Adelita’s Way sounds exactly the way you would expect a band from Las Vegas to sound. They have an unrefined aggression to their songwriting that radiates with the type of indignation and salacity one would associate with Sin City.
Just listen to various tracks from 2011’s “Home School Valedictorian,” and you’ll hear a band trying to outdo every other nu-metal/grunge outfit currently consuming the circuit. While what they do isn’t wholly original by any stretch, they have an unbridled hunger that flows through their live performance, which, in my opinion, is much better than listening to the album.
I’m keen to the fact that some of their lyrics fall dangerously close to Nickelback territory, but I also heard frontman Rick DeJesus tell me to my face that he grew up influenced by bands such as Aerosmith and Soundgarden.
Hopefully, the band’s future material veers further in the direction of Tyler and Cornell, and stays away from Kroeger and Connolly (Nickelback and Theory of a Deadman, respectively), because that’s the last thing the world needs right now.
I caught up with DeJesus prior to the band’s set at Uproar last week to discuss their aspirations and how the experience on the main stage has been going thus far. After listening to him and picking up on the earnest drive in his voice, Adelita’s Way is one band I’ll be rooting for to break through the rock scene’s present malaise.
Question: How has your Uproar experience been so far?
DeJesus: It’s been like a big party. Honestly, the crowds have been unbelievable, and it’s one of the best tours of the summer. It kind of feels like school, because you get up, shower, go to the cafeteria to eat your catering, and end up seeing the same people every day. You have interviews lined up all day, you play your show, and then everyone gets to hang out all night. It’s a great time.
Question: The last time I saw you guys was in an opening slot for Alter Bridge in 2011. How have you grown as a band since then?
DeJesus: Massively, it’s not even the same thing. All I can say is that you have to watch it, because we’ve grown so much from just three months ago. We get better every show, so this time around you’re going to something completely different. We have energy and something unique to add to the fire, so we’re starting this bitch up and bringing it every day.
Question: Who were some of your influences growing up?
DeJesus: A lot, really. A lot of 80s and 90s rock from Aerosmith to Metallica to Soundgarden. There are so many. I listen to music all day and I go in phases. I also don’t pigeonhole myself with one sound, but I do listen to the most songs from 80s and 90s rock. Some of my band members have given me other stuff such as Zeppelin. I was never into them, but gave it more of a shot as I got older. It sounds crazy to say, but I never really dove into that growing up. It’s easy to appreciate now, though.
Question: How did you decide on the title “Home School Valedictorian” for your latest album?
DeJesus: That’s an inside joke between the band. We came up with it, because it has special meaning to us and it’s about someone we know.
Question: Where did the idea for the song “Sick” come from?
DeJesus: Exactly how it sounds, man. I felt exactly that way as I was writing it. I’ve been treated that way by security at other places or by bosses I’ve worked for. If I see a dickhead boss treating his employee that way, it’s easy to write about that stuff.
Question: What has been your favorite moment for the band so far?
DeJesus: I have so many, man. I can’t pick just one, because everything I think of could be my proudest moment. Whether we’re shooting our fifth video or on the main stage with our second number one single from this record, there are so many accomplishments to think of. We believe in ourselves, but we’re truly blessed to be able to do this.
Question: Where does your songwriting come from?
DeJesus: Life, man. You can close your eyes and think about things that bother you or things that you hone in on. Certain qualities of yourself or other people that you can draw a lot of energy from. I let that honesty just flow right through me.
Question: How have audiences supported the band on this tour?
DeJesus: Bigger, badder, better, they know what’s up. I think anybody that comes into the looking at the bill and saying ‘Who the hell is Adelita’s Way?’ will find out after a couple of songs why we are where we are. They know we belong on the main stage. People are supportive all the way. We have a goal, man. I want our band to be something special, and we’re arriving right now to make some noise.