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Red Jumpsuit Apparatus' Ronnie Winter Sober and In Sync

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Red Jumpsuit's Ronnie Winter sat down and discussed sobriety and the band's latest single in a recent interview with Alternative Addiction.


Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ Ronnie Winter is a lot of things. He’s the main cog in the band. He always has been. He’s driven by his faith, especially in recent years since becoming a father. Now, he’s a dad first and a rock musician like, sixth. He’s stubborn and hardheaded. When Red Jumpsuit Apparatus was in the middle of label turmoil with dozens of other acts in the mid 2000’s. He didn’t blink at whatever power move was thrown at him and eventually Jumpsuit got the terms that Winter was willing to go with not what they had to settle for. Ronnie is also human. He’s got flaws and he’s susceptible to things just like everyone else, like substance abuse. He’s been sober for four years, but his turn to sobriety is something that’s made a lasting impact with Winter. That’s the subject of the most recent Red Jumpsuit Apparatus single, “Shooting Star” and it’s also one of the many topics that Winter sat down and discussed with Alternative Addiction in a recent interview.

“It is what it is,” said Winter when asked about his sobriety and when he knew he had a problem. “Most bands are hammered all the time. I don’t think anybody would get upset with me saying that. The reason why is boredom. That’s 100%. After you’ve been on tour for years, same thing different day is a thing. Then you start missing home more because you’re older. When you’re younger you’re out to do more, when you’re 30 you’d rather stay home. Things change in your body too. While being on tour, you hang out and drink. You’ll have beers before soundcheck, beers after soundcheck, before the show, after the show. You don’t realize that other people who are coming to the show and having a couple of beers, they’re only doing that a couple times a month. I was doing that every day. Once I realized I had a problem, I got help. It worked right away, and it’s worked consistently since then.”

“With alcohol I realized is that it’s really bad for a person like me. I’ve always struggled with depression and alcohol is a depressant. Because of the cycle I was in, I got to the point to where I didn’t want to live anymore. That’s when I figured out that something was wrong, and I had to get help.”

For a lot of people with substance abuse problems, they have a low moment that makes them realize they need help, or they have that person in their life that says, ‘hey, get it together, you’ve got a problem.’ Winter’s wake up call came from his wife Angela, who gave him a pretty big ultimatum and made him wake up.

“The truth is my wife told me that I had a problem and that if I didn’t quit, she’d leave. That was a wakeup call, that was all I needed because I love her. Somebody needed to tell me that. It’s hard to tell me anything, I’m pretty headstrong. But this was coming from her and she was making sense, so I did it. I got connected with the right people right away and it worked. If you want help it’s out there. It’s easy to have fun and live sober, you just have to do it the right way,” said the Jumpsuit frontman.



“Shooting Star” is the latest Jumpsuit single. It comes off the band’s latest album, The Awakening and it tells the story of Ronnie’s turn to sobriety. It’s a song that can help a lot of people with different problems and Ronnie felt that it was important that it was released as a single. That said, the album came out a while ago and this is the third Jumpsuit single from the record, so it’s been a long time since the original version of the song was released. According to Winter, the plan was always to wait this long to release the song as a single.

“The Awakening has been out for almost two years,” began Winter. “The way it works for most bands is they have a record label and then they have release dates lined up and they have a system they have to follow. We don’t have to do that. The first single came out almost four months before the record came out. The second single came out the same week the album did. This is the third single, but instead of trying to work three singles at once, which is popular right now, we took our sweet time and waited until the final phase of the record to release it. We had an alternate version; the song was co-produced by me and my wife Angela. The alternate version of the song uses the third chorus for all the choruses.”

“If you know the song, you’ll hear the first chorus and you’ll immediately know the difference,” he added. “The beginning is the same but there’s some slight changes and tweaks to the actual mix. If you’re an audio engineer you’d recognize it right away too. The reason why we did this is because it allows us to reservice the single properly to coincide with the release of the video. If we weren’t putting out the video, we wouldn’t have done that. Because we wanted to service it properly to all the outlets it has to be linked together. We wanted to do the video, it’s our first video in six years. That’s a big deal.”

