by Reggie Edwards
Whenever you make a record, you have to push yourself musically. That’s the philosophy Adelita’s Way frontman Rick DeJesus uses every time the band enters the recording studio.
“The number one thing I make sure I do on records is I make a real album that’s very personal and I write about what’s going on in my life and what I’m feeling,” DeJesus says. “I don’t sit down and try to force topics or force issues, I just write about what I’m thinking or what I’m going through.
“This record was really, really, there wasn’t a lot of pressure on us,” DeJesus says of the band’s latest, Home school Valedictorian.” “It was like you make the best record we can and I feel like that’s what we did. I think it’s a step up from our first record and I think that’s the goal on every album, you know, when we do a third album I’m gonna try to take things to the next level again. I really think you have to push yourself when you’re making records.”
DeJesus is a big fan of 90’s rock and metal, citing Chris Cornell, Soundgarden, Audioslave and Stone Temple Pilots among the big list of influences what he does and in his life.
“You know, I grew up in a tough neighborhood in Philadelphia and I moved to Las Vegas,” DeJesus says. “You just pull experiences to write about and it’s all about getting people to relate to you and what you’re going through in the songs you’re making and I think we’ve done a good job of that.
“I think the ultimate goal today is to keep plugging away and keep going and I
almost feel like rock has become, I don’t wanna say Indie, per say, but it’s become more about connecting with your fans and getting out there and playing live shows. There’s no magic formula anymore, just putting a record out and selling a million records. You have to get on tour, you gotta get out there and you gotta connect with ‘em.”
When Adelita’s Way released Home School Valedictorian in June 2011, the lead single, “Sick,” went straight to number one and took the radio waves by storm.
“Sick” is about my whole life,” DeJesus says. “My whole life I’ve worked jobs making 10 dollars an hour where they want you to pretty much run the place but they don’t wanna pay you for it. Eventually, everyone goes to work every day, they do their job, they do everything, they have a boss who doesn’t appreciate what they’re doing or who’s underpaying them and trying to give them more duties and that clicked to me.
“I think people have a problem with being treated that way and I have a problem being treated that way. Ya know, you go in, you work hard, you do everything you’re supposed to do and somebody’s always ridin’ ya and they’re not paying you enough to do that. It’s like, ‘if youre paying me 15.00 an hour I’m not gonna put up with your shit.’”
The end of September also marked the end of the Carnival of Madness Tour, which Adelita’s Way spent time on with Theory of a Deadman, Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry and Emphatic. According to DeJesus, to say the tour lived up to its name would be nothing short of an understatement.
“It was amazing, I always tell people it was a bunch of bad kids on tour together, you know, a bunch of bad 12 year olds.
“After the show we’re all doing things that are wrong, that we’d get in trouble for. You got a guy behind a trailer, hiding from our tour manager, somebody’s smokin’ weed, somebody’s eating what they’re not supposed to be eating, and we’re all in catering before we’re supposed to be. It’s like our tour manager is the babysitter for a bunch of bad kids and we’re all friends there.
“We’re all friends back there having a good time. We’re having baseball catches, just having parties back there and that’s what rock n roll has lost, I feel. You know, bands like Theory of a Deadman still know how to have a good time. I think touring has become too serious and too stressful to people and sometimes fans don’t go out and see the shows because they don’t realize how fun these shows can be.
“On the Carnival of Madness, every day was fun, I felt like I was back in 1970, it was parties, it was everything you think of, and that really comes down to the bands you’re on tour with.”