The All-American Rejects:
Grabbing the Brass Ring
What a difference a year makes. Just last summer, The All-American Rejects were performing in malls and taking up wee parts in films. Now they're headlining a tour that is to take them to 26 cities across the U.S and Europe.
"We've been lucky enough to play every kind of room imaginable," says Mike Kennerty, the band's guitarist and backup vocalist. "The fact that after seven years we can still do this at all... is insane!" he continues.
The four-man band from Oklahoma has had a handful of mainstream hits -- strategically played on MTV reality shows panning across the opulent California coast -- with fans ranging from every demographic.
"We just try to make songs people will like," says Kennerty. "I think that's a quality that resounds through age and lifestyle barriers," he reveals.
That quality has created a perfect marriage between the band's artistic expression and pop music glory.
"We're not a band that goes, 'Okay, let's make a record that sounds like this...' We just write what comes out," reveals Kennerty.
Think what you want, but the group is trailblazing the emo-pop scene. With a little coaxing from Yahoo!, the group agreed to cover "Womanizer" for the search engine's music site. The video was propelled partly by crass entertainment blogger, Perez Hilton. "We've been welcoming the attention he's given us ever since," says Kennerty. "This Britney song sounds like a pirate song when you take that dumb beat off of it."
Their music isn't a down payment to secure the future of rock, but it's what their fans want. Their latest hit, "Gives You Hell," from their latest album, When the World Comes Down, is quickly becoming a karaoke staple, and their new single, "The Wind Blows," has already entered Billboard's Pop 100 chart.
Regurgitating the same record again and again to preserve the formula isn't something the Rejects are aiming for. "We've been lucky enough to not write the same record twice," explains Kennerty. "It bums some fans out, but we always seem to pick up more new ones along the way."
For many orthodox rock constituents, it's easy to frown at the success of The All-American Rejects, but you have to give it up to the group for their gold-striking writing style and ability to court a wide range of fans. Here's hoping they can keep it up. END