Originially published in Issue #13
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Article by Brad Streeter
Jordan Witzigreuter, better known as Fort Wayne, Indiana’s “The Ready Set” could possibly be music’s best kept secret. Fresh out of high school, this 19-year-old has been referred to as a “musical prodigy” by those closest to him as he mastered the drums by age eleven and moved forward to reach himself piano, guitar and bass. With the development of The Ready Set, Witzigreuter has expanded his sound and has created an undeniably catchy pop/dance fusion that is truly his own.
SMP: You have self-written and recorded your past two releases. What is something about your music or writing/recording process that you think people should know?
TRS: When I’m writing, everything starts with piano and vocals. I completely structure the song and make the melodies with just those two elements. Then, I go and make a real version of the song, adding everything else. That’s why almost all my songs are piano based.
SMP: Being only nineteen now, and being on the road so much lately, what are some lessons you’ve learned? What kind of adjustments have you had to make being away from home so much?
TRS: Being away from home is hard sometimes, but thanks to technology and the ability to communicate via text message, everything is okay! I’ve learned a great deal; more than I learned in all four years of high school. The main lesson I’ve learned is to keep everything running smoothly, particularly your van. Don’t run out of gas and don’t break down. Plus, make a serious effort to get along with your bandmates. This is the most important thing of all. Usually if one person is miserable, the others deal with it and in turn bring down the positive mood.
SMP: I know you pride yourself on your live performance. How would you describe your live show?
TRS: Our live show is different than many of the bands in the genre I’ve been placed in. The Ready Set has developed a relatively intricate light show to keep the live performance interesting. This is something I haven’t seen done by many other artists to date. My main concerns are making certain that my vocals are on par while maintaining an upbeat and energetic performance. I don’t like for their to be a boring moment. Energy is huge for me; I always liked the bands with the most energy, so I like to try and be that band.
SMP: What are your favorite cities to be in while on tour?
TRS: Los Angeles is one of the coolest places I’ve been. Santa Monica, Hollywood – all those places are awesome, not to mention our first show in Hollywood was great. A lot of the time on tour I’m surprised with show turnouts in smaller towns. I’ve played in small towns to way bigger crowds than in major cities. It sort of becomes a pattern, and you start to look forwards to the middle-of-nowhere to medium sized towns more than big cities. Less shows go through those areas, so more people are excited when they actually do!
SMP: What makes The Ready Set different than other bands doing the same style of music as you?
TRS: I don’t want to say the my music is better than other electronic artists, because that not something I like to consider, but I do think it’s different. Granted, any fifteen-year-old kid can get a Macbook, make Garageband beats and record auto-tuned vocals (though when I started The Ready Set I had no idea anyone was doing that. The fact that there is even a “scene” for this kind of music is bizarre to me). I’ve always tried to get people to look past the obvious cliches of the genre and see my songs as something more. A lot of my stuff is written like it’s for a style of music other than electronica, structure-wise. If I changed the instruments i used, some of the songs could pass for pop-punk songs, some of the songs could be hip-hop, and some could be 70’s pop songs. I’m excited for people to hear my new record because I think’s going to get that point across more effectively than my old tracks. I don’t want to be pigeon-holed as another kid with a computer; I care too much about what I do.
SMP: What places, goals, or aspirations do you see or want to accomplish in the future for TRS?
TRS: I’m going to record in Atlanta, GA with Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount (Cartel, Mayday Parade) in mid-March, so I’m hoping to have the new record out in early June. After that, I’ll be touring through the rest of 2009 and I’m sure 2010 will be a similar year (even better, I hope!). I just want to stay busy at all times. If I’m not touring, I want to be writing. In terms of goals, I’d like to hop on some larger tours and play all the popular festivals including Warped Tour and Bamboozle. Basically, I’m just looking to spread the current fan base and work to have my new music hit new ears. The more people that hear my music, the happier I am.