The video isn’t just the first video that the band has thrown together in the past six years, it might be the best video that they’ve ever done. Winter noted that it was also the band’s easiest to make.

“I think everything is easier for me now. I’m in a good stride in life right now. Mind, body, and spirit are in sync. Whatever endeavor we take on has way less difficulty than it did six or eight years ago. It’s wild what we pulled off. We had just finished a sold-out show in Northern California. We drove 450 miles overnight. We got to the top of a mountain called Mount Baldy in Southern California at about 2 o’clock in the morning the next day. Then, an hour later the film crew showed up and we filmed all the way until 1AM. We finished and we still had smiles on our faces. Everything done in one night. As you get older, you get better at what you do. I’m at a point now where we’ve been doing this so long that I think I’ve worked out most of the kinks. This was the easiest shoot that we’ve ever had.”

One of the things that we’ve always had to talk with Ronnie about is lineup changes. The band has had numerous shifts over the years with him being the only real constant. We talked with him about who’s in the band now, and Winter said something really cool about the lineup now.

“That’s another great thing. Everything coincides with my sobriety. That’s what the song is about. That’s what the video is about. I haven’t had a drink in four years and because of that everything has gotten easier. This is the longest in the history of the band that the lineup hasn’t changed. We’re one of those weird bands…. This band’s original lineup never played a show. The bass player joined the military before we played our first show. Two weeks later our drummer went to college. When you have two guys quit right away, you can do one of two things, you can quit, or you can realize that’s how it’s going to go. So, for the next 16 years I hired and fired friends of mine. That’s the story of our band. Red Jumpsuit is Ronnie Winter jamming out with his friends. What’s special about all of that is this is the longest in the 16 years that we’ve had a consistent lineup. We’ve had the same guys in place for four years straight and for this band that’s crazy.”

Things are great for Ronnie right now. The band is doing well, they’re on the cusp of doing some big things again. He has his son, that’s an amazing part of his life and he’s truly happy with that. Like he said, he’s in sync, and that’s due to his faith and it’s due to his wife. You hear about somebody being somebody else’s rock or whatever cliché comes to mind, but that’s really who Ronnie’s wife is to him. She makes him be better.

“She’s amazing,” said Winter when asked about his wife. “Last year she scored a film and she got five or six mentions in reviews by name in the score. That’s amazing. It was her first swing at it and that’s so much harder than what I do. She went to school for that and she learned Pro Tools from teachers not just messing around. She’s next level. I’m good at it, but I don’t really touch what she can do. I’m just lucky that we walked into the same room and she didn’t run in the opposite direction. The other thing is that we work well with each other. We’ve worked on each other’s songs, we’ve co-produced other artists together. We have our own production company together called A + R productions. We have a studio in our own house that’s split right down the middle, half of it is her stuff and half of it is mine. We’re creative together, but more than that, we just like hanging out. When you meet someone that makes you better, when you find that person, that’s who you want in your life, and she’s that for me.”

“Shooting Star” is out now, the video is posted and doing well and that’s the current push for Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Looking to the future, that single can only be worked for so long and The Awakening is now a couple of years old. It’s time to think about what’s next.

“We took four years off between 4 and the Awakening. So, no more time off. This album has done well for us and we’re happy with it. We’ve been working on the next album already. We’re halfway done with it. We’ve got five songs finished and the rest of the album is written. Essentially, we’re going to stay in the mode that we’re in now. We’re talking to a few record labels now, that’s something I’m finally ready to do again, and that’s exciting. I can’t say when the new album will be out, but we’ll finish it, finalize whatever deal with whatever record label we decide to go with and then we’ll put it out there.”- aa




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Red Jumpsuit Apparatus' Ronnie Winter Sober and In Sync


Image

Red Jumpsuit's Ronnie Winter sat down and discussed sobriety and the band's latest single in a recent interview with Alternative Addiction.

