Timm Showalter – The Corsair
Shinedown fans attending the show this Friday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. inside the Civic Center might think they have passed through a time warp back to 1985 when they hear Eddie Murphy’s, “Party All the Time.”
Have no fear; this is just the precursor to the rockin’ out Las Vegas natives, Adelitas Way, will be doing as the opening act for Shinedown.
The band has been touring for the past eight months and is ready to “get the party started,” says lead singer Rick DeJesus. “We’re the beginning of your experience. We get the crowd rockin’; get everyone movin’.”
After doing their stretches, vocal warm-ups, drum warm-ups, and guitar warm-ups “we’re just gonna go out there and rock it!” says DeJesus. “We get excited; I get very excited. I can’t wait to go and rock with these bands.”
The band’s self-titled debut album was released in July and hit number 16 on Billboard’s Top New Artist Chart. Their first single, “Invincible,” is currently WWE’s theme song and was used in CSI: Miami’s 2009 season finale. Over the past few years the band has opened for bands such as Tantric, Hinder, Saliva and Sick Puppies.
Although the band has enjoyed ample success over the past few months, it didn’t start out this way. “We started off getting beer bottles thrown at us. We played every shit joint you’ve ever seen; in front of 15 people, 20 people.”
DeJesus points this recent success to Virgin Records. “The success we’re getting now is due to our great management team. We have a great label, Virgin Records. From management to store management our team is hard working, and I attribute a lot of our success to a lot of hard work.”
An all-star team like the one backing Adelitas Way came with a lot of effort. “We got beat up in the record industry for awhile. A lot of companies passed on us or said, ‘You guys don’t have what it takes;’ I was literally getting dragged out of label offices by security.”
Instead of losing hope, the band just kept writing more songs. “Eventually we just built up enough buzz to where these people just started calling us back and showing interest.”
As soon as the guys at Virgin got a hold of the band they were stoked. “Virgin really believed in us right off the bat. Our guy heard us one time and was like, ‘Dude, I want this.’”
In order to attract the attention of major labels, like Virgin, Adelitas Way had to enhance their song repertoire. To do this they started applying a more personal strategy to writing songs.
DeJesus says he’s an emotional guy and tries to write music based on real-life experiences. “I had a pretty tough upbringing; the neighborhood I lived in was rough. The first time I moved out of my house I thought it was gonna be easy. I did it and, it ended up being really hard. I couldn’t pay my bills, I ended up homeless and that’s what the song, ‘All fall down,’ is about.” Another song, “Brother,” is about DeJesus’ brother and his addiction to heroin.
The band writes all its own music. “I come up with a concept about what I want to write a song about, and I’ll come up with a vocal melody for a chorus.” After DeJesus has come up with a workable idea he’ll collaborate with guitar player, Chris Iorio, and sort of jam it out with the rest of the members over time. “You never know when you’re gonna write a good song.”
The name Adelitas Way came from an experience the band had in Tijuana where they were extorted by crooked cops. DeJesus was able to hide roughly 20 bucks in his shoes during the arrest. The band went to a local bar afterwards called, “Adelita.” It wasn’t long before he realized they were in a brothel.
During the time they spent at the bar he had an opportunity to speak with one of the girls. “I saw this girl who was like 16 or 17 years old and, she was beautiful. It turned out she was a prostitute.” DeJesus asked the girl, “Why are you doing this?” She answered that she was able to support her entire family from it since she was 12-years-old.
DeJesus said, “I left that experience realizing at that time that we’re all given opportunities to do what we like in life, and given a chance to succeed. Some people aren’t that fortunate and, Adelitas Way reminds us not to take for granted what we have.”
The guys have been pouring everything they have into the music since the band started. “We put all our eggs in the music basket and thank God it worked.”