The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are back after a huge four-year break. Armed with their new album The Awakening, the boys are gearing up to head down under to give us all a taste of their new sound, while promising to deliver those classic oldies that we all know and love. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus vocalist, Ronnie Winter, took a moment to have a chat with Tayla Sudall about the new album, the upcoming tour and everything that’s been happening with the boys in between. Catch Ronnie telling Tayla about how his wife was on a mission to buy chocolate, and merely two blocks away from the Lindt Café during the Sydney Seige – it’s certainly been a period of life changing events and experiences for the band, so how will that translate into their new music? Catch the interview below!
Ronnie Winter: Hello
Rabbit Radio: Hey Ronnie, how are you? It’s Tayla from Rabbit Radio
RW: Good, how are you doing?
RR: I’m good thank you
RW: Yeah, thanks for getting up early
RR: Yeah no worries –laughs- what time is it over there?
RW: Oh it’s late afternoon, it’s almost 5pm
RR: Oh okay, cool cool. So, it’s really cool to chat with you today because um, I remember when I was younger and I loved your single Face Down and now you guys are currently touring around America with your newest album The Awakening so I was just wondering how that’s all been going for you guys?
RW: I mean, it’s been going as good as it can you know, we’re really happy with the response we’ve gotten so far and it’s just done really well in the states and we’ve just started branching out internationally, we did a show 2 weeks ago in Bali, Indonesia, and now we’re coming out to New Zealand and Australia
RR: Yeah awesome! I saw you guys were gonna be going to Hawaii and then yeah, New Zealand, Australia um, I even saw that you guys were saying you might be going over to the Phillipines next year so, yeah, you guys obviously aren’t going to be planning on slowing down any time soon right?
RW: No the albums doing well you know, we’re considering all the major labels and we’re just, our own little thing, our own little family band, so we’re just going to keep rolling as long as we can
RR: Yep that’s awesome, and this is your first album release in four years, is that right?
RW: Yes, we took a long break ‘cause I got married and I had a kid, my wife and I, Angela, his name is Wolfgang and he’s just now two years old, so a little bit… right about the time when we were gonna ah, you know, every about two and a half, three years we’ve been putting out records, but this time I found out that she was pregnant so I took some time off to be a Dad, I wanted to be home that whole first year, first year and a half, and be there for her during the pregnancy so I got do that and then we decided to go back into the studio
RR: Yeah that’s incredible, I love the name Wolfgang, how come you guys named him that?
RW: Yeah it’s easier to think that it’s my idea ‘cause I’m in a band but no, my wife she co-produced the record, she’s also a musician and an artist and a composer so, she came up with that, which when she first came up with it you know, I loved it right away and I was just shocked that it was me instead of her so… you know
RR: -laughs- nice, congratulations! So when you did start writing The Awakening did you guys approach writing that differently to how you’ve written music in the past because you did take that break and obviously some massive life events in between.
RW: Yeah well I mean, I’ve always been known as the main song writer and um, it’s definitely, four years is a long time but I’m glad I had that time because this is the first time I’ve ever tried to write a concept album which is completely different than all the rest of our records and you know, I’ve been a fan of all the great classic ones in the past but it always seemed to big and too hard, and it was hard, it’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I had that extra time so I was able to focus on lyrics and linking all the songs together because you know, on all the other records like Face Down has nothing to do with Guardian Angel they’re just two totally different songs but in this record song one links to song two, which links to song three which links to song four all the way to the end so that was a little bit different
RR: Yeah it’s cool it’s like a big story almost, so like, what kind of went into it? Where were your heads at when you were writing The Awakening?
RW: You know, all over the place, it was just really hard trying to link everything together so I just basically, I did what I always do, a lot of it is loosely based off my own life, sort of the character is going through a lot of stress and strife and a lot of bad things are happening to him, he doesn’t know why, he has a lot of questions, and you know all these things are going on in the world and slowly you watch the character go through and change or awaken if you will, and then at the end of the album, everything is good and life has really kind of just made more sense to him and he’s developed a new perception or a new perspective, his outlook, and he’s discovered that you know, that the world is a pretty great place to be in, it’s just on how you perceive it. So you know, there are things that really came into focus um, yeah, after having a kid, it really changes you
RR: Yeah, that’s amazing; life is what you make it. So, how would you compare The Awakening to your previous albums, obviously it’s quite different, it’s a concept album like you’re saying and everything links together but do you find that you guys are making, ah, do you think it’s a bit more of a mature record compared to your previous albums?
RW: Well I think naturally, I mean, we’re just older you know, I’m 35 and I wrote those songs a long time ago, most of them I was still a teenager or early 20’s, so um, you know you live and you learn. We’ve been everywhere, we’ve been the biggest band on the planet and we’ve also been completely off the radar, some people thought we didn’t even exist anymore, and everywhere in between so, just, you know, it’s just something… your music matures as you mature I suppose
RR: Yep, and the single off the album On Becoming Willing has been sitting at number one on the Billboard Christian Rock Charts for the last seven weeks now which is incredible, how are you guys feeling about that?
RW: Yes it’s amazing, I mean, we found out yesterday that it’s actually ten weeks now
RR: Oh wow!
