There was certainly a time when you couldn’t turn on the radio — or TV, for that matter — without hearing The All-American Rejects song, “Gives You Hell.”
The band’s biggest song yet took them on an incredible journey — touring the globe and taking in all the success of a No. 1, chart-topping hit. But when it was all over, lead singer Tyson Ritter didn’t really know where to go.
Ritter has said he was in a dark place, partying with the wrong crowd and feeling a bit lost. In an effort to find himself — and find inspiration for a new album at the same time — he and fellow band mate Nick Wheeler went into seclusion and wrote what eventually became the band’s latest album, “Kids in the Street.”
The result was a solid collection of songs, with deeper and more meaningful lyrics than ever before.
Before the band continues their tour, which includes a stop in Minneapolis this month, we chatted with guitarist Mike Kennerty about the new album, how the band has evolved and yes, getting the “Glee” treatment.
So, how’s the tour been going so far?
It’s going great, we’re probably like a third of the way through, I think. And it’s been great so far. It’s a very like homely feeling tour – everyone gets along great, everyone hangs out, there’s no egos, it’s great.
It sounds like the album, “Kids on the Street” was basically created in remote spaces without a lot of distraction – and then presented to you and drummer Chris Gaylor. What were your reactions when you first heard the music?
I was actually very impressed. I felt like Tyson, in particular, really dug deep with these songs, lyrically, and really presented himself in a way he hasn’t before, really stretched himself to write the best lyrics he has. And on top of that, vocally, he’s never stretched his range as much as he has on “Kids in the Street.” It makes me very proud to be in a band with that guy.
Do you know what his motivation was behind writing this album?
Yeah, after we got off touring for “Gives You Hell,” which kind of kept us out for a couple of years, took us around the world, it was kind of like the crash after that. We all went home to our respective places but Tyson kind of – he was sort of a nomad these days. He didn’t really know where to go and he ended up in Los Angeles and sort of had, I don’t know, he got mixed up with some people that weren’t the best people in the world and he spent a couple years trying to find himself. That took him through some dark alleys at times, but I think that’s really where the catalyst for this record, especially lyrically, came from – just a soul-searching record.