The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus' 'Don't You Fake It,' 10 Years Later
A conversation with Ronnie Winter
Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images
There are a few bands you absolutely must mention when talking about pop punk and all of its subgenres: Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, My Chemical Romance, and the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Aside from MCR, all of these pillars of the emo community are still making music a decade later. Where Fall Out Boy and Panic! thrived on self-doubt and insecurities, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus took off with a song that put the focus on another: a woman in an abusive relationship.
"Face Down" was the lead single off Don't You Fake It, RJA's debut album, which turns 10 today. It skyrocketed the Jacksonville, FL band to the top of the Billboard charts, earned them touring spots with MCR and 30 Seconds to Mars, and a year after its release, led singer Ronnie Winter to partner with a domestic violence awareness team and release a few PSAs. Since then, the band has shifted record labels and embraced another label: the Christian one. Though, Winter says the band and its music have always been Christian, adding that, in terms of beliefs, "there are just some things that labels don’t want you to say, and that's fine."
For those who were immersed in (or even just familiar with) the pop punk scene, Don't You Fake It still hits hard. Winter attributes this to it being born out of the iPod generation and the then newfound ability to carry an infinite number of genres in your back pocket. It allowed for the album to flirt with a number of pop punk variations, which makes it a quintessential 2006 album—timeless but loaded with nostalgia and, due to how well-done it is, free of irony. Ahead, our conversation with Winter on the stories behind the album, embracing their spiritual side, and more.