All-American Rejects performed at Hard Rock Live Orlando on September 15,
2007, as part of the Hard Rock's Ambassadors
of Rock (AOR) Tour and Pepsi Smash Live. The group, Chris Gaylor
(drums/percussion), Tyson Ritter (lead vocals/bass), Mike Kennerty
(guitar/vocals) and Nick Wheeler (guitar/vocals), performed tracks from their
Platinum hit album, Move Along. Hard Rock's AOR Tour has, or will,
contribute to rock diplomacy in Chicago, New York, Orlando, Hollywood
(Florida), London, Singapore, Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Caracas.
Rock group All-American Rejects pose
backstage at Hard Rock Live Orlando, Saturday, September 15, with three
guitars that the band donated to Hard Rock’s memorabilia collection.
All-American Rejects performed that evening, as part of Hard Rock’s
Ambassadors of Rock concert tour and Pepsi Smash Live. L-R: Chris Gaylor,
Tyson Ritter, Mike Kennerty, and Nick Wheeler. Photo credit: Hard Rock /
Nick Wheeler (left) and Tyson Ritter
(right) of All-American Rejects rock the stage at Hard Rock Live Orlando,
Saturday, September 15, as part of Hard Rock’s Ambassadors of Rock
concert tour and Pepsi Smash Live. Photo credit: Hard Rock / Dan Higgins
Singer/bassist Tyson Ritter of
All-American Rejects rocks the stage at Hard Rock Live Orlando, Saturday,
September 15, as part of Hard Rock’s Ambassadors of Rock concert tour
and Pepsi Smash Live. Photo credit: Hard Rock / Dan Higgins
Posted: Dec. 14, 2006 - Jon M. Gilbertson found at jsonline.com
7 Friday, The Rave, 2401 W. Wisconsin Ave. Milwaukee $24 at the box
office, (414) 276-4545
While the All-American Rejects are just shy of absolute ubiquity right
now, they formed in relative obscurity more than half a decade ago in the
Oklahoma town of Stillwater. Lead singer and bassist Tyson Ritter and
guitarist Nick Wheeler supposedly met at a high school party and
thereafter established a band that, by 2002, managed to release a self-titled
That album was reissued the following year on a major label, and the
quartet's follow-up, 2005's "Move Along," has nestled into the top 10
on the basis of its absolutely mainstream-ready, pop-sweetened rock. Ritter's
all-American-boy looks don't hurt either; popular ear and eye candy are expected
components of any Rejects live set.
Motion City Soundtrack, The Format and Boys Like Girls also
are part of the KISSmas Bash show in The Rave's Eagles Ballroom.
Tyson Ritter and Nick Wheeler of
the All-American Rejects went to work on the band’s second CD, “Move
Along,” figuring to
follow the same game plan they used on the group’s 2002 self-titled first CD.
They’d write a dozen songs,
record them and the record label would put the CD out.
Now, singer/bassist Ritter, guitarist Wheeler and bandmates Mike Kennerty
(guitar) and Chris Gaylor (drums) know all too well that things are different
when a band is on a major label and its first CD has been a million-selling hit.
“We had a half dozen songs, wrote a half dozen more and made an album,”
Wheeler said, referring to the first CD in a recent phone interview. “It was
on a small indie label (Doghouse Records). They were just excited to have it and
vise-versa and we just wanted to get a record out there.”
Instead, Interscope Records had other ideas when Ritter and Wheeler submitted a
demo of a dozen songs they envisioned as the second All-American Rejects CD.
(That label absorbed DreamWorks Records, which acquired the first CD from
Doghouse, re-released it and then saw it sell more than a million copies behind
the hit single “Swing, Swing.”)
A less-than-impressed Interscope told Ritter and Wheeler to go back to work and
write more songs, noting that while the first demo had a few songs that were
contenders, they weren’t really even close to having a full album’s worth of
Wheeler, in the interview, put a good face on what, in his words, became a “long
and arduous” process. He credited the group’s A&R representative at
Interscope, Jeff Sosnow, with looking out for the band and its best interests,
and guiding the band through what became a year-long process of writing the “Move
Other articles, especially a December 2005 Alternative Press magazine cover
story, haven’t painted such a positive picture. That article described a
drawn-out and difficult process that tested the band’s self-confidence, as
Ritter and Wheeler struggled to come up with an album Interscope would deem
acceptable. They worried that the label might even drop the band before getting
to record a second album.
Although the Alternative Press article suggested that Tyson and Wheeler were
deeply concerned by Interscope’s mixed review of the first batch of songs,
Wheeler, in this interview, said the label’s response helped the group realize
the importance of the second album. A failed second album could get the
All-American Rejects labeled as one-hit wonders and kill any momentum the first
“We were like, all right, cool,” Wheeler said. “We’re on a bigger label
now. We’ve really got to impress these people. Let’s keep writing. So we
The process of writing “Move Along” began innocently enough, as Ritter and
Wheeler rented apartments in Destin, Fla., in winter 2004 and wrote and demoed
the first dozen songs. But then came Interscope’s instructions to keep
writing. As summer wound down, Ritter and Wheeler opted for a change of scenery
and set up a rehearsal space in Atlanta. There, they continued to write and on
occasion brought in Kennerty and Gaylor to flesh out and demo songs.
With Sosnow flying to Atlanta every other week or so to check the band’s
progress, the All-American Rejects finished the writing/demoing process. In
early 2005 the band went into the studio with producer Howard Benson to record
Now that it’s been more than a year after the CD arrived in stores, it’s
clear that everything the All-American Rejects went through in making “Move
Along” has been worth it.
The CD is nearing 1.5 million copies sold in the United States and has generated
two multiformat hits. “Dirty Little Secret” went top 10 on Billboard’s
singles chart, and “Move Along” reached 15 on that same chart.
The success of “Move Along” shouldn’t be surprising. The CD stays true to
the catchy guitar pop sound of the debut, but with better songs top to bottom
and an extra jolt of energy. Much of the extra juice comes courtesy of Gaylor
and his drums. He and Kennerty didn’t join the All-American Rejects until
after the first CD was recorded. Up to then, the group was Ritter and Wheeler,
who began working together in 1999 in Stillwater, Okla. They recorded the first
CD themselves, using a mix of programmed drums, loops and live drums because
there was no full band in place.
Even with the full band recording “Move Along,” Wheeler said the band sounds
bigger and bolder on stage.
“It’s more of a rock album, that’s for sure,” he said of “Move Along.”
“(But) the live show is raw and it’s real and it’s four humans up there
playing. There are no studio tricks or anything. You get what you see.”