The All-American Rejects

  • Alt rock band formed in 1999 from Stillwater Oklahoma. The lineup during their most successful years was Tyson Ritter (lead vocals, keyboards, bass guitar, songwriting), Nick Wheeler (lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals, songwriting), Mike Kennerty (rhythm guitar, bass guitar, back vocals) and Chris Gaylor (drums, backing vocals).
  • Ritter and Wheeler were friends in high school, and with a common interest in music, they decided to form a band in 1999. They chose the name All-American Rejects simply because they thought it sounded cool. Together with high school friend Jesse Tabish on guitar, they made a self titled demo disc of twelve songs in 2000. Tabish opted to leave the group, leaving Ritter and Wheeler to self-release an EP titled Same Girl, New Songs, which included several songs from the demo disc. The EP was sent to a independent label, where an intern recovered the disc from a trash can and gave it to the owner of the label. Soon after, the group was signed to a recording contract.
  • Ritter and Wheeler recorded their debut self-titled album, releasing it in 2002. Realizing that they needed additional members to support live performances, Kennerty joined just prior to the release of the album. For a short while, drummer Tim Campbell was part of the group, but he was replaced by Gaylor, who previously had played in a band with Kennerty. Four months after the release of the debut The All-American Rejects album, the band was signed by a national label and it was re-released with broader distribution. The album peaked at #25 on the Billboard album chart, and their later success increased sales of the album, ultimately earning platinum status. The single Swing,Swing was their first to chart, reaching #60 on the Hot 100 and #8 on the Alternative Airplay charts.
  • Their breakthrough came with their second album – Move Along was released in the summer of 2005. The album was certified 2x platinum, and three singles broke into the top 15 of the Hot 100 chart – Dirty Little Secret, Move Along and It Ends Tonight. After tours to support the album, they began to record their third album. When the World Comes Down was released in late 2008. It included their best selling single, Gives You Hell. The song peaked at #4 on the Hot 100 and it topped Billboard’s Adult Top 40 and Mainstream Top 40 charts.
  • The band’s fourth album, Kids In the Street, was released in 2012. It was less successful than their previous albums, and four non-album singles released between 2015 and 2020 did not chart. The group changed record labels in 2017. The future is uncertain for the band, as Ritter moved to New Zealand during the pandemic, and the other three members live in different parts of the U.S. Ritter was quoted in 2020 as saying that it was unlikely that the group would do another record anytime soon, if ever.
  • The All-American Rejects was an early contributor to emo pop when the genre began to reach the music mainstream in the 00s. They had enough power-pop successes to sell over 10 million albums worldwide. Here’s the video to their catchy classic, Gives You Hell.

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