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ Ronnie Winter is a lot of things. He’s the main cog in the band. He always has been. He’s driven by his faith, especially in recent years since becoming a father. Now, he’s a dad first and a rock musician like, sixth. He’s stubborn and hardheaded. When Red Jumpsuit Apparatus was in the middle of label turmoil with dozens of other acts in the mid 2000’s. He didn’t blink at whatever power move was thrown at him and eventually Jumpsuit got the terms that Winter was willing to go with not what they had to settle for. Ronnie is also human. He’s got flaws and he’s susceptible to things just like everyone else, like substance abuse. He’s been sober for four years, but his turn to sobriety is something that’s made a lasting impact with Winter. That’s the subject of the most recent Red Jumpsuit Apparatus single, “Shooting Star” and it’s also one of the many topics that Winter sat down and discussed with Alternative Addiction in a recent interview.

“It is what it is,” said Winter when asked about his sobriety and when he knew he had a problem. “Most bands are hammered all the time. I don’t think anybody would get upset with me saying that. The reason why is boredom. That’s 100%. After you’ve been on tour for years, same thing different day is a thing. Then you start missing home more because you’re older. When you’re younger you’re out to do more, when you’re 30 you’d rather stay home. Things change in your body too. While being on tour, you hang out and drink. You’ll have beers before soundcheck, beers after soundcheck, before the show, after the show. You don’t realize that other people who are coming to the show and having a couple of beers, they’re only doing that a couple times a month. I was doing that every day. Once I realized I had a problem, I got help. It worked right away, and it’s worked consistently since then.”

“With alcohol I realized is that it’s really bad for a person like me. I’ve always struggled with depression and alcohol is a depressant. Because of the cycle I was in, I got to the point to where I didn’t want to live anymore. That’s when I figured out that something was wrong, and I had to get help.”

For a lot of people with substance abuse problems, they have a low moment that makes them realize they need help, or they have that person in their life that says, ‘hey, get it together, you’ve got a problem.’ Winter’s wake up call came from his wife Angela, who gave him a pretty big ultimatum and made him wake up.

“The truth is my wife told me that I had a problem and that if I didn’t quit, she’d leave. That was a wakeup call, that was all I needed because I love her. Somebody needed to tell me that. It’s hard to tell me anything, I’m pretty headstrong. But this was coming from her and she was making sense, so I did it. I got connected with the right people right away and it worked. If you want help it’s out there. It’s easy to have fun and live sober, you just have to do it the right way,” said the Jumpsuit frontman.



“Shooting Star” is the latest Jumpsuit single. It comes off the band’s latest album, The Awakening and it tells the story of Ronnie’s turn to sobriety. It’s a song that can help a lot of people with different problems and Ronnie felt that it was important that it was released as a single. That said, the album came out a while ago and this is the third Jumpsuit single from the record, so it’s been a long time since the original version of the song was released. According to Winter, the plan was always to wait this long to release the song as a single.

“The Awakening has been out for almost two years,” began Winter. “The way it works for most bands is they have a record label and then they have release dates lined up and they have a system they have to follow. We don’t have to do that. The first single came out almost four months before the record came out. The second single came out the same week the album did. This is the third single, but instead of trying to work three singles at once, which is popular right now, we took our sweet time and waited until the final phase of the record to release it. We had an alternate version; the song was co-produced by me and my wife Angela. The alternate version of the song uses the third chorus for all the choruses.”

“If you know the song, you’ll hear the first chorus and you’ll immediately know the difference,” he added. “The beginning is the same but there’s some slight changes and tweaks to the actual mix. If you’re an audio engineer you’d recognize it right away too. The reason why we did this is because it allows us to reservice the single properly to coincide with the release of the video. If we weren’t putting out the video, we wouldn’t have done that. Because we wanted to service it properly to all the outlets it has to be linked together. We wanted to do the video, it’s our first video in six years. That’s a big deal.”

