Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ debut disc Don’t You Fake It, released last year, is a force to be reckoned with. From melodic rock songs like “Face Down,” to tender ballads such as “Guardian Angel,” the Jacksonville, Florida-based act have firmly established themselves as one of the most versatile rock bands around—and they’ve used an arsenal of SGs and Les Pauls to craft their perfectly poppy, chart-topping sound.

“It’s no secret that we want our music to be catchy,” said guitarist Elias Reidy. “Every phrase of music we make, we want to try and figure out how to make it as ear-pleasing as it can possibly be. We want every little note to be remembered.”

What’s it like to be in your early 20s and already have a gold record?

Honestly, no matter what anybody in this band can say, it's something we never really thought could come true. Our hometown is called Middleburg, and basically it’s the middle of nowhere—and for us to think we could make something like this happen was beyond anything we ever imagined. It's just surreal; I guess that's the best way to put it.

How do you and fellow guitarist Duke Kitchens approach your musical roles in the band?

Everything we write is collaborative. All five of us go over it together to make the best decision. Everyone writes their own riffs and [vocalist] Ronnie [Winter] writes all the melodies and the lyrics, and then we put it all together. We try to feature everybody in this band.

What players influence your playing?

We're actually really into Jimi Hendrix. Seriously, if you come onto our bus you'll see a Jimi Hendrix DVD playing for days straight. We also appreciate really melodic guitar players like David Gilmour, people that we can just sit back and listen to and it's pleasing to the ear. You can be open-minded and listen to new things, or you can limit yourself. Honestly, we're inspired by everything. We listen to all the genres of music, from all times, and that's how we want to keep it.

“Take Action” is a song about domestic violence. Is it important for your music to have a message?

That's not something we planned on doing. We just figured that we are at this point now where we have these opportunities in front of us, so why not use them to do something good, you know? We're not afraid to grab what we want by the horns because that's how you really make things happen. Sometimes you just have to go out on a limb and take a risk.