Red Jumpsuit Apparatus on troubling, joyful significance of “Face Down”
In 2006, Ronnie Winter, frontman for the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, wrote “Face Down,” his band’s first hit. More than just a radio staple, the song was a personal exorcism for Winter. On this APTV production, he explained all of the emotional heartache and joy that song represents to him.
“We knew we were going to have a good solid push because we signed a record deal,” Winter says about the success of “Face Down.” “We chose [it] first because we decided that if there was no other song that was ever going to be heard for the rest of our career, we wanted it to be that one.”
Ronnie tells APTV that the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus hit was a manifestation of the domestic violence that he and his brother Randy grew up experiencing. A self-described “lyrics guy,” Ronnie said the words for the song came quickly. (“We’ve only just told true stories.”) Winter says his parents resorted to self-medication to make their family work. (“Not everybody gets that perfect red, white and blue, American upbringing.”)
The highly articulate Winter doesn’t sugarcoat his family history as much as he breaks down the pathology of it. The irony is that while Winter was chastising his mother for her substance misuse, it was she who helped him through his alcohol dependence later on.
Winter goes on to discuss the awkward first time he heard “Face Down” on the radio. It was during a radio promotion called “Kegs And Eggs” in a contest winner’s backyard, where the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus appeared while the crowd were drinking beer and eating breakfast. He also discusses his personal fandom for My Chemical Romance, citing his love for “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” and how excited The Black Parade made him. And then during a festival on Winter’s birthday, Gerard Way went on the RJA tour bus.
“I will sing ‘Face Down’ until I am 95 years old,” Winter says. “Because it’s about me. And us. And what we’ve gone through.” It’s another compelling story on APTV.