Adelitas Way

Interview: Adelita’s Way

Home School Valedictorian’, the sophomore CD from Las Vegas quartet Adelitas Way, earns an “A” for execution, even managing to top the band’s forcefully compelling 2009 self-titled debut and its chart-topping single “Invincible.” On ‘Home School Valedictorian’, Philly-born singer/songwriter Rick DeJesus pens lyrics that are full of relatable pain and pathos in songs like memorably intense rockers ‘Sick,’ and ‘The Collapse,’ rife with heavy, edgy, melodic musicality, creating modern hard rock at once both eloquent and primal.

With the band over in their home country and currently busy on tour, I had the chance to send some questions over which vocalist Rick DeJesus took some time to answer.

By sure to head over to your nearest retail store or online store and pick up your copy of ‘Home School Valedictorian’.

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Firstly thanks for taking some time to answer the following questions, I appreciate the time you guys are taking out and the new album is great, thoroughly enjoying it!

Thanks so much we are glad you like the record we are really proud of it.

My first introduction to ‘Home School Valedictorian’ was when I caught the video of ‘Sick’ and as soon as it kicks in and you see the band standing there, there was that instant impression that these guys are hungry and they’re coming out fighting with this album, certainly a more matured look to the band. Do you feel the band has grown and come some way since your debut release?

We have grown massively, I feel like it’s our time to breakthrough and it’s our time to show the world who we are.

When you started to truly focus on the writing for this album was there anything you had in mind; goals that you wanted to achieve with the direction of the album?

We wanted to raise the bar really really high and we wanted to deliver something that made people say “Holy Shit!!”

The album is quite personal to you as you used the lyrics to help you get through a tough situation in your life but how much are the songs influenced by other members or do you take a stronghold?

The lyrics and melodies are all me, I channel what goes on in my life and put it out there on a disk, and it’s very real and people can relate to it, this record is extremely personal.

How happy are you with the end result of the album? To me and I’m sure other fans when they have the opportunity to hear it they will notice a big improvement, certainly a lot more desire coming through from the band.

I love the record and I think we accomplished our goal; we really set the bar high and I felt like we hit it.

Adelitas Way Home School Valedictorian ArtworkNow I’m not sure how many will get the name of the album, if any, as it seems to have a lot of people puzzled so how did you come up with ‘Home School Valedictorian’ and what does it mean?

A home school valedictorian is a self-proclaimed great person, they are number one in a class of one, they are the top of the class in their own mind, they think they are better than everyone else.

I think a question you will receive a fair bit is of course about Chris Iorio who really had his own agenda and did end up parting ways with the band. When he departed from the band did it take long to recover and get back on your way or did you find it easier without him there?

It was much easier once he was gone. Life went back to being simple and fun, no more drama, no more miserableness bringing us down, he had an awful vibe as a person.

While the band is still somewhat advertised as a four-piece, Robert Zakaryan has joined recently and been touring with the band and I know from an interview he is actually a very good friend of yours in which you stated he thinks he could have a long-term future in the band. So is it safe to say at this time that Robert is more or less the new fifth member of the band or will he remain more so the touring guitarist at this moment until maybe the next album comes along?

Yes we love rob and that is the goal.

The video shoot for ‘Sick’ has a little bit of a story behind it from hair and eyebrows being set on fire to being almost shut down several times for drinking and having a party on the set as you had a tunnel shut down for you but in the end it finally made it out but did you have a good time on the set for it?

We felt like rock stars, which these days is saying a lot haha. It was a great time, I’ll always remember it.

What was it like working with Dave Bassett on a larger scale as I know you worked with him to write on your debut for the song ‘Invincible’ and he has worked with the likes of Shinedown, Trapt, Skillet, Sevendust and more but now you had him in to produce the album?

He is a genius flat out, the best we have ever worked with as the whole vibe was amazing.

Adelitas Way are in a very populated genre, it is quite hard for bands to make it and keep going the way that you are so what do you think helps you stand apart from the others who are trying to make their way up the ladder?

I think rock has almost become indie, and the indie artists are becoming mainstream, but people will get sick of all that and rock will come back, and when it does we will be at the top of the heap. We will just continue to make records that separate us from the pack, and our live show will do the same.

While the band has been around for quite a few years now and you learn more each day, during the touring spell for the last album when you performed alongside the likes of Shinedown, Three Days Grace and Breaking Benjamin, do you think they helped the band somewhat as you could learn from their experience and use it to help you to grow quicker?

Massively, those bands taught us so much and it is an honour to be friends with all of them.

You’re heading out on the Carnival Of Madness tour in August which is going throughout September which really has a great line-up with yourself, Black Stone Cherry and the co-headliners Theory Of A Deadman and Alter Bridge, are you looking forward to these shows with those bands?

Hell yes we are really good friends with Theory Of A Deadman and they are fun as hell so we can’t wait to get out on the road and have fun, and kick ass.

Adelitas Way 'Sick' Music VideoYou’re also heading out with Seether shortly also so you’re hitting some great tours to celebrate the release of ‘Home School Valedictorian’; are you planning any headline tours in the US in support so you can come out with a bigger set and show off the new material live?

We did a few headlining shows on the Seether run and they were all very very successful so yes, we definitely will be headlining very very soon.

Naturally for any band once they have accomplished the goal of being known in their home country is to branch out and recently I’ve seen a lot of comments from fans calling for European and UK dates. Is this something you have considered doing yet, do you have a UK/European deal set or is that something that might come a little later down the line depending on the more feedback you get from overseas?

I think we are focused on the USA right now, but i think this album will take us to Europe and the UK, we are down with that.

Thanks for taking time to answer these questions, if you have anything you wish to add then please feel free below. Good luck with the release, hopefully see you over in the UK one day!

Thanks for supporting us and we hope to see you there soon!


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Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

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