Interview mit The All-American Rejects



Torben: When did you arrive in Germany?

Chris: We got here, let’s see, yesterday morning..

Torben: Yesterday morning? Right in Cologne?

Chris: Sorry, the day before yesterday. We got to Cologne the day before yesterday in the morning. Had that day off, we were going to this big cathedral in Cologne. We hung out there until the night and played that show and then last night we drove here [Berlin].

Torben: How was the show?

Chris: It was good, man, the kids were really really really energetic. It was really cool, they were jumping around the whole time. We just played running lead and honestly, I had a better time playing to a few hundred kids who actually enjoyed it than 15.000 people who look as they get bored. [laughs]. You know what I mean, I rather play to those kids running lead because they actually enjoy themselves.

Torben: So how many kids were there yesterday?

Chris: I think maybe about 250 kids. And it was a really, really small show… kinda cool.

Torben: In the States you’re already really big, and…

Chris: We’re not like huge, we’re not big, we’re smaller than most bands, but we’re nothing over here, you know [laughs].

Torben: "Move Along" has already been released in the U.S. in July. It’s gonna hit the stores in Europe in October. So how is the reaction so far on the record in the States?

Chris: Ähm, it has been pretty good, we sold about 90.000 records in the first week, we got number six on billboard. We’ve got a good fan base in America, our fans are really loyal, you know. The shows went really well, you know. Everyone seems to like the album so I hope the success with the record keeps up for another ten years [laughs]. I keep my fingers crossed.

Torben: When did you start thinking that the whole band thing could actually work out and you could live of making music?

Chris: We’ll find out. I don’t wanna consider that I can live of music for the rest of my life now, ‘cause that’s not really the case. I don’t know, we were touring the first record about a year and I was like, wow, I haven’t had a real job in two years. It’s kind of a weird feeling. The year we were touring the first record we were like ‘ I can’t believe we’re actually making a living of this, this is odd.. [laughs]

Torben: What did you do before making music full time?

Chris: I delivered and installed like surround sound, like media players and satellite dishes systems, installed them and stuff like that. And delivered refrigerators and televisions [laughs] to houses and installed them, dish washers and something like that. [laughs]

Torben: So you liked it… ?

Chris: No I hated it, I worked about 60 hours a week, Monday till Saturday and I only had one day off during the week. It was a lot of work…

Torben: I can imagine..

Chris: It wasn’t very fun. It was like really, really hard work like a lot of heavy lifting.

Torben: So you got a lot of muscles[joking]?

Chris: I think, yeah a little bit and a bad back [laughs]

Torben: So let’s talk about your new album, "Move Along". Your new album seems to be more rock orientated than your self titled debut. You use less keyboards and I’m not even sure if there is any drum machine. Is that right?

Chris: It’s pretty right on, we have some keyboards, not as much. We went for more guitar driven stuff, just Rock’n’Roll parts. This time, real drums filled the entire album and lots of guitars. There is lot less electronic.

Torben: So what made you chose this style?

Chris: I don’t know , I think it’s because this is the first record were all of us got together and hatched out the songs as a group. We were together and played the songs and changed parts here, changed parts there and made suggestions and there was no need for any electronic equipment. The first record, Nick and Ty wrote before they met us. All this drum machine stuff came in because they didn’t have a drummer at that time.

Torben: What other differences can we expect for the record?

Chris: It’s a lot bigger of a record. There’s a lot percussion on it: tamborine and kongo drums. There’s also a lot of audience instruments: a couple of banjo parts, a cittern, […], real piano and thinks like that.

Torben: But on tour you’re doing it with keybords ?

Chris: Yeah, we have to do it with keys and stuff like that, There’s no way we can bring the stuff out on the road…

Torben: I’ve seen SOMETHING CORPORATE and the do always have a real piano on stage.

Chris: we don’t do that, we have a keyboard player who has a couple of keyboards on stage with us, but we definitely don’t have the room to bring all the instruments we used on the record with us on the road. It just can’t happen. Especially if we are here and are playing a 300 capacity venues.

Torben: You took quite some time to write your new album. Did you need this time to focus on song writing?

Chris: Yeah, I think we did. It was kind of hard to write those songs, we tried to do a lot of writing on the road. We took the time off and we wanted to put 100% of our energy into every single song we were writing. We didn’t want a trivial record with just two good songs, and the rest of the songs we throw away. We wanted every song on the record to be just as good as the others. That’s what we tried for. We wanted the entire record to be good front to back and so it took a little time to do that with this record. And I think if you hear you can tell that we put a lot more work into it. We had special string arrangements that take a long time to do.

Torben: Lyrically your first album was all about Tysons ex-girlfriend. How about "Move Along"?

