The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus ready to make a splash here

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus consists of (from far left) Joey Westwood, Ronnie Winter, John Hartman, Randy Winter and Josh Burke.

FLORIDA/SINGAPORE - The last thing singers want is to be criticised for their lack of vocal chops.

But not Ronnie Winter, the frontman of US alternative rockers The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, who admitted that his singing in the past left a lot to be desired.

"I used to smoke and that made my voice raspy," the 30-year-old told LOUD over the phone last Saturday from his home in Middleburg, Florida.

A year-and-a-half ago, he kicked his chain-smoking habit and the resulting impact on his vocal delivery has been positive.

"I've become a pretty good live singer," he said. "And we've gone through several line-up changes in the last couple of years. Our band is definitely better now."

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, who include bassist Joey Westwood, 27, Winter's brother, rhythm guitarist Randy, 32, and lead guitarist Josh Burke, 20, are returning to Singapore for triple-bill concert Shut Up & Listen! next month.

They do not have a regular drummer. John Hartman fills in as timekeeper for their ongoing world tour. They will be joined by fellow US alternative rockers Anberlin and Australian pop punk quintet Tonight Alive.

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus last played here in 2009, wowing local fans with their infectious blend of post-hardcore and punk.

Winter, who is the outfit's main creative force, said this is a special year for him and his mates.

"We've put in 10 years of hard work, I'm very proud that we've come so far," he said. "As evident in our last record, Am I The Enemy, our sound will continue to evolve with time."

After a brief venture into mainstream rock on their second record, Lonely Road (2009), the band made a triumphant return to their post-hardcore roots in Am I The Enemy (2011), which spawned the ferocious hits Choke and Reap.

Reap was even picked up by World Wrestling Entertainment as one of its theme songs. Although the band have no problems selling out tour venues and music festivals, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are no critics' darlings.

"In the last decade, we probably had only one or two good reviews," said Winter. "But obviously, our fans don't care. And if our fans don't care, it doesn't really bother us too. Ever since we decided to go independent, nothing else matters except our fans."

In 2011, the band left their major record label, Virgin, to produce Am I The Enemy, amid Winter's growing displeasure with Virgin's operational style.

In an interview with Ultimate-Guitar.com that year, he said: "The biggest hurdle we had to overcome was that (Virgin) kept firing people all the time.

"People are worried about losing their jobs and they stop focusing on your band and pushing your band. Things just started to collapse, that's what happened."

With the unhappiness behind them, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are ready to make a splash at their concert here. And this time round, Winter hopes to squeeze in time for sightseeing.

"I didn't get to go to the Night Safari when we first played here, so this time, I hope to make a trip there," he said. "Florida has lots of theme parks and zoos, but no night zoos."

FYI

WHAT: Shut Up & Listen! 2013 (feat. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Anberlin, and Tonight Alive)

WHEN: Aug 29, 7pm

WHERE: The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel, Resorts World Sentosa

TICKETS: $68 from Sistic (www. sistic.com.sg or 6348-5555)


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