Adema kicked off their first tour Thursday in San Jose, California, launching a string of dates that gives the Bakersfield, California, group the opportunity to silence their detractors with powerful rhythms and riffs carrying the weight and wallop of a sledgehammer.
From its inception, skeptics doubted the band's abilities, assuming the industry buzz surrounding them was the result of nepotism stemming from frontman Marky Chavez's fraternal relationship with Korn frontman Jonathan Davis.
"He's totally supportive of Adema," Chavez said. "And that's about it, that's the whole story. He didn't call all these labels and tell them about his little brother's band. We just made a good demo and it caught on. Of course, being the half-brother of a rock icon certainly didn't hurt me at all, so I am conceding to the fact that that helped me extremely. But in the end, any label wouldn't have signed bullsh--. There had to be talent there."
With the release of Adema's self-titled debut slated for an August 21 street date, according to Arista Records, catching the band on one of its 25 scheduled dates is, for now, the only way to tell if Chavez can walk the walk. It's a challenge that suits the 22-year-old powerhouse just fine.
"People that have no idea or haven't heard the music will automatically have a hatred toward me," he explained. "Like, 'Oh, he got a hand out ... [or] this is gonna sound like Korn.' That's the sh-- that hurts. But the way I shut that up is to just go rock it."
Never ones to ignore a good buzz, radio programmers nationwide are anxious to play the album's first single, the turmoil-drenched "Giving In," though the track won't be released to radio until the end of the month, according to Arista.
"['Giving In' is] about what I was going through when we were making the record," Chavez said. "I had never lived away from home, and I'm super tight with my folks. And I got some really tight friends out in Bakersfield that I was missing direly. I was heavily drinking and doing some stupid-ass sh-- — doing drugs — and that whole song was about that. Like, 'Hey kid, this is what you asked for.' These are the cons of actually having a deal and being able to make a record. You're gone, you don't see anyone, and you don't have anyone but yourself. So [the song] is talking about the hangovers and struggle of missing family, and also giving in to those temptations that we all get in our lives. It's about giving in to your personal demons."
Although guitarist Tim Fluckey, bassist Dave DeRoo and drummer Kris Kohls have each hit the road with other bands — Kohls with Bakersfield's Videodrone, which was the first singing to Korn's Elementree imprint — Chavez and guitarist Mike Ransom are on their maiden voyage. With all the problems a band could face on tour, Chavez has the courage of a classic rock veteran.
"I like attention," he said. "I like to be able to perform for people. I get off on that sh--. And picking up the mic and seeing what that does, I know I couldn't do anything better than this. This is life right here."
Adema tour dates, according to Arista Records (additional dates are expected):