently, DeJesus and company are traveling the land on The Bad Reputation Tour, featuring special guests Failure Anthem, Through The Fire and Eye On Attraction.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Rick DeJesus to discuss his unrelenting drive, the inspiration for their latest single “Bad Reputation,” the creation of Adelitas Way’s upcoming album, “Getaway,” and more.

Music played a pivotal role in your life. What keeps you inspired and driven when it comes to your career?

My family plays a huge role in it. I have little girls and they motivate me to want to do something great for them and their future with my life. I want to show them that they can do anything they put their mind to. The fans also keep me driven. Adelitas Way has great fans. You want to make sure you are giving them everything you have to become everything they think you can be. I am also motivated for myself. The band motivates me. I have been playing with the guys for a long time and I want to see everyone do well. I also look at my legacy. I don’t feel I have made my absolute masterpiece or my best work yet and I think I still have more to give.

Adelitas Way

Adelitas Way

Adelitas Way has a new album on the horizon, “Getaway.” What goals or aspirations did you have going into the project and what does this album mean to the band at this stage in your career?

I think after our move on from Virgin, when we decided to release the album independently, I think a lot of people tried to throw dirt on us a little too soon. We just saw a vision for a new way to do things in today’s climate. I had a vision for what this band could accomplish. Coming back out and becoming almost like a buzz band again, like we were new, was very important to me. To come out and make a statement that the way I am trying things is a great way to do things was really important for me. I think coming out and making noise and showing everyone that we are very much relevant in this game. Not only showing we are relevant but that we are one of the top rock acts in the game was very important for us. I think we are accomplishing that!

Building on that statement, what makes you one of the top acts in the game?

I think statistics prove some of it, outside of the fact that our live show has so much buzz on it and people love the records we make. People tell me that our records have changed their lives and I think that is very important. When you break it down statistically, we are one of the only rock bands who is still selling out small clubs. We are very much relevant in each scene and market. Obviously, there are places where everyone could grow and become better in but, for the most part, our hunger and desire shows we are one of the top bands. The buzz around our live show and some of the albums we have made shows that. I think the buzz around the cities where we come shows that. When you come to a city and the show sells out the day before you get there or you are playing a market that you played with our big bands shows that. We just played Phoenix with a couple of great bands: The Pretty Reckless and RED. We just showed up and headlined Phoenix the other night and we sold it out by ourselves and it was the same exact kind of show it was when we played with those other bands. It just shows that you are making progress and you are still one of the players In the game.


“Bad Reputation” is one of our first tastes of music from the upcoming album. What inspired this song?

The song is very much about myself. I wrote a song about how I feel and how this business keeps using me. This business is very safe now. It is like people are out to give rules to the rockstar nonstop. My whole career I have heard rules about what I can’t do, what I shouldn’t do and what I won’t do. At the end of the day, I have just been myself. I have always been me and that has got me in a lot of trouble in this game but I speak my mind when I feel it needs to be spoken. I am a character, man! I have always been a bit of a rebellious character or I wouldn’t have chosen this as a profession. People want to know what a real rockstar is. I see them every day and I am one. I’ve seen some of the best guys out there do this and I have shared the stage with them. For 10 years I have traveled across the world playing music. I am who I am and “Bad Reputation” is an homage to that. I mean, so what that I liked to say what I want to say, smoke a joint here or there or have a drink every now and then. It’s nothing too crazy but I figured the world should know I am who I am and that I am not hiding anything.

Rick DeJesus

Rick DeJesus

I have to say, I really appreciate your candidness. After hearing years of people going the line, it is certainly refreshing.

Yeah, of course. What fun is that?

What can we expect from the rest of the songs on the upcoming record?

I think with every record you try to achieve a balance. We may have lost that balance with the last album or two, where we maybe tried too many new things. For us, the first goal is always to write great songs. The second goal is to balance the sound that got us here with something that is new and fresh. We try a little bit of both! This record is going to have some different sounding stuff on it that we wrote together, we loved and went down to a jam room and played. The record will also have stuff that reminds them of classic Adelitas Way.

