An Interview With Well-Known Alt-Rockers THE RED JUMPSUIT APPARATUS On Their Latest Music, Favorite Shows, Their Writing Process and More!
Posted On 09 Aug 2019
It’s been a long but fruitful journey for Alternative Rockers The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, who are 16 years into their career and still going strong. From their humble beginnings in a small northern Florida town just south of Jacksonville, to playing some of the biggest festivals and stages around the world, the band has persevered through good times and bad. With the release of new single “Shooting Star” (Radio Mix 2019) on July 26th, the band continues to espouse positive messages with one of their most emotional and personally meaningful songs to date.
Leader and songwriter Ronnie Winter explains: “Shooting Star” is a song about recovery and life after addiction. It’s a true story much like our first song “Face Down” and is a chance for us to encourage those struggling with alcohol and drug addiction to get help. It’s a chance to show them they are not alone and that they can recover to live healthy, happy lives – as we have lived through ourselves, first hand.”
The song was recorded at Wolf Den Studios in San Bernadino, CA and produced by Winter and Angela Defoe for A+R Productions. Mixing and mastering was handled by Paul Lapinski – who has worked with TRJA on previous releases, along with Ludacris, Alicia Keys, and Yellowcard, among others.
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus has amassed a large and loyal following over the years, and has nearly 1.8 million followers across all Social Media platforms. Radio hits like “Face Down”, “Pen & Paper”, “Am I The Enemy”, “The Awakening” and “On Becoming Willing” have helped propel the band’s streaming numbers to a level few bands achieve – they have more than 600 Millions streams of their songs, and more than 200 million views of their videos on Youtube. The band has released 5 full length albums: “Face Down” (2006), “Lonely Road” (2009), “Am I The Enemy” (2011), “4” (2014) and “The Awakening” (2018).
The band has kept their loyal following through constant touring, and have played countless headlining tours along with featured appearances at some of the biggest festivals in the world. These include several stints on the Vans Warped Tour, Rock on the Range, Inkcarceration, Bamboozle and SXSW in the U.S.; Soundwave in Australia, and Radstock & Slam Dunk festivals in the UK.
About touring, Ronnie is still thrilled when he plays live and sees the audiences reacting to the band’s music: “I Love the feeling that I get when I see the look on someone’s face in the crowd who loves the new music and then we start up “Face Down” and you see them realize we are that same band.”
The band plans to continue to release new music and tour consistently throughout the rest of 2019 into 2020 and beyond.
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus – Upcoming Tour Dates
Thursday, 8/29 – Wilders Event Center – Joplin, MO
Friday, 8/30 – 89th Street – Oklahoma City, OK
Saturday, 8/31 – Fawkes Festival – Cape Girardeau, MO
Sunday, 9/1 – Taste of Madison Festival – Madison, WI
Thursday, 9/5 – Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL
Friday, 9/6 – Tak Music Venue – Fargo, ND/Moorehead, MN
Saturday, 9/7 – Icon Lounge – Sioux Falls, SD
Sunday, 9/8 – Lefty’s – Des Moines, IA
Thursday, 9/12 – The Citadel – Indianapolis, IN
Friday, 9/13 – Phantasy – Lakewood, OH
Saturday, 9/14 – Uprise Festival – Shippensburg, PA
Sunday, 9/15 – Skully’s – Columbus, OH
Wednesday, 9/18 – The Ballet Haus – Erie, PA
Thursday, 9/19 – The Loft – Lansing, MI
Friday, 9/20 – Legends – Cincinnati, OH
Saturday, 9/21 – SonFest – Mount Vernon, OH
Connect With The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Here:
Official Website: https://www.theredjumpsuitapparatus.com/
Apple Music/iTunes: https://music.apple.com/us/album/shooting-star-radio-mix-2019-single/1471390073
Bands In Town: https://www.bandsintown.com/en/a/29-the-red-jumpsuit-apparatus
Learn more about The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What is on tap for the rest of your day?
My day has been great, I just finished giving my two year old son his bath so now it’s night time ritual with Mommy.
Now that we are into the 8th month of the year, how would you say that 2019 is treating the band so far? What have been some goals this group has had this year? How close are you to reaching them?
2019 has been very full filling thus far. We just released our first music video in six years – so that is a definite goal met! All year we toured the world in support of our newest album and had a lot of fun doing that. We also launched a brand new website which is a vital part of being a band these days.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Was it hard to think of a name that you could agree on? Has anything surprised you about this musical journey so far?
