The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus is heading back on the road to celebrate the 15th anniversary of their 2006 debut album “Don’t You Fake It“. All Music Magazine was fortunate to sit down with Joey Westwood and John Espy prior to their performance at Kraken Music Fest at the Ace Cafe in Orlando, Florida.
All Music Magazine –Tonight will be your second live show in a little more than a year. How does it feel to be performing again in front of all of your fans?
Joey – It does feel good. We did one live show, a live streaming show, which was still cool, but it was weird because there was literally no one in front of us when we were on stage. So yeah, last night we played a show in Fort Walton Beach and then tonight is our second show in a year and a half.
John – We’re still coming to the realization. It is strange being in a venue again with people in it. So we’re back, it’s cool.
All Music Magazine – Your band has made a name for itself playing live shows. How hard was it when the world came to a halt last year and what did you do to occupy the down time?
Joey – Well, we all do other stuff than just the band, especially my nominated friend (motions toward Espy).
John – I just work. Being a record producer and stuff, so you know that occupies a lot of my time. I feel like when the industry was down, a lot of people were just home writing music, so I was very busy. Everyone was sending songs.
Joey – It was weird. We were all in California when this stuff started happening. We were like, something is going on. Things are getting cancelled. I don’t think anyone expected this to last long. I was like, okay this show is cancelled, we will be back out in a month. Obviously, that was not the case.
All Music Magazine –This tour is the 15th anniversary of your debut album, “Don’t You Fake It”, and we have been told that there will be a new version of “Face Down” released on July 18th. Can you elaborate on what fans can expect from this new release?
Joey – We are going to be working on acoustic stuff. Since we are all going to be together, we are going to stay in Florida and record some stuff. Not 100% sure because it has not been recorded yet.
All Music Magazine –Last year’s EP “Emergency” addressed several current issues affecting the world. With the world sharply divided on many issues, is it ever challenging to express your ideas and thoughts without worrying about how they might be received, or do you just let it flow?
Joey – He (Ronnie Winter) has always just wrote , you know, how he feels. The band always backs him, you know, he is the leader. Those are important issues to him, but he always talks to us about what he’s writing.
John – The songs that came out, that were put together with the pandemic, they were written way before. They were written a while ago. It just so happened people connected it that way and the video, that was the pandemic song, that was not at all what it was about. It was written at least half a year before. It’s crazy how things just worked out that way.
All Music Magazine – We heard that you chose your band’s name from random words that were thrown on a wall. Do you remember any of the other words that were not chosen?
Joey – (Laughing)
Joey – Gosh, I don’t. It was a little before my time. There is just endless stories with it. There is a Red Jump Suit lyric (Snoop Dogg’s Murder Was the Case) , red jumpsuit with two braids in my hair, I tell half the people that’s where the band name came from. I will get back to you when I think of it. There was one weird one, if it comes up during this interview I will just blurt it out.
All Music Magazine –What does the rest of 2021 hold for The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus?
Joey – Like I said, we are gonna record. After this show, we are going to Jacksonville which is kind of the home base of Red Jumpsuit. It is kinda nice, we have half the dudes in L.A., half the dudes in Jacksonville.We got the east, west coast bases for stuff. Were going to record.
John – Hopefully make up some shows.
All Music Magazine –The work you have done for causes such as domestic violence and teen suicide are well known. Can you tell us a little about that?
Joey– Yeah, well especially when Face Down came out. The band was pretty new to touring at that point and the opportunity came up to really stand behind what Ronnie wrote. The Take ActionTour, along with others, raised money for charities and awareness. It makes being in a band that much cooler. There has always kind of been a message of hope from Red Jumpsuit.
All Music Magazine –Who’s the practical joker of the group?
Joey – (Laughing)
John – I want to say Danny.
Joey – True, probably Danny, he is a goofball. He is the newest dude hanging with us, and doing keyboard and backround vocals.
All Music Magazine – What was the 1st car you owned?
Joey – My first car was my favorite car, a 96 Jeep Cherokee and I miss it dearly. I rode that baby to like 260,00 miles.
John Jeep Grand Cherokee was my first car too. (High five and handshake follows).
All Music Magazine –What was the first album you bought?
John- I feel like I went in and bought Kris Kross. I think so.
All Music Magazine – What is a song on your playlist that might surprise your fans?
John – Current song?
All Music Magazine – What’s your favorite vacation destination?
John I am going to say Italy, even though we were only there for like 48 hours, but I did it. Everyone else was really jet lagged but I did it. I did the dinners and yeah, I really really want to go back. Other than that, Australia.
Joey – I feel like Australia too. Especially since we were about to go there. Everything got pushed back for good reason, so it’s been itching at me for over a year now.
All Music Magazine – Who’s the best dancer?
John – It’s probably you dude (looking at Joey).
Joey – It’s probably me.
John – I really think it is (laughing).
Joey – I don’t even really dance and I don’t even dance good, but there has just been nights were it has been like , (looks at watch), I got 2 hours to spare.
All Music Magazine –Are you superstitious and if so, about what?
John – I can’t say that I really am, to be honest.
Joey– I don’t think I am either.
All Music Magazine – If you were not in the music business, what would you be doing?
John – I think I would be cooking. Something in culinary, that is another big passion I have.
Joey – I don’t really know. Something like animal based or something to do with youth. I don’t know if I would want to be a teacher, but like, (points) a camp counselor! (Everyone laughing).
All Music Magazine –What’s the craziest place you’ve ever played?
Joey – We have played some weird shows. We work with the military a lot. We have played in the Middle East and we played at Guantanamo Bay. Not your normal touring circuit.
All Music Magazine – If you could sit and have a beer with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be?
John – That is a good question, dang. (Thinking) I think Freddie Mercury. Just because of his song writing. I want to have a conversation with him.
Joey – I am going to go with Freddie Mercury too (everyone laughing). There is a dude from our town where our band started, in Middleburg, and he passed away, I want to say like 10 years ago or something. His name was Slim Whitman and I never knew about him until he passed away. I looked it up and this dude lived near me and he sold like tens and tens of millions of records and was this crazy songwriter. It always bummed me out. When I found out, I was like, this dude lived 5 miles from me, but he was just like this legend and I think I regret not knowing about him. It makes me wish I could turn back time and drink a beer with that dude, for sure. I don’t now if you have seen Mars Attacks, but the song that blows all the aliens heads up, that’s a Slim Whitman song.
Be sure to catch The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Live. New dates will be added soon!
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I’ve had a love for photography since I was young. Whether it was a Polaroid or a Kodak 110, I was always the kid with the camera. My love of music goes back even further. Nothing beats being at a show when those lights go down and the crowd goes nuts.