The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Premiere "21 and Up" and Tell ARTISTdirect.com about "The Hell or Highwater" EP
Wed, 18 Aug 2010 11:11:01
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Videos
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus will go to any extreme for their art.
Their latest release, The Hell or Highwater EP, proves that. Due out August 24, Hell shows The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus unleashed like never before. Label-less and boundary-free, The Red Jumpsuit Appartus grip tightly onto their heavier side during the first single "Choke," which volleys from a hardcore stomp to an unforgettable hook. "21 and Up" ruptures senses with punk-y fervor, while "On My Own" is a thoughtful and uplifting number that's got real fire fueling it. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus burn brighter than ever on The Hell or Highwater EP…
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus—Ronnie Winter (Vocals), Duke Kitchens (Lead Guitar), Joey Westwood (Bass), Jon Wilkes (Drums) and Matt Carter (Guitar)—sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino for an exclusive interview about The Hell or Highwater EP, the video for "Choke," true independence and so much more.
Read the interview below and make sure to listen to our exclusive track premiere of "21 and Up" here only on ARTISTdirect.com!
Was the goal to get heavier on The Hell or Highwater EP?
Ronnie: For the first time in awhile, we got back in the jam room and started jamming. A lot of this music was written very recently, so the EP isn't like something we've been sitting on for years. It's fresh in terms of where we are mentally and musically. We're having fun playing the songs as a band in our rehearsal space. I think that's what we tried to harness.
Did you view it as a whole piece from the get-to or did it really come together in the studio?
Ronnie: When we decided to do an EP instead of full-length, we naturally started selecting songs that had some kind of cohesive sound to them. The decision to do an EP before the third album artistically pointed us towards a theme, vibe or general feel. It's not just five random songs that have no rhyme or reason.
What's the story behind "Choke?"
Ronnie: It's a direct message that we're excited to be on our own and be able to completely control every facet of our career. It's basically a message to all of the people who think that's going to wind up being the wrong move. We don't have to give a crap whether they like it or not [Laughs]. It's going to be the right move.
What's with the guns and axes? Are we looking at some kind of Nakatomi Plaza hijacking?
Ronnie: [Laughs] It's a music video. Obviously, this is not a documentary, so we're just going to have fun being able to live in that fantasy world and do things we can't do in real life. It involves guns, weapons and label executives [Laughs]. Call it a fantasy, call it a nightmare, it depends on what perspective you're looking at it. I'm glad we're doing this. In a very limited amount of time, we've come together and we're about to doing something that we've never been able to do. On a PR standpoint, a lot of labels have a very set parameter that they allow you to bounce around in. If you try to break out, they're not comfortable. Being independent, there are no parameters. You can do whatever you want. If it looks really stupid, it's your fault. If it looks really awesome, it's also your fault. Take the risk.
If this EP were a movie or a combination of movies, what would it be?
Jon: For me, I'd say it's The Matrix meets Fight Club.
Ronnie: That's what this EP sounds like to you?
Jon: Yeah, because if you think about it, on the title track "Hell or Highwater," Ronnie says, "I brought myself here." In The Matrix, Neo had to make a choice between the red pill and the blue pill. Everybody has to make some kind of choice whether it's based on your fate or not. No matter what happens, when you're laying on your deathbed, you made your choice. I think that's that what this EP is about in a weird twisted way.
What's up with "On My Own?" That was definitely a personal favorite.
Ronnie: I love that you just said that [Laughs]. There's always one song that almost doesn't make the project, and the band really fought to get that on the EP. We were goofing around on Pro Tools, and this riff became the background anthem for the choruses. We literally built the song off of that, and we tracked the song a week later. It was extremely spontaneous. It's fun! I'm glad it made it on the EP. Our buddy Lee added some strings, which gave it a cool twist.
Where are you coming from lyrically?
Ronnie: A lot of times, I have a very direct storyline with a clear example. However, on that song specifically, it was more of a general gaze at the world. I think a lot of people in today's society feel like they're on their own. They don't have a lot of help. There's that desperate vibe right now, and everybody can sense it. It's not super crazy but call it the economy, no jobs or whatever you want to call it. It's weirdness of politics in general. A lot of people feel like they're on their own but they're not. It's a reach out to let them know they're not alone.
Joey: We can do whatever we want with this video. There are weapons, and we can do some gnarly things [Laughs]. We've got a ton of freedom.
Is this a good preview of the forthcoming full-length?
Ronnie: We're actually almost done writing the third album. We keep adding more songs. The album is not going to be as centrally themed as the EP because it's simply easier to do that with only five or six songs. They'll be more of a spectrum like our last two albums—a couple more ballads than on the EP. It'll have more of a variety than the dark vibe. This is still a very good taste of what it's going to sound like.
Listen to our exclusive premiere of "21 and Up" here!
What do you think of the song? Are you excited for the new EP?