What did you take away from the experience of making this new album? Were there any challenges you encountered?

I just really wanted to have fun on this album. We have been working with Johnny K, an A-List producer, who has created some of the biggest records in the past 20 years. He really pushed us as a band and pushed me in particular. He beat me up because he sees something in me that is great. He said, “If you want to be great, we have to make sure we hit every angle on this.” He really beat me up on the lyrics and my approach to singing. I think what we got out of it was some of the best work I have ever done.

Has the songwriting process for Adelitas Way evolved through the years?

I think it has not evolved. The one thing I have found out is what works. I have tried it every way! When I write with the band, sometimes the band writes half the album or more with me. On the EP, there is only one song that I wrote myself or with someone else besides the band. On the “Stuck” album, I think there are a couple of co-writes as well. I have changed my approach in the sense of where I am getting in a room with no material and I am letting the band inspire me at times. Those songs always come out a little different as if you were in a jam band or a garage band. I am inspired by bands like that and I am a very punk influenced guy. I am also influenced by some early ‘90s rock. That is what I like about jamming with the guys. Sometimes, when I write songs by myself, I come up with the lyrics and the melodies first. Those songs tend to end up being our hit songs.


As you mentioned, Adelitas Way is known for its amazing live performances. Is it a difficult process to incorporate that energy into a studio album?

It is nearly impossible and we have tried! We have tried to capture it by recording as live as possible and it doesn’t pack the energy of watching us. I think seeing us perform live is seeing our passion, how much we are putting into it and how much the crowd is interacting and feeding us their energy and emotion. It is something very tough to capture on a record.

Which songs from “Getaway” resonate with you the most at this point in time?

I love “Bad Reputation.” There is also a song that will be on the Best Buy exclusive release called “Low.” I love that song and I think it is going to be a big one for us. Probably my favorite song on the record, emotionally, is a song called “The Good Die Young.” I wrote it about where I am from. I am from Philadelphia, a neighborhood where I had a tough upbringing. I wanted to pay homage to some of the people I lost there and my friends who are no longer with us.

What is the biggest challenge for a band like Adelitas Way at this point in your career?

The biggest challenge is making everyone happy. For me, once you have so much success, everyone wants input in every move you make. At the end of the day, I have to follow my gut and keep doing what I have been doing since day one. I have done a good job of taking this band to some great places. Pleasing everyone is the biggest challenge but sometimes you have to do what is best for the big picture of things. Through that process, feelings get hurt that you don’t mean to hurt. Adelitas Way is what feeds my family and feeds me inside and sometimes I have to do what is best for the band, the brand name and everything involving it.

What are your short and long term goals for the band?

We are accomplishing a lot of my long term goals. One of those goals was to headline shows throughout the United States and to keep people coming out to see us. Short term goals are to show everyone that we are back and will be right back up in the top 10 or top five of the rock chart and to be out on the biggest tours and festivals being offered. Like I said, I think people threw dirt on me a little early and now they have to look me in the eye again when we are on top!


You are out on the “Bad Reputation” tour as we speak. What can we expect from these dates?

We are going to give the fans everything they want! We are going to play oldies, we are going to play our hits and some new songs. We aren’t going to play anything off the record but we are going to play some of our newer material from the last couple of releases. We are definitely going to give people some of the older songs they ask for off of our self-titled record and from “Home School Valedictorian.” We are going to play “Bad Reputation” for the first time and be the best we have ever been. It is a goal of mine to make sure we are putting on the best live show we have ever done and that we continue to grow. I am ready to take that leap into the House of Blues and theaters and up our show constantly.

Rick DeJesus

Rick DeJesus

You are outspoken, as you have said. Are there misconceptions about yourself in spite of it all?

