Adelitas Way Talk "Home School Valedictorian", Living in Las Vegas, Superhero Flicks, and More
Thu, 24 Nov 2011 09:04:40
Adelitas Way Videos
"Our band has a lot of energy," exclaims Adelitas Way frontman Rick DeJesus.
The Las Vegas quintet's second album, Home School Valedictorian, is just teeming with the kind of hard rock vitality that sets off arenas. That's why it's such an essential release at the moment. Adelitas Way ignite massive hooks over airtight instrumentation for a sound that's as explosive as it is engaging. There's the requisite teeth-kicking, but the band has the ability to take a step back and pen a hypnotic ballad, and the diversity is key. Just wait until album number three, the group is bound to be the Way for rock…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief and Dolor author Rick Florino, Adelitas Way singer Rick DeJesus talks about Home School Valedictorian, Las Vegas, superhero movies, and more.
Did you approach Home School Valedictorian with one vision?
I was in a certain place in life, and the music went with what was going on. We were sitting down and writing songs naturally. We got together, and there wasn't too much of a thought process like, "Let's write this kind of song or that kind of song". It was more like, "I'm feeling this way. Let's jam and see what happens". Before we knew it, we had more than half of the record done. It wasn't forced. We didn't write like a million songs for Home School Valedictorian. That's too much. It's overload. You can't have 100 good songs. Nobody spits them out like that. We wrote 13 or 14 songs, and 11 made it. You have to realize what you should put your energy towards and what you're feeling. You can't just say, "Let's write 70 more!" I believe in writing 10 to 15 really solid songs that are the best we can do.
What's the story behind "The Collapse"?
We had just come off the road. I was watching football and hanging out, and I was in one of those moods where I was hyper and wanted to run through a wall. That's where the beginning of "The Collapse" started. I had a little too much energy in me.
Where did "Hurt" come from?
It's a very important song. It was a time in my life when I was going through some tough situations, and "Hurt" came together naturally. We were hanging together over at Keith's [Wallen, Guitar] house, and I was definitely a little down. We started jamming the song. I started talking about how I was feeling, and "Hurt" came out of it.
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
I like to! I'm not the kind of artist who's going to write a song about doing heroin, if I don't do heroin. That's not the way we write songs. If you listen to the first record, "Brother" is about my brother. Each song is something that I went through. For "Criticize", everything I was doing was "wrong". I started thinking, "I love how everything I do is wrong, but nothing you do is wrong". That's where "Criticize" came out. It's like, "I'm sorry I'm not perfect, but I know you aren't".
Outside of music, do you tend to read a lot or watch many movies?
Yeah, I have the imagination of a 12-year-old. I watch a lot of movies. I watch a lot of TV shows. I read a lot. I definitely have a vivid imagination, and the pictures are painted in my head.
If Home School Valedictorian were a movie, what would it be?
There would have to be some ass-kicking going on and some loving going on. It'd have to be a movie that has a little bit of those [Laughs]. All of the good movies have that. When I think about it, the good movies come to mind like the new Batman and X-Men. Those guys are out there whopping ass, and there's always the loving side of the badass. That's the way I like to think of it.
Is "Alive" particularly special?
Yes! To be honest, I think it's one of the best songs on the record. There are a couple of songs on the album that mean a lot to me, and that's one of them. I just want people to hear the songs. Right now, I feel like we're just starting to get out there and people are starting to realize us. Things are connect. Once "Alive" or "I Can Tell" come out, it's going to open our audience up and broaden our fan base. At the end of the day, the album isn't going to be just one big pissed-off record. We all have happiness in our lives. I do as well. When I sat down to do "Alive", obviously I channeled my loved ones—like my wife. You can't make a record full of negative things. You're not mad all of the time. I was happy at the moment, so "Alive" came out.
Is Las Vegas an inspiration?
It is! I love living in Las Vegas. If you ask me, I'll sit here and sell Vegas all day. I think it's the most beautiful city. I love living there, and I don't plan on leaving. We're blessed because we can play shows there and people come and support us. It's not the easiest place for a band. There are so many nightclubs, shows, and DJs. Every night is a good night to party. We finally have gotten ourselves to the point where we've become the cool thing to do if we're there. We've built ourselves up to that point.
Have you heard Home School Valedictorian yet?