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:

You can follow Rick on Twitter:

You can follow Tre Stafford on Twitter:

You can follow Robert  Zakaryan on Twitter:

Rock Regards,

Lauren K


Frontman of the Week – Chester Bennington

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Chester Charles Bennington was born on the 20th of March 1976 in Phoenix, Arizona to a mother who was a nurse and a father who was a police detective working mainly with child abuse cases. He became the victim of sexual abuse when he was about 7 or 8 years old. He didn’t want to tell anyone, because he was afraid people might think he is gay or lying. The abuse was subtle at first but escalated up until the age of 13. His parents divorced when he was 11 years old and his father gained custody. His father worked endless double shifts, his older brother and sister had left home, while his other sister was never around. Chester resented everyone in his family and wanted to run away. He decided to express himself through poetry and art. He listened to Depeche Mode and Stone Temple Pilots to help him cope. Chester’s first band that he was a part of was called Grey Daze, he developed meaningful friendships with his band mates. He gained some of his confidence back that he lost during his childhood, but found new ways to escape from the abuse he suffered in childhood. He started to indulge in heavy drinking, doing drugs and having sex with a number of girls. At the age of 16 he was doing a lot of LSD and heavily abusing alcohol. When they couldn’t find acid, they turned to speed. They were doing bong-hits of meth.

At the age of 17, Chester’s mom was so shocked by his emaciated appearance that she banned him from leaving the home. He continued drinking and smoking weed to ward off any cravings he might have. He admits that he was a full-blown raging alcoholic. Grey Daze opened for any national act that would come through Phoenix, they were able to sell out a 2000 seater on their own. They released two albums which was well received locally but failed to spark interest nationally. Tension in the band would ultimately lead to the gradual dissolution of the band.

Surprisingly Chester Bennington at the age of 22 was working at a digital services firm. married and at that point his music career didn’t look very promising.

In Los Angeles there were five musicians who wanted to find a way to blend hip-hop and rock music. Mark Wakefield introduced Mike Shinoda to members of his High School hardcore band, drummer Rob Bourdon and guitarist Brad Delson. Two other friends of the band joined and the band was named Xeno. When Wakefield left the band Xeno needed a vocalist and when Zomba’s Jeff Blue showed some interest in their music they handed over a demo to Jeff hoping something promising would come of it.

On the 20th of March 1999 Chester picked up the phone not knowing that Jeff Blue was on the other end. He told Chester that he thought this band that he found might just be the big break that he was looking for. Jeff sent Chester a demo informing him that the band had a hip-hop/rock vibe going on. Chester wasn’t really into hip hop music then, but the band didn’t disappoint and Chester knew he could take their music to the next level. He recorded his vocals the very next day, he played it to Jeff and was on the steps of the Zomba Music studios the very next day. Jeff was sure Chester would be the best man for the job, but the band wasn’t so sure, because they were auditioning vocalists at the time. Chester thought he was doing the band a favour, because he had been in a successful band and they just viewed him as another option on a long list of musicians. The band was indecisive but eventually Chester was hired. The band was now called Hybrid Theory. Chester and Mike Shinoda worked on their music feverishly and Chester shared his abusive past with Mike while they were writing. Chester was homeless in LA and had to sleep in his new band mates’ sofas, cars and at a rehearsal studio. The only thing that kept him going during this time was the knowledge that the band had something special going for them.

When the band wasn’t working on their music, they were trying to generate interest online by posting mp3’s. Despite positive reactions and feedback the band still couldn’t get record labels interested. They played over 50 showcases for various record labels and they couldn’t believe that nobody was interested. Jeff Blue had been hired at Warner Brothers A+R department and decided to make Hybrid Theory his first signing. They signed to Warner Brothers in 2000 and they had another band on their label called Hybrid. That lead to Hybrid Theory changing their name to Linkin Park. Some people at the record label weren’t particularly friendly towards the band the band’s producer only liked about 2 of their songs which meant that the band had to rewrite their album. The label wanted to promote the band as Chester’s band and wanted to make him the star forcing Mike to be demoted to the keyboard player or left out of the band entirely. Chester resisted immediately, because he got the job thanks to Mike. The band cut off all communications with the record label unless it was absolutely necessary. They stood their ground and insisted on recording their music, their own way. They were proud and exhausted when they finished the record.

