Band of the Month – Tremonti

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Band of the Month – Tremonti (continued…)

Tremonti is an American rock band founded and fronted by talented lead vocalist and guitarist Mark Tremonti. Mark is best known as the guitarist for Creed and Alter Bridge. In addition Tremonti consists of rhythm guitarist Eric Friedman, drummer Garrett Whitlock and bassist Wolfgang Van Halen. Originally the band started out as Mark’s solo project which evolved into a fully fledged band after the release of the band’s first album titled “All I Was” on the 17th of July 2012. Mark played bass and lead guitar on the band’s debut album as well as fulfilling his duties as the lead vocalist. Mark’s band mate in Creed and Alter Bridge Brian Marshall was the touring bass guitarist for the band until his departure later that year. Brian was replaced by Van Halen bassist Wolfgang Van Halen.

Towards the end of Creed’s career in the early 2000s, Tremonti wanted to form a speed metal side project called Downshifter which would have included Hatebreed vocalist Jamey Jasta and Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison, but the project never came to fruition. Later in 2008, Mark and his brother Dan Tremonti formed FRET12 , an online musicians’ community, production company, record label and artist management company to release his 2008 instructional guitar documentary DVD titled Mark Tremonti: The Sound & the Story, where he teaches warm-ups, alternate tuning, finger picking style, legato techniques, and other advanced exercises. It marked the first in a series of  The Sound & The Story instructional DVDs which includes DVDs by Leslie West and Troy Stetina.

Mark started showing interest in releasing a solo album , because he writes a lot and he felt there was potential in songs he had written that didn’t suit Alter Bridge or Creed’s genre/material. Former Submersed members Eric Friedman and Garrett Whitlock formed part of the band. Mark described the music as melody driven and in an interview he described the album as being a heavier-sounding thrash metal album.

On the 20th of January 2012, Tremonti launched a website where fans can visit to find out about the latest news, previews, live streams and giveaways. A list of song titles and the title of the band’s debut album “All I Was” was announced on the website. The release date for the album was set for July 2012 on FRET12 Records under the management of Dan Tremonti & Tim Tournier. The first single from the album “You Waste Your Time” was made available on the 6th of May 2012, one day before its release on Loudwire.com.

One day after its release, the song reached number 10 on the iTunes Rock Songs chart and the live video for the song premiered on the 17th of May 2012 on Noisecreep. The official release date for the album was announced on Ultimate Guitar Archive as the 17th of July 2012. Produced by Michael “Elvis” Baskette, the album shows prominent thrash metal influences. This album marks the debut of Mark Tremonti as a lead vocalist.

Tremonti originally consisted of Eric Friedman, Garrett Whitlock and Brian Marshall playing bass guitar as a session/touring member. The band’s first concert took place at The Social in Orlando, Florida, on July 17, 2012. Wolfgang Van Halen replaced Brian Marshall as a touring bassist in September 2012 and was named as an official member of the band in March 2013. A previously unreleased B-side “All That I Got” became available as a single on the 16th of April 2013.

In 2014 Tremonti began recording their second album with Wolfgang Van Halen playing bass. Another B-side called “Gone” was released as a single on the 16th of September 2014. On the 3rd of March 2015, the band released a sample of their song “Radical Change” and revealed the album title “Cauterize” along with the song listing for the band’s sophomore effort. On the 17th of March 2015 Tremonti released another song preview for the track “Flying Monkeys” and gave a concrete release date of the 9th of June 2015 for Cauterize. On the 20th of March 2015 Tremonti unveiled on Twitter that the first single would be titled “Another Heart” and that it would be released on the 24 March 2015. On the 23rd of March 2015, the single “Another Heart” was available for streaming via FRET12. The artwork for Cauterize was revealed on the 27th of May 2015, additionally it was announced that it will be the first of two albums that were recorded together to be released. The second single “Flying Monkeys” released in the US on the 15th of May 2015 and is available for digital download via iTunes.

After listening to Cauterize I was struck by Mark Tremonti’s vocal performance on the latest record in comparison to its predecessor. Cauterize engages all of your senses and doesn’t let up until the end. By listening to Cauterize you witness the development of the band as a unit. I love the philosophical lyrical content of “Providence” and Mark’s vocals shine on the song combined with some beautiful riffs.

I like the heavier, yet melodic style that the band has adopted, it attracts new fans without alienating existing fans especially since the genre of music the band play is so far removed from Mark’s other projects. I can imagine it takes a lot of investment and guts to start a third band from scratch, especially when your schedule is already planned years in advance. Tremonti is unique, because of the fact that the band consists of established musicians who really don’t have anything to prove and is making music purely for the love and passion that the band members possess for their craft.

