The Ready Set’s Jordan Witzigreuter on his busy 2011 and plans for 2012
Jordan Witzigreuter of the Ready Set has had a busy year, what with playing Warped Tour, releasing an EP (Feel Good Now) and gearing up to record a new album. Before a recent tour stop in Canton, Ohio, Witzigreuter updated AP on his plans for the rest of 2011 and beyond. For more information about his forthcoming new album, be sure to pick up AP #282, in stores now!
Interview: Mike Martin
In your AP Most Anticipated interview, you said you don't write well while on tour because there are too many distractions. Do you have a lot of stuff written now, or will it require more time after tour to finish up writing?
I'm spending most of January in L.A. working on the new album. I've actually been managing to get a lot of stuff done while on the road, which is surprising. This is the first time that it has ever happened. I've never actually been known to be productive while on tour. There is a ton of new stuff; I have a lot of songs already done. I'm just going to be writing a ton more, so I will have a lot of stuff to pick from. It's exciting.
Musically, what can fans expect from the new music? What direction are you headed? Are you going for the same kind of musical vibe?
I don't know. I guess the only way to say it is just broader. I just want it to be better. I don't want to put out the same thing that I put out on the last EP or the last album. I want it to be a different thing, but still have the definitive things that kind of make it the Ready Set. I try not to overthink too much the direction that I want to go in. It just has to be a progression. That's all I really care about. I want to make things a little less electronic, maybe, and more just all over the place. We'll see what happens.
In your Most Anticipated interview, you also mentioned the idea of working with big producers. Even though your music is different from some of those artists that big producers have worked with, do you believe that the way the music is produced could help the Ready Set to reach a larger audience? What is it about the producers that you really admire?
Yeah, it could definitely help. When it comes down to it, a lot of the time if you want your song to be played on the radio and you're a new artist, if you can attach a big producer’s name on it, it's a lot more likely some radio stations will pick it up if they see that. That's one aspect of it. But with the way I write, it's really fun to work with those kinds of producers, because it's something out of the ordinary from what they normally work with. A lot of times, they just write the whole song and then somebody records it. I like being able to just make it 100 percent my own, but still have that cool pop edge that those producers can put on it. I'm really into big songwriters and the bigger names in the pop world because it's a cool thing to me. Those are the kind of people that I look up to in the music industry, the people that are constantly writing huge songs that everybody knows. It's just such an awesome thing.
You're re-releasing Tantrum Castle, correct? What made you decide to re-release and remaster it?
The whole thing just sounds terrible. I recorded the whole thing in my basement. I used to write songs where I didn't pay any attention to structure or anything. I just wrote whatever came out and sounded cool. I decided to re-master it and make it sound a little bit better. It's kind of one of those things where I wanted to put that out just to show people what this was to me before I kind of started taking it really seriously. That was a time where it was still sort of a hobby, it was just for fun. It's rough. It's all Autotune-y, and I did it in Garage Band. I think it's just a fun, nostalgic thing.
A lot of bands are releasing Christmas music this year. Will you be releasing any Christmas music this year?
No, it's the first year that I haven't.
If you did another Christmas song, would you want to do an original song or cover something?
I want to cover "Jingle Bells" as sung by those dogs. Have you heard that version? I hear it on the radio a lot; it's just a dog barking, and I think they set it to a keyboard. The dog, like, barks along with the melody of the song. I don't know how that's a popular Christmas song, but that's the one. That's the one I want to do. I have to find a dog to do the vocals though. We'll cross that bridge when we get there next year.
Because you're only 22 years old, what sacrifices have you had to make besides the typical "being away from family and friends?" Is there anything you wish that you could have experienced or maybe something you missed out on?
I don't feel like I ever sacrificed anything. You're just kind of thrown out there in the real world. Right from when I graduated, I was out fending for myself with a couple of my friends, touring and trying to do things that way. I don't know. It would have been cool to get the actual college experience, but we probably have much more fun parties on tour anyway. All of my friends are people on the road. It's not like I really left anything behind. This is where my life is.
Where do you see pop music going in the future and where do you see the Ready Set fitting into that scene?
It's super dancey right now. It's definitely very European-sounding or clubby, really. I think things are going to revert back to real instruments soon. Within the next few years [I think] more organic sounds are going to become the norm, which I'm really excited about. From the get-go, that's always something I've wanted to incorporate more into my music. When that day comes, I think the fun thing about being a pop thing is that you're not necessarily confined to being one style. I can do the organic thing and I can do the electronic thing if I want. If I was a rock band and I decided to put out dance songs, it might come off as, "What are you trying to do? Are you trying to just get hits or something?" I'm just excited. I think it's one of those things where it's going to be cool either way. I'm just excited to adapt and see what I can do with wherever it goes, because the whole thing is unpredictable, weird and crazy. alt