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Last updated: Thu. May. 15, 2014 - 07:05 am EDT

Fort Wayne native turned rock star finds success with The Ready Set

Musician releases third album, starts summer tour

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Fort Wayne native and Homestead graduate Jordan Witzigreuter is the lone man behind the band The Ready Set, which releases a third album this month and kicks off a tour with the Van's Warped Tour this summer. With electronic overtones and catchy choruses, The Ready Set gives fans an electro-pop anthem to signalong to.

For more information, check out the following websites:

www.thereadyset.com

www.facebook.com/thereadyset

www.twitter.com/thereadyset

www.instagram.com/thereadyset

www.youtube.com/user/thereadyset

Area Van's Warped Tour Dates:

-Thursday, July 3 at Kilpsch Music Center in Noblesville

- Wednesday, July 16 at Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati

-Thursday, July 17 at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

- Friday, July 18 at The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Mich.

- Saturday, July 19 at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, Ill.

Check out the Van's Warped Tour website at www.vanswarpedtour.com for ticket information.

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Fort Wayne native Jordan Witzigreuter fondly remembers his first show. It was in the back of a downtown coffee shop near an exposed brick wall, and it was just him, his guitar and a few people drinking coffee over conversation.

Since his first gig, a lot has changed for Witzigreuter. Then he was just a Homestead student with a dream of making it big as a musician, but now he's a rock star living in Los Angeles and releasing his third full length album “The Bad & The Better.”

With electronic overtones and catchy choruses, The Ready Set gives fans electro-pop anthems to sign along to.

Witzigreuter created The Ready Set in the basement of his childhood home. He wrote the music and lyrics, recording it all on his own computer. But then in 2009 his dream became a reality when Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz signed The Ready Set to his label Decaydance Records.

“I started playing music when I was 11. My mom thought it would be a good idea for me to start playing drums, which I had never done before. Then I really started to love it. It really clicked with me. Then I started playing in bands when I was 13 and 14, always playing drums until I was 18 when I started doing it all myself. I wanted to try writing and I wanted to try and do the front man thing,” he said.

But, it wasn't as easy as he thought. Even today, he said it's all still a learning experience.

“I've gotten to see the world. I feel really thankful to see all these different walks of life and parts of the world. I think that also comes across in the writing and music, too. It has all made me really grow as a person,” he said.

Five years have passed since the release of his band's debut album, “I'm Alive, I'm Dreaming,” which hit No. 3 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart thanks to the success of the first single, “Love like Woe.”

But as much as he enjoys exploring the globe sharing his music, he thinks he couldn't have made it so far without having such a humble life growing up in Fort Wayne.

“I've always thought that it's really cool to come from a city like Fort Wayne because I think I have more appreciation for things being quiet. Here in L.A. everything is hectic. But starting in Fort Wayne I was able to focus on my music. Starting in a town like Fort Wayne feels like it's better because I don't get lost in those things you can get caught up in when you're doing music in a big city. There's not as many distractions. It keeps you grounded,” he said.

While he doesn't make it home as much as he'd like, it's because he lives for touring on the road. Witzigreuter is the kind of artist who feeds off interaction with fans, which is why he is so excited about the upcoming album release as well as his next tour – the ever-popular nationwide Van's Warped Tour.

“The thing that made me want to be in a band and tour around the country was going to shows every weekend in Fort Wayne. There were shows in basements or random places that my friends would put on, and they would book bands from out of state that were touring, and I'd see these bands come through to play a show, then be off to the next place. I was always really inspired by that, by seeing people quit their lives at home and get on the road and make something of it. I saw that and I wanted to give it a try,” he said.

David Conway, Witzigreuter's manager, said he found out about The Ready Set when Witzigreuter's mom emailed him some tracks. From there, he knew there was something special about the music.

“Most of the time in pop music, other people write songs for the artist and then the artist sings it, but he was doing it all from his basement. He was doing it alone and playing for $25 a night in basements traveling around the country in his car. I just knew if he did all that on his own then he really wants to do this. The drive he has is just as intriguing to me as the music itself. Instead of going to college, he used all the money he saved up to make music and go on tour. So I just love his passion. As soon as I met him, I respected his motivation,” Conway said.

That passion can be heard in his new album “The Bad & The Better” that comes out May 27.

He calls it his most honest album.

“It's the first time I went into the studio with the most open mind possible. I wrote everything I wanted to write. It's still the same sort of thing I've done but a more advance version. It's a step above. It's true to myself as an artist,” he said.

jgoldsborough@news-sentinel.com


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