Yeah. I think me telling the truth about where the music business is right now is something people don’t like to hear. Me telling the truth about the state of some major radio markets and telling the truth about things that can help to protect artists from making the same mistakes I have made in the future has rubbed some people the wrong way. I think me telling the truth about some bands we have toured with and how they have treated us and other bands like absolute shit may have painted me in a bad light but I am just being honest. People don’t like to hear the truth. I have been on tour with plenty of bands that I have nothing but great things to say about and I have a very short list of bands I have said bad things about. People have to realize that sometimes the truth hurts. I am always going to speak my mind and there’s nothing that I am going to change about myself.

Making a living in music isn’t the easiest thing to do in 2016. What still excites you about it?

I love seeing the world, man. I love seeing new places each day. I love seeing the joy on my daughter’s face when she hears one of my new songs. I love being in the studio with my friends, drinking wine and having a great time recording. I love so many things about this business. Whether it is becoming a label head one day where I would be showing people how they can do it in a new way, producing, writing songs or being in a band, I want to be around this business for the rest of my life and give my kids an opportunity to see how great this business is.

Looking back on your career, I am sure you have a sense of how far you have come. What is the biggest lesson we can take away from your journey?

You have to believe in yourself. If I am talking to a young band, they can’t just expect a self-recorded demo made in their bedroom to take them somewhere. If you aren’t investing time and money into yourself, who is going to? Obviously, having a team of people you can trust is necessary. With that being said, you have to invest in yourself first. Your recordings have to sound great, your songs have to sound great and you really have to work on your craft. If you think you can walk in and tell someone you are the best at something but not really be the best, you are mistaken. It really takes hard work and quality to make people believe In what you are capable of.

Thanks for your time today, Rick! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you and Adelitas Way.

Thank you, Jason! I also want to take a moment to thank the fans and to tell everyone that we are very excited to hit the road and bring them a new album. Thank you all so much! I really appreciate it!

For the latest news and tour dates for Adelitas Way, visit their official site at www.adelitaswaymusic.com. Connect with the band via social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Adelitas Way To Release New EP March 17th, Band Currently Co-Headlining SnoCore Tour With Flyleaf

Adelitas Way To Release New EP March 17th, Band Currently Co-Headlining SnoCore Tour With Flyleaf


Las Vegas hard rockers Adelitas Way are gearing up for the release of their new EP entitled “Deserve This” March 17th. The EP was produced by Matt Dougherty (Airbourne, Aranda, Megadeth, Staind, Disturbed) and the band at Groovemaster Studios. The band is currently on the road this Winter as a part of the SnoCore tour along with Flyleaf, Framing Hanley, and Fit For Rivals.

Adults Way - 'Deserve This' EP

Adults Way – ‘Deserve This’ EP

Formed in the late 2000’s by lead vocalist Rick DeJesus and Trevor Stafford, Adelitas Way, the edgy Las Vegas-based hard rock band, which also includes Andrew Cushing, and Robert Zakaryan, released its self-titled debut album on Virgin Records in July 2009. The album’s first single “Invincible” became a top 5 Active Rock smash making its way into numerous television spots including: Fox Sports Network, the THQ video game “Raw vs Smackdown” and the “CSI Miami” finale. It also served as the theme song for the weekly WWE Superstars show.

The band’s sophomore effort, “Home School Valedictorian”, arrived in the Summer of 2011 and it spawned 4 – Top 5 singles including two #1 hits at Rock radio. The record was the band’s highest selling album to date, selling over 150,000 copies and over 1 MILLION singles.

At the end of 2012, Adelitas Way began writing their third album, which would be the first featuring guitarist Robert Zakaryan with writing credits. In July 2013, they entered the studio with Grammy Award-winning producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Marilyn Manson, Evanescence) to record the album “Stuck”. The record was released July 29th, and produced the Top 10 single “Dog on a Leash”.

The band has toured with Guns N Roses, Shinedown, Creed, Alter Bridge, Three Days Grace, Halestorm, Theory of a Deadman, Breaking Benjamin, The Pretty Reckless, and Godsmack.


