Their name may mean "absolutely nothing," but the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus' music is full of substance. The Florida-based screamo band has hit the right chord with fans thanks to its debut single, "Face
Their name may mean "absolutely nothing," but the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus' music is full of substance. The Florida-based screamo band has hit the right chord with fans thanks to its debut single, "Face Down," which addresses the issue of domestic violence.
The song is currently No. 58 on the Pop 100, and last week the album from which it is drawn, "Don't You Fake It" (Virgin), debuted at No. 25 on the Billboard 200.
"Before we signed a contract [with Virgin Records], we had a meeting and the first thing I said was that I wanted 'Face Down' to be the first single," singer Ronnie Winter tells Billboard.com. "You only get one shot in life, and if I'm going to be remembered for one song for the rest of my life that's the one I want it to be."
The song's lyrics are deeply personal for Winter, who "grew up in that kind of environment," and he hopes his experiences can help kids who are in similar situations cope. "My grandma taught me a long time ago [that] if you can help somebody you should do it. That's all we're trying to do," he says.
He adds that the lyrics are "probably the only reason why the song is blowing up. It's not because we look any different from any other band -- we're just a bunch of kids all dressed up, jumping around in a video and playing power chords. It's the lyrical content."
As for the rest of the album, it "is essentially an autobiography of my life; every song is about me or somebody that I know personally. That's why I think kids can relate to it."
Winter and his bandmates Duke Kitchens (guitar), Elias Reidy (guitar), Joey Westwood (bass) and Jon Wilkes (drums) are getting to know those kids on this summer's Warped Tour.
"It's pretty intense," says Winter. "We do a signing every day, no matter what, for as long as we can. On average we've had anywhere from 400-600 kids at every signing. The first couple times we did it we weren't ready for it, but now -- like literally the past couple days -- we've been a little bit more prepared."
Along with the exposure they're receiving on the road, the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus has been getting massive support from MTV, MTV2, MTVU and Fuse. They were also a featured artist on AOL Music, and partnered with Cingular for its "Sound Off 2006" promotion.
So what's next? "As far as I'm concerned, we're going to be on the road until, I don't know, at least 2010," he says. "If we start playing shows and nobody comes out, we'll stop playing. But as long as kids are coming out, yeah, we're always going to play no matter what. The CD is great, but you have to see us live. I'm sorry. That's just how rock'n'roll was meant to be."