Adelitas Way interview with Rick Dejesus
The last year has been a crazy and chaotic journey for Las Vegas-based hard rockers, Adelitas Way. After the huge success of the band’s sophomore album, Home School Valedictorian, frontman and founder Rick DeJesus witnessed the monster that is the music industry try to swallow his group alive. After dealing with the band’s record label trying to push their third album, Stuck, in a Top 40 direction, Adelitas Way jumped ship and decided to take control of its own destiny. On the eve of the release of the band’s new EP, Deserve This, DeJesus, holding his infant daughter and trying to corral his five dogs, talked with Metalholic about the future of the band, why they left their record label, working on the next record, as well as his take on the music industry.
DeJesus and drummer Tre Stafford began Adelitas Way in 2006. Three years later the band released its eponymous debut. The album made an instant mark on the alternative metal and hard rock scene with their explosive debut single, “Invincible” which was featured heavily WWE broadcasts, as well as an episode of CSI: Miami. The debut, produced by Johnny K (Megadeth, Disturbed, Sevendust), also featured the hits single, “Last Stand”, and the track “Scream” made a cameo in the horror film, Saw 3D.
Heavy touring with bands like Halestorm and Theory of a Deadman, helped build their following and Adelitas Way took it to the next level with 2011’s Home School Valedictorian. The band blew up active rock radio with the opening single, “Sick”, which hit #1. They followed this success with the Top 5 hits, “Collapse”, “Criticize” and “Alive”. The album’s massive success found the band on the main stage for the 2012 Uproar Festival Tour with Shinedown, Godsmack and Staind.
Despite the band’s success, Adelitas Way began to watch its label, Virgin, dumping all of its rock acts. While recording its third album, Stuck, in 2014, they watched while the label tried to push and pull them in directions they were uncomfortable with as well as meddling with the sound of the record.
“They got greedy. They wanted Top 40. All of our dominance on radio happened at Active Rock, and they pretty much told us; ‘Look you’ve already done that. We want you to dominate Top 40. We want you to be on there with Imagine Dragons and we want you to be on there with Pink.’ The Stuck album should just never have come out on a major label.”
That frustration led the band to take themselves DIY. Not even a year after the release of Stuck, DeJesus, Stafford, guitarist Robert Zakaryan, and bassist Andrew Cushing, have just delivered new music to fans in the form of their new EP, Deserve This, which pushes even more boundaries for the band. This, as Rick shares, is just a taste of what fans can expect from the upcoming fourth record.
“We crafted the Deserve This EP every day in a jam room, and we took risks and we tried changes. We tried doing a lot of different things. Sometimes you have to take risks to separate yourselves.”
Like many artists these days, Adelitas Way opted to fund the album with a crowd-funding Pledge Campaign. They hit their goal the week after they unleashed Deserve This on fans. Those who pledged to the campaign got an early taste of the EP with the single, “I Get Around”. The band returned to Groovemaster Studios to record the new music, but this time they worked with producer Matt Dougherty.
DeJesus is excited about the band’s future and feels that being in control will open new doors for them. For the first time in the band’s career, their music was released overseas, and Adelitas Way will tour Europe for the first time this year. Check out the full interview with Rick DeJesus (and his infant daughter) below.