If you’re craving new music from The All-American Rejects… well, you might not want to hold your breath for an extended period of time. Guitarist Nick Wheeler says the band hasn’t recorded a thing, yet.
“We’re hoping to be in the studio by the end of the year,” he said, after sounding bit surprised that lead singer Tyson Ritter told Rolling Stone something would be released by March. “We’ve been writing for about six months now, and we’ve got a couple handfuls of songs.”
Wheeler, along with drummer Chris Gaylor, sat down for an interview on “The Ralphie Radio Show?” amidst the band’s headlining trek for this year’s Vans Warped Tour. It’s AAR’s third trip on Warped, and first in five years. The boys from Stillwater, OK certainly have noticed changes. — Download the interview
— “Yunno, there’s only one main stage now, there’s all these new young bands, there’s a lot of kids out there wearing neon plaid – I don’t get it!” he joked. “We were apprehensive about how we’d be received. I mean there’s no modest way of saying it – we feel like we’ve kind of ‘grandfathered’ this scene. We came around seven, eight years ago and were getting compared to all kinds of bands. Now, we’re the only ones left. It feels really great, but we were kind of wondering if these kids listening to all these new bands would get it.”
Both Wheeler and Gaylor say The Rejects have been anything but rejected, and that the response from the crowds each night has been overwhelming. The clothes and style may change, but thankfully for AAR, the music persists onward.
You know the premise by now – budding, raw talent builds following through social networking site, catches the eye of someone important, lands a record deal. Sean Kingston reached out to J.R. Rotem on MySpace, and then found the Island singer I-Yaz. MySpace is the same site that helped the career of Colbie Caillat. Priscilla Renea and Esmee Denters were both YouTube sensations before catching the eyes and ears of Capitol Records and Justin Timberlake, respectively.
Thing is, the story is becoming more and more common. While all the aforementioned artists have or are receiving airplay on mainstream radio – there are still others, waiting in the wings, with much more than a webcam to promote their talent.
The 23 year-old wrote, played, and sang for six years. She eventually decided YouTube might be the best outlet to perform, connect, and network until she could get discovered. Then in March of 2008, Kaprelian won an online contest for her cover of OneRepublic’s “Apologize.” Soon after, the band’s record label, Interscope, signed Tamar to a deal. —
— Almost two years later, Kaprelian will release her first LP, slated for February 2010. Tamar has split her time in the past 18 months between touring, writing, and charity work: the singer is just finishing a 30-day, 30-city tour for Feeding America. Kaprelian joined forces with the likes of David Arquette and The Cheesecake Factory for “Drive Out Hunger”, raising soup donations for the needy. After performing Saturday night in New York City, Kaprelian woke up at her usual 4 a.m. for the next stop – Edison, NJ. This is where I met up with her – to chat about the soup drive and the music projects – amidst the Menlo Park Mall – which echoed with the chants and cheers of caffeine-fueled workers accepting donations.
“I worked for Cheesecake Factory before I signed with Interscope,” revealed Kaprelian. “They’ve been so supportive of my music, and of my career, and so they asked me to get involved with this charity, and I said of course.” —
Part 1: Feeding America/Cheesecake Factory, OneRepublic Contest, YouTube
Part 2: “The Hills”, Armenian Heritage, Forthcoming LP
— The tour provides Kaprelian with quite the change of perspective. As we sat in an almost empty restaurant, people who worked a job she once held scurried about around us, setting tables and preparing for open.
“It is very surreal, but I feel very blessed,” Kaprelian said. At two different points during the interview, a server mistook us for two customers. Each time, Kaprelian stopped and thanked the person for attempting to wait on us, before informing them that we were just in the restaurant to take refuge from the noisy chambers of the mall.
Kaprelian wraps up the food drive on October 1, and then heads back to Los Angeles. She’s already worked on two tracks for the LP with OneRepublic front man Ryan Tedder – one of which Tamar reveals is a duet with label mate and All-American Rejects lead singer Tyson Ritter.
