The Ready Set on His New Album and Hitting the Road for the 2014 Vans Warped Tour

With the release of his third studio album 'The Bad & The Better', Jordan Witzigreuter returns with his infectious brand of dance-ready electro-pop.

Photo by Jared Kocka

Though most fans know Jordan Witzigreuter, a.k.a the wunderkind behind the electro-pop band The Ready Set, from his deliciously catchy, platinum-selling track "Love Like Woe," the Indiana native has a "definitive" new dance anthem he wants you to get acquainted with. 

"Higher," the lead, feel-good single from The Ready Set's third studio album The Bad & The Better (out May 27th on Razor & Tie), is, like most Ready Set songs, extremely catchy. It also doesn't shy away from messages that help fans get out of their slump and onto their feet. "'Higher' is about climbing out of the dark place and the idea that you have the power in your mind to overcome anything life can throw at you," he explained

The Ready Set on His New Album and Hitting the Road for the 2014 Vans Warped Tour
The Ready Set's third studio album The Bad & The Better drops May 27th.

It's this newfound appreciation for songwriting that the 24-year-old singer embraces and explores in The Bad & The Better. "When I listened to songs growing up, I was always struck by a powerful melody, by the feeling," Witzigreuter said in a phone call with Zimbio. "Lyrics were secondary, but they are also the icing on the cake. So I've learned to write better songs that are a lot more cohesive than my earlier stuff." 

The singer sites AFI, NOFX, and metal bands as his early influences, which might come as a surprise to those who are familiar with his sound. Listening to the 12 tracks on the album, it's clear the singer pulls from his alternative rock roots and has an appreciation for pop, techno, and an array of other genres. "Pop can be so incredibly vague," he said. "There's so many ways to blend things and make it all over the place without it sounding jarring."

Witzigreuter got his start in the industry by making electronic music with a laptop and keyboard in the basement of his childhood home while he was still in high school. Overnight, it seemed, he developed enough of a fan following to play self-booked shows and radio festivals with acts like Maroon 5. In 2009, the singer found himself on his way to stardom when he signed with Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz's Decaydance Records and released his debut album I’m Alive, I’m Dreaming. It reached No. 3 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart a year later. 

The Ready Set on His New Album and Hitting the Road for the 2014 Vans Warped Tour
Photo by Jared Kocka

Five years have passed since then and Witzigreuter, who also plays keyboards, drums, and guitar, reveals that an invigorated sense of creativity has also helped him to achieve a sound in the new album that's truer to who he is. "For the past couple of years, I had been doing tons of stuff with different producers and was in this weird single-chasing game — it got tiring," he said. "Then I got the chance to do an album without thinking about all that stuff. I got to pick who I recorded with, write exactly what I wanted, and do my own thing."

Just watch his new video for "Higher," a sort of homage to old school PSAs, to understand what he means. "In the past, I fell into this really standard pop video, party vibe, which, in essence, isn't really representative of me," he said. "For 'Higher' I wanted to do something that was more bizarre, something that really threw me off."

Witzigreuter will showcase his arsenal of new songs from The Bad & The Better (including his personal favorite "Are We Happy Now?") when he hits the road this summer for the Vans Warped Tour. "The last time I played the Warped Tour in 2011, there were a lot more heavy bands in the lineup. I was one of the few pop acts," he said. "This year, the acts are a lot more broad so it's going to be even better."

I'm the editorial director of Zimbio. Instagram: @anela_bella Twitter: @laniconway