Danny Resnick of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus: “Read. Learn. Listen”

Read. Learn. Listen. Find people who are doing it better than you and study them. As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Danny Resnick of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. He will talk about his new band Astoria State, and their debut EP, “The Suffer, The […]

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Read. Learn. Listen. Find people who are doing it better than you and study them.

As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Danny Resnick of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. He will talk about his new band Astoria State, and their debut EP, “The Suffer, The Salvage”.

No strangers to the toil and grind of the music business, the members of Astoria State have been professional musicians and road warriors in bands for the past decade. They’ve been supporting members in various projects, and have now decided the time is right to step forward and take the lead roles in a project they’ve been visualizing together for years. The band’s Danny Resnick and Jesse Carroll met while Jesse was filling in on guitar for The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus on a national tour. Danny was a featured player in the support band on that tour, and he and Jesse became fast friends with a shared passion for music. Their symbiotic musical interests would be the force that drew the two together again multiple times over the ensuing years, as they crossed paths both in the studio and while touring. In early 2020 Jesse — whose career had evolved to become the tour manager of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, was given the honor of calling Danny to offer him the position of keyboardist and backing vocalist for TRJA. When touring shut down in early March of last year, the two started serious discussions about making their mutual vision for their own rock band a reality. They began writing together in July, and by September they were recording at TRJA Drummer Jon Espy’s Home Studio in Santa Clarita, CA with The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’s Ron Winter as their producer. Bassist Cameron Horst, a longtime friend of Resnick since their high school days in Anchorage, Alaska was brought in to round out the current lineup. The band’s first two singles were met with resounding applause across the world with the band’s sophomore single, “Leave It To Me” catching the attention of curators everywhere, with adds to key streaming service playlists including Spotify New Noise, All New Rock, and Loudwire Weekly Wire; Apple Music Breaking Hard Rock and New In Rock; Pandora New Rock Now and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Radio. The band received a symphony of press coverage, in the U.S. as well as abroad with features in Broadway World, American Songwriter, All Access, Real Rock Nights, AMP, Vents Magazine, New Music Weekly, Drop The Spotlight, Screamer Magazine, Rock At Night, All Music Magazine, and many more. “Leave It To Me” was the follow-up to Astoria State’s successful debut single “Nobody Knows” that landed placements on Spotify’s New Noise, Loudwire Weekly Wire, Planet Mosh & GigSoup Rock Playlists, along with Apple Music Breaking Hard Rock and Pandora Amp Fresh Cuts Radio. They received early press accolades from Medium, Tinnitist Blog and were named a “Must-Watch Band for 2021” by Substream Magazine.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

Yea no problem! I’m happy to do it! Yea, I was born and raised in Anchorage Alaska, so naturally, I spent tons of time playing outside, camping, hiking, and generally being an active kid. No cell phones and tablets back then haha so my parents always made sure to put both me and my brother in tons of activities from sports to music, so I started Suzuki classical piano lessons when I was probably 4 or 5 years old.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

Sure! So as I said my mom got me into music lessons when I was very young, but admittedly as a kid, I was more interested in sports. It wasn’t until my early teens or in high school that I really started to hear music for what it was, as an emotional outlet for writing and just generally a way to connect with people. It was around then, 14–15 that I taught myself to play guitar on an old 70’s Guild that my mom had always kept in a closet, and started writing my own songs. It was at this point that I decided I wanted to write songs that people connected with, and perform them for people, and that became my primary and at times only focus from then on.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Man. Haha it’s been such a wild ride that it’s hard to point out one interesting story but I suppose living in Hawaii, and getting the call from Jesse saying that “The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus wanted to add a keys player and they wanted it to be me” was a pretty crazy phone call that I didn’t expect. I had almost seen myself not touring anymore and leaving music behind, and out of the blue, Jumpsuit called and offered me the position, and the rest has been a whirlwind.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Oh man! The list of things I’ve done right is shorter haha. One time I dove into the pit from the stage with a wired microphone. Right as I brought the mic to my face, an elbow came flying and smashed it into my face and bloodied me up. On top of which the microphone cable got tangled in a maze of legs haha. Not a good idea. Lesson learned!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Definitely Astoria State. We started this band during the pandemic and launched it in April. Our first single Nobody Knows just seemed like it connected with everyone who heard it, as did the second, Leave It To Me. We just released our debut EP, The Suffer, The Salvage and we are so pumped. Everyone really seems to be enjoying it, and we are really proud of it. We are also on tour with The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, so playing these songs live has just been amazing and the crowd response has just been so cool to see. Aside from being able to play two sets a night with Jumpsuit AND Astoria State, its just been really amazing to see this baby grow, and see people start to really relate to the songs.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

