The All-American Rejects try something new with their music, alluding to a new album in the near future.
American alternative rock band The All-American Rejects are making a comeback, hinting at a release of a new album after five years. The Rejects are composed of four members: lead vocalist and bassist Tyson Ritter, lead guitarist and backing vocalist Nick Wheeler, rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Mike Kennerty, and drummer Chris Gaylor. Not many people know the Rejects by name, but they have recently emerged with a brand new sound and are becoming more well-known.
Ritter and Wheeler, longest standing members of the band, compose and write the Reject’s songs together. A previous band of Wheeler’s was performing in a club in 1997 when he met Ritter, who offered to play for the group. They later decided to create their own band in Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1999, along with Jesse Tabish on vocals and lead guitar, who left the band in 2001. They later decided on the name All-American Rejects with new members Kennerty and Tim Campbell on percussion. When asked where the name came from, Kennerty said, “It was a random name that sounded cool. I feel like we have grown into it over the years.” By 2002, Campbell left the band and Gaylor filled in his position as the percussionist.
The All-American Rejects released their self-titled debut studio album in 2003 with Dreamworks Records. One of the most well known recording industries in the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), certified their self-titled album as platinum, selling over one million copies. The album also included the band’s first hit single “Swing, Swing.” In 2005, the band came out with their second studio album, Move Along, which only expanded their fan base. The album was certified as double platinum by the RIAA and it produced several hit singles that all charted in the top fifteen on the Billboard Hot 100, including, “Dirty Little Secret,” “Move Along,” and “It Ends Tonight.” The RIAA certified the Rejects’ third studio album When the World Comes Down, as gold, selling 500,000 digital copies. The lead single of the album, “Gives You Hell,” peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and in the top five in many other countries, becoming the Rejects’ most popular song to this day. The RIAA gave the hit one of the highest certifications, a 4x multi-platinum for sales in the United States. In 2012, the band came out with their fourth studio album that debuted at number 18 on the US Billboard 200 chart, Kids in the Street.
Early in 2017, the All-American Rejects came out with two singles, “Sweat” and “Close Your Eyes.” The two songs accurately exhibit how the Rejects are changing their traditional take on their music. The Rejects are planning on the release of more songs for the album soon. Ritter mentioned that each song on the new album will be completely different, which is shown in the songs already released, because they each have their own atmosphere. “Sweat” was highly ranked on several music charts, including the Hot Rock Songs, the Digital Rock Songs, and the Billboard Adult Pop Songs charts. The band has revealed that they have already written and recorded several songs, and predict that their fifth studio album will be released later in 2018. The band has stayed quiet about their new music, but Ritter mentioned in an interview with grammy.com that the next songs they are hoping to release are “Send Her to Heaven” and “Demons.”
When the band was in hiatus, Ritter stepped away from singing and channeled his interest into acting, making appearances on “Parenthood,” among other TV series and films. “I jumped in a tour bus when I was 16 and I don’t think I really jumped out of it until I was 28,” he told HuffingtonPost. “I think we just needed to put our instruments down for a few years.” When Ritter returned to writing music, he had a different point of view, but still had the same drive he had while growing up. “It was the same sort of purity I had when I was young and I was living by myself when I was 15… on Sundays I would be alone and I would write music that would comfort me,” said Ritter. For the Rejects’ upcoming album release this year, Ritter produced an 11-minute short film, Sweat, exhibiting the two new songs with the help of Jamie Thraves, Radiohead, Coldplay, and Sam Smith. In it, he plays a few characters, and Ritter hints that these characters will be a recurring theme in the music videos they will come out with in the future. After his experience as an actor, Ritter believes that it is important to have a visual aspect to their music, “This record is going to be about your eyes and the headphones,” he told Billboard. The songs that have been released since the film are less alternative rock and are not in a specific genre.
Although the All-American Rejects have taken a new approach to their music, their new sound has gained many positive reviews. In a Billboard interview, Ritter commented, “It’s not going to be the same Rejects record because it never is.” He even goes so far as to say that this upcoming album may be their last one. Reject fans should expect the unexpected in this new album. “More of the record’s gonna feel like stepping away from the expectation of what we sound like,” said Ritter. The new album will be released later in 2018, and a tour can be expected shortly after it comes out.