The Ready Set
from Fort Wayne, IN
Growing up in Indiana, Jordan Witzigreuter spent most of his early adolescence locked in his bedroom methodically studying stacks of CDs to learn the art of crafting infectious melodies. By his mid-teens, the singer, songwriter, drummer, and keyboardist began writing and recording his own songs under the name The Ready Set, which quickly gained a following for its explosive brand of electropop. Deciding to forego college and devote himself to playing self-booked shows, Witzigreuter soon caught the attention of Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz -- who promptly made The Ready Set the first signing to his then newly formed Decaydance Records/Sire Records joint venture.
Marked by a mammoth pop sound, The Ready Set's debut album I'm Alive, I'm Dreaming bowed at No. 3 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart upon its June 2010 release. Hitting No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100, the JR Rotem-produced single "Love Like Woe" went platinum, selling more than 1.4 million copies, while its video racked up more than 16 million views on YouTube. The Ready Set kicked off 2011 by headlining the Glamour Kills tour, then released "Young Forever" (a single whose video emerged as the No. 1 most-watched video on MTV.com), followed by the Feel Good Now EP. Now The Ready Set is gearing up for the fall 2012 reveal of its second album with the recently released "Give Me Your Hand (Best Song Ever)" -- an epic, club-ready single destined for party-anthem status.
While "Give Me Your Hand (Best Song Ever)" veers toward pumped-up dance-pop, The Ready Set steadily synthesizes a lifetime of influences into a stunningly diverse sound. "I hate buying a 12-song CD and having 12 of the same songs," says Witzigreuter, pointing out that his debut offers "pop stuff, techno, rock -- there's everything." In addition to revealing Witzigreuter's voracious musical appetite, The Ready Set's output reflects the extent of this wunderkind's abilities. Playing every instrument on I'm Alive, I'm Dreaming, Witzigreuter garnered praise from Spin for his "pop-punk style soaring choruses, smooth R&B-style passages, and quick-fire sing-rap verses."
Although it was his pop sensibility that initially got him signed by Wentz, Witzigreuter is fiercely dedicated to bringing a rock energy to The Ready Set. "I want our shows to feel like those small hardcore shows I went to when I was a kid where everyone would just lose their minds, but bigger and with crazy lights," says the 22-year-old, noting that skateboarding (aka "the gateway drug to punk rock") led him to discover Green Day and other rock bands. A workaholic who's more up for a night spent dissecting the Billboard Hot 100 than shooting tequila, Witzigreuter adds that he's much more interested in continuing to push The Ready Set into new musical directions than in soaking up the glamorous chaos of the rock life. "All I've ever really wanted out of music is to just keep writing and touring and not to have to worry about living paycheck to paycheck," he says. "You know, to just keep doing what I've been doing since I was in high school."