After more than two years on the road in support of their Move Along album, the All-American Rejects finally wrapped things up in early 2007, with everyone returning home for a much-deserved break. So how did frontman Tyson Ritter spend his time away from the spotlight?
"I've had a place for nearly three years now, but I was never home, so I finally got around to hanging some pictures up," he said. "And now I just wake up, stay in my bathrobe all day and sit at my piano. It's pretty nice, actually."
He's being modest. Because ever since the Rejects brought their Tournado jaunt to a close (see "All-American Rejects Move Along Again With Fall Arena Tour"), Ritter and guitarist Nick Wheeler have been doing more than just hanging frames in Ritter's Destin, Florida, home: They've also started working on songs for the follow-up to Move, which has sold nearly 2 million copies since its July 2005 release (see "All-American Rejects 'Had To Step It Up' On New LP — Or Else").
So far they've finished "a handful" of new tunes, which Ritter describes as "earworms that'll rot your brain."
"We write hooky songs, so right now we're just looking for our tackle box. We've got some candy that'll give you cavities," Ritter laughed. "All I do is cruise around, listening to oldies, to some good ol' Motown, so stuff like that is sort of shaping what we've been writing. And we're looking at a ballad we wrote for the last Gwen Stefani album that she didn't use. We might revisit that one."
Then again, Ritter is quick to point out that the Rejects are a rock band, so he and Wheeler are also working on a bunch of songs that'll eschew the hooks and focus more on life on the road — not to mention take a few jabs at our current Commander in Chief.
"We're a rock band, so we gotta bring it," he said. "There's always songs about missing my girl. Plus a little bit of animosity towards the way things are today. I'm gonna be very firm and not shy away from what I wanna say. I think our last record brought us further along as songwriters, and the songs are coming along really nicely."
The Rejects' new album is tentatively slated to hit stores in the fourth quarter of 2008 — Ritter jokes that "our label has tons of sh-- slated for then, too. I think the new Guns N' Roses album is supposed to come out then." The band will spend the next few months playing sheds around the country before going into lockdown and putting some serious work on finishing the disc.
Which means that Ritter will be spending even more time away from home. But, hey, such is the life of a rock star.
"We're gonna play some show, then we're gonna go into the woods and stay in the 'Evil Dead' cabin and lock ourselves into a room and grind this album out," Ritter joked. "It's gonna be like 'The Ten Commandments,' where Moses went up the hill and came down with a beard and white hair. I'm looking for white hair. Without struggle cannot be any goodness."