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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