Mike Kennerty , 2008


Written by: Jason Perlman


The success of Move Along brought in a very young demographic for the band which may not have been expected. Has having that fan base affected the band writing for When The World Comes Down?
We've always had a strong fan base of younger kids. We don't see it as bad thing, cause there's always been a balance of older people too. Especially the in past year we've seen our fan base actually become a lot heavier on the 20-somethings and beyond, so it seems like something is happening where we're transcending a lot of what's expected of us,fan-wise. That or all our formerly young fans are just older now cause we take so damn long to make records! But it didn't affect the writing. We write what we write. Our first focus is to entertain ourselves before we worry about anyone else.


When I last saw the band live it was with Fall Out Boy, which was a while ago. How has the band grown since that time?
We've just seen a lot of the world and done a lot living in that time. We've become closer as a band too. We're still the same people, but as with anyone else, as time goes on your experiences help shape you.


The band, as I recall, has a nice Ohio connection. Can you talk about that?
We were first discovered by Ohio's own Doghouse Records. We're very proud to have been a part of their family. You can definitely trace back all of our success to a 16-year-old intern at that label. We're very lucky to have made our way onto their radar.


Although having song like Move Along be so successful has to be great,how nice is it to tour with a new single to promote and a new record of songs to add to the set list?
It's really nice. But it's also kinda hard! Haha... We're so set on all the old tunes; we forgot what its like to have to think about what we're playing again, which is the case with the new songs. But it's been great so far, and it's really nice to see the reaction a song like "Gives You Hell" brings out in a crowd. It's very different from any other song we've ever played. People genuinely dance!


When writing a song like Gives You Hell, does it start with lyrics and music is written around the words or was a chord or melody struck and lyrics were added later?
Almost all our songs start with Tyson finding a melody in his head, and then the music is developed around that. I think with "Gives You Hell," we had the rare instance where Tyson came up with the keyboard intro, the melody, and a bit of the lyrics simultaneously. It really just came together easily, which songs definitely don't always.


The All American Rejects are definitely a fan-friendly band. Is that hard to maintain as the band's success grows?
No, it's easier actually. As we've gotten more popular we do more signings and meet and greets and all that stuff. We like to say hi to the fans as much as we can. We even have started this thing called Rejects TV on allamericanrejects.com, where we do live video blogs, so fans can talk to us and see what we're up as we do it. It's fun.


How much does the band try to keep the sound of the past as a lot of fans want that when at the same time the maturity of the band is taking the music in a different direction?
Like I said before, we write for ourselves first and foremost. We really are our harshest critics, and if we're not happy nothing moves forward. And we also write what comes to us, not what we think we should. The songs that come out are the songs the All-American Rejects play, as opposed to us trying to write to a particular style. And while I think everything we've done fits in the scope of the band, with When the World Comes Down in particular, we've done a lot of things we never imagined we do, stylistically. Though we love and respect what our fans think, we're the ones that have to like it the most. Its funny, we've written three pretty different records, and each time we put one out we hear about how we've changed and we're not any good anymore, but each time we seem to amass a new set of fans who hadn't been into us before. You can never predict your audience, so there's really no point in trying.


Is it hard to be a Reject when the band has been so accepted?
We're stoked with our lot in life. Though things can get frustrating at times, I think we all know how damn good we got it, so it's hard to admit we've got anything hard.


It was interesting to see the Lancaster, PA video on your site as every person waiting for an autograph was female. Not such a bad thing, no?
We do have a lot of female fans. Not gonna complain about that. I think Lars Ulrich once said "When you look out in the crowd and its half women, that's when you know you've made it."


There are five main aspects to being a successful band nowadays. There is the writing, the recording, the touring, the video making and the promotion. Can promotion overtake the other aspects?
Not really, cause it comes last. It can make the touring a little more grueling than it would be on its own, but it comes with the job. But especially in this day and age, you gotta do whatever you can to promote your band. It's not like the old days.


Gives You Hell definitely takes a shot at American normalcy. Can it be that bad?
No, and we honestly kind of envy that normalcy. A vacation for us is going home and sleeping in our own beds and doing nothing. "Gives You Hell" is actually a very specific bite at a person Tyson does not care too much for. I won't say who, and no one would really know who it is anyway, but I will say it's about a dude and not a girl. There's a little deception in the lyrics in that respect.


Although having time off has to be nice, I am sure being back on the road feels even better!
Well, we never really took much time off. The process of writing and recording When the World Comes Down was a two year endeavor, and we were still throwing in shows every few weeks during the whole process. But it is very nice to have the stress of making the record behind us, and to able to tour in normal manner. We've definitely missed that.


Lastly, what are the plans to head back to the US and hopefully Ohio?
We'll be doing a full-scale US tour in the spring, and I have no doubts we'll be hitting up Ohio. We always have a blast playing there. Tyson once played a show in Cleveland immediately after having his wisdom teeth removed. He was spitting blood on everyone. It was awesome!