You can follow Mark Tremonti on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarkTremonti

You can follow Eric Friedman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/IIEROCKII

Follow Garrett Whitlock on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GWDrums

Follow Wolfgang van Halen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WolfVanHalen

Follow Tremonti Project on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TREMONTIproject

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Credits to Letarte Photography Source: https://www.facebook.com/letartephotographync?fref=photo

Credits to Letarte Photography 
Source:
https://www.facebook.com/letartephotographync?fref=photo 

Credits to the photographer/owner Source: https://www.facebook.com/TremontiProject?fref=ts

Credits to the photographer/owner
Source: https://www.facebook.com/TremontiProject?fref=ts

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Band of the Month – Eve to Adam

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This month we are featuring a band that knows what it means to be driven with a decade of touring and four studio albums added to their resume, I thought it was about time to learn more about this band.

The band’s story starts back in 1997, Taki Sassaris developed the name Eve to Adam and he established the idea for the band. He recruited his brother Alex and they started working on the group together. Taki went to school in Florida and discovered the enigma of music at early age. He started playing the guitar at the age of 13 and he hasn’t stopped playing or singing since then.

Alex Sassaris was born in New Orleans where he used to visit the French Quarter often, taking in all the sounds and sights around him. Initially Alex thought he was going to become a guitar player, but after one lesson he felt that the drums would be his calling. Alex studied various rock icons’ technique(s) and every beat they played on the drums. This includes Tommy Lee (Motley Crue), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Matt Cameron (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam), Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses/Cult), Sean Kinney (Alice in Chains), and Dave Grohl (Nirvana/Foo Fighters). Alex featured on Modern Drummer Magazine for the album Locked and Loaded which you can read here: http://www.moderndrummer.com/site/2013/09/eve-to-adams-alex-sassaris-drummer-blog/#.U3pRHoGSySr

The duo partnered with Desmond Child and signed with his company in 1998. Desmond Child had his own vision for the group and wanted to groom the duo to become pop stars performing his material. This didn’t gel with what Taki Sassaris had in mind for the direction his career would take. The brothers decided to move to New York City in late 1998 and begun by expanding the band. They started recruiting new members, writing material and playing gigs in 1999.

Unexpectedly the band got a big break, by being signed to the Maximum Rock tour. Summer of 1999 passed and suddenly the floor dropped out from underneath their feet, they lost their original bassist, their management company along with the deal they signed with Desmond Child.

Guitarist Guarev Bali was born in New Jersey into a musical family. He was playing guitar at the age of 10, inspired by guitarists Randy Rhoads and Edward Van Halen. The trio immediately started writing songs together for their first album “Auburn Slip” in 2001. Gaurav is officialy endorsed by the Fender/EVH guitar company, Morley Pedals, GHS strings and In Tune Guitar picks.

By the year 2000 the band had decided to start rebuilding the band. They recruited bassist AJ Pappas adding him to the trio which included guitarist Guarev Bali and the two Sassaris brothers.

In the year of 2000 they had signed with Mystic Music a division of Warner Bros. , they were busy working on their debut album when problems with financing arose. The group eventually found another source of financing and the band managed to finish recording the album. “Auburn Slip” was the result of that recording and it was released in 2001. The five-track EP Antidote arrived in 2003, followed in 2007 by Queens to Eden, the group’s major label debut. Banquet for a Starving Dog was released in 2011, followed by their fourth album Locked & Loaded in 2013.

Adam Latiff comes from Orlando, Florida. He is an accomplished rhythm guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. His influences are Pink Floyd, Thin Lizzy, Foo Fighters, Nirvana, David Gilmour, Kurt Cobain, BB King, and Eric Clapton. He is a versatile musician and stands out in any genre, whether its  progressive rock, rockabilly or reggae.

Adam has been part of various bands(Devereux, S.W.A.T.T. (Smoke Weed All The Time), Drunk Horses Make Slow Gateways) which has allowed him to hone his skills. He is now a full-fledged member of Eve to Adam.

Aaron Baylor (bassist and backing vocals) joined the band in February of 2014.

The band has toured with Halestorm, Creed, In This Moment, Escape the Fate to name a few.

Eve to Adam reached out to Mark Tremonti, because they liked the production on his Tremonti album so much that they wanted to get in touch with famed producer Elvis Baskette. He was difficult to get hold of initially, because he was working on other projects at the time.

Mark’s recommendation and vote of confidence, convinced Elvis to take on another project even though he wasn’t planning on doing so.

‘Straightjacket Supermodel’ was co-written by Eric Bass of Shinedown.