For more information, check out Adelitas Way’s web properties:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/adelitasway

Instagram: www.instagram.com/adelitasway

Twitter: www.twitter.com/adelitasway

Official: www.adelitaswaymusic.com

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Adelitas Way To Release ‘Stuck’ On July 29th, Three Instant Track Downloads With Pre-Order

Adelitas Way To Release ‘Stuck’ On July 29th, Three Instant Track Downloads With Pre-Order


Virgin Records will release Stuck, the third studio album from Adelitas Way on July 29. On Stuck, Adelitas Way intensify their brand of hard-edged rock with a tighter songwriting sensibility and a brutal, raw energy. To create the album, the Las Vegas-based quartet joined forces with the Grammy-winning Nick Raskulinecz (Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters, and Queens of the Stone Age) and holed up for eight weeks of nonstop recording in a cabin deep in the woods outside Nashville. The Examiner.com notes that “This album will take them to the next level and mark their spot as a major rock band.”

Fans that pre-order Stuck will receive downloads of their hit single “Dog On A Leash,” title-track “Stuck,” and the recently added track “A Different Kind of Animal” instantly via iTunes. Exclusives bundles are now available on www.adelitaswaymusic.com and include several instant downloads and collectable items.

To celebrate their release, Adelitas Way is hosting an in-store performance at Zia Records in their hometown of Las Vegas on July 31st. The store is located at 4225 S Eastern Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89119. Details on how to gain entry to the show can be found on the band’s website and Zia’s website. The event starts at 7:00pm.

The band will be playing some dates in July (including a few with Three Days Grace) and August before heading out with The Pretty Reckless for a fall tour starting on September 10th. All official tour dates can be found below.

“Dog on a Leash,” the lead track from Stuck, is a slow-burner that blends lead-heavy riffs, thunderous drums, haunting guitar tones, and stirring vocals. Singer/songwriter Rick Dejesus explains the track is about “feeling like you need to ask permission to do what you want, like you’re under the mercy of someone else, whether it’s your boss or an overbearing girlfriend or boyfriend or whoever.”

7/18/2014 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore
7/20/2014 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant
7/22/2014 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues
7/23/2014 – Minneapolis, MN – Myth Live
7/26/2014 – Rapid City, SD – Rushmore Plaza Civic Center
7/27/2014 – Sioux Falls, SD – The District
7/30/2014 – Rock Springs, WY – Sweetwater Events Complex
8/10/2014 – Billings, MT – MetraPark
9/10/2014 – Boston, MA – House of Blues*
9/12/2014 – Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore*
9/13/2014 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of the Living Arts*
9/15/2014 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade*
9/17/2014 – Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues*
9/18/2014 – Jacksonville beach, FL – Free Bird Live*
9/19/2014 – St. Petersburg, FL – Mahaffey Theater*
9/20/2014 – Lake Buena Vista, FL – House of Blues*
9/21/2014 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Revolution Live*
9/23/2014 – Mobile, AL – Soul Kitchen*
9/24/2014 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues*
9/26/2014 – Austin, TX – Emo’s*
9/28/2014 – Houston, TX – House of Blues*
9/30/2014 – Tempe, AZ – The Marquee Theatre*
10/2/2014 – Reno, NV – Knitting Factory*
10/3/2014 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom*
10/4/2014 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon*
10/5/2014 – Vancouver, B.C. – Vogue Theatre*
10/8/2014 – San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom*
10/10/2014 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern*
10/11/2014 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues*
10/12/2014 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues*
10/16/2014 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex*
10/17/2014 – Denver, CO – The Fillmore Auditorium*
10/25/2014 – Indianapolis, IN Deluxe @ Old National Centre*
10/28/2014 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall*
10/29/2014 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues*
10/30/2014 – Toronto, ON – The Sound Academy*
11/1/2014 – Montreal, QC – Olympia De Montreal*
11/4/2014 – South Burlington, VT – Higher Ground Ballroom*
11/6/2014 – Portland, ME – The Asylum*
11/7/2014 – Hampton Beach, NH – Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom*
11/8/2014 – New York, NY – Best Buy Theater*
*Marks dates with The Pretty Reckless – additional dates will be announced throughout the summer.

