One month away from the release of their latest album Getaway, Adelitas Way rolled into Atlanta on yet another rainy winter night. I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with front man, Rick DeJesus. It had been years since I last saw Adelitas Way perform live. I was looking forward to the chance to see the band again and shoot them live for my first time.
HHM: Who or what would you has had the most influence on your music?
Rick: You know what has been the most influential, if we are going to get deep, is just knowing what I am supposed to do. I’ve always known I was built for this and I have always been influenced by drive, by the desire to fulfill what I set out to do, follow my path. Outside of that it’s the fans obviously. You know you want to make great records for the fans. You want to put on a great live show for the fans. When you see the fans it makes everything worth it. There are so many different inspirations between my own personal goals, the fans, you know as far as song writing, some of my biggest songs; my muse has been my wife. She has been a massive influence on some of the biggest songs I have ever made. I guess also my vision of how I see life through my eyes. That is really how all the records come to life.
HHM: Your new album Getaway is coming out next month, matter of fact, a month from today. What can you tell me about it? Anything new or different sound wise?
Rick: You get very excited about every release you do and you want it to be your best ever and people talk and say oh, this is going to be our best release ever, but I think we have set the tone already with “Bad Reputation”. It’s grabbing people’s attention. It is really lighting a fire for us, starting things up really solid, and I think the line we are trying to walking with our records is we want to do things that people can hear and hear go old classic Adelitas Way. That is what got us here, but also, there are eleven or twelve songs to make a record. You don’t want to be too predictable. We try to balance a little bit of everything. We try to balance being dangerous, trying new things, new sounds, and new tones. We try to balance a lot, but at the end of the day this industry is built on hits and have got to have hit songs. We have to make sure we are always right in that game as well.
HHM: That is one of the things that gets me with you guys. I like bands that stand out, that don’t sound like every other band out there, that you can hear an instantly know who it is by the sound. I remember the first time I saw you guys live back years ago at Project Cinco.
Rick: I remember that.
HHM: My son and I were down in the front. In fact you guys were the first band he ever got a stick from.
Rick: That’s bad ass. I remember that show. I remember that. That radio station came and went. How sad is that.
HHM: Yeah, we really don’t have a hard rock station here in Atlanta anymore.
Rick: The good old day’s man. Atlanta was a strong scene and had a good rock station. It’s a shame. If I were the people of Atlanta I wouldn’t just roll over say “oh well, we don’t have a rock station”. That is something you guys have got to fight for. There has got to be a rock station in historic cities like Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas. These places are rock driven. They deserve to be treated better by the community. There should be a rock station in all these places.
HHM: The 1st single, “Bad Reputation”, has been out for a couple of months, how has the response been so far?
Rick: It’s been fantastic. Across the board, you can look anywhere. The two most telling tales when you release a song are, obviously the response of the people and the bottom line is that people are listening. They are listening anywhere they can. Look at Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, to ITunes, to just the whole gamut of where people are going to the hub to listen to music. We are busting through the seams at all of those places. Rock Radio is really supporting the record. They see that there is something here. We are doing something special with this and I think for me this song is one of the best songs I have ever written. I think it is going to do some great things for us.
HHM: I know it seems like every time I drive my wife’s car and we are listening to Octane for any period of time, it comes on.
Rick: Good! You know what, I think there has got to be someone to stand up when all the other radio stations across the country are jumping ship and abandoning rock. There has got to be a fresh one that is stepping up and being fearless, doing things and not giving a fuck and that is Octane. Octane is not letting anyone deter them from what they do. They are setting their own bar. They are setting their own pace. They are becoming one of the most influential pieces of rock music. It is great to have them on our side. It is great to have relationships with everyone at Octane. We really appreciate them.
HHM: What songs are you playing from Getaway on this tour?
Rick: You want to hear the record? You’ve got to wait until February 26th
HHM: You have a lot of experience touring over the past 7 years, have you learned anything on previous tours that you are doing differently this time around?