I get surprised all the time! Sometimes good and sometimes not so good, but it makes for a fun ride. My brother Randy(rhythm guitar/backing vocals) and I always knew we were going to be in a band just not who was playing what, haha! As for the name, we threw a few around and this one was the best of the worst so we have been going with that idea the whole time in general.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group? If not, what do you think does influence this group?
We are from Middleburg, FL. It’s a small, hard working, honest kind of place. I think it helped us learn how to stay humble as people. We have always known that the people who come to our shows get that vibe and it’s all good.
Is it sometimes hard to believe that after 16 years as a group that you are still together and creating music?
It has been a long time, and I am grateful. We really love what we do and it’s hard to quit the best part-time job in the world. We will stop when the work is done.
Let’s talk about your newest song, “Shooting Star” (Radio Mix 2019) – What was the inspiration for it?
We have always been real. I remember a lot of people being shocked to learn that “Face Down” was about my Mother. Honesty is our gimmick. I now have four years sober from alcohol thus am now comfortable in sharing that with our listeners. “Shooting Star” (Radio Edit) is a cliff notes of that journey in song and video format. The full concept or story is in album format called “The Awakening”. My wife (Defoe) also stars in the video – she is the person who has helped me though all of this one day at a time… So it’s very full circle in every way possible.
Do you have plans to release more new music soon and another full album in the near future?
Yes, we are currently in production and the first 5 songs are finished. We’re about half-way through.
I always like to ask bands if you all hang out socially apart from the music? In other words, when you aren’t working on music, do you guys enjoy hanging out for fun?
We hang out together a lot on the road. So, when we get home – we give our families our full attention. Unless it’s a toddler play gym, then I’m totally down to hang plus two.
How do you feel that this band has grown through the years? What has remained the same?
It feels the same to me, just some friends playing music that they think sounds cool. As for growth, if you live you grow! So yes we have sprouted like a weed that you can’t kill right out in the front yard where the HOA warned you about last month. ;o)
Generally, how do you guys go about writing your music? Do you write together or separately?
It’s been different on every album as far as the music goes. From the start I wrote the lyrics and vocal melodies and arranged all that for every song – so that has linked the albums naturally. Some exceptions have been made when a member brings me a song that includes lyric and melody that I approve. This was the case in our first single from this latest album also called “The Awakening” which was a line Randy wrote along with the music. I still really love those lyrics “Are we asleep awakened, atoned or forsaken?”
Where do you think you are all happiest: In the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
We like both, for different reasons. This time we actually tried some recording in the bus and it went really well. Lots of smiles and small victories during the process – so it helped dull the constant ache of missing your loved ones at home while you’re on the road.
What do you think makes for an ideal show? What has been a favorite show of yours in the past? How was your recent tour – any new dates coming? Any favorite venues?
I will now shamelessly plug http://www.theredjumpsuit.com where you can see all of our upcoming dates! My favorite show in recent memory was The House Of Blues in Anaheim, CA. We have so much love there, any song from any album gets a reaction. As for upcoming shows I’m most excited for SonFest because it’s on a mountain so that beats a parking lot all day hands down, LOL!
How has social media impacted this band? How often are you all on your different sites interacting with fans? How have you been able to utilize it through the years?
I manage the band, Randy runs the band’s social media. He’s always been active, so after a decade of our fans know him well because they interact with him on our various social media sites. They know he responds, and that it’s him – not some intern or a bot. We believe they relate to and appreciate the fact that it’s actually someone from the band. Social media has impacted us as a band greatly, as well as all other walks of life. We adjust and evolve, companies come and go but music is forever.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how you all think being musicians and in this band still gives you the most joy in life today? Do you find that your music is an escape to all the current events?
We try to give people the benefit of the doubt, and remember that their point of view is the only correct or possible conclusion they can conceive at that time. Naturally that is going to flex, up and down – back and forth. Good always wins, so we just stick to what we do and support those who seek it with whatever they are facing. We live for today, I’m not smart enough to do it any other way.
What musicians have really been inspiring you since you first started making music? What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
My inspiration comes from another place, and my message is impossible to understand unless you share my journey. I can’t tell you about it, you have to find it yourself. You will know you have found it when it resonates in a positive way with your life.