Interview with All-American Rejects: Back From The Abyss

The All-American RejectsThe All-American Rejects have been writing solid, hooky pop songs for a while now, even if they did blatantly ape a guitar line and melody from Sugarcult on “Dirty Little Secret,” a single off their 2005 album Move Along. The band’s new album, When The World Comes Down, is about to drop after being delayed a few times so the band could keep writing and recording. Singer Tyson Ritter discusses making the disc and just why his band is so great.

What was the writing process like for your new album?

Its definitely a stretch for us emotionally, physically and mentally. Its been the most difficult, yet most rewarding, record we’ve ever written.

Why was it so difficult?

Because I think only greatness comes from the struggle. In the history of all good art. I think if you don’t push yourself and take yourself out of your comfort zone you’re just going to write a comfortable-sounding song.

What did you do to take yourselves out of your comfort zone?

We went up to the hills of Georgia. We went into a cabin with no amenities. We secluded ourselves in various situations. We did the same thing in Vancouver, right on the river. Then we went to the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco and stayed in this town home. Then we jumped in a bus and went across the country. We definitely took it upon ourselves to do what we knew we had to do and write the record of our career.

Do you think this is the record of your career?

Most definitely.

What sets it apart from the other two records?

Its an experience. This record wakes you up, throws you down, gives you a sense of accomplishment at the end. Its like sex, you know? There’s a beginning and a finish. I think our last record was a little contemporary in the sense that all the guitar tones were the same. When did we did this record with Eric Valentine, who has done Queens Of The Stone, the Foo Fighters, Smashmouth, we got an eclectic palate. He let every song have a life of its own. We cut the whole thing on tape. No bands do that anymore, unless you’re the White Stripes. And we’re definitely not the White Stripes. It was definitely really cool to be a rock band doing it like rock bands should.

How did recording on tape affect the album?

It sounds like I’m singing! I think on our last record they compressed the shit out of my vocals. I wasn’t really stoked with how that came out. This one sounds organic. You can hear the character of my voice. You can hear the room the guitar was cut in. You can hear the life of the record. There’s a pulse in there somewhere, as opposed to being a very contemporary-sounding record where every track has the same sort of sound. It think it added to the experience of making it, too.