INTERVIEW: Mike Kennery of The All-American Rejects
SoCalMusicToday.com recently spoke with Mike Kennerty of alternative rock band, The All-American Rejects. Throughout our conversation, Kennerty expressed the band’s exhilaration off their 10th anniversary for their debut album, being able to let loose in the studio and create a cohesive album that exemplifies the band’s evolution. The All American Rejects’ tour hits Anaheim on November 1, 2012 at the Grove of Anaheim and Los Angeles on November 3,2012 at The Wiltern with supporting act Boys Like Girls. Tickets available via LiveNation.com
Your new album “Kids In the Street” tends to explore new territory musically. How did it feel to try something new than the usual sound?
How does it feel? It feels great! We have always kind of—with each album we really took our time to write and allow it to grow as musicians and not force the record right away ‘cause then we would feel like as if we’re repeating ourselves. We took our time, made sure we’re not doing the same thing and with ‘Kids In the Street,’ we really pushed ourselves even more, and kind of let the songs dictate where they go and not be, ya know, put into the corner into any kind of style or anything. We thought we should do and it was great. It came out as probably our most diverse record, but at the same time, our most cohesive and most like, a start-to-finish album that kind of tells a story, if you listen to the whole thing and get the whole emotion of it.
Did anything funny or interesting occur during the recording process of “Kids In the Street”?
Um, trying to think here… nothing really comes to mind. It was just a really great environment. We felt really comfortable; we kind of stepped out of our comfort zone of what we normally do when we record. Usually we’re very much perfectionists and we spend so much time getting everything down to the tiniest detail and this time we kind of embraced spontaneity and recording live and little mistakes here and there. We realized that gives us a vibe that we’ve never had before because we’ve always been such perfectionists.
You mentioned that this album was more of a package—so you kind of have to listen to the whole thing to get the full experience of it. So, how do you think illegally downloading music online will affect fan’s experience of listening to music or the whole album?
Well, just kind of anything digital you loose something. Part of an album I’ve always felt is the artwork, just holding it, reading the lyrics and all that stuff. So, I think you loose that just by buying digitally. Downloading yeah, if they’re getting like—if they’re tearing the album apart and only getting pieces of it like one or two songs, it definitely kind of degrades. What we intended is the whole package and ya know it kind of does pull the songs out of context and it probably changes how it sounds or whatever. We hope people will download the whole album, and listen to the whole album but this day and age you can only hope.
How has it been seeing and experiencing the evolution of the All American Rejects? You jumped on right before their first release. Would you have ever imagined the success the band has now and create a successful album like your latest release?
Ya know I don’t think that anyone of us imagined that we would still be doing this and actually, yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the release of the first album and so we all kind of had a celebratory dinner last night. It’s so bizarre to think that all this time has passed but it doesn’t feel like it and yeah, to think about where we were in our mindset and musically ten years ago, until where we’ve come and how history has turned out. I think it’s definitely something we never anticipated but are extremely proud and I think ten years ago, if we were shown where we would go as a band, I think we would be very excited and very stoked. We didn’t pin ourselves into a corner and we just didn’t keep releasing the same record over and over again and uh, so yeah, I think we’re really happy where we’re at.
What is your favorite part of performing live?
Ya know, just feeding off the energy of the crowd. That’s our big thing. We love getting up there and giving our entire selves and kind of beat ourselves up, so when the crowd gives that back to us and returns the energy, that’s just like the best feeling in the world. We’re kind of demanding of our crowd ‘cause when they don’t, we get pissed and we let them know.
That’s good! That way fans can get what they’re there for at the same time.
Lastly, what should fans expect of your upcoming LA gig?
It should be good. This tour has been really, like, dialed in our show and thanks to now having an array of albums to pick from; we can really make a show that has ups and downs and feel like a show and experience. We’ll make sure we’ll cover all our bases, we’ll play everything people want to hear, there’s those massive fans that know just the hits and we’ll play some good cuts for the fans that know them all. It’ll be a good mix of stuff for fans.