Rick DeJesus of Adelitas Way Talks New Music, Touring, and Family
Adelitas Way have a new single out and have a new album due out this Summer. So, my old friend, Rick DeJesus of Adelitas Way, took a little time to chat with me about the new music, touring and the impact his daughter has on his life.
You guys are no strangers to working with the biggest producers in the business in the past, so it was only natural that you enlisted another big name or two for the new album. How did you guys hook up with Nick Raskulinecz?
Nick and I have been in contact for about two years, we were interested in working with Nick on our last album, but the stars didn't align. We knew that he was the perfect guy to capture the tone of this record for us. We talked once a week until making the record became a reality, Nick had so many great ideas for the overall raw sound of the record, and we were always on the same page, it was an amazing process
To top off the epic production on the album, you guys hooked up with the legendary Chris Lord-Alge again. You have to be on cloud 9 to have worked with 2 of the biggest names in rock on this album.
Chris is great, I've been lucky to work with Chris on a few records, and we have become friends. He's an amazing mixer, and I really felt like he went the extra mile for us on this record. It's the first record we have been blessed to have Chris mix the entire album, it sounds awesome.
Do you feel like you were pushed harder with this album, be it within the band or from Nick?
Overall I felt motivated from the start, I had a chip on my shoulder coming into this album. I'm sick of everything on the radio sounding like a lion king soundtrack, I wanted to do something that brought some attention to Rock music. The band, and Nick also were so motivated during this process, that we had a mentality to destroy, we certainly all pushed each other. Nick really pushed us in pre-production, we wanted to add a little bit of what our live show brings to the record, and give it all a really organic feel. We didn't over produce the record, we practiced it for 7 hours a day in a rehearsal room for a few weeks. Nick really pushed us with the arrangements, and made sure we could play the songs perfectly. Everything on the record had to be played properly with real feel. No over editing on here. Ron Fair, our new President at Virgin, really pushed me to make the best album possible as well, his passion was infectious, and the fire was burning deeply inside us all to execute, and create something magical, and special.
Did you have much input on the mixing process with Chris Lorde-Alge?
Yea Chris is great, hes very open to ideas, but I also trust him, when he tells me something sounds better a certain way, I trust him. I've mixed zero albums, so I try to be realistic. The bottom line is Chris knows more than me about mixing. But I know the songs better so its my job to show him the song vision, and he nails it from there.
Do you guys have a title and release date for the new album?
Yes, we are using a title from a song on the record that I absolutely love. The release is looking like summer; July-ish
This is the 3rd album for Adelitas Way, how does this one compare and differ from your previous efforts?
I had a fire lit under my ass the most for this release, I feel like we are ready to be one of the elite bands, and I approached this album with that mentality the entire time. I also feel like every album I get a little more freedom creatively to try new and exciting things. We took our time with the songs, we jammed them, practiced them, we were prepared. This record brought out the best in all of us, Trev was at his best, Robert was at his best, and I was at my best. I have the trust of my peers at this point in my career, and it makes it easy to be who we are as artists. Another change is our label head is Ron Fair, he has been so passionate about the project, and he really helped make this record better, by pushing me creatively, and taking me mentally to places I've never explored. We left no stone unturned, It was a really great process.
Your new single “Dog on a Leash” finally made it into my hands and I have to tell ya, this one song encapsulates everything Adelitas Way is all about. Is this song a fair representation of what the album is about?
I think it certainly sets the tone for whats about to come, This record is our best effort, and I cant wait for everyone to hear our hard work. It's gonna be tough for people to pick a favorite song on this record, I guarantee that!
You guys released a trailer for Dog on a Leash, when will we get to see the full video?
We shot the full video in Las Vegas, and it was crazy. We shot in a ghost town in Nevada until 7 am, it was a 15 hour shoot, and we were rocking out in mud and freezing water all night. I got drug through the mud at the shoot, but it's gonna be worth it. The video will be awesome, I'm guessing it will be available the first week of April
The trailer centers on you guys on stage. I’ve seen you guys a handful of times and from day 1, you were a band that was all about the live performance, but as the years went by, you got even better. Will this video be a representation of the passion that you guys pour out on stage?
