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100.3 The X Presents: Adelitas Way & Royal Bliss
Edgy Las Vegas-based hard rock outfit Adelitas Way broke into the mainstream in 2009 with the song "Invincible," which appeared on numerous television spots for CSI Miami and served as the theme song for the weekly World Wrestling Entertainment Superstars show. Formed in the late 2000s by lead vocalist Rick DeJesus and lead guitarist Chris Iorio, the band (which also included rhythm guitarist Keith Wallen, bassist Derek Johnston, and drummer Trevor Stafford) released its eponymous debut on Virgin Records in July 2009. The band's sophomore effort, Home School Valedictorian, arrived in summer 2011 and featured new lead guitarist Robert Zakaryan after Iorio left the group within five months of their debut's release. At the end of 2012, writing began for the band's third album, while only six months later, Keith Wallen announced that he was leaving. In July 2013 the group entered the studio with Grammy Award-winning producer Nick Raskulinecz to record Stuck, which was released the following year. ~ James Christopher Monger & Rich Wilson, Rovi
Royal Bliss is modern rock with a combination of heavy riffs and slick pop hooks that are both melodic and hard-hitting. Their anthems of sex, love, loss, and rage, are delivered with the passion that can only come from those who have lived it. Their very name, Royal Bliss, sums it up. Coined from royal (royalty or pertaining to a king) and bliss (supreme happiness or the peak of a hallucinogenicdrug)—together the name means “king of the best feeling you can feel.”
Royal Bliss has forged their own path on their own terms, refusing to play it safe in today’s watered-down musical climate. There are bands that claim to be hard-working and relentless, and then there is Royal Bliss. The band has had their share of tragedy and loss, but always seem to stick together and prevail, never losing sight of what they set out to do when they formed over a decade ago.
Their new self-titled album—produced by Brian Virtue (Chevelle, Deftones, 30 Seconds to Mars)—offers up a healthy dose of timeless rock energy combined with sing-a-long pop hooks, and poetic and heart-felt honest lyrics that have been missing from rock radio far too long. The first single, “I Got This,” is a straight-up, sex-infused rock anthem about life on the road, building off Dwayne Crawford’s thunderous bass line and climaxing with the dual guitars of Taylor Richards and Chris Harding. “We met with a lot of resistance while making the new record because we didn’t sound like everyone else on the radio,” states frontman Neal Middleton. “Our old label and management were pushing us to use outside songwriters to make a record that “fit in.” We were pretty beaten down and were actually considering it until we met our producer Brian Virtue. He heard the songs that we had written and was blown away. Brian told us if we wanted to make a Royal Bliss album, he was in. It was a new experience for us. It was our first time working with someone who had actually recorded platinum selling artists. He was focused and had a plan and it was well executed.”
Hailing from Salt Lake City, Royal Bliss gradually came together after high school when guitarist Chris Harding stumbled into a pizza parlor where frontman Neal Middleton was playing a solo gig. "I told Chris I would love to sing in a band and he invited me to jam with his band at a rehearsal," says Middleton. "That night we instantly clicked and wrote four songs." The next day Middleton dropped out of college and quit his day job to pursue the rock-‘n’-roll dream.
The next few years Royal Bliss built up a loyal fan base the old-fashioned way—on the road. The band recorded a demo and thanks to their hook-laden songwriting ability, synergy and stage presence, they were able to sell over 10,000 CDs on their own.
In 2004, the band started to generate major label interest, but it all came to a halt when Middleton was seriously injured in a near fatal accident that left him paralyzed in a wheel chair. After months of rehabilitation, Middleton miraculously got back on his feet and was able to walk again (he still has only partial feeling in his right leg). The band regrouped and decided to push forward. They headed back into the studio for some of the most intense studio sessions they have ever encountered.
During the recording, tragedy ambushed the band again. Drummer Jake Smith flipped his car five times after leaving the studio one night and Harding sliced his face in half while skiing. After the smoke cleared, the band finally released their independent national debut—the appropriately titled After the Chaos II. Combining elements of classic rock and modern indie rock, the band received rave reviews and played shows across the U.S. opening for Kid Rock, Maroon 5, Hinder, Three Days Grace, and Buckcherry, to name a few. After the Chaos II sold a staggering 20,000 units and caught the attention of Jason Flom (president of Virgin Records at the time) and he immediately signed them to his new label Capitol Records.
The band’s last album, Life In-Between (2009), debuted in the Billboard Top 200 and at #4 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and produced two Top 25 songs (“Save Me” and “We Did Nothing Wrong”).
After Capitol Records experienced numerous layoffs due to changes in the industry, Royal Bliss parted ways with the label and signed a deal with heavy-weight management firm Union Entertainment Group (Nickelback, Red, Hinder). “UEG is amazing!” states Middleton. “They have game plans, marketing plans, and focus. They are passionate about the album and they believe in us.”
“We’ve learned so much from our past mistakes,” says Middleton. “The songs on the new album are reflections of everything that we’ve been through over the past couple of years. I wrote the song “Crazy” about my son. He’s three years old and it’s really hard for him to understand why I’m not home. I explain to him that Daddy’s job is to travel. But it’s really tough to be away from family.
“’Singing for Our Lives’ is a song we wrote with Monty Powell (Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum) about the last 13 years of our lives. I sing for my life every day to provide for my family and put food on the table.”
Royal Bliss believes that real life lies in the process and the adventure. These songs are the result of their journey—a place where beauty and tragedy can exist side by side, where every emotion is examined and every emotion is valid. Such is the essence of Royal Bliss.
The Black Moods are a 3-piece rock outfit hailing from Tempe, Arizona, by way of the Missouri Ozarks. This band is bringing a new level of heat out of the Sonora desert. Led by one of the most electric front men/guitarists in music today. The Black Moods bring to the world what rock music has been missing for quite some time - PURE, EFFORTLESS TALENT. The band's self-titled debut album is packed with a healthy dose of guitar driven power houses such as "Can't Sleep at Night" & "Like A Wave," to compelling sing-along anthems like "Hey You" & "Don't Let Them Get You Down." Comprised of Josh Kennedy (lead guitarist/vocalist), Johannes Lar (bassist), and Danny "Chico" Diaz (drums), the trio blends various Rock & Roll styles that span from the past 4 decades to form their own signature sound that resembles what would be the musical offspring of Bad Company and the Foo Fighters. The band's live show is filled with high energy, infectious guitar solos and attitude that can keep the crowds' attention for hours. Having received acclaimed praise from fans and critics alike as equal parts natural talent and live performance superstars, the group delivers powerful guitar riffs, melodic bass and drum beats that make your heart pound like a kick drum. Fresh out of the studio with producers Kenny Carkeet (AWOLNATION) and Jim Kaufman (Helmet, Opiate for the Masses), The Black Moods have been touring since their debut album was released in April 2012. Don't miss your chance to see this band live and get your own personal glimpse of rock & roll history in the making.