The band’s debut album was released on the 24th of October 2000, the band was parked outside a 24hr record store waiting to go in to buy the first copy of their new album. The band started to speculate about the amount of album sales that they could expect their debut album to sell in its first week. The band’s bassist thought it might sell 3000 copies, but Chester thought it might sell 8000 copies. At the end of the first week Hybrid Theory had sold 47, 000 copies and the band couldn’t believe it. Following the release of their debut album it is estimated that the band played about 300 shows in 365 days, they played about 5/6 shows a week. The press hailed the band as the latest success story and the leaders of the nu-metal movement, a label which they didn’t appreciate. They didn’t feel as if they had anything in common with the bands that were categorised into the genre they were placed in. The band had to face criticism from the press that claimed that the band were put together by their label and that they were essentially a rock version of a boy band.

Their morale started to drop because of the constant touring, it drained them of their energy and everywhere they went it was either cold, raining or snowing. Chester started to feel estranged from his new band mates, he was drinking and heavily into smoking pot. Chester and his wife were constantly at each other’s throats, his mood swings caused his band mates to be wary of him and they avoided talking to him about anything that might fuel an argument. He felt lonely, he never performed a show sober and smoked weed right up until the time they went on stage. Immediately after the show he would go and get drunk.

From 2001 to 2002 the band’s schedule became even more intense. In their downtime Mike Shinoda remixed Hybrid Theory for their Reanimation project. Mike underestimated the amount of work he was going to have to put in. He ended up having to juggle 30 artist’s work and schedules, he vowed never to do it again.

The band then entered the studio to record their second album Meteora and experienced a lot of pressure due to Hybrid Theory’s success. On the 25th of March 2003 Meteora was released to commercial and critical success. After the album’s release Linkin Park hit the road and didn’t stop touring for another two years.

By the end of 2004 the band needed a break, because they were completely burnt out. Chester was trapped in a marriage which wasn’t working and he was drinking more heavily by the day. He wasn’t leaving the house, he would sit in his closet in the dark the whole day and shake all day. He would wake up drink a pint of Jack Daniels, drink some pills and return to his closet where he would stay for the rest of the day. He fell through windows, endured seizures and went on frequent hospital visits. By his own admission he was a total wreck.

Fortunately he decided to ask for help and everybody he cared about came to his aid. He became sober, divorced, remarried and he opened himself up to his band mates during emotional counselling sessions. Chester didn’t realise the effect his behaviour had on his band mates and he has tried everything he could to stay sober since.

The renewed atmosphere led the band to feel as if they had more creative freedom in writing and recording their third album. They were tempted to repeat their formula, but they had to take a risk and try something new. Minutes to Midnight went to number 1 in 23 countries. Linkin Park’s fourth album A Thousand Suns was released on the 14h of September 2010. Their fifth album Living Things was released on the 26th of June 2012 with the first single Burn It Down met with critical success.

Recently the band Stone Temple Pilots fired their lead vocalist Scott Weiland. Shortly after the announcement on the 19th of May 2013 STP released a free download of their new single Out of Time ft Chester Bennington via their official website. The website featured new promotional pictures with Chester Bennington and the rest of the band which implied that he will be recording and touring with the band at least for the time being. Chester grew up listening to the band and when the opportunity came up to join the band, it was an offer he couldn’t refuse.

Chester has endured much difficulty in his life, but I believe that his experiences made him who he is today. A strong, talented and resilient man.

