Red Jumpsuit Apparatus have been in our music collection for the last 15 years, and even after this long, the hits just keep on coming. RJA are coming out to our shores again in just a few weeks to kick of their tour for their latest album The Awakening.
Thanks to their touring publicist John Howarth, we got the chance to speak to front man Ronnie Winter.
SR: Firstly, a massive congratulations to you and the rest of the band for 10 consecutive weeks at #1 on the Christian Billboard charts for your track On Become Willing! How amazing!!
If feels great, we’ve been around a long time, we had 3 hits with Virgin right off the bat and then we left Virgin and had 7 more hits after that, but this is the first one that’s stayed up that long, it’s very exciting especially because we did this all on our own. I’m still kicking man, I’m still standing (laughs)
We’ve been together for 15 years, if we had a baby when we started, it would be able to drive a car next year (laughs)
I’ll be 70 in a wheelchair and still be playing Face Down at concerts.
SR: You’ve done your Don’t You Fake It 10th anniversary tour and now you’re coming back for the Awakening tour, it’s like Australia can’t get enough of you! How excited are you to be coming back?
We’re beyond excited, we always get a positive response from Australia so you’re one of the few countries we’re coming out too first.
SR: Your new album, it almost feels like a next level RJA album. It still has that classic RJA feel but, it’s like more fully formed… When was the moment you decided to mature as a band or was it a natural process for you?
This is the longest I’ve ever taken between records since I started the band, mainly because my wife, Angela and I had a kid who’s now two years old, which is amazing so that first year, and even the year before that when she was pregnant I kind of slowed things down, I was there for her the whole time. So since then I’ve been a full time dad- part time rocker.
But this album is also our first ever concept album, when I refer to a concept album I’m referring to like the Dark Side of the Moon. Every track from The Awakening is linked to one another.
SR: You’ve spoken a little bit about maturing but how important is growing with your fans to you?
It’s pretty huge, when you look back on that time I was only 22 years old, I’m 35 now and a lot has changed. If you’re still alive and in a band after this long it’s a natural process to grow together.
SR: You did say just before that when you’re 70, youre still going to be playing Face Down, have you ever wanted to break away from your older material to bring forth like a new RJA to the world?
Not really because most of the people who like the new album like the fact that it has a lot of old school references. We seem to be that one band that’s not afraid of that. Face Down is still one of my favourite songs. I realise that everyone’s heard it a million times but I’ve heard it a million times more than they have. I like the message, so it’s not something we are afraid of, we just swore it would be something we would never recreate, we’ve never ripped off that song. We try to as best we can reference back to those older songs just to make our fans happy
SR: RJA has this message of “even on your worst day that you’re alive, you’re still surrounded by so many awesome things, if you look for them” has that message ever helped you?
I, like you tell people how we have learned, but we don’t tell them how they should learn. We’ve been from the biggest band in the world to the as far gone as you can go as a band and everywhere in between and we’ve made it out alive. So I’ve learned that life is long, good things happen, bad things happen, you just got to try to stay positive. For me I do that with God, but a lot of people do it other ways but I’m just not afraid to say that. You got to do whatever works for you, but I try to tell people that drugs and alcohol are not the only way to happiness, there are many other ways. A lot of
SR: From the new album, what’s your favourite personal track?
My fave is the last one on the record, like we were talking about earlier is kind of a throwback- I wanted to write a song similar as far as the vibe is concerned to Your Guardian Angel so for the first time I did that. It’s the exact same progression but different lyrics and notes, and I’ve been wanting to do that for some time now. It was a tip of the hat to that song, and it’s really cool because those are the two songs we’ve never had to push… but all the older kids who picked it up started calling it Your Guardian Angel Part 2.
SR: Do you have any other band influences for this album?
No, I – and this is going to sound crazy; but every record that I ever made… I always go back and listen to that first record again. And I don’t listen to anything else for a longs time. And I just remember… I remember who I was, how I was at guitar, how I was with the band and who I was at the time and then I kind of check back to how I feel today. When I’m writing the record I always reference myself and that’s just how dedicated I am to that original content.
SR: The Comfort are supporting you guys for this tour, are you a fan?
Yes! There was a lot of diff bands who submitted for this tour and there were a few that almost made it, but the band I liked the most of everyone who submitted was The Comfort, I judge on musical quality and I just liked them the most
SR: If there was any song from your discography you would name your autobiography, what would it be?
That’s impossible because all my songs from day one have been from experience, but other than these two; one called “twilight” and I wrote one called “mocking jay” because I really like the hunger games book, aside from those two songs the rest are all autobiographies
Catch The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and The Comfort on The Awakening tour this November!
On a more serious note..
Toyah Cordingley was murdered in a heinous act last month in Cairns, her killer is still at large. After her passing it was brought to light that Toyah’s favourite song was Your Guardian Angel, as a friend had asked for it to be dedicated to her on the upcoming shows. John Howarth and Ronnie Winter have gone above and beyond, in making Your Guardian Angel known as; Toyah’s song. A new lyric video for the song has been released, as well as radio and media outlets asked to play the song in dedication. “Music can bring us all together, it bonds us, it strengthens us. Please spread the word and the song. We need to find the killer.”
For more information and the full story http://spotlightreport.net/music/the-red-jumpsuit-apparatus-your-guardian-angel-toyahs-song