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www.therockpit.net Interview-Rick-DeJesus-Sep-2011

INTERVIEW - Rick DeJesus, Adelitas Way

 

By Todd Jolicouer

September 2011

 

 

Rick DeJesus: How are you?


Toddstar: Good Rick. How are you today?


Rick DeJesus: I’m very good. Just pulled into Arkansas, loading in and getting ready to play the show tonight.


Toddstar: Oh, awesome. Well, first off let me thank you for taking time out for The Rock Pit today. We really appreciate your time and taking busy time away from your set-up for us today.


Rick DeJesus: Oh, thanks for supporting us.

 


Toddstar: We’re very glad to. Let’s jump right into it since I know you are busy. Home School Valedictorian, what a fun album man. How did this come together for you? What little tidbits can you give me on this one?


Rick DeJesus: Well, thank you. The whole process is very natural man. You know, not a lot of pressure. It wasn’t like a record company was breathing up our necks. It wasn’t like anybody was telling us what we had to do, what we had to write. That just didn’t happen with this record. This record was very, very um, it was done very naturally. It was just sitting down and writing. I got with the band and we played some ideas and it’s very, very organic man. I didn’t feel like I had the world on my shoulders to make a second album that was a certain kind of record. I knew we had to make a great record. I put the pressure on myself to make sure the record was, from top to bottom, solid. I didn’t sit there and say “Oh we need a single, we need this, and we need that.” I just wrote the record.


Toddstar: Ok. You have an obviously very strong single with “Sick” out there, but I noticed going thru the liner notes on this thing, you’re the constant in the writing. Trevor’s in there quite a bit, and obviously you did some writing with producer Dave Basset. It looks like you used outside writers a little bit too. I see Marty Fredrickson and Tyler Connolly. Were those conscience efforts on your part where you said “Hey, I’d like to pull in a little bit of outside writing for this one” or…


Rick DeJesus: No, I think that it was more like calling up friends of mine. Tyler Connolly is a very good friend of mine and we didn’t really plan on writing a song together for the record. It wasn’t like a set-up meeting. We were out in L.A. making our record and Tyler came over a lot and hung out with us when we were making the record. We went to clubs a lot, and we hit the town one night. We tried to go to this hamburger bar where there was like a club attached to it and the tour guy wouldn’t let us in and he was kind of like “No you guys are not allowed in here.” We kind of laughed about it and when we went back to his house and we were just like “we should just write a song about that shit, like people and these kind of tour guys who do that kind of shit and we should write a song about that” and we did. We sat down and just kind of wrote a song for fun and it ended up making the record.


Toddstar: That’s a great, great tune. What did you learn from making the first album, writing the first album and even through the production? What did you learn not to do this time around?


Rick DeJesus: I think on this record it was… on the first record you had forever to write it. I mean, you have five years to compile songs and put them together. On your first record, you have your entire life. You write songs that… there are songs on our first record from 2005. I think this record is more cohesive. This record sticks together more. The first record seemed like it’s just a little bit… I don’t want to say all over the place, but you know, I wrote some of those songs in 2005 and record came out in 2009. So I think this record is more cohesive.


Toddstar: Ok. Well, again “Sick” is the first single, its tearing up Octane. I personally can’t get enough of it. If there were any other song on the album that you would have chosen for the first single besides “Sick,” what would it have been?


Rick DeJesus: I don’t know. That’s tough. I wanted “Sick” all the way. We had pretty solid intentions of “Sick” being the one. We sat down and we played something with everybody and everybody had the same thought. I mean, I think a number of songs could have come out real. I think “I Wanna Be” could have come out real well. I think “Criticize” could have come out real strong too. I also think “Collapse” could have come out, so I think we made an album where it was really hard for us to not start off strong. I think now, you know we have “Sick,” but that came out with and hit #1, so now we have couple songs that can follow that and keep bringing the heat you know. I think you know, fans are going to wait for something awesome next, and I think we are going to give it to them.


