Exclusive Interview: The All-American Rejects on New LP and Side Project
There was not a time when a punk rock act had not had its affair on the music industry and one to regard for the existence in the 2000s era would be The All-American Rejects. Emerging from Oklahoma, the band blew to the scene with their "Swing, Swing". Two studio albums and several awards trophies after, now they have come to their new effort, "When the World Comes Down".
To AceShowbiz, the band's guitarist Mike Kennerty shares about the new album, how thicker in sound this one to the previous two and what their takes are to promote the album. Beside that, Mike also dishes out on what he does when not making music, his new label that he creates with bandmate Tyson Ritter as well as how the band views the Presidential Election in relation to their new record.
ASB: You guys took sometime off after "Move Along" before moving forward with the new album, what was the reason for this?
Mike: We actually didn't take anytime off. We slowed down on touring, but writing for "When the World Comes Down" started immediately, and all the time it seems like we spent inactive, we were actually hulled up creating the record.
ASB: How did you challenge yourself to follow the success of "Move Along" in "When the World Comes Down"?
Mike: We just set out to make a record we're proud of first. That was one of the things that took us so long with "When the World Comes Down." From way early on in the process we had the faith of our label. They were confident we were going to turn a good record, but we weren't so sure. It took us a long to time to make sure the songs were just right, and that we had just the right songs. But when we finish a record and we're the ones happy with it, that's when we feel like we've made something to stand up to our past successes.
ASB: What's with the new album's title and the cover art where the band's logo is in fire? Any specific meaning to this?
Mike: The title "When the World Comes Down" comes from a lyric in the song "Mona Lisa." The song is about dealing with struggles, and how, with the right companion, you can take any punch the world throws at you. It's apocalyptic and romantic at the same time. The cover art sort of reflects the same sentiment. We loved the idea of building a real sculpture and having the cover being a real photograph, not some photoshop creation. This beautiful vibrant reflection of our band, but at the same time it's sort of depicting a destruction of us. We just thought it offered a great image.
ASB: "Monalisa" sure has its purpose of meaning but how much has the presidential election influenced this record as a whole? At all?
Mike: The world around us had a great influence on the record, so the election definitely played into that, but I wouldn't point it out as the central influence. There's a lot of good and bad going on right now, and along with that we wrote songs that showed the good and bad we see in the world. Some songs have more negativity than others, but I think there's an underlying current of hope throughout the record.
ASB: What is your take on the newly elected president Obama actually?
Mike: We definitely are ready to welcome some change around here, but Obama has got some work ahead of him. A lot of people are rejoicing like the savior is here, but come January, the mistakes of the past decade aren't just going to go away. We'll be feeling the aftershocks of what's-his-face for awhile to come. But I'm interested to see where Obama takes things in the next couple years.
ASB: So we also heard that every song was created in a different time, place and condition. When you are writing, do you always picture the songs fit to play live on stage?
Mike: With this record, definitely not. With "Move Along" we all got into a room alone and played out those songs until we were the tightest unit we could possibly be. We could have walked out onto a stage and played those songs like they were old hat before we'd even recorded a second of music. We attempted to approach the songs for "When the World Comes Down" that way, but it just didn't work. It wasn't right for these songs. They called for some crafting that we just couldn't do as two guitars, a bass, and drums in a room. They called for elements that required to do a lot of song arranging as we recorded. It was different for us, but it was an experience we all loved and needed to make this record right.
ASB: What do you think will be the single after "Gives You Hell"?
Mike: Not sure yet. There have been a lot of choices thrown around, but its just going to end up being what's right when the time comes. Hopefully "Gives You Hell" still has some legs on it to carry us through a couple more months.
ASB: The album only comes on December 16 but you guys have been touring pretty hard. Would you say that there will be much more touring after the release?
Mike: Definitely. With "Move Along" we toured for 2 1/2 years straight, and we're setting out to do the same this time around. We've got a big US tour planned for the spring, as well as bunch of dates in Europe, Australia, and Japan. We're excited!
ASB: If you are to name one band that you enjoy touring with, who will it be and why?
Mike: We always love going out with Motion City Soundtrack. They're great dudes and a great band. Hopefully we'll to share the stage with them some more in the near future.
ASB: It has been the latest trend to include artists from other genres to collaborate. Would you say that one day you will get out of your circle and recruit Timbaland for example?
Mike: Haha... I don't see it happening, but I guess you never know. We write and play what comes to us, and right now the things we do aren't what someone like Timbaland would be called in for.
ASB: How do you guys manage your cohesiveness as a group after several years together?
Mike: We grow closer the more we're together, so there's no real managing involved. We're lucky to be a band that's pretty functional and actually gets along well. That kind of thing doesn't happen as often as you'd think.
ASB: We want to know more about you guys outside of music. When not touring and working in the studio, what do you usually do?
Mike: Haha... I go home and work in a studio. Music was my hobby that happened to become my main job. I just don't know anything else. I love recording, so in my spare time I try to record records. Its fun. We have a band out on tour with us right now called the City Lives that we've signed to a label Tyson and I started called Edmond Records. I'm producing their record, so that's what's been occupying the very few free moments I have.
ASB: What do you guys have in mind for next project? Have you started working again while on tour?
Mike: This record was a marathon for us, in every little aspect. And just today did we finally get to hold the final product in our hands. So for right now, we're ready to sit back for a second and just be happy and hit the road.
ASB: Any special message you want to deliver to your fans out there?
Mike: We appreciate our fans so much! And we have something set up on AllAmericanRejects.com called Rejects TV, where we get on and do live video blogs where kids can comment and talk to us as we film. We broadcast shows, we sitting around doing stupid shit, we do anything and everything. We just like the fans to be able to see who we really are and share in that.
Look forward to The All-American Rejects being AceShowbiz.com's Artist of the Week on Monday, December 15.
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