Rick DeJesus says he wants Adelitas Way to be “rock’s darlings,” but he understands very well that these things take not only talent and time, but hard work, dedication and a pinch of good luck.
He’s OK with that. The band DeJesus sings for has a deal with EMI/Virgin, which believes in Adelitas Way and is putting its considerable muscle behind the band’s sophomore album, the hard–rocking Home School Valedictorian.
Adelitas Way headlines the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon finale concert Saturday morning in Forsyth Park.
Based in Las Vegas, the band has achieved minor, but not insignificant chart success with the take–no–prisoners anthems “Invincible,” “Sick,” “The Collapse” and “Criticize.”
“Starting out young, everybody dreams big, and thinks big,” says DeJesus. “You just don’t realize that if you put the work in, you can do it. I always felt like I was good and writing songs and singing, but I went all in, man, we all did. We went all in and threw all of our eggs in the basket with no backup plan.
“I think we were all meant to do this, and with our work ethic, we’re ready to get to the upper tier. To get there, we’ve got to continually work and hone our craft to get where we got to go. I’ve dedicated my whole life to this — we all have — and we all want to be the best.”
It’s a considerable work ethic, too. Adelitas Way is on the road pretty much all the time, and according to DeJesus, that’s how you build a fan base.
“We are a rock band, and love the fact that our reputation is that of a bunch of bad–asses who like to go out and play,” he says.
“I think the reputation we’ve built is our live show. At the end of the day, the media can try to box out rock all they want, but the only thing we can do is continue to get better, continue to work hard, and continue to play the best live show in each city every night. So they walk out talking about us.
“We want to build a foundation of real rock fans, because we’re proud to be playing rock music. We’re going to make rock records for people for many years to come. We’re not looking for a quick fix, man, we want to be here for a long time.”
The phrase "Home School Valedictorian," DeJesus explains, refers to people who think they’re “all that” — they live in their own self–centered world.
There are lots of them in the music business.
“It’s an uphill climb, and you meet a lot of fake rock stars along the way,” DeJesus says. “You meet a lot of guys who don’t want to put the work in. You meet a lot of guys who just want to come out, get a couple tattoos, cut their shirts up a little bit and be in a band for three weeks until they get signed.
“I rock out with some of the best musicians every day. And we got there through dedication and hard work. You gotta sift through the bullshit to find the real rocks stars.”
Adelitas Way headlines the “Finish Line Festival” in Forsyth Park. Their set is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 12:15.
Bands on the road
As you progress along the marathon course, here’s who’ll be playing away (in order): Goodbye L.A., Hatton Still, Triple Kane and the Walkers, Plan B, City of Savannah (??), Savannah Pipe & Drum, AWOL, BackPorch, Girlfriends, Anyone’s Ghost, Free Candy, 3rd Class Citizens, Elements of Style, Eric Britt, L Shape Lot, Burning Mansions, Listen 2 Three, Leeward Fate, the Fabulous Clams, Signal 49, Looters, A Nickel Bag of Funk, Sincerely Iris, Lyn Avenue, Word of Mouth, Spike Ivory, Big Money Band, Skylite Jazz Band, City Hotel Band, the Accomplices, the Hypnotics, the Resuscitators, Train Wrecks, Blurry Aftermath, Sterling Waite, Edge of Red, Rob Symonette.
News & stuff
• After last weekend’s GAM concert, you’d think things at the Jinx couldn’t get hotter. Ah, but think again, because Oct. 31 — that’s Wednesday, Halloween — it’s the annual Tribute Band Nite, with dozens of players from different local bands coming together for ad hoc salutes to their faves. This year’s lineup includes: And Out Comes the Wolves (Rancid), Pentagram (Pentagram), Footos (Foo Fighters), Human Flies (the Cramps), CCR’nt (Creedence Clearwater Revival), Prime Ass (Primus), and some that hadn’t been settled on at press time. Should be a hoot.
• The exceptionally good local progressive reggae band Kota Mundi headlines Live Wire Music Hall’s “Dead Man’s Ball” on the 31st.
• Because Passafire is so busy on the road, we in the band’s hometown rarely get to see them. The reggae rocking boys are back in town this week, playing a 7 p.m. show at the Coastal Empire Fair Friday, Nov. 2. Soap, another Savannah band we don’t see as much as we’d like, opens. See coastalempirefair.com.
• Interesting show at the Wormhole Saturday, Nov. 3: The New York duo Talk Normal, a frenetic blend of jangly hard rock and the quirky back-and-forth vocals of Sarah Register and Andrya Ambro, opens for Future Islands. Originally from North Carolina, Future Islands is a “romantic synth” trio, in whose music you’ll hear echoes of The Cure, New Order and Eno-era Bowie. Check out Future Islands' addictive latest, On the Water, which closes with an ethereal track called “Tybee Island.”