Chris: I is actually pretty diverse in a lot of ways. There are some songs about relationships, not really the same girl and the same thing, it’s about being in love. The songs are all about love, about girls or about you. Most are about the positive aspects of love. Some of the songs are about people we know, that aren’t girls. Some of the songs you might think are about girls, and they are about totally different subjects entirely. "It Ends Tonight" is not about a girl at all. It’s about when we were in Atlanta writing some songs and stuff and Ty and a friend of his were having some differences with each other and he ended up writing the lyrics for "It Ends Tonight" about that. "Top Of the World" was kind of about president….it’s a political driven song. "Move Along", I thinks it’s partly politically driven, partly you know, when bad things happen and you do really dwell you have to get move on to something else, you can’t just sit there and sit in that moment.

Torben: Speaking of "Move Along", I read that you chose that song as first single and your record label chose differently, they chose "Dirty Little Secret". Is that right?

Chris: Yeah, they chose "Dirty Little Secret" as first single.

Torben: So how do you feel about the major having the say in this case ?

Chris: It depends, I think….The people we’re now working for at the label know what they are doing. And we have to trust them, we can’t do everything ourselves, that wouldn’t work. Certain people know different thing better. We try to work with them on picking singles. Certain Songs we want to be singles, we’re not so much concerned about when they become singles as long as they do become a single. As long as they become one, when it happens is less important than that it does.

Torben: How big was the influence of the label on the new record?

Chris: They didn’t bother us that much. We got to do our own things for the most parts. They come in and tell us that they tell us that they liked something or they didn’t like something. If the think our song needed more work or we need to keep writing because we didn’t have enough songs, but for the most parts they weren’t tapping us on the shoulder every five seconds saying “do this”, “don’t do that”. For the most part it was us.

Torben: You’re all from Oklahoma, do you always go back there when you’re not touring?

Chris: Me and Mike both live in Oklahoma, and Nick and Ty actually moved to Destin, Florida, which is in the pan handle of Florida right next to Alabama.

Torben: So, if you’re not touring you don’t see each other that much?

Chris: Not really, I mean I see Mike. When we worked through the record and Nick and Ty moved to Florida we went down to visit them three or four times to hang out with them in Florida. So we did see each other some. We don’t live in the same state, we still see each other constantly. It’s not that big of a deal if we don’t see each other for a month, ‘cause than we see each other every day for six.

Torben: After your self titled debut, you toured about two years straight. Now you have been away from the road for quite some time. How do you feel about being back?

Chris: I’m glad I’m back on the road, because I’m getting really bored not travelling. I need to travel that much. All of the sudden if you’re off the road you have a lot of free time and you don’t know what to do with it anymore. You have to replace over half your day that you spent doing something else with something entirely different. I’m playing drums a lot in my room by myself, I’m practicing. I got to hang out with friends I don’t normally use to hang around with. It was different and I’m glad to be back on the road again and I just want our fans to remember us. I just want people to remember us and still enjoy the music that we make.

Torben: How do you like Germany?

Chris: I like it, we are in Berlin today and I haven’t got to see much of Berlin before, because every time we are here, we are always doing stuff during the day, we never have the chance to run around an actually see the city. I’m trying to get away after the sound check and run around to see the city for a couple of hours. [laughs]. So far it was really friendly and it’s nice and clean and it’s really cool, I just like to see more of it.

Torben: So what’s on the schedule after the European tour?

Chris: There’s a head lining tour coming up in the fall and than we’re probably coming back over here for a couple of month for a pretty intense European tour. After that we are going to Australia for a weeks. Yeah man, more, more, more keeps adding on. I’m trying to keep track of all this. [laughs]

Torben: Where do you see THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS in five yours from now ?

Chris: Hopefully twice successful worldwide and having a good time and putting out better and better music and hopefully our fans will still like us and respect us. We’ll find out.

Torben: What kind of kids do usually come to an ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS show?

Chris: Usually 16-21 years old . Some younger, some older. A lot of punkrock kids and rock’n’roll kids. Really nice fans, they’re really extreme nice and loyal, and polite for the most part so that’s cool.

Torben: I’m sure you heard about the CBGB’s and the menacing closure…

Chris: Yeah that’s terrible. There is a lot of effort being made right now to save CBGB’s. A lot of benefit shows, a lot of benefit records are being put out to hopefully keep it open . Being from America it’s like the punkrock mekka, it’s kind of where it all started. The RAMONES were playing there. That’s where it happened. I think it’s a very important piece of America’s music culture and if it gets closed down it’ll be a shame. It be the end of an era and it wouldn’t be right.

Torben: In a former Interview you talked about Bush, hopefully not getting elected again…

Chris: Yeah, he got elected again, didn’t he. It’s a shame but luckily he can’t get elected three times. Hopefully he doesn’t do too much damage in the couple of years. It disappoints me in the American people, to see that that many people want that guy to run our country. He is accentually picking a fight with the world for unfounded reasons and it’s wrong. We didn’t elect him to become president the first time around, that’s the thing. He became president because of his dad’s political ties. They get strings pulled so daddy’s little boy can become president but hopefully it won’t happen with his brother Jeb.

Torben: I guess, that’s it. Thank you very much for your time, the final comment is yours.

Chris: We like Germany, we hope you like us back so we can see more of you.