The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus recalls 2006 Diva Search finals

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus is a busy -- but happy -- band right now. The Middleburg, Fla., quintet recently made their live television debut on WWE's 2006 $250,000 Diva Search finals, and performed on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and DIRECTV's "CD USA." They recently wrapped up the Vans Warped Tour in the United States and Canada, and they're still touring on their own. Their first album, "Don't You Fake It," debuted at No. 25 on the U.S. Billboard charts in July, and their song "In Fate's Hands" is on the popular new EA Sports football video game, Madden NFL 07. Ronnie Winter, lead singer of the busy band, took a few moments to talk exclusively with while the band was traveling from California to Reno, Nev., for a performance.

"Being at the Diva Search Finals was cool. We didn't really know what to expect because we knew it would be different than what you see on TV. It was cool watching the camerawork and all the extra people working really hard to make the show happen. You don't get to see that and appreciate that when you're actually watching it at home. When you're there, it's quite an event," Winter said.

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus found it an honor to be part of WWE's 2006 $250,000 Diva Search because they are self-proclaimed "old school" WWE fans. The band's first single, "Face Down," is an official song of the Diva Search.

"It varies from guy to guy, but I would say definitely that's why we came out -- we don't do anything that we don't like, but some of us like it more than others. … I grew up watching wrestling. We haven't really watched it in a while because we've been on the road so much and you don't have cable when you're on the road. But my tour manager always goes online to and gives us updates when a main event -- like WrestleMania or SummerSlam -- and tells us who won and who lost and keeps us posted.
I was more of an old-schooler. I'm a big Ultimate Warrior, Jake ‘the Snake,' Ricky ‘The Dragon' Steamboat kind of fan, Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, ‘Rowdy' Roddy Piper. My grandpa and I used to watch Saturday Night Main Event together -- that was pretty cool. It was like a bonding thing. So I guess I grew up kind of looking up to the Superstars because they were larger than life."

Since The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus has been so busy touring lately, the band hasn't had much time to watch TV, so they weren't able to follow the 2006 $250,000 Diva Search from the start, but at the finals, the band quickly picked a favorite from the final three.

"I did, I did, but unfortunately she was eliminated. I was going for the girl who lost, actually -- J.T. Everyone had their own favorite, but I think the general consensus in the band was definitely J.T," Winter said.

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus -- frontman Winter, guitarists Duke Kitchens and Elias Reidy, bassist Joey Westwood and drummer Jon Wilkes -- found being part of the 2006 $250,000 Diva Search finals such a positive experience, Winters said they wouldn't hesitate to work with WWE again.

"It was fun. We had a good time. They were very nice to us. It's cool because growing up as a kid I was watching it, and buying the toys and shirts and all that kind of stuff. And you actually go and you're kind of part of it and it's really nostalgic. It was an honor."

Winters had a message for the WWE fans, too:
"Hey, how it's going? Nice to meet you. If you like rock 'n' roll, obviously you probably do if you like wrestling -- they seem to go hand-in-hand -- then you'll probably like us. Check us out."

For more on The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, visit Check them out on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Sept. 7 at 12:05 a.m./11:05 p.m. CT on ABC.

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