Interview: The All American Rejects
We speak to Tyson as their UK tour gets underway about the new album and horny British fans.
We took a phone call from Tyson, frontman of The All American Rejects a week or so back, as they were just getting started with their mini UK tour...
Tyson: Hey, what's up man?
Rocklouder: Hey Tyson, thanks for giving us a call. So you guys are in the UK now then?
T: Yeah, been here for 3 days now. First show is tonight in Glasgow.
RL: Awesome. What venue are you at tonight?
T: Weâ€™re playing The Gararge, or is it Garage?
RL: Ummm, either! Either is good.
T: Iâ€™ve been corrected many a time over here...
RL: Are these the first shows you've played anywhere for the new album?
T: Yeah, we've actually only incorporated about 2 new songs into the show in the States, but now we're actually gonna be playing, I think, 4 new ones over here. So you guys will be getting the most of it.
RL: Awesome. How do you enjoy the UK generally for shows... how do the crowds compare to the States?
T: They're rabid! Theyâ€™re totally more... It's weird, I always like to use this illustration because it seems to make sense for people, but it's like The Killers in the States sort of have this non-commercial push and we're a little bit more of a commercially viable band. But over here it seems that we sort of switch roles with them, and they're the commercial ones. You know what I mean?
RL: Yeah, well you've got such a huge following back home...
T: Yeah, it's crazy, but over here the fans have stuck with us in a different sense, 'cause we still get to be some kids secrets, you know what I mean?
RL: Youâ€™ve got the following but without the mainstream attention...
T: Exactly! We're not as commercial in this country, so I think it helps make the fans attach themselves to us even more. I love it, because in the States you've got the 'flavour of the week' fans, but here you've got the kids that made sure they could find your CD 3 months before it came out over here and they're just 10 times hornier.
RL: We were just trying to remember before you called, the last time you were here... was it Give It A Name in 2007?
T: It was a while... yeah, I think it was the Give It A Name thing, the last time we were here.
RL: So you were touring 'Move Along' for quite a while...
T: We did man, we did about 2 and a half years.
RL: And it's down what, like 2 million copies now?
T: Yeah, we did 2 million in the States, and I dunno what we did over here, but it was our most successful record yet and we're really stoked about that.
RL: So was there time off between the touring of that album and hitting the studio or writing for the new one?
T: We don't have lives, so we got straight down into writing. You know, there's really nothing for us in the real world, so we jumped right off the road. We took about 4 weeks off to just collect ourselves and dust our houses, and then we left again to go write.
RL: When and where did you record the album?
T: We recorded it in Los Angeles at Barefoot Recording with Eric Valentine.
RL: So he's done stuff like 'Prophets and Good Charlotte before, right?
T: Yeah, he's done Lostprophets, he did the that big Third Eye Blind record, he did Queens Of The Stone Age, he did the Foo Fighters...
RL: So is he someone you've been wanting to work with for a while?
T: Well we didn't really know it at the time as we were kind of hesitant... I wasn't a super fan of the Good Charlotte thing, but I love the way that the record sounds. I thought that record did sound huge. I was like, you know what, I gotta let that go â€˜cause the guy did Queens Of The Stone Age, and he did Third Eye Blind. I thought that record was really, really good.
RL: Was that the first Third Eye Blind record?
T: Yeah, the first record. And I think that the eclectic nature that he has suits us. We're like the band that people don't really get, in the sense that they donâ€™t really know where we're coming from just yet. People try to lump us into the scene, but I definitely think we stand out of the scene. It was a perfect marriage that we never knew we were gonna be in.
RL: Awesome. So how long were you in the studio with him for?
T: We did about 7 months.
T: Yeah! We cut about 98% of it to tape, which was the biggest labour of love...
RL: Did you record the previous albums on tape?
T: Yeah, we did bass and drums a little bit to tape before, just to fatten it up, but we wanted this organic sound. We wanted to use as many real instruments as possible with very minimal programming, and we wanted to make a real sounding record and I think we achieved it. He's a really great engineer.
RL: Talking about the release of it, this record's out on Interscope in the States. Is there any Doghouse tie in at all anymore?
T: Yeah, this is our last Doghouse record actually. We put our vinyl out with them, and this will be the last Doghouse record.
RL: We talked about it briefly before, but it's like you've got the following here but not in a commercial, mainstream sense. The single 'Gives You Hell' has been getting some Radio 1 airplay...
T: Yeah, it's different this time. The label seems to notice us this time a little bit more. We kinda got lost in the shuffle a couple of times. Either way though, as long as the kids show up, we didn't really care. We just got A list again, or something, on Radio 1, which was great. I was really surprised to see that as we havenâ€™t got love from them since 'Swing Swing' I think.
RL: We caught them playing 'Gives You Hell' a few weeks back in the car and they seemed to be introducing you as a new band...
T: Yeah, weird innit! It's like 'new band... Ok!' The single has being doing alright for us though, I'm really excited to see people embracing a different sound from us.
RL: Are there plans yet for what the next single is gonna be? 'I Wanna' seems the obvious choice off the album...
T: Yeah, the next one will be 'I Wanna'.
RL: And what's the plans after this tour? We did hear a rumour you were to headline the Honda Civic Tour and that had been cancelled?
T: Yeah, it's weird. It's the economic crisis man, crazy. But we're still making a car with them and they're still gonna support the tour, it's just not gonna be the full blown thing.
RL: Great, well thanks for talking with us. Are we gonna be seeing you back over here anytime soon for a full tour or festivals?
T: I'm sure you guys will see us in the summer here.
...and with that we let Tyson run along to soundcheck. 'Gives You Hell' is released as single this week in the UK.Jack James Solero