Thank you for the kinds words, we take being great live to heart. Yes, that's something we want to add into the entire pace, and tone of this record. We love playing live, and we have built our career up from touring, and playing live shows, we had an extremely grass roots start, our entire band was built off of great songs, the live show, rock radio, and real true fans. We are looking to take our live show to new heights on this cycle, and I can't wait to get up there and have fun with our fans. We won't accept anything less than destruction out there. We are coming to destroy.
Each time we’ve talked during the time you’ve been working on the new album, you’ve continually exclaimed you’re ready to get back out there and start kicking ass again. Aside from the big festivals you guys are on, do you have big tour plans set up yet or is that still in the early stages?
Yes lots of tour plans, it's going to be a big year for us on the road. You will see dates rolling through very shortly. We start on the road April 24. We have some great dates coming up Festival-wise, and with Theory of a Deadman. We will be headlining the whole US very soon as well.
Among the big festivals you’re doing this year, you’ll be at Rock on the Range and Carolina Rebellion on the main stage, do you have plans on unleashing some of your new stuff at those shows?
Yes and we are coming to set an example of what to expect from us in the future. We are going to come out and make sure everyone leaves saying, "Wow did you get to see Adelitas Way?" They destroyed it.
You guys have, literally, toured with everyone. Is there a bucket list band that you’ve gotta tour with before it’s all said and done?
That's a huge list, haha. Foo fighters, Soundgarden, Metallica, I could sit here all day. We knocked Guns N Roses, Iron Maiden, Incubus and Bush off our bucket list. It was such a honor to share the stage with such amazing acts
Alright, back to the album. You guys have always given your fans a taste of different emotions in your music, from dark to light, angry to happy, and so on. What’s the feel of this new album?
It's a lot of emotion from angst, to feeling good, to being in love, to being heartbroken. I focus more on the message, and connecting with our fans. This record will be very relatable, and has so many emotions. It will be an escape for the people who buy the album. We made an album, 13 songs of a emotional roller coaster to get lost, and consumed in.
Besides Dog on a Leash, what’s another song you really want your fans to really look out for on this new album?
There's a few, "Stuck" is so emotional, "Drive" is a feel good ride, "Undivided" is really powerful, "Save the World" is bad ass, I feel like I can keep going haha
With the addition of a baby girl to your family, has being a father changed the way you write or other areas of being in a band?
Congrats on the beautiful girl, by the way.
I think it makes you less egotistical, and a better person. No problem is that big of a deal, I try not to sweat the little things. It made it easier writing because I didn't feel pressure, I was very free. My focus was more on being a great father, and cherishing every little moment I got to spend with my favorite people on earth, my family. I didn't lose my perspective with the songs, but I also was very creative, and free because I was so at ease and happy. She's the best thing that ever happened to me. That combined with the day I met the woman who gave her to me :) I'm very blessed.
You guys are no strangers to chart topping hits, but can you remember the first time you ever heard one of your songs on the radio? What was the feeling that went through you?
I will never forget it, I remember before I got signed I was in the car with my wife listening to KOMP in Las Vegas, I looked at her and said "I'm going to have a hit song on here one day, and I hope it changes our lives". Just 2 years later, I was sitting in the car with her listening to KOMP when we heard "Invincible" for the first time. I felt so humbled and blessed, but at the same time I felt like I just followed my path. I knew I was gonna be here delivering messages to the world. I always believed.
Before I let you go, one more question…what advice would you give bands trying to get where you guys are today?
Be ready for a lot of ups and downs. Power through them. It's really tough, but if it's inside of you then you'll know the answer. Also it takes investment of time, and money, you can't cut corners. Demos must sound great, the live show must be as refined as possible, and the songs are most important. Make sure you have the songs that represent you the best, and spend the necessary time and money on making the package look and sound great. It's not easy out there, and it's not for everyone, but the special ones usually poke through with will and determination, and star power. Nothing is impossible, I am still finding that out.
Congrats on the killer new music brother. Hope to see you very soon. Thanks for taking the time today.
I've known Rick, and the rest of Adelitas Way, since the first time I saw them slay the stage opening for Candlebox. Their passion for what they do has always been there. But, if I was to define the band using 1 word, based on this interview, it would have to be DRIVEN.
Those were Rick's words, as there was no editing or adding anything. You can literally feel the passion behind what he's saying as you read each word.
Watch out world, Adelitas Way is about to make you their bitch.