From the release of their new album Kids in the Street to touring across the U.S. with Boys Like Girls and The Ready Set, The All-American Rejects have had a busy year. We caught up with guitarist and backing vocalist Mike Kennerty before their show at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ and he dished all about the new album, life on the road, and their next single.
J-14: How would you describe your new album Kids in the Street? What is it all about?
Mike Kennerty: Honestly it's a culmination of everything we've been doing for 10 years. We've always prided ourselves on never putting out the same record twice, never repeating ourselves. Each time we come to make a record, it's been a few years, we take our time, we allow ourselves to grow and not try to like stifle ourselves or think we have to play some kind of style. With this record, we really pushed ourselves in the studio more to just expand our sonic pallet I guess. We came away with our most diverse records and our most cohesive that plays like a record from start to finish, not just 12 new songs.
J-14: Do you have a favorite song off the album?
Mike: I really love the song "Heartbeat Slowing Down." It's kind of the big ballad. I think we struck a cord musically on that one, and I think Tyson wrote some of his best lyrics with that one. It's actually going to be our next single, so hopefully other people agree.
J-14: Do you have a favorite song to perform live?
Mike: All of the ones that people go off on are my favorites, like people always ask if we get sick of playing "Swing Swing" or "Dirty Little Secret," but kids go nuts every night when we play those songs. That's like the best feeling. Any of those are great, and playing the new ones off "Kids in the Street" are really fun too because it's much more of a challenge to pull off live because we do a lot more musically.
J-14: You've been together as a band for about ten years. How would you say that your music has evolved throughout the years?
Mike: Us growing as people and experiencing more life and more music and not limiting ourselves every time we write a song. Whatever we come out with a song, we let it dictate where it goes and not to try pigeonhole it into a genre. That's what's let us grow. With each record there is a new thing that pops into our heads and we don't shy away from that. I think that's what's helped us grow and stay fresh.
J-14: So you guys are just doing the touring route this year? Do you guys work on music while you're on the road or are you focused on performing?
Mike: Yeah, that's what we've always done is we tour and then we record. We keep things separate. This time, well at least a couple months ago, Tyson had the itch of like, "I want to be more prepared to go into the studio" because we usually take a lot of time off to write and to practice. He got the itch this time to just want to be able to turn it right around once we finish touring, so I think he's got some things starting in his head, definitely more than we usually do.
Photo: Courtesy of Interscope