Eve to Adam is an extremely energetic band and they don’t hold anything back delivering adrenaline-fuelled rock songs that will make you want to head-bang in public…. with your earphones on…. without a care…. 😀

Check out their music video for “Immortal”:

“Immortal is dedicated to those whose accomplishments and influence will last way beyond their living years. It’s about those people that everybody else wants to emulate and strives to be like.”  – Quote by Eve To Adam front man Taki Sassaris. (http://www.evetoadam.com/about.html)

You can follow the band on Twitter: https://twitter.com/EVETOADAMMUSIC

Have a great week!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

 

Band of the Month – Skillet

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Skillet is a Christian rock band formed in Memphis, Tennessee in 1996 and the band is based in the USA. The band now consists of husband and wife couple John (Lead Vocals & Bass) and Korey Cooper (Rhythm guitar, keyboard, backing vocals), along with Jen Ledger (drums, vocals) and Seth Morrison (Lead Guitar). Founder John Cooper is the only remaining original member in the band.

Skillet was formed in 1996 by two members John Cooper (former vocalist for Tennessee progressive rock band Seraph) and Ken Steorts, former guitarist for Urgent Cry. The two bands met while touring together, but the bands disbanded soon after, so the pair’s pastor encouraged them to form their own band as a side-project. Both of them came from different styles of rock music, so they named the band Skillet. According to John Cooper the initial reason Skillet was formed, was to do outreach for his church. He thought they would do a couple of outreachactivities and that he would still play in his other band. Trey McClurkin joined the band as a temporary drummer. Skillet was only together for a month before they piqued the interest of major Christian record label ForeFront Records. In 1996 they released a self-titled debut Skillet. It was well-received and the trio continued to write new material while touring through the USA. Apparently the band members still joke among themselves about the band’s name, John still claims that he does not like the name. Skillet recorded the follow-up to their debut album throughout 1997 titled “Hey You, I Love Your Soul” which was released in April of 1998. With the second album the style of the band changed from their first release, abandoning their post-grunge style and changing to a lighter alternative rock. John’s wife Korey was recruited to play the keyboard to lighten John’s live performance duties.

Shortly before the band started recording for their third album, Invincible, Ken left the band to be with his family and he launched the Visible Music College, a modern music ministry college located in Memphis. Kevin Haaland joined the band as the new lead guitarist. Korey Cooper joined the band permanently and played keyboard for the recording of the third album. This caused the third studio album to have a more electronic sound. Soon after the release of Invincible in 2000, Trey McClurkin parted ways with the band and Lori Peters assumed the position of the drummer.

The band released their fourth album and first live album titled “Ardent Worship” in late 2000. The band had little time left between recording and touring, Skillet released “Alien Youth” on the 28th of August 2001, retaining the same style and sound from “Invincible”. It was John Cooper’s first time taking over production duties. Before Alien Youth was released Kevin Haaland left the band and Ben Kasica took over on guitar. The first single the title track was a major hit in the Christian market and allowed Skillet to headline their own shows for the first time.

On the 18th of November 2003, the band’s sixth studio album “Collide” was released by Ardent Records. The album became extremely popular and grabbed the attention of Andy Karp,  the Head of A&R of Lava Records. In 2004 Lava Records, an imprint of “Atlantic Records” bought the rights to Collide. On the 25th of May 2004, Collide was re-released by Lava Records with an added track called “Open Wounds”. The album was nominated for “Best Rock Gospel Album” in 2005. John Cooper cited P.O.D as the inspiration on the band’s musical shift on “Collide”.

Skillet’s seventh studio album “Comatose” was released on the 3rd of October 2006. This was the band’s first album to become gold certified. On the 7th December 2007 the album received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock or Rap Gospel album. In January 2008, it was announced that Lori Peters will be retiring from the band, as she felt it was time to start a new chapter in her life. She performed with Skillet for the last time on the 31st of December 2007. During the 2007 Christmas season she took time to train Skillet’s new drummer Jen Ledger. On the 21st of October 2008, “Comatose Comes Alive” was released, a CD/DVD combo featuring live recordings of the band’s May 9, 2008 concert in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Skillet announced that they will be entering the studio on the 12th of January 2009. They entered the studio with Grammy-nominated producer Howard Benson. They added two songs from their new album to their setlist (“Monster” and “Hero”) on the 2nd April 2009 in Evansville, Indiana as part of their “Comatose” tour 2009. Skillet’s eighth album “Awake”, has 12 songs and was released on the 25th of August 2009. It charted at a staggering No 2 on the Billboard 200 selling around 68, 000 units in its first week. “Monster” was released as a single on the 14 July 2009. “Awake” was one of only three rock albums to be certified platinum in 2012, along with the  Black Keys’ El Camino and Mumford & Sons’ Babel. They later released a deluxe version of the album with bonus tracks “Dead Inside”, “Would It Matter” and a radio edit of “Monster”. “Monster” and “Hero” were used many times in the media by the WWE, Football stadiums, TV shows, video games etc. Skillet was nominated for six Dove Awards for the 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards. “Awake” was certified Gold on the 2nd of July 2010.