“It’s gonna be a cool record… he’s so talented,” Kaprelian said of her time working with Ritter. The collaboration wasn’t her first encounter with AAR – she sang backup for the group on “Ellen”, “Jimmy Kimmel Live”, and “The Tonight Show.”
Butch Walker also contributes to the project, which is yet to be titled. Kaprelian seems to be mulling over three options – Delicate Soul, It Is What It Is, or Sinner Or Saint.
The title may not be chosen, but the first single is: Kaprelian confirmed that “New Day” will be the lead song from the album. The track gained notoriety when MTV featured it in the last scene of Season 5 on “The Hills” – the track served as Lauren Conrad’s swan song. Kaprelian told me that she knew it’d be in the finale, but had no clue as to how and when it would be heard.
“You hope (the song is) at the end,” said Kaprelian. “I was over the moon. We were in the sitting room, and my entire family and I were watching it, and it was just such a great moment.”
Tamar was born in Arizona and also raised in Georgia. Like me, she is proudly of Armenian descent. I even learned something during the interview: apparently Gwen Stefani is also Armenian.
“Family is important to us,” Kaprelian said. “(My family has been) beyond supportive. They’re really happy for me. I think they’re just proud that I get to do what I love to do every day.”
With the recent addition of a third song to iTunes, a radio promo tour set for January, and an LP to follow – the Kaprelian’s will have much to be supportive for, as Tamar will be doing what she loves on a daily basis for the foreseeable future.
The front man of The All-American Rejects might have a dirty little secret regarding his throat. Ailments hampered Tyson Ritter a couple of years ago while AAR toured. Bassist Nick Wheeler decided to all-but-skirt the issue last week, when I asked him about it on The Ralphie Radio Show.
“(Tyson’s) doing good,” replied Wheeler, before quickly segueing to another topic. “We’ve got a big week ahead of us –new record’s coming out finally.”
It isn’t known when Ritter began experiencing issues with his vocal chords. But, the condition became public in July 2006. The pop-rock stars cancelled the remaining four dates on their Canadian tour. The following fall, the group played the U.S. – but Ritter did not make the media rounds – reportedly not speaking all day, perform the show, and then not talking for the remainder of the evening.
The Rejects released “When The World Comes Down” on Tuesday. The new album brings a number of press obligations. But without a clear answer from AAR’s bassist, it’s unknown whether Ritter is in the clear himself.
Wheeler seemed equally taken aback later in our conversation. Only this time, he entertained the thought of what the Rejects career would look like if their current record label, Interscope, had released their first, self-titled LP. Wheeler first paused for two seconds, before tearing into a mini-diatribe about the current conditions in which bands sign to labels.
“Yunno, I’d like to think that music speaks for itself. Granted, you need people to help you get it out there. From the beginning, we’ve gotten in a van and gone out and played shows. We were around before MySpace and YouTube.”
Certainly the aforementioned networks have unequivocally fostered viral marketing plans and short-term success – but only time will tell if anyone from this new era of music can sustain that.
But with The Rejects predating this new phenomenon, I suppose that’s something the Oklahoma-based band won’t have to worry about.
NBC DROPS THE BALL EARLY
This has nothing to do with Jay Leno’s earlier timeslot, and everything to do with the New Years Eve special on the Peacock Network.
But how much of the show will be live, as opposed to “live”? According to my source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, NBC already pre-taped at least one musical performance. Expect to see The Ting Tings play 1-3 songs, including the iPod commercial-featured “Shut Up and Let Me Go.”
The event occurred in RockefellerCenter, and needed multiple takes. NBC even equipped the audience with hats and noisemakers, as if the ball was dropping.
Problem is, this all went down last Sunday night. —
Listen to Ralphie Aversa weekdays from 5-10p on 97 BHT.
Listen to this report, complete with audio, below:
— Does the front man of The All-American Rejects have a dirty little secret regarding his throat? Something seemed off when I asked Bassist Nick Wheeler about it.