You can follow Chester Bennington on Twitter here:

You can follow Linkin Park on Twitter:

You can follow Stone Temple Pilots on Twitter:

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Halestorm won a Grammy!

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Congratulations to Halestorm for winning the Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal performance for Love Bites (So Do I). I’m so proud of them, “Here’s To Us”!!

A great moment for rock music!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Frontman of the Week – Gavin Rossdale

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Early life and career

Gavin McGregor Rossdale born on the 30th of October 1965 is the lead singer and guitarist for the British rock band Bush.

Gavin was born in Killburn, London, England to mother Lucy Stephen who was of Scottish descent and father Douglas Rossdale who was a doctor of Russian Jewish descent. When Gavin was 11 years old his parents got divorced and he was raised primarily by his father and aunt. Lucy Stephen was later remarried and she moved to Tampa, Florida. He has a younger sister Soraya and an older sister Lorraine who had a daughter called Jade.

Gavin Rossdale had a brief modelling stint with his then good friend Marilyn. Gavin’s sister Lorraine had a boyfriend who was in a band called The Nobodyz and he taught Gavin how to play bass guitar, but Gavin later switched to playing rhythm guitar.

At the age of 17 Gavin had left Westminster High School and started playing semi-professional football until he was sidelined by an injury. He decided to form a band called Midnight formerly known as Little Dukes. Midnight produced a few singles and a bunch of publicity photos. In 1991 Gavin decided to move to Los Angeles, lived where he could and took whatever part-time jobs that were available at the time. One of these part-time jobs was as a production assistant on video shoots. After 6 months he spent some time in New York City with his friend Bill MacAdam, before he returned to England motivated and inspired to start a new band. He met up with Scottie Mac whom he had met in LA around this time. In 1992 Gavin formed Future Primitive whose original line-up (previously known as The Diceheads) included screenwriter Sacha Gervasi who decided to leave the band in order to pursue a film-making career.In the summer of 1994 the band changed its name to Bush and released a promo called Sixteen Stone.


Gavin became the lead singer/songwriter for the post-grunge British rock band Bush. Their first album Sixteen Stone was released in 1994 and it was a huge commercial success. Bush experienced almost overnight success from playing small pubs in London to headlining festivals in the US which was a result of their non-stop touring. Some critics labelled Bush as an inferior incarnation of bands such as Nirvana and the Pixies, this criticism followed them throughout their career. Rossdale’s voice and lyrics was termed by some to be an imitation of Nirvana’s lead singer Kurt Cobain. The band reached Superstar status in the US, but failed to make an impact in the UK, mainly due to the UK’s Pop dominated charts. The exception came in the form of their single “Swallowed” which reached #7 in the UK. Bush faced some challenges when they changed record labels, changed management and added to that an extended hiatus. Eventually all these obstacles caused the band to split in 2002.

Bush’s albums up to this point in their career include Razorblade Suitcase, Deconstructed, The Science of Things and Golden State. None of the aforementioned albums matched the sale success of their debut album.

Post-Bush Era

After Bush had been on hiatus for two years Gavin Rossdale formed Institute in 2004. Their first album “Distort Yourself” was released on the 13th of September 2005 and enjoyed moderate success. The single “Bullet-proof skin” was used in the movie Stealth. Bullet-proof skin is still one of my favourite rock songs, I discovered the song while watching a DVD compilation which features numerous rock music videos. I listened/watched the video constantly and I still love it.

You can watch the video here:

Gavin was featured on the soundtrack of Sony Pictures’ 2002 film xXx with a song called “Adrenaline”. This song was the official theme song for WWE’s Unforgiven pay-per-view event in September 2002 and it was also used as was The Undertaker‘s Desire/Tribute theme of that same year. Gavin appeared as a guest for Blue Man Group’s “The Current” and he is featured in its video. The song was used in the ending credits of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.

