I was introduced to Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (RJA) via my ex girlfriend back in the day. At first I honestly thought nothing of them and considered their music to be a bit too noisy for my liking. Eventually, after their song Step Right Up was put on repeat during a car ride to Buffalo, NY, I became entranced by their craft. A deep appreciation began to grow for these musicians. Step Right Up is still in my library and every time it pops up, I take a moment to enjoy its wild ride. Red Jumpsuit Apparatus currently consists of musicians Ronnie Winter, Joey Westwood, Brad Lehmann, John Espy and Randy Winter. To explore why this music seems to work, I decided to connect with the band and learn more about what they were doing nowadays. Randy was kind enough to answer my call.
The career kind of took them and they decided to along with it all. “Music chose us really, we just stopped fighting it and got with the program.” Their loud and rambunctious music has been a fan favorite across the globe because of their efforts. I am sure many loyal fans are grateful for that decision.
Their best performances are surrounded with a patriotic theme. “We’ve done a ton of work with the different branches of military in the U.S. Without them we wouldn’t have freedom, they deserve as much support from U.S. citizens as possible.” Along with their patriotism, they have also been generous with their time for those in need. “In January 2012 we did a benefit acoustic performance in upstate NY for a girl name Taylor Fleming. She tragically passed away after fatal injuries in a car accident in December 2011. It was amazing to see the community pull together and support the event. The Taylor benefit was difficult cause the family and friends of the girl were in the crowd crying and singing along. It was hard to keep together and not break down.” Prior to this, I had no idea that RJA were such avid supporters of their fans. They are willing to go above and beyond with their art.
Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are aware of the extreme state of music today. Randy shared his thoughts. “Its easier than ever to get your music out there but harder than ever to be noticed. [Some musicians are] a needle in a haystack [that is] getting larger at an unpredictable exponential rate. I would say its over saturated. Ronnie and I were taught by our Marine Grandfather to learn as many aspects of your craft as you can. In our case we built our own studios, learned to engineer and manage just about everything.” While the struggle as an artist may be more prevalent, they are still attempting to use their expertise as best they can. They seem to be using it well and in many different ways. “Most musicians naturally do that. Our music is constantly evolving and has since the prior bands that inevitably became RJA.”
Artists that keep them on their toes are many. “That list is endless but a few that immediately come to mind are Casey Crescenzo, Jimmy Gnecco, Dustin Kensrue, Rob Bell, etc…” With a love of music like that, they have a lot of worthwhile exploration to attempt.
I asked what Randy was going to do for the rest of the day. “I thought about fishing but I did that yesterday so today I’ll work for a bit and go check out a new movie then maybe crank up the grill. I start my day around 4AM EST.” Early bird gets the worm, well done sir!
To end, the band remains busy. “Next year we’re doing a ten year anniversary tour of our debut record ‘Don’t You Fake It.’ We’re stoked about that, its gonna be gnarly!” If you and your friends are looking for some good music satisfaction, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus will help sate your appetite. Catch them on the road next year and review their past work to get familiar with their magic.