The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Takes Over Chicago, IL at Bottom Lounge; Exclusive Interview With TRJA Guitarist Josh Burke Before Set!
By: Anthony Cannella
The boys from Middleburg, Florida, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, took a stop in Chicago, Illinois at the Bottom Lounge on their nonstop 2019 touring schedule. Doing what they do best, they controlled the venue from start to finish giving the crowd all the hits from their successful music career as a band that started back in 2003! Their setlist leaves fans speechless as it ranges from their first booming album ‘Don't You Fake It’ (2006) to their most recent killer album ‘The Awakening’ (2018). Band members, Ronnie Winter (vocalist), Joey Westwood (bassist), Josh Burke (lead guitar), Randy Winter (rhythm guitar) and John Espy (drums) rock these songs to perfection no matter what and leaves the crowd with everything they could’ve asked for! Before they did this in Chicago though, we met with lead guitarist Josh Burke and caught up on all the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus news! Check out the interview below!
-HeadRush Tv: So you guys are a few shows deep into this Don’t Hide Your LIGHT Tour with Eyes Set To Kill and have been touring like crazy this year with about 70 shows recorded in 2019 including festivals, How have they been so far and how has 2019 been to you guys as a whole?
Josh Burke: 2019 has been really nice for us actually. The crowds have been pretty consistent and this new record we did has been going over pretty well. It’s not exactly the whole crowd singing it like ‘Face Down’, but we do see a majority of people starting to sing the new songs. So that’s always a really cool thing, especially for a band that has left such a huge legacy with the album ‘Don’t You Fake It’, know what I mean? I kind of speak as an outsider cause I wasn’t on that album, but I listened to it growing up! So that album left a huge footprint for the rest of the bands career. It’s really cool though how things are starting to traction back up though and things are really starting to improve, and we have noticed that in 2019. We are improving live a lot so that’s been a huge testament of what’s been going on cause our crowds are growing and definitely getting behind the band more. Our vocals have improved, and we have a badass drummer now so its just higher than ever right now.
HeadRush Tv: The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus has been putting out killer music since 2003 and you guys put out your new album “The Awakening” in 2018 which followed with a recent music video for the single ‘Shooting Star’. What were you guys trying to get across with this new music and video and what inspired you guys throughout this recent creative period?
Josh Burke: Our main lyricist and storyteller is Ronnie Winter, our singer of course. I believe “The Awakening” is for sure a concept album, but I believe it was more so about Ron reaching sobriety and past issues with alcohol as many of us have had. I think that the majority of the album is about that for sure and its an awakening to recovery. Like the single ‘Shooting Star’ it even has Angela’s name in it and that’s Ronnie’s girl and mother to his child. So, the album is a lot about that and inspired because of that and his come through.
-HeadRush Tv: As I said in the last question, you guys have been putting out hit after hit since 2003 and it truly shows as you guys have racked up 600 million streams on your songs and more than 200 million views on your videos on YouTube. Looking back on the start of your career as a musician and with The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, How has the Rock Industry evolved over time and if any, how have you guys had to adjust to it?
Josh Burke: So, I am still kind of new cause I am only 8 years into touring, but I will say the live shows are such a big deal now because you make all your money off touring. Like with streams, the numbers don’t lie. The strangest thing is where you get a million streams usually add up to about 4-5 dollars, but that’s just how it is. But you could either complain about it or you could just deal with it and keep going. That’s kind of like what we are doing, we’re just going keep pushing. So, my answer is, yeah you aren’t going to make a ton of money off of record sales or streams, its just too hard cause there are so many bands out there. Plus, there are so many ways to hear music now and so many platforms. Also, social media is such a big deal now and really a personal thing for the band and band members for like show dates and news now. I think because of all of this though, the illusion people have of every band making millions of dollars is kind of gone. These people realize now that we are all just average people with kids at home. This touring and music though are such a grind, but when you are good at it and it’s what you been doing for a long time it becomes home.
-HeadRush Tv: As a band that has been successful and going on being together for about 16/17 years now, What are some of the biggest struggles that you have had to overcome as an artist and as a band as a whole? How have you and the band truly made things work so that this amazing music still gets produced and out to your wide fan base?
Josh Burke: Great question, and I can’t speak for everyone of course. But for me, its hard to keep a band alive and going as it is so that’s always a struggle for everyone. The next biggest thing has to be the personal life though. It’s really really hard to keep your personal life in check when you are gone sometimes for six months or longer. Like I have checked out for a half a year and you start to miss your girl and your dog and all of that, so it just gets so weird. Another is
overcoming your personal problems for the live shows, that is such a big deal. That’s probably one of the biggest obstacles, if you’re feeling like crap and having a bad day you still have to engage with people and be respectful. That’s a tough one, that’s definitely a tough hurdle. Any musician or band or deploying touring job of any kind can attest to that. When you’re home it is definitely hard to leave, it’s such a mixture of different things, but like I said before you get better at it. For some people tour is the number one thing they look forward to, so it could be completely opposite for someone else. For me it is kind of like both. When you’re home you want to go on tour and then when you tour for a while you want to go home, so its like a grass is greener type of situation. But anyways we definitely grind. Sometimes we have to get a crappy hotel, but its all about making it happen with our Sprinter on the road. To make this work and successful you just have to stay in your own lane and save money as a band so you can reinvest in the band. So put the ego aside, which is what we do and just make it happen no matter what.