On the 14th of February 2011, Skillet announced that lead guitarist Ben Kasica would be leaving the band. Up until that point Ben had been part of the band for 10 years. Ben planned to play his last concert with Skillet on the 20th of March. The band announced that they had chosen solo artist Jonathan Salas to be their new lead guitarist, but Salas confirmed via Twitter that he had left the band on the 9th of April. Ben returned and continued touring until a new guitarist had been trained. On the 16th of April Seth Morrison replaced Kasica as the lead guitarist.

Skillet announced the release of Awake and Remixed EP in early March 2011. The remixes were mainly done Korey Cooper and Ben Kasica. The four-song EP was released on the 22nd of March 2011.

“Awake” was nominated and won the “Top Christian Album” Award at the Billboards Music Awards 2011.

On the 21st of June 2011 John Cooper posted a tweet saying that the band had been busy rehearsing new music for the first time and preparing for a new album. The band planned to start recording in January/February 2012, but the band was scheduled to headline the Winter Jam tour. In January 2012, the band announced that they will not be touring for the most of the summer so that they can record the new album.

During an interview with on the 18th of July 2012 with RadioU, John Cooper stated that the band now had written 61 songs and would be heading to the studio in October to record the album with Howard Benson for an early 2013 release.

In an interview on the 26th of January 2013 in Beaumont TX, John Cooper announced that the new album “Rise”, would be coming out in May 2013, but was later scheduled for a 25 June 2013 release. In an interview with Noisecreep, John Cooper stated that the first single and music video “Sick of It” is scheduled to be released late April.  The album debuted at No.4 on the Billboard 200 and No.1 on the Top Rock Chart and Christian album charts selling 60, 000 copies in the US alone during the first week of release. “Rise” received critical acclaim, despite some negative reviews, the general consensus seems to be that the band had improved on their earlier release “Awake”.

Skillet was nominated and won a Dove Award for Rock Song of the Year for their sing “Sick Of It”.

The bands’ fans are humorously and affectionately called “Panheads”.

The band’s main goal is to write songs that speak to people about what they were going through and encourage them. John has always been deeply affected by Christian music and he knew that this would be his calling since he was 15. In an interview with CMCentral John says that the best thing about his job is to write a song which could change somebody’s life.

It’s refreshing to see a Christian band do well, despite the history of rock bands that has been ridiculed for their Christian label in the past. I think the key ingredient to Skillet’s recipe is the way they convey their message and the presentation of their material. Most people who listen to the band’s material for the first time will probably not even realise that they are a Christian inspired band. The listener can take from their music what they need without feeling like they are being preached to.

You can follow Skillet on Twitter: https://twitter.com/skilletmusic

You can follow John Cooper on Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnlcooper

You can follow Jen Ledger on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JenLedger

You can follow Korey Cooper on Twitter: https://twitter.com/koreycooper

You can follow Seth Morrison on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MorrisonSeth

Rock Regards,

Lauren Kruger

The 13 Best Rock Songs Of 2013

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Photograph owned and taken by Richard Booth

Photograph owned and taken by Richard Booth

The past year has been great for hard rock music and as a hard rock music lover, I will like to share my Top 13 best hard rock songs of 2013. Thank you for supporting The Rock Riff this past year and I hope we will share many more years together. My list will start at Number 13 and lead up to my Number 1 song of 2013.

13. Love Sick Rock ‘n Roll – Taxi Violence

I had the pleasure of seeing South African band Taxi Violence perform at Kirstenbosch this year supporting Seether on their semi-acoustic SA tour. I love the pureness and the groove of the song, it’s really refreshing.

 

12. Here’s To Us – Halestorm

Halestorm’s crowd-favourite, hard rock anthem comes in at Number 12, the band has had a bumper year with a promising future. They kicked off the year with an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, performed at the Bandit Rock Awards, Lzzy Hale sang a duet with David Draiman on Device’s cover of “Close My Eyes Forever”. They supported Alter Bridge on their UK and European tour, the highlight of Halestorm’s year was winning a Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Category.

