Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
We caught up with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus frontman Ronnie Winter via phone and learned that his love of peta2 goes so deep that he even named his dog after us. Oh, Ronnie—you shouldn’t have! Well, it turns out that he more than likely didn’t, considering that his four-legged friend’s name, “Pita,” is spelled with an “i,” and we’re told a pretty famous breadlike product is spelled the same way. Believe whatever you want—we’re sticking with our theory that he totally named his dog after us! It should also be noted that Ronnie was so determined to talk to peta2 that nothing could keep him away, including those occasional pesky strikes of lightning. (Seriously, folks—listen to your parents on this one. Get off the phone during a T-storm because lightning really will strike. Trust us!)
For those who aren’t familiar with your band, how would you describe your sound?
You know, honestly, we don’t really take anything too seriously. I’m going to have to be a little strange here and answer this how I usually do, which is by saying we are an interesting blend between NSYNC and Led Zeppelin. That’s what we’re going for.
How do you feel about headlining the Take Action Tour, and what do you think about the concept behind the tour?
We were really lucky to be offered that. Naturally it was something for us to get involved with because we’re already involved with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The Take Action Tour is all about raising awareness about different topics, and we’re just trying to do the right thing.
Do you think people should take action to help animals by doing things like volunteering at shelters, refusing to wear fur, etc.?
Yeah, I would definitely say that I support that! I’ve never been an activist per se, but my wife and I have always been extremely friendly to animals. We have a few animals of our own.
What are their names, and do you have any funny stories to share about them?
Three dogs named Applehead, Ralph, and Pita and a Siamese cat named Franklin. The first time I ever picked up Ralph, he puked on my shirt, and that’s why I called him “Ralph.”
Your song “Face Down” deals with domestic violence. Do you think there is any link between violence toward people and cruelty to animals?
I get asked that question a lot, and although I’m not a psychologist, I will offer my opinion and say that there probably is a correlation. Let me think of a clever way to say this … I think that if violence is in your nature, then it’s in your nature. If you beat your wife, then you’re probably not going to be too hesitant about beating your animals.
What do you think about people who purchase and wear fur?
I don’t think it’s cool. I don’t think they should be doing it, but that’s just me.
Some people don’t know that a lot of fur comes from China and is actually made from cats and dogs. They buy it in the U.S. and see the China tag but have no idea what that can mean. Do you think that if people knew this, they would think differently about fur?
Wow! Yeah, I think so. I didn’t know that, and it makes me feel weird. I don’t wear fur, but I think the next time I see someone wearing a fur coat, I’ll probably think about a dog or cat. They should tell those people [that wear fur].
What are your views on animal testing?
Obviously, I think it’s wrong! I don’t understand what the concept is there. I don’t know why you would want to test something made for humans on animals.
Do you have any advice for the people reading this who want to get active in helping animals?
First of all, don’t be lazy. If you really want to do something, nobody in this world can stop you. If you want to help animals, then do it. No one’s going to stop you, and if anything, they’ll step it up and help you. Volunteer your time—that’s what I recommend.
What’s up next for the band?
We have a new video for the second release off our album, “False Pretense,” and we’ve got the Take Action Tour in February, which we’re extremely excited about!