-HeadRush Tv: Lastly, I would like to give you the complete platform here for your 1.8 million and growing fans and followers. After this tour what is in store for The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and what are some things your fans can look forward to as the year goes on and even carrying into 2020?
Josh Burke: I don’t know if I can announce dates specifically, but November. South East. United States. And that’s all I am going to say! We do have a show coming up at Kraken Fest in Florida, but yeah that’s all I can necessarily say for specifics as far as touring. But we are recording new music and we are really taking our time with it, which has been kind of different. Like I said, things move slow, but also extremely fast at the same time. This time around we are letting things marinate and perfecting this new music, so we are really looking forward to everything and that’s all I am going to say. Our fans can definitely look forward to us keep going no matter what for as long as we can cause that’s what we all truly want.
Author and Photographer: Jonathan Stark of Stark Raving Mad Photography LLC
On Saturday September 14th, I drove down from my home in the Rockies, late as is typical, to the new Mission Ballroom in Denver, Colorado. I was getting ready to shoot for two iconic bands, Social Distortion and Flogging Molly. I had thought and planned what lenses I would bring, where I would be shooting from, would I have enough time in the first three songs to get in all of my shots, would I do well enough to bring honor to my craft and do justice to the veteran performers who have had decades of images memorializing their career?
As previously stated, I was late and therefore it is with great remorse that I must confess I missed Le Butcherettes. Sorry. I was in time to catch The Devil Makes Three. Glad I did. It was absolutely fantastic and not at all what I had expected in the mix. Their style was engaging and their stage presence bluegrass punky and mesmerizing. Remember, I’m not a trained musictician- a person learned in the nuances of different musical styles. Right? Lucia Turino on Upright Bass was a treat, so smooth and a lovely voice. We need more Upright Bass in music. Pete Bernhard and Cooper McBean were classy and crisp. They’ve been at it a while and it shows. Check them out.
Next up were my friends in Social Distortion. I say friends not in the familiar sense, but in the same vein as the populace that grew up with a background soundtrack consisting of 90’s punk.
With four decades of music and live performances behind Social Distortion, these guys are absolute pros. While Mike Ness is the only original member of Social Distortion still at it, the other members come with their own tenure of experience. I mean, Jonny “2 Bags” Wickersham on guitar was with Youth Brigade and US Bombs. David Hidalgo Jr. was with Suicidal Tendencies in the early to mid 2000s. My expectations were high and I was not disappointed in the slightest.
Mike Ness has not lost a step, from his vocals to his fashionable appearance. That guy keeps everything running tight- the sound and the presentation. I absolutely loved watching him and the guys play and move around the stage. The first three songs are a blur since I was a focused on shooting, but I will tell you that the rest of the show was outstanding. I took an opportunity to sit back and enjoy the songs, stage lights and countless familiar sounds coming from the stage. Classic Social Distortion.
From the opening to the end, Social Distortion performed as solid as I had seen them back in the 90’s. They played a litany of hits which quenched the flames of desire coming from an eager audience. Too much? The audience’s anticipation and mood built to the final crescendo with the sounds of “Ring of Fire” and “Story of My Life.” Crescendo is the musical equivalent of a climax or pinnacle or peak. Everyone, from young to old, drunk to sober, sang along. That’s one of my favorite things to watch, the audience and the band connecting in those moments. Satisfaction. There were some surprises along the way, but I’ll save that for you to discover on your own.
On that night Flogging Molly closed things down. I have listened to them off and on for over a decade and had been listening to them on the regular in preparation for the show. You know there are some bands that are good on recording and garbage live, others that sound amazing regardless and others that sound great on the album and are outstanding live. Flogging Molly is the latter. Like Chick-fil-A sauce on those nuggets. Holy crap, what an energetic, engaging performance. I can’t believe I waited so long to see them play. Don’t make that mistake.
I love that Flogging Molly incorporated so many different sounds, styles and delivery into their performance. Dave King and his wife Bridget are quite the pair. She is very talented- singing and playing the tin whistle and violin. That studious looking guy Matt Hensley is on the accordion. Wait, no, rocking the accordion. All the team played a vital role. Get it? Side note, apparently Nathan Maxwell, bassist extraordinaire, is a local Denver resident. Which means he’s obviously awesome.
