Adema - Dave DeRoo (2005) Print
Written by Patrick Douglas   
Tuesday, 22 March 2005
ImageAdema bassist Dave DeRoo interviewed March 22, 2005, while at home in Bakersfield, California



Where are you at today man?

Hey, I’m chillin’, I’m actually at home in Bakersfield, California.

First off, tell me how things are going. You guys are preparing to hit the road, you got a new album, a new singer and a new look.

Yeah. We’re actually … we’re just home right now. We’ve been rehearsing actually. We’ve been getting ready for the tour. And just getting some last minute things together before we hit the road. We’re really excited about it. We actually haven’t been on the road in a long time. The majority of 2004, we were basically at home. We did a handful  of shows here and there earlier in the year and then we had to go through the whole process of finding a new singer and writing and recording the record. This is the first time I’ve been home for this long in the last six or seven years. So, we’re really anxious to get back out on the road.

How have things been going with Luke in the meantime? Have you guys been doing a lot of rehearsing with him?

Yeah, actually just in the last couple weeks, we’ve just been kind of rehearsing, just getting ready to hit the road. It’s kind of funny, because I was a little worried about Luke because I figured he’d be a little green. He hasn’t sang in a while since we finished the record. We took a few weeks off before we started jamming and it’s funny because the rest of us were rustier than he was (laughs). Which is a good sign. After the first hour or so of jamming through songs, we’re definitely getting ready to roll. We’re sounding really tight and the songs are coming together great. I think we’ve got a really cool set list too that we’re gonna be playing. The order of the songs that we’re gonna play is really cool, I’m happy with that too.

Where did you guys find Luke and what drew you to him as a vocalist to this band?

That’s a good question actually. What’s funny is Kris Kohls, our drummer, he actually talked to me about … he mentioned Luke to me months ago. Kris had heard a demo of Luke’s old band actually and we’re like tripping, we’re like ‘man, this guys got a killer voice.’ It was kind of odd to hear a dude from our town that was so good. And obviously he wasn’t from Bakersfield, he’d been spending some time in San Diego. He’s from Alabama originally. He’d spent some time in the Marines and stuff. And then moving up here just to play with his band. Kris gave him a call and was interested in having him come down to audition and his phone had been turned off so Kris got his voice mail and left a message. It was kind of funny because six weeks go by and we don’t hear from the guy. We just assume he’s a flake or he’s just not into the band. He’s happy with what he’s doing now. We didn’t hear from him, so we auditioned about 30-40 other singers and none of them were really gelling, we didn’t find any sparks. Nothing really grabbed us. Then, it was kind of funny, Luke called back and said ‘sorry man, my phone was shut off.’ He came down and auditioned and as soon as we heard the guys voice, it was kind of like, I think we all knew he was gonna be the guy. It was kind of funny because we weren’t looking for Mark Chavez the sequel (laughs) or someone who sounded like Marky necessarily. We didn’t really know what we were looking for. We just knew that we wanted some change. We wanted something different. A guy with the right attitude and someone who wanted to tour and have fun and someone who wanted to be the frontman for this band and we found that in Luke.

How exasperating is it to have 30 or 40 guys to try out for a band?

It’s a pain in the ass, man. I hope I never have to do it again (laughs).

It sounds like a lot of people to go through.

It’s a lot of emotional wear and tear, too. Just like having to try to deal with everybody. Getting to know somebody … Kind of trying to feel them out, getting a sense of who they are. It doesn’t matter how well you think you know somebody, you gotta spend some time with ‘em in close quarters to really see all the sides of their personality. That old saying goes, the first time you’re meeting somebody, you’re not really meeting them, you’re meeting their representative (laughs). But, it was definitely a process.

Tell me a little bit about what happened with Marky. It kind of seemed like his leaving the band was abrupt to outsiders. What happened with that whole situation?

