Oklahoma rockers All-American Rejects are in Florida prepping songs for the follow-up to their 2002, self-titled debut. Vocalist/bassist Tyson Ritter and guitarist Nick Wheeler say they already have a dozen songs for the early 2005 Interscope release, a result of the change of scenery.
“There’s no distractions,” Ritter says. “It’s just fun, and easy to write here. We’re far away from any big city. It’s awesome.”
After chronicling heartbreak on the first record, Ritter is writing about his young band growing up this time around. “I’m not bummed out at all on this record,” he says. “A couple of songs I’m a little pissed, maybe. It’s about being a real band — I’ve seen all the fun stuff and all the shitty stuff too. This album is about some of the shit that’s gone on, on the road and some experiences people I knew have had.”
Some of the tracks the Rejects hope to road test on tour in Japan and Europe this summer are “Night Drive,” “Eyelash Wishes,” “We’re the Ones,” “Fight Back,” “Wine for Two” and “Kiss Yourself Goodbye,” though don’t expect them to sound as poppy as the band’s breakout single “Swing, Swing.”
“It’s not as clean, not as off the sleeve,” Ritter says of the new batch of material. “It’s definitely a step ahead of the first record. We still sound like us, but we’re three years older and we’ve been on the road for two and a half of that — we’re kind of past the naive, cape pulled out from under our eyes.”
Following the summer tour, the Rejects will head to Los Angeles where they’ll record again with producer Tim O’Heir (Stellastarr*, Radio 4) and enjoy life on a slightly bigger budget.
“We did [our debut] in fucking armpits last time,” Ritter says. “We had 600 bucks between the both of us for six months of living. For kids who have never been to New York in their life, that goes really fast.”