You don’t want to end up like one of my kids on a recent movie outing. Where we live there’s only one small theater that commonly shows only two movies at a time. On this day the grandparents took them to the theater where my seven year old ran straight to the Aquaman door only to find out they were seeing Mary Poppins. This concert was not like that punch to the gut. Not only did we get to see both movies, neither sucked. Flogging Molly and Social Distortion, I will definitely partake of your offerings in the future.
Social Distortion Slideshow!
Flogging Molly Slideshow!
Review and Photography by Cortney Lesovoy
The Tampa Bay heavy metal scene is not dead. Slipknot packed over 14,000 people into Live Nation Amphitheater from front to back on Wednesday, Sept. 4 for their Knotfest Roadshow tour with openers Volbeat, Gojira and Behemoth.
The nine-piece rocked out covered in jumpsuits and spooky masks on a two-tier stage all night and began their set with “People = Shit,” their second track off their second studio album that was released in 2001, and the fans knew every word. From the start of their set at 9:15 p.m., horns and bodies flew nonstop on top of the crowd through their 17-song setlist including two encores.
The band only played two songs, “Unsainted” and “Solway Firth,” off their newest record We Are Not Your Kind that was released back in August by Roadrunner Records. This left the rest of the show for fan-favorites and top songs over the past 24 years such as “Before I Forget,” “Psychosocial” and the much-loved first encore song “Spit It Out.”
The world’s biggest heavy metal band came ready to party with visual effects that included a mesmerizing light show, pyrotechnics and a conveyor belt on the second level of the stage where band members showed off their moves.
Many show-goers expressed worry about a cancelation of the show on social media platforms days before the show because of Hurricane Dorian. Much of Florida’s east coast was under a hurricane watch the day of the show.
“There wasn’t any f---ing way a goddamn hurricane was keeping us from f---ing coming down here,” Slipknot singer Corey Taylor announced to the crowd.
There was not a single boom of thunder, strike of lightning or single rain drop that came from the sky during the night. Rumor has it Hurricane Dorian couldn’t handle the heat, and we’re not talking about Florida’s humid weather.
“I know a lot of f---ing people chickened out because they weren’t sure if the storm was going to be there. You tell those motherf---ers what they missed tonight,” Taylor said.
Taylor is referencing his energetic, attention-grabbing Iowa band with two percussionists and a drummer paired with the sweaty, buzzing crowd that jumped around and banged their heads in sync with each other until the last note of “Surfacing,” Slipknot’s second encore.
The tour package will continue their trek through more of the U.S. and across the world in the coming weeks. Die-hard “Knot” fans and those who are just getting introduced to the band will not want to miss it.
Author and Photographer: Anthony Cannella
As the year continues for Periphery after their recent album HAIL STAN released on April 5, we can assure you they have been nothing but busy! Just a couple weeks after their album was released is when we had the opportunity to have the day with them at the House Of Blues in Chicago. Their set is everything that a Periphery fan could ever want as they mix things up to perfection playing songs off their previous five albums along with their hits from album number six, HAIL STAN. If you have ever seen this band live, there is no surprise on why this band has been successful since 2005. Their style of Metal brings the crowd to make any venue shake from start to finish, making it an amazing experience for all Metal fans. If you haven’t had the opportunity to witness a Periphery show yet, which we highly suggest you do, it is definitely not too late. As we have said before, this band has been busy with touring, but they are not planning on stopping anytime soon as they have their two upcoming tours! Check out below to see how crazy the show was in Chicago at the House Of Blues and then scroll down to view upcoming tour dates that are coming up very soon! You will certainly not be disappointed!
Shinedown and Badflower End Strong On The ATTENTION ATTENTION Tour But Are Nowhere Close To Being Done This Year!
Author and Photographer: Anthony Cannella
Badflower photos by Anthony Cannella
As this tour officially comes to an end, you can only imagine how it was due to the lineup Shinedown blessed us with. Each band produced a level of energy that was matched perfectly that gave the crowd a night of Rock and Metal that they certainly won’t forget. Badflower came out strong as they gave the crowd exactly what they wanted along with the performances of their songs off their recently released DEBUT album “OK, I’M SICK”. This album is officially out on all platforms and it is definitely giving Badflower the attention that they deserve! If you missed Badflower on this stretch of shows, don’t worry because they are not even close to being done yet when it comes to touring. Check out the dates below to see where you can catch these Rockstar’s next!
Shinedown photos by Anthony Cannella
When Badflower finished with their set, Shinedown wasted no time as they proved why they’ve been one of the best Rock/Metal bands of our time. From the beginning of their set to the end, Brent Smith and his band of some of the best in the industry controlled that crowd like we haven’t seen before. Shinedown is genuinely a band that you must see as they give you all of their hits throughout the years, while they tie in their new stuff off their Attention Attenion album. Their energy and intensity throughout their set honestly goes unmatched, which leaves you talking about the experience until you can see them again! If you missed them on this tour do not worry, due to the fact that Shinedown is going to be very busy for the rest of this year! Check out the tour dates below and believe us when we tell you that you do not want to miss out on this opportunity!
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