It was a little abrupt, but actually in reality, it’d probably been a long time coming. The band had gradually drifted apart from Marky. Right after we finished the “Unstable” record, there were some things that took place that kind of took place that kind of soured our relationship with Marky. He’s got some personal problems that he’s had for a long time, which I really don’t want to go into because it wouldn’t be fair to him. He just has some problems. We toured for all of 2003 behind “Unstable”. We had a good time, and had some cool tours. Actually Mikey and Mark weren’t talking the majority of that year. They really weren’t getting a long at all. And so Mike quit the band subsequently at the end of 2003, around September. We toured for another couple of months as a four piece. We got home in December and found out actually about two weeks before we came out we found out we were being dropped from Arista. That was a week after L.A. Reid had left. He’s who signed us to the label. About half the people at Arista got fired or moved on to other record labels. It was kind of a shitty way to end a shitty year (laughs). Everyone kind of dealt with that differently. We came home in December 2003 for the holidays. Took about a month off and around February we got together and started writing new songs and we probably had 12 songs written musically. And Marky, only had maybe 3 songs. He only had lyrics to three songs and we weren’t really happy with that or with his lyrics. He expressed that he wasn’t really interested in touring with the band anymore. We had a couple opportunities to tour and make some money and things that were coming up. And basically when things got tough he basically quit. We kind of just viewed that as we can do one of two things, we can just wrap this whole thing up or we can start a whole new thing and have a fresh start. There’s just so many fans who have been supportive of this band over the years that to me, we would be pretty un rock and roll and we’d be pretty big pussies if we just curled up and died because two guys didn’t want to do it anymore. I think our fans deserve better than that. The three of us wanted to go out and play. We love the road and we love our fans. We wanted to keep this thing going. As soon as we met Luke, it’s like we’re having fun playing music again. It’s like finding a missing puzzle piece. It’s cool. It’s a good time. It feels like we did when we had the first Adema record. Before we hit the road with that record. We were excited to play live and excited to spend some time with our fans.

I’ve seen your show twice before. I saw you twice in 2002 and I know back then Marky seemed like an important stage presence for this band as far as the way he bounced around on stage and did his thing. How do you see Luke taking over the reigns in that aspect?

Luke’s different from Marky but he has a strong, solid performance as well. We could tell that at the video shoot. Plus he can sing. He has a good singing voice. Marky didn’t always have that. Some nights he didn’t really want to be in this band.

When I go to www.ademaonline.com right now, there’s still all the old information about “Unstable” and Marky is still posted as the vocalist, are there plans to change that web site in the near future?

There’s a new one up at www.ademaplanets.com that the label, Earache, set up. You can also go to www.earacherecords.com and myspace.com. We’re in the process of getting ademaonline.com updated in a week or so. It’s in the hands of the web designer now. We’ve just been so busy. We’re also going to get the message board back up.

Do you expect fans to have trouble acclimating to the new Adema at first?

I’m sure there are some people that are gonna be excited. At least everyone I’ve talked to. There will probably be some fans who are apprehensive at first, too. But, this guy smokes Marky.

ImageAre you guys planning on focusing mostly on the new material for the live shows, or are you going to incorporate a mix of everything?

We’re mainly focusing on the new material. The new album is an hour and fifteen minutes long, so that’s a lot of music to work with. We’re also gonna have a few surprises. But the audience can smell a fake, and we can’t really go up there and fake it. The ball’s in Luke’s court. We’ll still have older material. He wants to sing older songs. We want to play an Adema show, but we also want to find out where we are now as a band. We’ll have a few surprises.

How did you guys end up with Earache Records?

We were contacted by Al Dawson around this time last year. He flew out and saw us play a show and met with us. We hit it off right off the bat. I usually hate labels, but Earache was a testament to their integrity. I think they know what we’re capable of and they’re totally cool and accessible. It’s a welcome change from being small fish in a big pond. The way the industry is now, this is the way to go.

If you could share the stage with any bands, past or present, which ones would you choose?

That’s a good question. Metallica from the “Master of Puppets,” era. U2. Zeppelin. Van Halen would be cool. Iron Maiden. It would be really be awesome to play with Maiden. The Red Hot Chili Peppers would be cool to play with. Hendrix too.

Good luck on the new album and the new direction.

Thanks. The new album comes out in a couple weeks on April 5th and we’re really excited about it. It’s definitely a change from the old stuff.

Awesome. I look forward to it.



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