The All-American Rejects made the kind of songs that last forever (“Move Along”, “Gives You Hell”, “It Ends Tonight”), so you may be a bit shocked when you hear that it has been over three years since their last album, When The World Comes Down, was released.
We are sure you are as excited as we were to hear that their fourth studio album, Kids In the Street, is set to come out this spring. Lead guitarist and founding member, Nick Wheeler, took some time to chat with us about their upcoming release, life on the road again and more.
Nick: The tour is going good, it’s called the “Shaking Off The Rust Tour”, since it’s the first headlining tour we’ve done in over two years. We’re so pumped to be out here doing shows, it’s probably the most fun we’ve had in a decade. We’re playing some of the longest sets we’ve ever played, it’s hard to get us off stage, because we’re having a fucking blast.
LM: You’re headed out to the UK later this year, have you played there often?
Nick: Yeah, we’ve played in the UK since 2003 – I think was the first time we played there – and they’ve always been great to us. London’s a great crowd, same with the rest of England and I think we are doing a little bit of Ireland this time as well.
LM: You guys seem to balance being this funny, happy band so well with your serious side. Not a lot of bands can do that. What’s your secret?
Nick: We have a lot of fun doing this, but we take what we do very seriously. The two years it takes us to write and record an album are really intense for us and then we balance that out while we’re touring. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we still know how to get on stage, have fun and bring new songs to people as opposed to getting up there and boring everyone to tears, because we think we’re too important. There are so many bands that do that these days and really it’s fucking old.
LM: The first single off the new album is titled “Beekeeper’s Daughter.” Tell us a little more about the song.
Nick: It was one of the songs that was written earlier on for Kids In the Street, we wrote it almost two years ago now. Supporting Gives You Hell in 2009, you know that was the biggest ride we’d ever been on. It was insane, so you know coming back down to earth and getting our heads bumped straight….it was a trip. Tyson and I both moved to Los Angeles and he really got into it, as far as everything LA has to offer. Like I said it was written early on and it was about the time when he really thought he was bulletproof , it’s somewhat autobiographical.
We wrote it up in Sequoia Grove National Forest. That’s where we took our first road trip. We were making breakfast or something and the bottle of honey they had stocked in the cabinet was called “Beekeeper’s Daughter” and so I thought it was funny with the bee, the honey and the flower lyrics, so I titled the song “Beekeeper’s Daughter,” assuming we would change it to something more appropriate, but nobody would let me change it. *laughs*
LM: You have some real gems on the upcoming album, my favorite being “Affection.” What’s your favorite song off of Kids In the Street?
Nick: Shit! Awesome! I haven’t gotten to talk about “Affection” yet! Dude, that’s a great pick, we were in Chicago right after Warped Tour in 2010 trying to write some more tunes. It was this idea that Ty brought to me and at the time I was watching all these episodes of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
The intro to the show has a lot of woodwinds, a lot of fluttery sounds. Just for fun I built this string and woodwind section kind of in a similar style around that song. Again I thought we’d change it once we got to the studio, but we actually ended up blowing it even more out of proportion and we got a guy named Joel McNeely – who is a very talented string arranger – and he helped get together a 30 to 40-piece orchestra. We actually played the song live with them, so when it gets to that big band section at the end, that is us playing with them on the floor.
It was a lot of fun! That was a great day. It was one of these things where all the string players are union guys, so we had like two hours to capture this song. It’s a total time crunch and some of the songs we spent up to two weeks recording and this one we spent only two hours.
LM: I hear rumors you guys recently shared a trailer with a pretty iconic Las Vegas resident. Care to fill us in on the story?
Nick: *laughs* We shot a video for “Beekeeper’s Daughter” a couple weeks ago now and the director, Isaac Rentz, brought to us this treatment that was kind of similar to the Ferris Bueller parade scene. We really wanted to blow it up and make it weird. I thought it was a joke, there were all these ideas I was giving and this e-mail chain going back and forth for the video, finally Ty was like, “Oh yeah and Wayne Newton.”
I thought it was a joke, like, “Hey, let’s throw everything into it.” Then a week later we are in rehearsal for the tour and I get this text message saying, “Hey, are you guys okay with sharing a trailer with Wayne Newton?” And I am like “What!? We got Wayne Newton!?”
Nick: *laughs hard* So yeah, we got Wayne Newton in our video and we got to hang out with him and his family a bit. Super nice people and he invited us out to Shenandoah, so that should be dope.
LM: It has to be a bit surreal considering his career and image.
Nick: Yeah, I sent a picture to my mom and she’s like, “Tell him I remember seeing him on Bonanza in the 60’s!” and I was like, “Holy shit, Mom! I am not telling him that!” *laughs*
LM: What’s up with hitting Portland, Spokane and Boise on your current tour, but not us Western Washingtonians?
Nick: *laughs* I know! It was so weird, I was like, “Why are we going through these places in the dead of winter?” It’s nearly suicidal! I think we wanted to work it out so that we could end up at Sundance and play at the ASCAP Music Cafe which is always a good time, but yeah, man, we traveled over some fucking treacherous terrain on this tour just to do that! Hopefully we’ll be coming through in the spring, so you can catch a show.
Kids In the Streets by the All-American Rejects is now available on iTunes!
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
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