Sunday, November 30, 2008
The All-American Rejects sleep late.
Planet Verge caught up with close personal friend Nick Wheeler of the All-American Rejects, who discussed their new album, When the World Comes Down, a day in the life, and why he hates new lineups of classic rock bands.
How's New York treating you?
It's awesome! We're taping the Today Show tomorrow. That's gonna be fun, except soundcheck is at 6:15. In the morning. I'm going to bed by like, 5 p.m. tonight.
That's a lot earlier than you're used to.
Yeah, but it's cool 'cause we don't have a show tonight, so I'll be able to rest a little bit.
You guys have been touring for a while. What's a typical day like? Any fun debauchery?
No, no real debauchery... We're actually kind of boring. We'll sleep til around 12... Or 1... Or 2. Then we usually have to soundcheck by around 3. We have meet and greets daily, then it's showtime. But we do enjoy, as the British call them, "pints." We drink pints and watch a lot of movies on the bus.
Nice. What are your most-played DVDs?
We just finished Kickin' It Old School, and then there's the classics--your Big Lebowski, your Walk Hard and as always, your Kung Pow: Enter the Fist.
You were slated to play the Stone Pony. Isn't that small for you guys?
Yeah, we were gonna play there until they decided two days before that they felt like remodeling the roof. We like that we're playing smaller clubs and bars this tour. We haven't done that in a while. It feels good to get back to that.
What's the weirdest experience you've had at a meet and greet?
Some girl brought us Jell-o shots the other day. We didn't drink them, though. We didn't trust them. So we gave them to the opening band.
You gave the Jell-o shots to Jet Lag Gemini?
I'm just jokin'. I actually like those guys. I wouldn't do that to them, they're so nice.
You wrote your album all around the continent. What was your favorite or most inspiring locale?
We had the most fun in this random cabin in the woods in Georgia. We were there for 12 days and it was pretty insane. We'd wake up around 3 p.m. and drink wine til around 5 or 6. Then we'd drink beer til around 11 or 12. Then we'd write until around 4 or 5 a.m... Then do it again the next day.
Do you guys have any political songs on this record? Move Along had "Top of the World," which seemed like a poetic "fuck you" to George Dubya.
We don't have anything too overt. We feel like since we're in a position where a lot of our younger listeners can be influenced by what we say, we want to be careful about it. We don't think it's our place to tell people what or how to think or vote or what to believe. We do, though, have a sort of an apocalyptic love song--"Mona Lisa"--and a song called "Real World" that kind of examines the world a little. One of the lines in "Mona Lisa" is, "You can sit beside me when the world comes down." And "Real World" is like, "This can't be the real world now." As in things can't suck nearly this badly, can they?" Except, you know, not in those words. Tyson's a lot more poetic than I am--there's a big, huge reason why he writes the lyrics and I don't.
What's on your iPod lately?
This is gonna sound bad, but I really hate most new music that's out. I'm just generally unimpressed by almost everything that's being churned out recently.
You know, there's a new Guns n' Roses album out...
I do know, Jessica, and you know what else I know? And I know you know it too: We know it's a piece of shit. I mean, we waited, what? 17 years for that? Really? And you know what else I refuse to listen to? The new Queen. I can understand going on tour with a new singer since your old one is dead, but recording?
It's not Queen without Freddie.
Exactly! This is why we get along.
I'll let you get your rest in just a minute, but first: Butch Walker complained that no one asks questions like "What's your favorite color?" anymore. What's your favorite color?
You know, some other girl in New Jersey actually asked me that yesterday. I told her "11" and she yelled at me because that's a number and not a color. She didn't get it. But when someone asks something that dumb, how can you not give a smartass answer?
That's not a color. That's a number.
I'll tell you what it really is so your answer is different than hers.
Yup. My favorite color is... Zebra.
Hey man, at least that's a pattern.
See? I knew I liked you.
*By Jess, who first interviewed this goon back in early 2003, then stood in the cold November rain at 5 a.m. almost six years later to watch his band perform on Today.