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Red Jumpsuit Apparatus eager to reconnect with Old Pueblo fans

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus members are (from left) Joey Westwood, Ronnie Winter, Jon Wilkes, Elias Reidy and Duke Kitchens.

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus members are (from left) Joey Westwood, Ronnie Winter, Jon Wilkes, Elias Reidy and Duke Kitchens.

Nothing in their quirky name gives evidence to the loud, fast-paced and melodic sound that is Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

A band with guitar riffs and harmonic choruses similar to that of Blink 182 and Taking Back Sunday, RJA has found recent success in creating an original sound for their debut album, last year’s “Don’t You Fake It” (Virgin).

As they head to Tucson Tuesday, RJA lead singer and songwriter Ronnie Winter says the boys are excited to play music, reconnect with fans and indulge in what he described as, “the best hot wings in the country,” referring to East Coast Super Subs, at 187 N. Park Ave.

But for Winter, a Tucson native who still has family here, the return to the Old Pueblo will be more of a homecoming.

“I was born and grew up in Tucson. I lived here until I was 8,” Winter says in a recent phone interview from Washington, D.C. “We just played a sold out show at The Rock, and it was the first time I got to see my grandparents in 12 years.”

Corresponding via e-mail while on tour, Winter says he was glad to have his family at his last Tucson show so that they could see firsthand how far the band has come.

“It was so cool,” Winter says with a laugh. “We played a sold-out show in the town (where) I was born, and they got to see it.”

For RJA, writing songs is often a personal affair. Their recent radio hit, “Face Down,” for example, addressed the subject of domestic violence and is modeled after some of Winter’s childhood experiences.

“For me, as far as lyrics and melodies go, I just try to clear my head and do less pre-planning,” he says. “Usually it just comes down to the fact of the matter in letting the song write itself.”

Gaining popularity with the speed of sound, RJA cites their recent performance during an National Hockey League All-Stars Game as the moment when they realized how far they have come.

“They attached chain-link cables to our stage and as we were performing they lifted us higher and higher off of the ice,” Winter says. “One of us said afterwards, ‘Wow, I guess this is it.’ It was a crazy time.”

But despite their fame and accomplishments, Winter and the RJA boys have managed to stay humble.

“We don’t feel like rock stars,” Winter says, “but we are excited to have the opportunity to play music for the rest of our lives. We are glad that people like what we have done so far, and hope that they continue to give us the opportunity to play more.”

With future plans to continue recording music after their current tour ends, Winter says the band is content to simply be where they are right now.

“All you can do as a band is make good music and hope others like it, but in our eyes, we’ve already won. Our goal is to simply exist, to just be around and continue the incredible response that we’ve had from our fans. We feel very fortunate, so thank you to everyone.”

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus will perform at the Rialto Theatre as part of the 2007 national Take Action! Tour benefiting the Youth America Hotline, a peer-to-peer counseling hotline specializing in issues related to mental health.

Also on the lineup are Emery, Scary Kids Scaring Kids, A Static Lullaby, and Kiddisfly.



What: Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, 2007 Take Action! Tour

When: Tuesday, Feb 20. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., show at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St.

Price: $16 advance, $18 day of show (10 percent of ticket price benefits Youth America Hotline)

Info:740-1000, rialtotheatre.com

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