 

11. Never Never – Korn

From their latest album The Paradigm Shift comes ” Never Never” a song about relationships and the feelings we as people experience when we have been hurt by loved ones. The video for this song was one of my favourite music videos of the year.

 

10. Adrenalize Me – In This Moment

The provocative and sexy single from In This Moment comes in at number 10. The dark, gritty guitars combined with Maria’s powerful vocals topped with a great chorus is a great combination. the music video for this song is creepy, sexy and very entertaining.

 

9. Live It Up – Airbourne

Everyone’s favourite Ozzie rockers delivered an adrenaline pumping track sure to tantalise and entertain their audience at any of their live shows. The band never cease to deliver some head-banging tracks and “Live It Up” was no exception.

 

8. Going To Hell – The Pretty Reckless

The Pretty Reckless returned in a big way last year after Hurricane Sandy destroyed their studio mid-recording, wiped out the majority of the band’s gear as well as a slew of demos and near-completed recordings for their new album. They had to rebuild, this song addresses the tragedy and how the band struggled to regain their footing.

 

7. Slow Suicide – Scott Stapp

Scott Stapp’s solo career continued in 2013 when he released his second solo album “Proof Of Life” on the 5th of November 2013. After reading Scott Stapp’s 2012 Memoir Sinner’s Creed, the listener understands the song and music video so much better. I really admire Scott for using his own life and experiences as a method of educating others who face the same challenges. The music video for the song depicts time periods in his own life and how he was saved by music and his family. It’s a powerful song and it has a powerful message to convey.

 

6. Conquistador – Thirty Seconds To Mars

An upbeat song of defiance and courage with an infectious beat underlined by the chill-inducing backing vocals of Knights of the White Shadow. Thirty Seconds To Mars are an innovative band and this song just seems to verify that. Despite not being released as a single the song has been featured in the “Become Immortal” trailer for the video game,WWE 2K14 & Need For Speed Rivals.

 

5. Vilify – Device

2013 saw the debut of a new industrial metal band named Device, fronted by David Draiman of Disturbed. “Vilify” was the first single released off of their self-titled album. The powerful and potent single was a great introduction to the album. The music video features David Draiman’s wife Lena as the android/robotic figure.

 

4. Adrenaline – Shinedown

Shinedown released Adrenaline as a single off of their 2012 album “Amaryllis” in 2013. The title for the song is self-explanatory and it is a straight-up hard rock song. Powerful, pounding drums and roaring guitars dominate the song and it does not disappoint.

 

3. Do Me A Favor – Stone Sour

Stone Sour released “Do Me a Favor” as a single on February 12th, 2013. The first time I heard the song I was hooked. I listened to it about 5 – 10 times the same night I heard it. It’s an aggressive song, but it has a really fantastic chorus which creates a nice contrast. “Do Me A Favor” comes from “House of Gold and Bones – Part 2”.

 

2. Hail To The King – Avenged Sevenfold

Avenged Sevenfold released their sixth studio album Hail To The King on the 27th of August 2013. The title track and lead single off the album was released on the 15th of July 2013. The song has , in my opinion, one of the best intro’s I have ever heard, combining the guitars and drums in a sinister way. M.Shadows enters the song 1 minute and 10 seconds into it, with some powerful and threatening lyrics. The song has a unique dynamic and takes the listener on a medieval journey. The music video is one of the best videos I have seen this year. All in all a fantastic delivery from A7X. Enjoy!

NUMBER 1 : Addicted To Pain – Alter Bridge

I suppose it’s no secret that I’m a HUGE Myles Kennedy/Alter Bridge fan, so this might not surprise dedicated The Rock Riff readers. Although I’m well aware that this might make me seem biased, but I’m sure that almost everyone will agree that the Number 1 spot is well-deserved. Addicted To Pain gets in your face and doesn’t let up for 1 second. A fast-paced, aggressive song heightened by Myles Kennedy’s vocals. The song is about a person who is being used in a relationship and is too blind to realise it. The song is written from the perspective of the “witness” /friend who can see what is happening but has no power to stop it. Alter Bridge made a triumphant return from their 2010 album ABIII with the release of “Fortress”. They will continue their tour in support of “Fortress” in  2014, which will include Sweden, Japan, UK, Australia, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and the US.

Fortress has received critical acclaim. It currently holds a score of 81 out of 100 on review aggregator Metacritic, indicating ‘universal acclaim'” – Quote obtained from Wikipedia

Thank you for reading and supporting The Rock Riff in 2013, I hope 2014 will be even better!