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Adelitas Way Announce July 29th Release Date For New Album, ‘Stuck’

Adelitas Way Announce July 29th Release Date For New Album, ‘Stuck’


Adelitas Way will release Stuck, their third album on July 29, 2014. On Stuck, Adelitas Way intensify their brand of hard-edged rock with a tighter songwriting sensibility and a brutal raw energy. To create the album, the Las Vegas-based quartet joined forces with the Grammy-winning Nick Raskulinecz (Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters, and Queens of the Stone Age) and holed up for eight weeks of nonstop recording in a cabin deep in the woods outside Nashville.

“This album will take them to the next level and mark their spot as a major rock band.” – The Examiner

Stuck is now available for pre-order on iTunes here. Exclusives bundles are now available for fans on adelitaswaymusic.com and include several instant downloads and collectables.

After releasing their dark and sexy video “Dog On A Leash,” Adelitas Way is inviting fans to go behind the scenes of their video with personal moments of the band plus never before seen action. Fans can watch the behind the scenes video here. Singer/songwriter Rick Dejesus explains the track is about “feeling like you need to ask permission to do what you want, like you’re under the mercy of someone else, whether it’s your boss or an overbearing girlfriend or boyfriend or whoever.”

On September 10th, the band heads out with The Pretty Reckless for a fall tour. All official tour dates can be found below.

Stay up to date with everything Adelitas Way by following them on Facebook and Twitter.


05/24/2014      Pryor, OK                                Rocklahoma

05/25/2014      Rockford, IL                            Rockford Speedway

05/28/2014      Traverse City, MI                     Ground Zero Nightclub

05/29/2014      Forte Wayne, IN                      Piere’s

05/30/2014      Joliet, IL                                  Mojoe’s Rock House

05/31/2014      Kansas, MO                             Liberty Memorial Park w/ Eve To Adam

06/21/2014      Baldwinsville, NY                   Papermill Island

06/22/2014      South Bend, IN                        St. Joseph County 4-H Fair

06/27/2014      Alix, AB                                  Tail Creek Mud & Music Festival

07/18/2014      Detroit, MI                               The Fillmore w/ Three Days Grace

07/20/2014      St. Louis, MO                          The Pageant w/ Three Days Grace

07/22/2014      Chicago, IL                              House of Blues w/ Three Days Grace

07/23/2014      Minneapolis, MN                     Myth Live

07/26/2014      Rapid City, SD                         Rushmore Plaza Civic Center w/ Three Days Grace

07/27/2014      Sioux Falls, SD                        The District w/ Three Days Grace

07/30/2014      Rock Springs, WY                   Sweetwater Events Complex

08/10/2014      Billings, MT                             MetraPark



09/10/2014      Boston, MA                             House of Blues

09/12/2014      Silver Spring, MD                    The Fillmore

09/13/2014      Philadelphia, PA                      Theatre of the Living Arts

09/15/2014      Atlanta, GA                             The Masquerade

09/17/2014      Myrtle Beach, SC                     House of Blues

09/18/2014      Jacksonville beach, FL            Free Bird Live

09/19/2014      St. Petersburg, FL                     Mahaffey Theater

09/20/2014      Lake Buena Vista, FL              House of Blues

09/21/2014      Fort Lauderdale, FL                 Revolution Live

09/23/2014      Mobile, AL                              Soul Kitchen

09/24/2014      New Orleans, LA                     House of Blues

09/26/2014      Austin, TX                               Emo’s

09/27/2014      Dallas, TX                               House of Blues

09/28/2014      Houston, TX                            House of Blues

09/30/2014      Tempe, AZ                              The Marquee Theatre

10/2/2014        Reno, NV                                Knitting Factory

10/3/2014        Portland, OR                            Wonder Ballroom

10/4/2014        Seattle, WA                              El Corazon

10/5/2014        Vancouver, B.C.                      Vogue Theatre

10/8/2014       San Francisco, CA                    Regency Ballroom

10/10/2014     Los Angeles, CA                       The Wiltern

10/11/2014      Anaheim, CA                           House of Blues

10/12/2014      San Diego, CA                         House of Blues

10/16/2014      Salt Lake City, UT                   The Complex

10/17/2014      Denver, CO                             The Fillmore Auditorium

10/21/2014      Minneapolis, MN                     First Avenue

10/23/2014      St. Louis, MO                          The Pageant

10/24/2014      Chicago, IL                              House of Blues

10/25/2014      Indianapolis, IN                       Deluxe @ Old National Centre