The video isn’t just the first video that the band has thrown together in the past six years, it might be the best video that they’ve ever done. Winter noted that it was also the band’s easiest to make.

“I think everything is easier for me now. I’m in a good stride in life right now. Mind, body, and spirit are in sync. Whatever endeavor we take on has way less difficulty than it did six or eight years ago. It’s wild what we pulled off. We had just finished a sold-out show in Northern California. We drove 450 miles overnight. We got to the top of a mountain called Mount Baldy in Southern California at about 2 o’clock in the morning the next day. Then, an hour later the film crew showed up and we filmed all the way until 1AM. We finished and we still had smiles on our faces. Everything done in one night. As you get older, you get better at what you do. I’m at a point now where we’ve been doing this so long that I think I’ve worked out most of the kinks. This was the easiest shoot that we’ve ever had.”

One of the things that we’ve always had to talk with Ronnie about is lineup changes. The band has had numerous shifts over the years with him being the only real constant. We talked with him about who’s in the band now, and Winter said something really cool about the lineup now.

“That’s another great thing. Everything coincides with my sobriety. That’s what the song is about. That’s what the video is about. I haven’t had a drink in four years and because of that everything has gotten easier. This is the longest in the history of the band that the lineup hasn’t changed. We’re one of those weird bands…. This band’s original lineup never played a show. The bass player joined the military before we played our first show. Two weeks later our drummer went to college. When you have two guys quit right away, you can do one of two things, you can quit, or you can realize that’s how it’s going to go. So, for the next 16 years I hired and fired friends of mine. That’s the story of our band. Red Jumpsuit is Ronnie Winter jamming out with his friends. What’s special about all of that is this is the longest in the 16 years that we’ve had a consistent lineup. We’ve had the same guys in place for four years straight and for this band that’s crazy.”

Things are great for Ronnie right now. The band is doing well, they’re on the cusp of doing some big things again. He has his son, that’s an amazing part of his life and he’s truly happy with that. Like he said, he’s in sync, and that’s due to his faith and it’s due to his wife. You hear about somebody being somebody else’s rock or whatever cliché comes to mind, but that’s really who Ronnie’s wife is to him. She makes him be better.

“She’s amazing,” said Winter when asked about his wife. “Last year she scored a film and she got five or six mentions in reviews by name in the score. That’s amazing. It was her first swing at it and that’s so much harder than what I do. She went to school for that and she learned Pro Tools from teachers not just messing around. She’s next level. I’m good at it, but I don’t really touch what she can do. I’m just lucky that we walked into the same room and she didn’t run in the opposite direction. The other thing is that we work well with each other. We’ve worked on each other’s songs, we’ve co-produced other artists together. We have our own production company together called A + R productions. We have a studio in our own house that’s split right down the middle, half of it is her stuff and half of it is mine. We’re creative together, but more than that, we just like hanging out. When you meet someone that makes you better, when you find that person, that’s who you want in your life, and she’s that for me.”

“Shooting Star” is out now, the video is posted and doing well and that’s the current push for Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Looking to the future, that single can only be worked for so long and The Awakening is now a couple of years old. It’s time to think about what’s next.

“We took four years off between 4 and the Awakening. So, no more time off. This album has done well for us and we’re happy with it. We’ve been working on the next album already. We’re halfway done with it. We’ve got five songs finished and the rest of the album is written. Essentially, we’re going to stay in the mode that we’re in now. We’re talking to a few record labels now, that’s something I’m finally ready to do again, and that’s exciting. I can’t say when the new album will be out, but we’ll finish it, finalize whatever deal with whatever record label we decide to go with and then we’ll put it out there.”- aa

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