The Ready Set: Kicking Off A Warped Summer

thereadyset062514The Ready Set has returned to the Vans Warped Tour this year, with a brand new album entitled The Bad & The Better. Now signed to Razor & Tie Records, The Ready Set continues delivering the super infections pop rock goodness. Best known for songs such as Love Like Woe and Give Me Your Hand (Best Song Ever), mastermind Jordan Witzigreuter and band has been heating up the Warheads Stage and will continue to do so throughout the long hot summer. On a particularly mild day in San Diego, we caught up with Jordan to find out more about The Ready Set’s grooving songs, advice he would give unsigned bands looking for a record deal, playing Warped vs. club shows, screaming girls, and other pop-tastic topics of interest. Read on…

readysetjl3We’re here with Jordan of The Ready Set. How’s Warped Tour been going? What have been some of the highlights?
So far, it’s been amazing. I think my favorite show has been San Antonio. Just because, we played really early and I didn’t expect that many people to show up. It was tons of people, 3-4 thousand people. It was sick.

The Bad & The Better, where did that title come from?
It means just perspective on everything. I think there’s good in every bit of bad and bad in every bit of good. So it’s like, what is real is what you decide to focus on and see. That’s my headspace when I was writing it.

Do you feel bad, or better?
Better, predominantly.

readysetjl4How much pressure was it to be on a major label? What advice would you give a band seeking a deal?
It wasn’t that much pressure, I had a really good team. The only problem with it, a lot of people who are higher up that aren’t really necessary working with you can call the shots on things that they might not have any idea about, which sucks. But, if you’re trying to get a record deal, try to do as much as you can without one for as long as possible. If you can’t bring something to the table, they’re not going to look at you as a priority and if you’re not succeeding right off the bat, you’re just going to be stuck for a long time. You have to make sure – create your value far before you ever get involved with labels.

readysetjl5Do you ever get used to the girls screaming during your set?
We looked at it as a good indication that things were going well. If it wasn’t happening, I’d be a little more – ah that kind of sucks. It’s cool, ultimately it’s because of music and they like what I’ve written. It’s a cool feeling. You can see things on social media, people being your fan. You can see numbers, but it drives it home when you see it in person. When you see someone really passionate about your performance right in front of them.

If you could open up for any band, from now or the past, who would it be and why?
Michael Jackson. It would be massive. If you look at someone now, I’m gonna go with Prince. Prince would be sweet to open for. I imagine they’d be massive shows, and I guess it’s all pop music. Somehow I justify it as that. That it would make sense because I make pop songs.

Wouldn’t you be nervous going on before Prince?
J: Oh yeah, I’d be terrified. I’d probably – there’s no way we’d be anywhere near as good. So it would be like, I’d be terrified

readyset9When you look back on your album Tantrum Castle, what do you think of it now?
I was trying to figure out how to write songs during that time. I was going with my first thought on everything. I didn’t really have any grasp of structure and how to actually write a cohesive song. It was like a kid sitting in his basement trying to figure out what he’s doing and it’s really lucky and cool that it became the launching point of everything. There’s a lot of things I like about that album. I find that people tell me they like that one a lot too, which is surprising. It’s like a moment in time, that was me being 18 years old just writing songs. Getting out of high school.

Is there any chance you’d revisit it or re-release it or anything?
I did a re-mastered version of it that came out a few years ago, but I don’t think I would ever necessarily re-write any of those songs. If I did it now, I think I’d probably end up trashing the cool things about it, like the lack of structure. All the weirdness about it that made it cool for people. I think it would kind of cheapen it, I’d probably just leave it and let it exist.

readyset8What did you think about Linkin Park playing Ventura Warped Tour? Did you get to see them?
It was awesome. I got to see a little bit of it, but the crowd was so crazy, I didn’t want to watch from back stage. I knew that would be just as intense and there would be just as many people trying to get on side stage. I tried to watch way far back in the crowd, but I didn’t really have that good of luck. I’m not very tall so I couldn’t see over everybody. It was sick, it sounded great. It was cool they did that thing with all the other singers from different bands.

Is it important for bands to be positive role models for their fans?
I think it depends on a band. You shouldn’t treat your fans like anything less than they are. I don’t think a lot of people are going necessarily to musicians to be their role models as far as day to day life. So I think it depends on what you want to do. There’s a lot of people I think that take a lot of pride in being super role model-ish. Then there’s a lot of people that don’t really think about it. It just happens as it happens. I try to be conscious of that kind of thing. I’m aware that my fan base is kind of all over the spectrum. There are kids who listen to me that are pretty young. I try not to be, an idiot or anything. I try to be chill, do stuff that my mom wouldn’t be mad about me doing publicly.

readyset7Complete this sentence. If I have to play Love Like Woe again live, I’ll…
Probably not be that bummed out. It never got old playing that song, it’s still fun. I have no negative feelings, everyone asks that. I don’t. I think the coolest thing to me is that isn’t the song that gets the biggest reaction anymore. That’s the song that gave me the opportunity to do all of this.

What’s up next for you after Warped?
A headlining tour in the fall. We haven’t announced it yet, we’re still putting it together. But it’s full U.S. and it’s going to be really cool, it’s the first time I’ve done a headlining tour in a few years. I’m excited to get back to the dark, indoor shows where you can have cool lights.

Do you prefer those to the craziness of Warped Tour?
There’s something cool about this type of thing, it’s so rapid fire and you only have thirty minutes to set all of your stuff up and do a real brief soundcheck. It’s almost like you’re winging it every day. I think that’s cool and I think out here, its a total experience for people to come here. It’s not like someone is coming to watch a band kill it and sound amazing. The sound quality of an outdoor show is so crazy and there are so many variables that I think out here, it’s all about having a good time and going crazy. Whereas, in a club show it has to be intricate and run like clockwork. There’s a lot more room for natural things to happen on outdoor shows I think.

Do you have any messages for your fans who are reading this?
Yes, thank you for being my fans. I much appreciate that, and if you haven’t checked out my album The Bad & The Better, please do. It’s on iTunes and Best Buy. I’ll be on tour all summer on Warped Tour, then all fall and probably beyond that. I’ll be around.

(Interview and Candid Photo by Ken Morton – Warped Tour Photos Live by Jack Lue)

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