10/26/2014      Detroit, MI                               St. Andrews Hall

10/28/2014      Columbus, OH                         Newport Music Hall

10/29/2014      Cleveland, OH                         House of Blues

10/30/2014      Toronto, ON                            The Sound Academy

11/1/2014        Montreal, QC                           Olympia De Montreal

11/4/2014        South Burlington, VT               Higher Ground Ballroom

11/6/2014        Portland, ME                            The Asylum

11/7/2014        Hampton Beach, NH               Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom

11/8/2014        New York, NY                        Best Buy Theater

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Adelitas Way Released Official Video For “Dog On A Leash”

Adelitas Way Released Official Video For “Dog On A Leash”


Las Vegas-based rock band ADELITAS WAY has released the official video for their single “Dog On a Leash“, which will be available for purchase on iTunes. The track will be included on a full length Virgin Records release later in the year. Check out the video below!

The band has been hard at work in a secluded studio with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Evanescence) for the past several months. In an interview with Loudwire, vocalist Rick DeJesus mentions, “The cool thing about this studio in the middle of nowhere is we really have time to focus on the music and to focus on our task, which is making the best rock record that comes out.”

Check out Icon Vs. Icon’s exclusive interview with Rick DeJesus at this location – Click here!

Adelitas Way Tour Dates
May 11 Boone, IA @ Central Iowa Expo
May 12 Appleton, WI @ Luna Lounge
May 14 Minot, ND @ State Fair Center
May 15 Fargo, ND @ The Venue
May 16 Peoria, IL @ Peoria Civic Center
May 18 Columbus, OH @ Rock On The Range
May 20 Baton Rouge, LA @ Varsity Theatre
May 22 Springfield, MO @ Outland Ballroom
May 24 Pryor, OK @ Rocklahoma
May 25 Rockford, IL @ Rockford Speedway
May 28 Traverse City, MI @ Ground Zero Nightclub
May 29 Fort Wayne, IN @ Piere’s
May 30 Joliet, IL @ Mojoe’s Rock House

Official Sites





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ADELITAS WAY: Rick DeJesus Discusses The Bands Past, Present And Future!

ADELITAS WAY: Rick DeJesus Discusses The Bands Past, Present And Future!


It takes more than just dreaming big to become a successful rock ‘n’ roll band. The members Las Vegas based rock band Adelitas Way have spent the past several years pouring their heart and soul into their music. The results of their determination is evident; garnering them legions of dedicated fans and rave reviews from critics around the globe. Over the past several months, this tightknit group of talented musicians have holed up in a secluded studio focusing their collective energy on a new collection of songs, the highly anticipated followup to 2011’s ‘Home School Valedictorian,’ with producer Nick Raskulinecz. “Dog On a Leash” was recently released as the band’s leadoff single. To hear frontman Rock DeJesus tell it, it is just a taste of things to come. The band will head out on the road for a stretch of festival dates starting in late April and will certainly continue to make their mark on the music scene in 2014 and beyond. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Adelitas Way frontman Rick DeJesus to discuss his musical roots, the history of the band, the challenges of bringing their upcoming album to life and much more! 

Take us back to your earlier years. What are your first memories of music in your life?

My parents always had good music around the house, my mom and dad had good taste in music, the Beatles, Sting, temptations, The Who, I remember they took us to see Aerosmith when I was young, we had a fun house. My older brother always was blasting Metallica, Pantera and Alice In Chains. I remember just expanding my musical library at young age.