Regards,

Lauren K

Band of the Month – Adelitas Way

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Rick DeJesus was born and raised in a rough Philly neighbourhood where he saw family and friends doing drugs, landing up in jail, selling drugs, carrying guns etc. At that time Rick’s future seemed very bleak, but he was wise enough to know that he will pay the consequences if he carries on living his life the same way his family and friends did. In 2005 Rick was seeking an escape from his lifestyle and living conditions desperate to grasp onto anything to escape. On a dare he auditioned for a VH1 show that would take him to Los Angeles and in short succession Rick found himself appearing on the show “Strip Search” and he ended up in Vegas living in his car for three months doing anything to make ends meet. “Anything” included the “American Storm” show at the Riviera. The show allowed him to focus on the anthemic, modern rock that would become Adelitas Way signature sound. Rick’s personal dramas and experiences are portrayed through his performances.

First to join Adelitas Way was Chris lorio a high school senior who credits his parents for his love for rock music. His parents gave him a guitar when he was seven years old, turning him onto KISS, Ted Nugent and Van Halen. His style consists of a mix of 70’s rock with modern flair, he cites Slash and Randy Rhoads as his main influences. Trevor Stafforrd an in-demand tour and studio drummer was on Ozzfest with the band Shuvel at 17, he later moved to Las Vegas to be in the band full-time. He is a Huntington Beach, California native and is a fan of System of a Down, Primus and grunge. New York-bred bassist Derek Johnston and West Virgina native guitarist Keith Wallen who joined after the album was complete. They both add indie, hardcore and classic rock to the band’s sound. Rick and Trevor have more than  rock in common. Rick determined to rise above his chaotic existence in Philly graduated High School with a 3.7 GPA and went to college for three years, playing college baseball. Trevor earned a partial baseball scholarship, but ultimately like Rick he chose music. Trevor credits Rick for getting Adelitas Way shows with great artists like Chris Cornell, Hinder and Tantric due to Rick’s amazing work-ethic.

At the age of 18 Rick got his first taste of performing in front of a crowd when he decided to sneak into a bar for an acoustic night, singing in front of 60 people after which he received a standing ovation. Rick felt his talent being validated by the audience. Rick worked extremely hard to promote the band in his first year living in Vegas, he wore the same shirt every day and handed a demo to everyone he saw. Rick and the band sold 10,000 copies of  their self-titled records under their own steam “Move On” earning Number 1 song accolades in 2006 on Vegas rock station KOMP. They embarked on regional tours which further cemented their reputation as a powerful live act and portraying Rick as a charismatic frontman who wrote songs which exorcised the demons in his past. Rick is a very determined and ambitious man who refuses to let anyone stand in the way of his dreams.

When asked about the origin of the band’s name, Rick the consummate storyteller onstage and off is happy to relay the story. During a band road trip to LA they took a detour to San Diego and when Rick woke up after his nap the band was getting arrested in Mexico. Corrupt cops robbed the band, but Rick managed to hide a little cash in his socks. The band went to the first bar they saw in Tijuana to have a drink to try to calm their nerves and digest what happened. The bar was called the Adelita Bar. They noticed that there were a few nice, pretty young girls and realized the bar was basically a brothel. Rick started chatting to one of the girls interested to find out why she was doing this for a living. The band’s name emerged from the sad stories behind the Way they lived at the Adelita- Adelitas Way. Rick describes himself as an emotional songwriter and he often imagines living vicariously through other people. Rick writes songs about true situations.

The band started working on their debut album in late 2008. As 2009 approached, bassist Derek Johnston and guitarist Keith Wallen completing the original line-up. On the 17th of April 2009 the band released their first single “Invincible”. They broke into the mainstream after the song featured in many television shows. Invincible was the official theme song for WWE Superstars, the song featured in the Smackdown vs Raw 2010 video game, MTV as well as CSI Miami’s finale. Their debut album released on the 14th of July 2009. The band has toured with many popular rock bands namely Shinedown, Creed, Godsmack, Seether, Alter Bridge, Skillet, Halestorm and Three Days Grace to name a few. Less than 5 months after the band released their debut album was released Chris Iorio left the band due to personal reasons. The band replaced Iorio with guitarist Creighton Bibbs for the rest of the tour. On the 23rd of February 2010 their second single “The Last Stand”  was released. Their song “Scream” appeared on the soundtrack for the film Saw 3D in October 2010.

On the 31st of January 2011, the band revealed their sophomore album Home School Valedictorian. After the release date was delyayed the album was released on the 7th of June 2011. Before the album was released Robert Zakaryan was recruited as the band’s new lead guitarist. “Sick” the first single released off of their second album on the 11th of March 2011, reached #1 on Active Rock Radio, the second single “The Collapse” followed and reached #2 on Active Rock Radio. On the 16th of February 2012 “Criticize” was announced as the third single of their second album and reached #1 on the Active Rock Radio. “Alive” was the fourth single released from the album on the 13th of August 2012, the song reached #6 on the U.S active Rock chart in spring of 2013.

