All-American Rejects return to band’s Oklahoma roots on new album ‘Kids in the Street’
By the time a rock band’s fourth studio album is released most of its fans have grown up and traded in their skinny jeans for “mom” jeans. It won’t, however, be uncommon for the young All-American Rejects fan to hear the band’s new album Kids in the Street blaring out of the minivan next to them at the red light.
In a recent phone interview with All-American Rejects guitarist Mike Kennerty, he addresses the Rejects’ fans, the new album — released March 27 on Interscope — and the tour, which will be making a stop in Atlantic City at the Borgata on Friday, April 13.
All of the band’s original members — consisting of Tyson Ritter (vocals/bass,) Nick Wheeler (lead guitarist,) Kennerty (guitarist,) and Chris Gaylor (drums) — have remained since starting up in their hometown of Stillwater, OK, in 2000. The band came out with its first (self-titled) album in 2002, a live journal backed by guitars and catchy chorus riffs with honest, simple and callow songs filled with angst and a disenfranchised attitude.
It was that pissed-off attitude that the band’s original fans connected with.
With each subsequent album, the band has shifted its style while maintaining the ability to generate catchy pop rock songs. By the time 2005’s Move Along, the Rejects’ second album, came out, the alternative rock scene had fully shifted into “emo” mode. (Which, in the end, became the ugly, highly commercialized scorned stepchild of punk rock.)
The All-American Rejects toured with bands like Fall Out Boy and Hawthorne Heights, and subsequently got lumped into the “emo” genre. Following the release of Move Along, and prior to the Rejects’ third record, When the World Comes Down, the emo scene began its decline.
This is when the Rejects’ music style could have died out.
The band, however, was committed to making sure that its music wasn’t tied down to any specific genre. So what if they wore skinny jeans and tight shirts? They didn’t let it define them.
“We’ve always laughed all that stuff off,” Kennerty tells AC Weekly. “For our second record, My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy were big, and then we were considered an ‘emo’ band. And so we were just like, ‘whatever happens; if we’re making music and there’s another band that’s doing something popular, someone’s going to pin us like [that].”
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