Gavin started to dabble in acting and appeared in Zoolander (2001), The Mayor of Sunset Strip (2003), Little Black Book (2004), and The Game of Their Lives (2005). Gavin played the villian Balthazar in 2005’s Constantine. Next Gavin Rossdale landed a role in How To Rob A Bank (2007) alongside Nick Stahl and Erika Christensen. Additionally Gavin appeared on the TV show Criminal Minds and he appeared on the in the 8th episode of Season 5 of Burn Notice.

In that same year Gavin Rossdale announced on his website that he is working on new music, a solo album to be more specific. He was satisfied with the sound of the album stating that he went back to his roots from Bush. Rossdale’s single “Can’t Stop The World”on which his wife Gwen Stefani sings the background vocals became the theme song for Fox’s TV program Drive.

In 2007, for the album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur he covered John Lennon’s “Mind Games”. Later in the same year Gavin finished recording his first solo album called Wanderlust and it was released on the 3rd of June 2008. The 1st single off of the album “Love Remains The Same” was released on the 1st of April 2008 and it entered the Billboard Hot 100 at Number 76, rising to 27 in October 2008, giving Gavin his first Top 40 hit since the days when he fronted the post-grunge band Bush. Gavin also provided the vocals for Apocalyptica’s killer song called “End of Me” which is the first single off of their album 7th Symphony.

The Return of Bush

On the 21st of June 2010 it was announced that Bush would be returning. Founding members Nigel Pulsford and Dave Parsons both decided not to rejoin the band. Pulsford and Parsons were replaced by Chris Traynor and Corey Britz respectively. Bush released The Sea of Memories on the 13th of September 2011. The Sea of Memories managed to peak at No. 18 on the Billboard Top 200. The first single off of the album, “The Sound of Winter” was released in July 2011 and reached number one on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart.

Gavin co-wrote two songs for The Pretty Reckless‘s album Light Me Up. The songs are called “Fix Me” and “You”. Bush joined The Pretty Reckless on their world tour for a few dates.

Their song “Into The Blue” is featured on The Avengers soundtrack album released on May 1, 2012. They toured with Nickelback on their Here and Now tour.

I was extremely surprised when Bush made a comeback, especially after such a long seperation, but I’m glad they decided to get back to performing and creating rock music.

Personal life

In 1995 Gavin met Gwen Stefani the fearless lead singer of the punk band No Doubt. The pair met when Bush and No Doubt were on tour together. The couple married in 2002. In 2005 on a radio show called Loveline, Gavin stated that he and Gwen prefer to keep their relationship private and out of the media. Gavin had a choatic childhood and  he wanted to provide stability for his family.

On the 26th of May 2006 the Rossdale family gained a new member in the form of a son Kingston James McGregor Rossdale. On the 21st of Augst 2008 the Rossdale celebrated the arrival of another baby boy called  Zuma Nesta Rock Rossdale.

In 2004 a paternity test revelaed that Gavin was the father of Pearl Lowe’s daughter, Daisy Lowe who was born in 1989. Gavin and Pearl had a brief releationship and Gavin was Daisy’s godfather. It was reported that Gavin had cut all ties with Pearl and his teenage daughter, but in 2009 numerous websites posted photos of Daisy walking with Kingston in London. Both Daisy and Gavin have said in interviews that their relationship is good and that they share a friendship.

Gavin and Gwen have homes in Primrose Hill, London and California. Gavin is an avid tennis player and a regular on the Californian celebrity tennis circuit. Gavin and Gwen are good friends with Lindsey Davenport and Roger Federer. The couple has been spotted at numerous tennis tournaments supporting Roger Federer.

Gavin has a strong and smooth voice that has the ability to stand the test of time. I admire Gavin’s dedication to his family and his determination when it comes to his music career.

You can follow Gavin Rossdale on Twitter:

You can follow Bush on Twitter:

Rock Regards,

Lauren K


Gavin Rossdale: the Contortionist by ~RunningHair on deviantArt


Gavin by ~sharonmmm on deviantArt