The writing process for the band’s third album started at the end of 2012 ad continued through to July 2013. On the 7th of May 2013 Keith Wallen revealed through his Facebook page that he would be leaving the band to pursue his own personal goals. The band’s next single is expected in January 2014, with the new album anticipated to drop around April 2014 through Virgin Records/CMG.

I decided to feature Adelitas Way as band of the month, because they worked hard to reach their goals. Their music is edgy, energetic and Rick DeJesus is a great frontman to lead such a diverse group of musicians. I started taking notice of the band due to the fact that they have toured with some of my favourite bands. A talented band that have achieved much in the short span of time since they released their debut album. My advice would be to watch this space, because I’m sure this is not the last time you will hear of Adelitas Way.

You can follow the band on Twitter: https://twitter.com/adelitasway

You can follow Rick on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RickyaDeJesus

You can follow Tre Stafford on Twitter: https://twitter.com/trestafford

You can follow Robert  Zakaryan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/robadelita

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Band of the Month – The Mayfield Four

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In the build-up to the release of Alter Bridge‘s new record, I thought I would pay tribute to Myles Kennedy‘s earlier band The Mayfield Four. I read  a few comments from Alter Bridge fans about how much they love The Mayfield Four, but I never really paid any attention until I saw Myles Kennedy live with the Kings of Chaos. I wanted to know more about this amazing frontman. So I started listening to a few of their songs on Youtube and I discovered the official video for “Sick and Wrong”. After watching the video I knew I had to hear more. I added their albums to my wish list for my birthday. My sister who lives in America managed to get both of the albums for me, at a steep cost I might add. It got shipped to South Africa and I’m actually listening to Second Skin while I’m writing this.

Their music really surprised me. Fallout arrived here first and it has a completely different sound compared to all the other rock bands I listen to. The blues-rock combination is something I like, it adds some soul to the music and the lyrics. The first few songs are quite dark and it sounds like it has been inspired by the grunge rock sound, just with more intelligent lyrics. One of my favourite songs is Suckerpunch, because of the attitude with which the song is delivered and the great name of the song ;). I love Inner city Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler) originally sung by Marvin Gaye which the Mayfield Four decided to give a rock makeover. Myles brings his own brand of soul to the song.

The album received critical acclaim with the Seattle paper The Rocket calling it “a modern rock album done with intelligence and grace.” The band took their inspiration from Motown and bands like Police, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. Fallout was recorded in late 1997 in Seattle and San Francisco, it was produced by Jerry Harrison and recorded by Karl Derfler. Brendan O’Brien, who has worked with Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine & Soundgarden, mixed Fallout at his own studio in Atlanta. Drummer Zia Uddin stated that the basic approach they took was to be as honest as possible. Myles Kennedy agreed with Zia saying that there is no BS, they laid it all out on the table which was risky and scary , but that was ultimately what they wanted to record. Myles Kennedy was the lyricist and primary songwriter, and he exposed his demons, scars and fears on this album. The songs on the album dig through the emotional rubble of broken relationships, self-doubt, anguish, surrender and redemption. Myles Kennedy was  quoted as saying that he saved a lot in counselling bills writing this album. He learned to sing by listening to Stevie Wonder, Motown and other St. ax artists.

The members of The Mayfield four are all long time musicians and friends from their early school years. They formed as a band in 1996. From their first rehearsal the band knew they had something special, drummer Zia says its more like a brotherhood than anything else. All four members graduated from the same high school and went on to study music at various colleges in the region. It was the band’s demo called Thirty Two Point Five Hours recorded in 30 hours that got the attention of Epic Records.

The Mayfield Four’s debut album was supported by a 15-month long tour with bands like Creed, Big Wreck and Stabbing Westward. The album was praised by critics, but failed to chart and it became the only album to feature Craig Johnson as the rhythm guitarist, who was fired from the band for undisclosed reasons.

Second Skin was released in June of 2001 and the album has a distinctly different sound to that of Fallout. It’s a slightly heavier guitar-driven rock record. The tour went great, but there was a lot behind-the-scenes changes going on both personally and professionally. This was when Craig Johnson left and business partnerships changed. After the tour Myles decided to set up a studio in his basement and Zia and Marty moved in. They spent months in the studio writing and playing music, whilst venting all their frustrations through their music. Second Skin was produced by Peter Collins and mixed by Tom Lord-Alge.