Awesome. Absolutely. The answer to this question is really quite simple, and it comes down to loving each other. Diversity in entertainment and everywhere for that matter; music, film and tv, workplace, social circles, etc — is paramount because — We ARE diverse. We come in every shape, size, color, belief system and background. Going beyond entertainment recognition we all share this planet as home, we all live here. We all struggle, we all feel these same emotions from sadness to madness, loneliness, depression. We all lose loved ones, we all have to work hard to make our way. And similarly, we all have successes, strengths, passions, drives, and talents that make us stand out from the rest. All of these differences and similarities make us unique and special but they also make us part of one community. Humans. Living here on and in this world. Creating a fictitious world on television to represent a world that we don’t live in is fine when we are talking about “Up” and houses that float away with balloons, but I live in this world; I don’t live in a world where every woman looks the same, I don’t live in a world where we are all the same color, I don’t live in a world where we all see things the same, I don’t live in a world without pain. So when the entertainment industry presents this utopia unlike the one we actually live in, it inspires unreasonable expectations about what the world we live in is really like. It diminishes the power of love, empathy, and compassion by eliminating the need to understand, recognize and appreciate the differences between us, and these differences make us who we are. Our differences and our diversity should be celebrated.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Rejoice in your fellow musicians’ successes. We are all in this together and I think so often people get this mentality that another person’s success means, that it’s a success that you don’t get. This is wrong, and we are all in this together. When you see someone getting their moment, celebrate it with them, It’s easy! And the odds are, they worked really hard for that success. Don’t be a hater, instead use it for motivation to work harder on your own talents.
  2. No cold calls. The amount of time, effort, that gets spent on spamming strangers is better spent on your fans that DO CARE and are already supporting you, and on genuine promotion, and on sharpening your craft — it can always get better — no matter how good or established you are.
  3. Don’t forget to just slow down. This time on stage, this time on tour, this time with your fans and friends is a beautiful blessing, don’t forget to enjoy it. We get so focused on the next big goal or mountain to climb that sometimes we don’t even really let ourselves celebrate our own achievements.
  4. LISTEN to the people around you, and the people who know more about the industry than you do. They have incalculable and invaluable knowledge and wisdom.
  5. Read. Learn. Listen. Find people who are doing it better than you and study them.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

WRITE. Stay Humble. Pray. Be Grateful. Appreciate every moment. Don’t lose sight of the goal, and don’t forget why you do this. Make sure to take the time for yourself and for your mind, instrument, voice, etc. WRITE. Never stop writing.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I love this question. This is something I have been passionate about for a very long time, long, before I ever became vegan, or “plant-based” as they say. EVERY DAY, more than 10,000 children die from hunger-related causes, and an estimated 13 million children in the US alone have food insecurity and are hungry. It breaks my heart. Daily. So I am always ever conscious just about portion control, and not wasting food, and giving what I have to give. Astoria State actually made it a cornerstone of our project to take 10% every year and donate it. We each get to decide what organization and charitable cause our 1/3 of the 10% goes to, but mine will always go to hunger organizations.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Wow. So many people. Obviously, I always have to thank my parents and my mother for pushing me into piano at such a young age, obviously, none of us could’ve expected it would lead to the career that it has when I was only 4. Mom I love you dearly 🙂 My brother Josh, and my friends that have always believed in me and supported me over the years. My bandmates in Jumpsuit, as well as Jesse and Cameron for sailing this ship with me in Astoria State. Our attorney Maria, and everyone in our camp is a huge blessing and we couldn’t do it without them. An especially huge thanks always goes out to Ronnie Winter, From RJA. He is not only just a great friend and brother to me, but I couldn’t ask for a better mentor, role model, singer and musician to learn from. He produced Astoria State’s debut EP, has taken us out on tour with Jumpsuit, and he is always there anytime I need advice, council, or even just someone to talk to. He’s just been so supportive of our new Astoria State and we really appreciate him.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

The story of the tortoise and the hare always comes to mind. Ya know you come into this industry not sure of how it’s going to go. Of course, it’s actually not a race, but you do see these landslide ‘overnight’ successes all the time, but what you don’t always see is the years of work that went into the dream and the project. Obviously sometimes it really just is an immediate sensation but most times artists and musicians have been diligently working on this for years or even decades before they ever started to see any sort of recognition or significant success. Some of us are hares. Some of us are tortoises. It’s not about who gets there first, and we can all cross the finish line if we keep pressing on and helping one another along the way. Chris Cornell said it best, “to be yourself is all that you can do”.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

haha oh boy, well I have an MMA crush if you must know. I think that Claudia Gadelha is just one of the raddest and most beautiful people. Her warrior spirit and can-do attitude is something I really relate to, and she strikes me as a very compassionate and caring person. I would love to have lunch with her. Musically speaking, my list is long, (!!) but I think sitting down for lunch with Joyner Lucas would be so cool, he has such a unique style of hip hop that is really captivating.

How can our readers follow you online?

The best place to find all of our info is at www.astoriastate.com we also have a merch store with EVERYTHING you could possibly want at www.astoriastatemerch.com . Follow us on Fb, Instagram, and Twitter @astoriastate and subscribe to our YouTube at www.youtube.com/c/astoriastate

Our debut EP, “The Suffer, The Salvage” is out everywhere now and can be found here https://linktr.ee/astoriastate

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

Thank you!! Any time.

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