RW: So it’s just you know, it’s just wild and um, like I said, we’re just one of those bands that don’t give up and we’re not looking to be the most popular band in the world, we’ve already been through that and we’ve already been through what happens after that, so at this point it’s just nice to still be able to release music on our own terms and it doesn’t really matter and… it’s cool man, I’m ready for it, if it doesn’t, it’s all good we’re ready for that too, we’ve been around the block so you know, I’m not gonna lie it’s nice to be on top again
RR: Yeah it would be –laughs- and like we were talking about before, you guys are gonna be super busy for the rest of the year and going into next year, so how pumped are you guys for this massive tour?
RW: Yeah we’re really pumped I mean historically if you look at this history of the band, we’ve always, actually every record we’ve always come back to Australia, it’s a place that we have a lot of history with and our fans go way back so we make sure specifically when we come there just to play a couple more extra songs than we normally do just to really make those guys happy because they were with us from the beginning. Some places we go and they only know the new music which is kind of wild so that’s definitely not Australia, there’s a strong old school fan base there so we’re super pumped you know, we’re gonna play some new stuff and we’re gonna play a bunch of old stuff too so there’s nothing to worry about
RR: Awesome, it’s gonna be great! And so, why is it that you guys like heading down here to Australia so much, do you have a favourite place here or a favourite thing about Australia at all?
RW: You know, this is kind of crazy but do you remember, you know, with all this stuff it’s a tough topic to talk about but do you remember the Sydney Seige?
RR: Oh yes I do, yep
RW: Okay well that day, my wife and I were downtown, we stayed at a really nice hotel downtown in Sydney about four blocks from there when it happened
RR: Oh my goodness!
RW: And that morning, when she woke up she wanted to get chocolate because she loves chocolate and she heard that there’s some of the best chocolate shops in the world right there in Sydney, she looked it up online and there was a couple within walking distance and we just had a really… um, you know, we were a part of that… we were there when it happened and it was very emotional for us when it was going on and we were worried about everybody’s safety and I dunno, I just think that we just feel kind of connected forever because we were there when that happened
RR: Yeah that’s crazy, so were you nearby the Lindt shop or you were inside?
RW: We were literally two blocks down the street at the hotel right there, I wanna say it’s either the Marriot or, it’s either Marriot or Sheriton, like, two blocks over you know the whole area that’s right by the Opera House
RR: That’s insane! That’s crazy, it’s lucky you guys didn’t go into the Lindt store to get the chocolate then
RW: I know, and you know what, I convinced her, I convinced her that she should go see the Opera House first, before it gets later in the day and too many people, ‘cause you know how it gets real crowded ‘cause I’ve been there a few times. So we went right instead of left you know it’s just really wild to think um, you know I feel like God was watching over us for sure on that one, or whatever you believe in
RR: Yeah just fate, absolutely. And so, I saw that you guys played a festival in Bali alongside Limp Bizkit that must have been pretty cool, how was that festival?
RW: Yeah that was two weeks ago! It was amazing, that venue was so cool it’s actually like, right next to some really old monuments like, super old, I dunno how old, hundreds of years old, these big huge statues of just different kind of like, you know religious figures from their culture and they carved out a stage in the mountains surrounding it and that’s where it’s actually built off of, so it was pretty unreal there was like, I dunno, 50 or 60 bands playing and not only were there 50, 60 bands playing in two days but at one time there’s at least 9 or 10 of them all playing at the same time so all that sound was kind of bouncing around in the canyons and it just sounded cool, it was a really good experience
RR: Yeah like a huge amphitheatre that’s cool as –laughs- So, I was just gonna ask about the show that you guys are gonna be playing, what can we expect from that? I know you said it’s gonna be kind of like a mash up of old and new songs, you guys gonna have any cool stage effects going on or anything?
RW: No we’re actually completely opposite of that and that’s really popular right now and there is a lot of bands that you can go and see do that ‘cause everybody’s doing that. Everybody’s doing that, you know, green screen and prop screens and… but the show is more about what’s going on behind the band, and the band, we are just not that band. We grew up listening to AC/DC and Led Zeppelin and um, if you go back and you look at those old shows there is a huge stadium and then there’s these little five guys down there playing guitar, drums, bass and a killer singer, and that’s just always been rock and roll to us so we keep it pretty simple, we really focus on the interaction between the crowd and the band, and we try to get people to play along with all the little tricks we have there in the show so it’s about us man, it’s about us just up there doing our thing
RR: Yeah that’s cool I like that, and like you said, it is different ‘cause everybody is kind of doing the pyro and all that sort of stuff at the moment so it’s cool it’s mainly about the music, I like that.
RW: Yeah everything’s getting crazy
RR: Yeah –laughs- it is
RW: Some bands have cirque de soleil going on in the background and I dunno man, to me that’s distracting and like I said, I’m old school
RR: Yep, no I like that –laughs- alright well um, thanks so much for having a chat and I wish you guys all the best of luck with the tour and the album, the rest of the year, everything, I hope you guys have a great time, can’t wait to see you in Australia!
RW: Thank you very much, I appreciate the call and we’re really looking forward to it and I hope you have a great day
RR: Thank you, you too, see ya later Ronnie!
RW: Alright bye bye
Catch the audio from the interview below! Or snag yourself a ticket to their upcoming gigs HERE.
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