Rick: Yeah. You learn a bunch of stuff every time you go out. Bottom line is you have got to grow accordingly. You can’t just have one successful song and jump into a bus. You can’t just have one successful song and go out and put on this massive live show. You have to earn your keep. We have been around for the last 7 years, touring the United States. We’ve played these clubs five times. Our show is improving. We are adding crew accordingly, we are adding lights accordingly, and we are adding a dynamic to the show accordingly. For years we have gotten by off of our energy and our raw ability to just be good musicians. I mean, I can sing the shit exactly the way it sounds on the record, maybe even more powerful live. That is what has built our fan base up to this point, but now we are starting to focus in on making sure the show is great, making sure it looks like a performance. You know, certain songs you have things going on, the lights are just right, synced together. We are building it. We are building it to the goal of one day filling all the theaters around the country and we are playing a massive show.
HHM: I know this is my third time seeing you guys. My first time shooting your show, but my third time seeing you live, I am looking forward to seeing you as a headliner.
Rick: We enjoy the stage show. It’s cool to see so many different audiences. We play in front of big audiences, we play in front of small audiences, at the end of the day, every person that is at the show is a diehard fan at this point. Those are the people that give us the power to be bold. When you have fans like us, we have these great fans. It gives you more power to try things. It gives you the power to not be afraid. We are doing things completely different this time around with how we are releasing, recording, just doing everything with this record and that is part of having a great team, but it is also largely due to having great fans.
HHM: You had mentioned your wife earlier, how to you find a balance between the band, touring, and family life?
Rick: It’s very difficult. You have got so many people who are proud of what you do. You know, my whole family is proud of what I do. My kids are proud of what I do. My wife is proud of what I do, but you don’t want to miss out on those important moments in life. I really think it’s about a balance for me. I have to be wise. I have to take things that matter, things that are altering our career, and balance them. For me to be gone for five or six weeks at a time there has to be a strategy. There has to be opportunity behind it. It just has to make sense. I really try to balance that as much as I can because I want my kids to know that I love them, that I want to be there with them every second that I can be there for them, and I also want to provide for them. So walking that fine line and balancing both aspects of my life is a challenge but I feel like I am in a good place.
HHM: Of all your songs, which is your favorite to play live?
Rick: Live? I have always liked “Criticize” and I really dig playing “Bad Reputation” now too. It’s got a good attitude and a good vibe to it and I really enjoy it. Outside of those two, I really like singing the song “Stuck”. That album was considered, well you know, whatever people consider it, but there were some brilliant songs on that record and to me singing that song live is just so full of emotion. It is just a beautiful song.
HHM: Now the question I’ve asked everyone I have ever interviewed. If you could take the stage with any musician, living or dead, who would it be?
Rick: Kurt Cobain
HHM: Years from now, when all is said and done, the book is closed and it’s time to move on, how do you want Adelitas Way to be remembered?
Rick: I want to have a legacy. When people talk about our live show, I want them to say they were one of the best of that time. We are intense on stage and they can sense that. I want that to be remembered. I want to be remembered as a band that had great songs, a great live show, and also I want to be remembered as a persona. When people talk about this era of music, from 2000 to whenever it becomes a legacy thing, I want to be remembered in that category with the best bands of this time. When people talk about certain eras, they talk about bands like Soundgarden, Nirvana, STP. There is a whole group of bands. When they talk about this era there some bands out there doing great things; there is Halestorm, there is Stone Sour, there are bands out there doing great things. I want to be one of those bands. I want to be right in the mix of all those conversations. I think if the times were a little different, I think each and every one of us would have that aura of being a rock star. I think we have that now; it’s just at a different scale.
HHM: Is there anything else that you want to put out there?
Rick: The new record is out February 26th. Everyone check the single out on Itunes, grab it, look out for “Bad Reputation”, and most of all, I want to thank all our fans.
Gary Flinn HHM/Beyond The Pit photography
Check out photos from the show on the HHM Facebook Page
Adelitas Way are currently on tour with Failure Anthem and Through Fire. I highly recommend you catch this tour if it comes to a town near you. The remaining tour dates are:
For more information:
- BREAKOUT ARTIST MUSIC COMPETITION Announces Details, Judges, Entry Information and More
- Adelitas Way announce new single 'Dog On A Leash'
- Adelitas Way release new single 'Dog On A Leash'
- Adelitas Way release official 'Dog On A Leash' video
- Adelitas Way announce new album 'Stuck' on JUl.29; Fall tour with The Pretty Reckless
- Interview with Framing Hanley frontman Kenneth Nixon