I had the opportunity to interview guitarist Nick Wheeler of All-American Rejects. The band had just begun their tour of “Kids in the Street”.
How would you say the band has changed since your hit single “Swing Swing”?
Nick: We made “Swing Swing” 10 years ago when we were teenagers. It has given us room to grow. We are adults now and we have finally realized we have responsibilities and shit to deal with, I think that gives us a lot more to write about.
What’s on your ipod right now?
Nick: New Eve 6, anything 90’s… or I’ll just open up Pandora. But lately I’ve been kinda out of the loop.
After the “Shaking Off the Rust” tour, what is it like being back on the road?
Nick: We hadn’t toured the headlining tour in 2 and a half years. I gotta tell you man I haven’t had more fun or been more nervous in a long time. It was a blast.. I don’t know, but god damn this tour is so much fun. We were in Lancaster, PA last night and we were all in our own world. It’s been an amazing experience. We’ve played every single song on our record, which is something we have never done before. That is very exciting.
When you formed in Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1999, did you ever think you’d gain this much success?
Nick: I don’t know, I never really thought about it. I don’t know what else I’d be doing if it didn’t work out. I’d probably have a terrible job on the side. It’s kind of all I ever really knew how to do. We are very fortunate.
Tell me more about the new album “Kids in the Street”
Nick: We wrote it over the last 2 and a half years. We came off the road after the last record and it was quite a ride coming home from a tour. It is always kind of a head shock. Your on this ride in an alternative reality then u go home to whatever it is. I think this time around it was the hardest. It was the biggest head trip. We just moved to LA, which is a whole different reality…It’s a weird time. Tyson got mixed up with some different people town. Tyson sacrificed some of his teenage years for touring professionally and that kind of started off the writing process. Tyson has a lot to dig through and sort out.
Looking back, how do you feel your records represented the point in time you recorded them?
Nick: I like that each record is kind of a snap shot of exactly who we were at the time. They all sound a little different. We’ve worked with a different producer each time so we’re definitely not going to get the same results. You can just hear the age we were at and what we were going through on each different record. Tyson always writes about what he knows. Even if it’s a story it’s always real… not about wizards and shit. At a lot of our tours people show up who are our age and have gone through similar experiences.
Is there a certain message you want your music to convey?
Nick: I think music has always been a great escape. It’s also an escape from having real jobs. Music is an escape from everything. It’s like Peter Pan. I don’t feel like I’m 30 years old. Music has been a form of escaping age for the last decade. I want people to take this record, or any record for that matter, and forget about their problems and have an experience. This record gives you that experience.
What songs are you most excited for us to hear and what song means the most to you?
Nick: “Heartbeat Slowing” down is the favorite. This is the best song the band’s written which will hopefully be the next single. We’re excited, It’s really special to us. Ty put a lot into it lyrically. It’s just a lot of fun to create and experience.