When the All-American Rejects returned in March with Kids in the Street, expectations were high. After all, it was the follow-up to 2008’s When the World Comes Down — an album that continued their string of crossover successes thanks to the hit “Gives You Hell” — and powered by slick first single “Beekeeper’s Daughter,” Kids looked certain to continue that trend.
Of course, to date, Kids has yet to catch fire. It debuted at #18 on the Billboard albums chart and has subsequently dropped out of the Top 200 altogether. But the Rejects aren’t worried by that slow start. In fact, to hear them tell it, everything’s going according to plan.
“This is the record where we’re trying to prove ourselves as an ’album band.’ We’ve done fine with singles,” AAR frontman Tyson Ritter told MTV News backstage at the Bamboozle festival. “Our last record, we were so proud of, but ’Gives You Hell,’ sort of just steam-rolled the way and let nothing else surface. Honestly, man, we’re a whatever-the-hell-anybody-takes-from-us band. Singles, records, buy it, steal it — just feel it. I don’t care. Just come to a show.”
And it’s at those shows where the true scope of the Rejects’ accomplishments can be felt. After all, over the course of a decade as a band, they’ve strung together a series of hits that would give any group pause (“Swing, Swing,” “Move Along,” “It Ends Tonight,” “Dirty Little Secret,” etc) and it’s gotten to the point these days where the band can actually see the past 10 years play out before their very eyes. Which is why they’re not worried about one album; they’re career artists, through and through.
“It’s been a slow build with this one, but, you know, we’re in a climate where guitars aren’t as cool as they used to be and, luckily, I feel like our fanbase has sort of hung out and waited for us for four records,” Ritter said. “It’s [been] 10 years now. We just got done playing shows, on a tour, and there are people that have been there for 10 years, singing ’Swing, Swing’ in the back, drinking, and then girls up front with the X’s out their hands, singing ’Dirty Little Secret’ and ’Gives You Hell.’ So it’s crazy to look at a Rejects show, and as you scan to the back of the crowd, you’re going through 10 years of people.”
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