|Adema's homecoming show in
Bakersfield, Calif., was getting shored up. The band had played there a couple of times -
first at a club, then at a bigger club âand now it was going to fill up the
convention center with 3,500 kids.
"I have friends in Kern County who are teachers," the band's Marky Chavez told
POLLSTAR. "They're like, You're huge at the high schools.' I think we can definitely
pull in from Kern County and sell it out."
The band has been touring since May 17th of last year, the same day they signed with
William Morris. There was a small headlining tour prior to the release of the self-titled
debut album, after which the band joined Staind for some dates. Then it was Linkin Park's
Europe stint, then it was out with Disturbed, then the band did radio shows.
That's only half of the story. Adema then hopped on the Projekt: Revolution tour with
Linkin Park; then SnoCore. From this point forward, the band is headlining, doing radio
shows and Ozzfest.
"There's one more trip back to Europe," Chavez said. "Then, depending on
how our record sales are doing, it will determine if we'll go home and start a new
The band went to Los Angeles on May 18th to record a song for the next version of the
"Mortal Combat" video game.
"We're working out a situation where we're trying to get our characters inside the
game," Chavez said. "You can be Marky, you can be Kris Kohls or Mike Ransom or
whatever. The people at Midway (Software) have been real flexible with us and we've been
excited with them."
Adema is "L.A." Reid's first rock signing to Arista. Released last fall, the
album is certified gold and Chavez expects it to reach 600,000 units sold by the time
"We're trying to release a record every two years on August 25th," he said.
"That was our release date for the first one. I think that's a cool idea for your
fans, so they can always count on August 25th for your new material."
Chavez said one of the reasons Adema hit it big is because the band comes from hardworking
families from the agricultural center of California. That work ethic is in the
bandmembers' blood; they average five shows a week. Adema recently played an Austin,
Texas, radio show at 3 p.m., then headlined a concert in Dallas that evening.
It's the secret of the band's success, Chavez said. "A lot of people would hit on the
fact that my older brother is this mogul in rock," he said. "He has the name to
do this and that, but if you look at the stuff we did before the band was signed, no one
knew about it." Chavez's brother, Jonathan Davis, sings in a Bakersfield band called
Korn. It's had a bit of success and some radio play, so folks suggested Adema had it
pretty easy when it came to getting signed.
"We have different last names and I never banked off that," Chavez said. "I
would have had a record deal at 15 if I had done that. Plus, the music had to be good. ...
We busted our ass to sell this many records. A name can only get you so far and then you
have to show them proof. We throw down; we don't mess around up there."
In fact, it's not well known that one of Adema's guitar players, Tim Fluckey, is uncle to
Korn's James "Munky" Shaffer. There is at least one Jonathan Davis connection in
this story, though, and it's ProTools software. Adema's manager, Terry Lippman, met the
band because he was working with producer Tobias Miller on some "ProTools stuff"
for Davis and came in contact with an Adema tape.
Lippman also kick-started the career of matchbox twenty.
"This is really what I love to do," he told POLLSTAR. "I like taking young
artists and executing their vision, taking it from inception to wherever it goes, be it
gold, platinum or multiplatinum." Managing Adema is like a presidential campaign, he
said, because of the daily intensity the job needs.
Chavez said the band went with Lippman because he was managing the producers they were
working with (such as Miller). Also, the manager didn't give a spiel on why the band
should sign with him and he "wasn't asking for anything," including a contract.
"It was on faith," Chavez said. "He had to work as hard as we did."
Adema had not played live prior to touring, at least in its current incarnation. The
version of Adema in which Chavez sang became defunct because members were not getting
along, so he and the band's other guitar player, Ransom, commuted up Highway 99 to play in
a band called A.D.D.
"We were in that band for a while, but they were in Fresno and we were in
Bakersfield," Chavez said. "They blossomed into great songwriters, though, and
I'm working with them now. They've got a new singer â one of my friends from
L.A. â and we're looking at doing a record deal with them."
The singer spent much of his time with POLLSTAR thanking various individuals, including
Arista's Adam Lowenberg, Shannah Miller and now-Columbia man Jeff Sodikoff.
"I miss him a lot," Chavez said. "Also, I want to thank L.A. Reid. He
really took a chance in the rock genre. He might not have known what he was getting
himself into but he got success through us. And, I appreciate him letting us run our
business the way we need to run it, yet being smart and business-minded in breaking us.
The whole Arista staff has been great."