It isn’t known when Ritter began experiencing issues with his vocal chords. But, the condition became public in July 2006. The pop-rock stars cancelled the remaining four dates on their Canadian tour. The following fall, the group played the U.S. – but Ritter did not make the media rounds. His band mates handled any press obligations. Ritter reportedly would not speak all day, perform the show, and then not talk for the remainder of the evening. He cycled this habit throughout the duration of “Tournado.” The Rejects will release “When The World Comes Down” in less than a week – and with the LP comes interviews, performances, and appearances. But without a clear answer from Wheeler, it’s unknown whether Ritter is in the clear himself.
Wheeler seemed equally taken aback later in our conversation. Only this time, he entertained the thought of what the Rejects career would look like if their current label, Interscope, had released their first, self-titled LP.
The Oklahoma-based band drops their third album this Tuesday.
The All-American Rejects’ Nick Wheeler assures Ralphie that Tyson Ritter isn’t mad at him. Nick also discusses “The Office”, college, the Rejects career, and the new LP, “When The World Comes Down” – which drops this Tuesday (12/16).
Its just past 3 a.m. Martin Johnson spent the day traveling, meeting fans, and living the life; granted by the pop-rock quartet he fronts. Boys Like Girls caught a 6 a.m., from their hometown of Boston – and were stuck in Philadelphia for the majority of the morning due to plane issues. Upon arriving in Avoca, the four were swept up by a Columbia Records rep and driven to The Woodlands – where I awaited with the rest of the 97 BHT staff for an interview/photo-op date.
But Johnson’s finished with media and other obligations for the night. Yet despite the 9 a.m. lobby call for a flight back to Beantown, the BLG lead singer is fidgeting through his iTunes playlist. At my suggestion, a Goo Goo Dolls live LP from a 2004 concert in Buffalo, NY (my hometown) is selected. Johnson skips through a couple tracks – Martin insists he “only wants to hear the hits.”
The comment is a microcosm of the singer. Call his group what you may, and categorize his music how you will, but one thing is for certain – Johnson is true to his art. We spend most of the time discussing and dissecting not just pop rock, but radio songs, and subsequent hits.
“(I) Love ‘Crush’,” Johnson admits of the debut single from American Idol runner-up David Archuleta. “It’s just a good radio song. He’s got a great voice.”
It isn’t often that you’ll meet an artist who genuinely enjoys the work of their peers. I suppose hanging out in an artist’s hotel room after last call with a few close friends isn’t all too much of an everyday occurrence either. Nonetheless, Johnson loves pop music. He thinks the latest Katy Perry song (“Hot N Cold”) is one of the top three tracks on radio. And Johnson insists that Metro Station’s second single, “Seventeen Forever” is a better song than “Shake It” – so much that he originally suggested to MS’s manager (who also heads up Boys Like Girls) that it should be the debut single.
“Yeah, I ended up being wrong on that one. But still,” says Johnson.
Of course, Boys Like Girls scored a few hits of their own. Johnson – even at this late hour – continuously flaunts his music cognoscitive. He compares the band’s success to that of fellow pop rockers All-American Rejects.
“’Great Escape’ was our ‘Dirty Little Secret’” explains Johnson. “It allowed us to have ‘Hero/Heroine’ and ‘Thunder’ – like ‘Move Along’ and ‘It Ends Tonight.’”
All in the room nod in agreement. Like AAR, Boys Like Girls roughed it on the Vans Warped Tour – one of the many concerts hit hard this summer by rising fuel prices.
“Bands that are starting out right now, it’s going to start to literally be impossible to tour,” the singer told me earlier. “When we did a 15 passenger and a trailer, we were just surviving barely on gas – hoping we could maybe get a hotel room for six people to share.”
Not the case anymore. Funny how Martin once worked in Hollister – listening to the type of music he’s now paid to perform for millions of fans across the world.
And he doesn’t even have to take care of the gas bill.