I'm going to be as brief and as non-mushy as I possibly can with this, because I could honestly go on for days:
Four years ago today, I performed my first interview with a then relatively unknown band from Stillwater, Oklahoma at the Birch Hill Nite Club called The All-American Rejects.
That night, from being parked outside with Mike Kennerty knocking on the window of the van I was in, to witnessing Nick Wheeler peeing in a bucket in the corner of their closet-sized dressing room (I swear I averted my eyes), completely changed my life.
I never knew I wanted to do anything having to do with writing, with music, or with bands until that night when I interviewed them for kicks. I was never the same after that. Not only did they make me realize a dream I didn't know I had, they were--and remain--some of the most genuine, sweetest people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, and it's an honor to see my features pop up when I google their lead guitarist's name.
I am so proud of them and their success, and they deserve it more than anyone I know. You know you've made it when my mother calls me and says, "Oooh, I saw the Rejects CD in Target, and I told my friend, 'My daughter knows them!'"
Thank you, Nick, Tyson, Mike, and Chris, for your amazing contributions to popular and rock music, as well as for being amazing people.
Love, Xs, and Os,
Jessica, who was a sophomore in high school back then and is a sophomore in college now and feels old as Hell.