Rick DeJesus

Rick DeJesus

How were your biggest influences as a musician and performer?

I love nirvana and Metallica, Audioslave has made some of my favorite records. I’m a product of the 90’s Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, The Offspring, 311, STP and Alice In Chains. This is all what I listened to growing up.

They say a career in music isn’t a journey for the faint of heart. What made you take the plunge and pursue a career in the music industry?

I just followed my path of life. I’m supposed to be here. Yes, it wasn’t easy at all but what is? You got to have tough skin and drive to survive. You constantly have to stay humble and hungry but also understand your value as an artist. Hard work, hard work, hard work combined with God given drive and talent is what it takes to keep going.

What are your recollections of meeting your drummer Trevor Stafford for the first time?

Trev drove 4 hours from Cali just to jam with me, at the time I was meeting a lot of diva drummers, he was hungry like me and I knew I found someone who would endure any hardships that stood in our way. We are The Bash Brothers. It’s pretty tough to hold us down. We usually stay focused and strong minded. We have always had goals and we kept focus on them no matter what roadblocks appeared. We had blinders on and knew what we could accomplish.

In your opinion, what can you tell us about the other members of the group and what they bring to the table?

I think u always got to have chemistry with the guys you play with and u share moments together live. Trev [Stafford] is extremely focused and hard working and his drumming is fresh. We connect when we play together. Rob also has an amazing chemistry with Trev. I love his style; I enjoy jamming with Rob and just letting loose live when we jam. Andrew is an insanely amazing bass player and he makes us very tight. There’s nothing like locking in and making magic happen on stage.

You have been hard at work in the studio. What were your expectations going into the process of creating the album?

The only mindset was to create something memorable, something great. We made an album, with real instruments and real vibe, we worked endlessly on the songs and just approached it like we could change history if we made the right album, that mindset kept us focused, driven and striving for greatness.

Are you approaching this record differently than “Home School Valedictorian”?

Yes, we are going for a more organic feel we wanted to incorporate what our love show is known for and putting it on a album. We wanted it to feel electric. We put much more focus on jamming and pre-production. We approached this whole process trying to do fresh things and really capture the warmth of the instruments and vocals. We felt not over producing the record was important.

What can you tell us about your songwriting process and how you bring a tune to life?

There’s many different ways songs come about, sometimes I’ll be walking around my house and a lyric or a melody comes to me, or we jam and it just all comes together magically. There’s so many ways songs come about. Sometimes, I’ll come in with melodies and we work on the music around it or sometimes a riff or jam inspires a whole song. I love writing it’s very therapeutic for my life. We had a lot of fun jamming, there were lots of ups and downs while making this album and that’s going to make the victory taste sweeter.

As an artist, where do you find yourself looking for inspiration these days?

People are always the inspiration; our lives, the things we all go through or feel. It’s about connecting to your fans who feel the way you feel. It’s an escape. I wrote songs about people see or meet and also the things that happen in my life.


What have you taken away from working with producer Nick Raskulinecz and what does he bring to the table for a project like this?

Nick helped us capture the organic sound and rawness we wanted, he also was brilliant with arrangements and just hammering us in pre production, he pushed us so there was no doubts we could play the songs perfectly with the energy and vibe it needed.

Where are you in the process right now?

We are getting ready to tour the US for the rest of the year, Dog on a leash just hit iTunes and is doing very well at rock radio, we are blessed but this shits just getting started. I can’t wait until June/July when people hear this record we’ve made.

Adelitas Way

Adelitas Way

You recently released a teaser for “Dog On A Leash.” What made you choose this song as the leadoff for the new album?

It was tough to pick a lead single because the record has quite a few songs that we all were bouncing around on. It’s a very strong album. I think “Dog On A Leash” lyrically is very relatable. I know that everyday men and women feel this way at times in life. I think Dog sets the tone for the journey that’s coming but it’s also very different from the whole record. It’s a great song to get people ready for what’s to come.

How does this album compare and contrast to what fans have heard from Adelitas Way in the past?