Toddstar: I would agree. It’s just a fun album from top to bottom, even when you get into the songs like “Somebody Wishes They Were You.” It’s just a fun song and makes you think.

 


Rick DeJesus: Yeah. All these songs are true stories that relate to my life. I had that conversation with a person that I knew. All they do is take the things in life that they have for granted and all they do is complain about their lives and they have a great life. So I wrote a song about somebody that I know.


Toddstar: You talk about the album, how cohesive it is, how these came together pretty easy. If there was just one song that just came together the easiest… just one song where you went to bed, woke up, and said “Holy shit, there’s a song.” What was the easiest tune on this album?


Rick DeJesus: Probably “Alive.” That song is very meaningful to me and it’s probably the truest song on the record. I was in kind of a certain place when I wrote it and I felt like the lyrics were being handed to me. I felt like the melody was being handed to me. I was sitting here by myself. I brought it in to Dave and we went over the idea. I didn’t feel like we hit any speed bumps on that song. I felt like bang, bang, bang… songs done.


Toddstar: Cool. Well, you have the big Carnival of Madness tour coming up. Are you excited? Not excited? Is it just another day on the job?


Rick DeJesus: Well, you know, it’s hard to get excited when you’re on a bill with a bunch of jerk bands, so… (Laughing) No, man I’m so excited. You know, I’m getting to go out with all my friends. I’m very good friends with the guys of Theory Of A Deadman and it’s like… imagine going out on the road with all of your friends. The guys in my band are all very good friends and we’re going out with Theory Of A Deadman, so it’s like getting on the road and being like “Hell Yeah!” It’s amazing. Alter Bridge is one of my favorite bands, so I don’t want to even look at the last Carnival tour with Sevendust on it. I’m so excited for this years Carnival of Madness that I don’t want to look past what we’re doing right now. I’m trying to keep my head in the game right now. For Carnival, I’m pumped up for it. I cannot wait.


Toddstar: Tyler said the same thing. I spoke to him last week and he’s very excited to go out. He mentioned you guys by name. I know you’re busy, so I’m only going to bother you for a couple more questions. If you weren’t writing and singing in this rock band Rick, what would you be doing with your life right now?


Rick DeJesus: The truth is there are two directions I was going. I’d probably be working with my father who owns a refrigeration company in Philadelphia or I’d be causing some troubles in Las Vegas where I currently reside. I’d probably be there working at a casino honestly. (Laughing)

 


Toddstar: Ok, looking for another Adelita?


Rick DeJesus: Yeah, exactly. I mean I would be looking for Adelita. (Laughing)


Toddstar: (Laughing) Well listen if there’s one piece of music in the history of time, not necessarily a specific song, maybe an album or something, but if there’s one piece of music in the history that you wish was yours, that you could say it was yours. What would it be?


Rick DeJesus: That’s fairly easy man. The Black Album. Metallica is… if you go on our van, which is soon to be a RV/bus, all you will hear is… we play a ton of Metallica. We love Metallica. I love Metallica.


Toddstar: Very cool. Well last question. This one’s easy. Rick, what’s the meaning of life?


Rick DeJesus: Meaning of life…I’m not the guru of all knowing, but the meaning of life to me is just making sure that you take advantage of the opportunity that you’re given here. Life is beautiful. It’s a great thing to have. We’re lucky to be here and I think that the meaning of life is to just go out there and… I don’t want to say live it up, because people aren’t supposed to go crazy, but there are a lot of goals to set and things to do out here. Life’s a beautiful thing. That’s the meaning of life to me. Just enjoy it.


Toddstar: Awesome. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Well, I know you’re busy, so I’ll let you get to it. I can’t wait to see you guys here in Detroit on the Carnival of Madness tour. Again, thank you for taking the time out for The Rock Pit and we’ll see you a couple weeks down the road.


Rick DeJesus: Thank you so much. I’ll see you soon.


Toddstar: Thanks Rick.