“Sonically, the album combines the feral (“Sick and Wrong,” “Loose Cannon”) with
the grandiose (“Summer Girl,” “Believe”) while exploring themes of lost love
(“Eden”) and liberation (“Lyla”) and the emotional carnage in-between. “I try to
use the songs as a form of catharsis without coming across like a whiner,”
laughs Kennedy. “That’s the great thing about music-it helps you to hash through
some issues.” –  excerpt from The Mayfield Four’s Official Website: http://www.themayfieldfour.net/2ndskin-biov2.html

The performances on the album are astounding, Zia impressed everyone working on the album, because every drum part on the record is from his first or second take. Myles never ceases to amaze with the ability to encompass resonant bottom notes and  powerful sky-high top notes. On tender songs like “Summer Girl” and “Believe” Myles’ upper register glides with ethereal ease lending purity to the melodies of the songs.

My favourite song from Second Skin is Sick and Wrong, because of the brash unapologetic nature of the song.

In 2002 the band went on hiatus and ultimately disbanded.

In an interview with Myles-Kennedy.com( http://myles-kennedy.com/index_files/interview2010part2.htm) Myles was asked about the likelihood of a Mayfield Four reunion. His answer was that he has been given so many wonderful opportunities lately that he really can’t see where he would get the time to fit it in. He said that Second Skin was a very special album to him and he was grateful that he got to make those two records. The records weren’t widely released and Epic Records only printed a few thousand of them. The records are actually more popular now than they were when The Mayfield Four were still together. Myles was quoted as saying that he could never sell his house because Second Skin was recorded there. His favourite Mayfield Four song is White Flag and Sick and Wrong.

Myles performing White Flag at Bofest:

As we are all waiting with bated breath for the new Alter Bridge album Fortress, here is a taste of their first single “Addicted To Pain”:

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Band of the Month – The Tremonti Project

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Since 2010 Mark has expressed his interest in releasing a solo album, since he has written many songs that does not fit the style of either Alter Bridge or Creed. He decided to the album within a three-month window where Myles Kennedy was touring with Slash and Scott Stapp was touring as well. He describe the album as melody-driven with elements of thrash and speed metal thrown in. Essentially Mark was going to back to  his roots, he was always interested in exploring metal music a little deeper, but never had the avenue to do so. He grew up on the likes of Pantera and Metallica. Although Mark was always interested in metal music, he was adamant to incorporate a strong melody in the songs. His sense of melody has improved through the years during his work with Creed and later Alter Bridge. I’m a strong believer in incorporating melody and structure to a song, it doesn’t matter how heavy the music is as long as a recognisable melody is present, I will probably like it.

On the 6th of April 2011, Alter Bridge announced that tracking of Mark’s debut album has begun. On the 20th of January 2012 Tremonti and FRET12 launched “The Tremonti Project”, a website where fans could go to find out more about the band, receive news and stay updated on the progress of the album. The song list, band members and title of the album were officially announced on the website. On the 20th of March 2012 the album artwork was revealed and the album was to be distributed by EMI. “You Waste Your Time” was announced as the first single to come off the album and the song was made available for listening on the 6th of May on Loudwire.com. A live music video for the song was released on the 17th of May 2012. The album’s release date was on the 17th of July 2012.

I will admit when I first heard that Mark will assume both the vocal and guitar duties, I was sceptical. I didn’t know what to expect and I wasn’t sure how strong Mark’s voice would be. Through my first listen to All I Was , I was overwhelmed. Keep in mind I hadn’t had much exposure to trash or speed metal. I was overwhelmed by the instruments at first, it was a lot for me to absorb. The more I listened to the album, the more the melodies and layers of instruments began to take shape. Mark’s voice has grown on me since the first few times that I listened to the album. He has a low register, but his voice can sound more tender when he sings higher notes. Garrett Whitlock did a stellar job on the drums, the drums play a huge part on the album and sets the ebb and flow for the songs. Eric Friedman is a fantastic guitarist and his style complements Mark’s in every way. Eric delivered impressive backing vocals as usual. The album is a technical masterpiece that only seasoned musicians could pull off. My favourite song off the album is “You Waste Your Time”, because of the fast guitars and heavy drums, it makes me want to headbang wherever I am. Last but not least the listener is treated to many guitar solos that once again demonstrates Mark’s amazing talent. His songwriting ability is remarkable to say the least and he manages to connect to the listener on another level through his songs.

You can follow Mark Tremonti on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/MarkTremonti

You can follow Eric Friedman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/IIEROCKII

You can follow Garrett Whitlock on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GWDrums

You can follow the band here: https://twitter.com/tremontiproject

Rock Regards,

Lauren K