I think we are just more refined and more driven than ever, I think we are all the best we have been as far as our talents in our instruments and our writing and playing. We also had grand visions while creating this album which helped us push ourselves. We really felt like we could make a record that people remember forever.

Looking back on the process of bringing it to life, what stands out at as the biggest challenge in creating this album so far?

Living up to your own expectations, you want everything to be so perfect that you over analyze. Music isn’t perfect, mixes aren’t perfect, the greatest records ever made all had flaws, and sometimes it’s tough to identify flaws as a good thing. I tried to just enjoy every step of this process because it’s easy to be very hard on every aspect of a record. All of my favorite records the tones aren’t perfect or I hear things that give it character. You have to stay open minded and keep your hands out of the cookie jar or you will set impossible goals and expectations. Learning when to be finished is important, and just let the magic run its course.

What is the biggest thing you learned about yourself during this intense process?

That I’m more driven than ever, this business has thrown a little bit if everything at me and I continue to thrive no matter what. Playing for the fans is enough for me to want to overcome any obstacle, the way I feel and excitement I have for our fans to hear our hard work, and the excitement to play our songs for them all keeps this exciting.

Adelitas Way

Adelitas Way

Are there any plans to take any of this new music on the road in the coming months?

Of course, there’s no where better to hear us than a love show, I look forward to people hearing the new songs where they started, in a jam room, hearing the songs for the guest time live people can see where the song was truly conceived and born .

Is there something you hope people come away with after they catch one of your live performances?

I always believed we are better sounding live than we are on our albums, I think when people see us love is when we really gain die hard true fans. We put everything we have into every show, every night.

What do you consider your biggest musical milestone?

Making a third album on a major label during the dark age of the music business. [laughs] Also, just touring all over the earth is quite amazing, we have had some great milestones but I think after this album will have a different answer for you.

How do you feel you have evolved as a musician since first starting out?

I have evolved tremendously from my songwriting, to performing, to my vocals and range. I am much more refined and skilled as a singer and I know exactly who I am as an artist. It takes time to become great and I’m just putting all my work in and paying my dues. I believe I will accomplish my goals by the time it’s all said and done.

What are some of your musical bucket list items or musical ground you are still anxious to explore?

I want to tour the entire world.

What is the best piece of advice that you can pass along to someone who wants to pursue a career in music in the industry’s current climate?

Be driven, and you can’t be sensitive or you’ll get eaten alive. Also look at your journey with a serious mindset your investing into yourself, and that takes time, skill, money, dedication, strategy, planning and never letting the word NO deter you. It’s a tough journey but nothing in music is impossible.

What are you most excited about when you think about the year to come?

To take our band to an elite level, we are ready and I believe it’s our time. I can’t wait for everyone to hear all our hard work and see us at shows to experience it firsthand. I want them to feel the magic and energy that we felt creating these songs.

Anything you want to tell your fans before I let you go?

We can’t wait to see you all soon, we will be headlining all over the US this year look out for us. Stay updated at www.adelitaswaymusic.com for all Adelitas Way news and tour dates.

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Adelitas Way Release ‘Home School Valedictorian’ – Audio Sampler Available

Adelitas Way Release ‘Home School Valedictorian’ – Audio Sampler Available

Adelitas Way

Las Vegas rock band Adelitas Way will release their sophomore album, Home School Valedictorian, on June 7th via Virgin Records. Dave Bassatt (Shinedown) produced the album with Adelitas Way, which consists of vocalist Rick DeJesus, guitarist Keith Wallen, bassist Derek Johnston, and drummer Trevor Stafford.

Home School Valedictorian
features the first single “Sick” which can be heard in its entirety now through their official lyric video. “Sick” is also available on iTunes now. Fans can also preview every song from Home School Valedictorian through the band’s YouTube Album Sampler, where fans can select which specific song they want to hear on the video itself.

For more information on Adelitas Way, make sure to check out the band’s official website, www.adelitaswayrock.com, as well as their Facebook and Twitter pages. Look out for Home School Valedictorian hitting stores and online outlets June 7th!

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