Subtlety is not a trademark for the All-American Rejects, but neither is specificity. Most of the band's songs address bad relationships and broken hearts, but details of the scarring experiences are often missing.
On the group's next single, vocalist Tyson Ritter sings, "Life is turned, the day I knew you would leave/ I can barely breathe/ Can you hear me scream?" That's about as close as the Rejects get to confessional revelation. So what exactly is the tune about?
"It's about 96-beats-per-minute and it's in the key of C major," quipped guitarist Nick Wheeler in a most unhelpful manner.
"It's about a chick, pretty much," added Ritter, revealing little more than the song's lyrics. "It's pretty much about my ex-girlfriend and the ins and outs of the relationship."
The All-American Rejects shot a video for "Time Stands Still" with director Meiert Avis (U2, Audioslave) last week.
On August 30, the band will head overseas to play festivals and clubs in England, Germany, Portugal, Holland, Japan and Australia. Since they'll be abroad during the MTV Video Music Awards, they won't be able to attend the event, but they're excited about having been nominated for Best New Artist in a Video for the song "Swing, Swing" — maybe too excited.
"It gave me a woody," Ritter said. "That was probably the coolest thing ever. People think the Grammys is the big thing, but when you're our age, we grew up on MTV, so this is our Grammys."
As thrilled as they are about the nomination, the Rejects are pretty realistic about their chances. After all, they're up against 50 Cent, Evanescence, Kelly Clarkson, Sean Paul and Simple Plan. "Everybody knows 50 deserves it," Wheeler said.
"50's gonna win," reiterated Ritter. "Honestly, we're just gonna get wasted and make paper-mâché Moonmen and cry."
Well, there's always next year. The Stillwater, Oklahoma, band has been working on material for its second album, which it plans to finish up after touring through October, Wheeler said.
In addition, the Rejects will release the DVD "Live From Oklahoma ... The Too Bad for Hell!" on September 30. The package will feature live footage from the band's May 30 show in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Also, fans can catch the band's hit "Swing, Swing" in the video game "MVP Baseball 2003," which also includes tracks from Sum 41, the Donnas, Taproot, Burning Brides and Soundtrack of Our Lives, among others.
"My mom was always against video games, so I started playing guitar instead," Wheeler said. "But this is a baseball game and we grew up playing baseball, so we were like, 'All right, cool.' "