|In the coming months, you are
going to hear a lot about Adema, and their "Korn Konnection." You are going to
learn their name, and almost certainly, you are going to hear about how they are very
tightly connected to Bakersfield's most famous band. Vocalist Markie Chavez is the half
brother of Korn vocalist Jonathan Davis. Drummer Kris Kohls was in a band called
Videodrone, which was one of the first signed to Korn's Elementree record label. And yes,
they do have that "patented" Bakersfield sound that is extremely reminiscent of
Korn. But after a few listens to Adema's self-titled debut, you will quickly learn that
there is a lot more going on here than a band riding the coattails of a famous
relationship. This is one of the tightest, best bands currently making the rounds. As they
prepared for their August 7th release on Arista Records, we caught up with Adema drummer
Kris Kohls to get a history lesson on the development of Adema. Here's the highlights:
Hey man. Great record, and a great live show too. I got to catch you guys at Peabody's a
few weeks ago, and you guys rage live. I don't know who's who in the band, but the tall
guitar player, he rages onstage. I wouldn't want to f*ck with him for anything.
(laughing) Oh, Fluckey
Tim. Actually, he was a basketball player. He had a
scholarship and everything. He went to college. He's from Illinois. He came out to
California to make it in music, and gave up sports. He's a serious basketball player. He's
won dunk contests, and all that kind of stuff.
I just couldn't believe the way that guy raged on stage. He was thrashing, and broke his
guitar strap in half when he was playing. It was cool.
That's what you get when a guy that's 6'10" goes off.
How did Adema get together?
We're all from Bakersfield, California. We've all grown up together. Markie and Mikey had
Adema going for awhile, for the last three years actually. Fluckey, the tall guitar
player, and Drew were in a band called Juice, which was also from Bakersfield. They were a
really big local band there. They toured Europe and put out a couple records by
themselves. I was in a band called Videodrone. We were on Korn's label, Elementree.
Basically, we just knew each other. We've known each other for the past 12 years.
Bakersfield's a really tight scene. If you are a musician, you basically know the other
musicians in the town. What happened with Adema was that Markie and Mikey had it going,
but there were a lot of member changes. The band Adema broke up for about six months, and
Markie went off and was reflecting and fishing a lot. He would go out and fish, and come
home and right songs. He put the band back together after Juice broke up. They were
looking for a drummer, and they called me. Videodrone was fizzling pretty fast, and I was
about to leave and do something else. They called me, and since we were friends before we
were in the band, I was like, "come out and play me a couple songs." They came
out, and played me some stuff, and I literally flipped out. It was the greatest thing I
had ever heard, and was exactly what I wanted to do. They were doing a demo, and they
asked me to play on the demo. They said they were looking for a favor. They didn't know if
I wanted to be in the band. I just told them, "I want to do this for the rest of my
life." Three months later, we were signed to a major record company. Two months
earlier, we were going through a crazy bidding war. It is very surreal. It was weird. I
still kind of pinch myself. It was just, musically, a perfect combination and it just came
together perfectly. I couldn't ask for anything better than what happened. We've all been
with bands that have been through the ringer, and fell to the wayside. The first 15
minutes we played together, we just knew it was right. We were just laughing because we
How did this "mini-tour" with Systematic and Puddle Of Mudd come about?
Since we all had a lot of prior live experience, but not together, we were just like,
"put us out in clubs. We don't care if there's 2 people there or 500 or a thousand.
We just want to go out and hone our skills before the record comes out. Already, we've
been out a month now, and we feel that we're on top of our game. We just really want to
give everyone a great show and be 100% each night. Before that, we were like, "let's
just get out there." The record was done, and we had been working for eight months
straight. We basically didn't have one day off. Once we finished the record, it was kind
of boring and we didn't know what to do with ourselves. We were like, "can we please
get on the road?" So, we've been on the road, and we're not planning on coming off
the road any time soon.
You guys go right from this club tour to being out with Staind, right?
Yeah. We go home this weekend, and then we do a video, and then we fly back out for
another week of shows on our own, and then we do the Staind thing, which is really cool. I
just heard that we're going to be doing some shows with Saliva and Stereomud after that.
I'm excited about that.
It can't hurt to go out with the #1 band of the moment, can it?
I know. It's insane. I'm really happy for those guys. They're cool. I did a couple shows
with them in my last band. We did a couple shows when they were just starting out. They
are really nice guys.
One of the things that I noticed was that you guys are on Arista, and not Elementree,
which would have made sense given your history with them and Markie being Jonathan Davis'
half brother. Did they even put up an offer?
They were into it. Basically, we just wanted to do our own thing. Those guys are friends
of ours, and obviously there is connections and all that. We love their band and are fans
of their band. But the obvious connection we knew was going to come out anyway. I don't
know if trying to distance ourselves is the right term. We just want to do our own thing.
We met with tons of labels, and they (Arista) was just very passionate. Everything they
said they were going to do, they've done, and then some. It just felt right. I know we've
made the right decision. It's more and more obvious every day.
With Arista, it's not known for being a rock label at all.
A lot of people were saying, "what are you guys doing?" They didn't know if that
really was the right decision. People were giving us there opinions. To us, that was one
of the most appealing things. I can name lots of bands that were on labels where the label
wasn't known as a rock label, and now the label is. If the label is behind the band, and
the band's good, and people like the record, then it doesn't matter. They are a great
label, and they've proven that they can sell records for great bands. One of the things
was that we felt we would be a priority there. A lot of labels will tell you that and make
you feel like that, and then you wind up just sitting on the back burner while they work
their big band of the moment. I don't want to get too political, but it just felt right.
They've been really cool and treated us great. Every label we met with was cool, but we
just got a different vibe from this one. But Arista has definitely upheld their end of the
How long are you planning on touring?
Well, we're planning on being out for at least the next year and a half to two years. As
long as people want to see us, we'll be out there playing.
And hopefully they'll go from there to the record store.
Yeah, definitely. We're a live band though. When you grow up in Bakersfield, playing out
is what you want to do. There's nothing else to do on a weekend or a weeknight. If you can
book a show and play a show, that's a really big deal in that town. That's why I got into
music, because of seeing bands and wanting to be onstage and playing. We're just going to
take the show on the road and play for as many people as want to see us.