All-American Rejects

All-American Rejects

The All-American Rejects

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The All-American Rejects

The All-American Rejects are an American rock band formed in Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1999.[1] The band consists of lead vocalist, bass guitarist, and pianist Tyson Ritter, lead guitarist Nick Wheeler, rhythm guitarist Mike Kennerty, and drummer and percussionist Chris Gaylor.

The band achieved mainstream success with their debut self-titled studio album The All-American Rejects released in 2003 by Dreamworks Records. The album was certified platinum by the RIAA and spawned the single "Swing, Swing".[2] The band's second album Move Along brought the band further mainstream success in 2005, producing the hit singles, "Dirty Little Secret", "Move Along" and "It Ends Tonight", all of which charted in the top fifteen on the Billboard Hot 100 chart,[3] while Move Along was certified double platinum by the RIAA.[2] Their third studio album When the World Comes Down was released in 2008 and was later certified gold by the RIAA.[2] It lead single "Gives You Hell" became The All-American Rejects' most successful song to date, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the top 5 in many other countries.[3][4][5] "Gives You Hell" was certified 4× multi-platinum for sales of over 4 million in the United States by the RIAA.[6] Kids in the Street, the band's fourth studio album, was released March 26, 2012 and debuted at #18 on the US Billboard 200 chart.

Since the start of their career, The All-American Rejects have sold over 10 million albums worldwide[7][8] and were ranked No. 73 on the "Hot 100 Artists of the 2000s"[9] and No. 183 on Billboard magazine's "Billboard 200 Artists of the Decade" list.[10]


1999-2004: Formation and The All-American Rejects

Main article: The All-American Rejects (album)

The band formed in Stillwater, Oklahoma, in 1999 while members Tyson Ritter and Nick Wheeler were still in high school. The two originally met in 1997 at a club where an early band of Wheeler's was performing. It was here that Ritter offered himself for bass duties. Eventually Ritter and Wheeler decided to form The All-American Rejects.[1]

In 2000, still in high school, the band made a demo simply labeled The All-American Rejects, with Jesse Tabish as vocalist/guitarist, Tyson Ritter as vocalist/bassist and Nick Wheeler on drums. The demo CD was engineered, mixed and mastered by Wheeler. It was also managed by Half-A-Cup Entertainment. The demo is now commonly referred to as The Blue Disc or The Blue Album. The CD consisted of twelve songs, a few of which would be included on the Same Girl, New Songs demo made in 2001. Jesse Tabish later split from the group and later became a member of the folk band Other Lives. Ritter and Wheeler put together the Same Girl, New Songs EP, which was soon sent to independent Doghouse Records, where an intern saved the disc from the trash, and revealed it to the label owner. The All-American Rejects were soon signed to a recording contract.[11]

In 2001, with producer Tim O'Heir, they recorded their self-titled debut album, The All-American Rejects. The album and its first single, "Swing, Swing", were released towards the end of 2002. The band began looking for additional members for a live act.[12] Edmond, Oklahoma resident Mike Kennerty joined on as rhythm guitarist soon before the album was released. Soon after, the band was having problems with drummer Tim Campbell. Campbell was later replaced by drummer Chris Gaylor, who knew and played in another band with Kennerty.[13]

The band was then signed by DreamWorks Records. The band hit the road for eight shows in January, and DreamWorks issued a broader-scale distribution of the debut LP. The album peaked at No. 25 on the Billboard 200. The single "Swing, Swing" was also re-issued, which peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 60 as well as No. 8 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.[14][15][16] The single "The Last Song" was also released spring 2003, and climbed to No. 29 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.[16]

Early in 2003, the band went on tour as an opening act for CKY. While several differing stories have occurred concerning the tour, they were kicked off the tour shortly after it began.

In Spring 2003, The All-American Rejects set out on their first headlining tour, called the Too Bad For Hell Tour. In later 2003, The All-American Rejects released, Live from Oklahoma... The Too Bad for Hell DVD!, their first live DVD which was later certified Gold by the RIAA. During this time, they performed on the Vans Warped Tour. They would later be part of the lineup again in summer 2005. In November, The All-American Rejects joined the band Motion City Soundtrack for six shows in the United Kingdom, the first date on the 16th, and the last on the 22nd.[17]

2005-2006: Move Along

Main article: Move Along

In July 2005, The All-American Rejects released their second studio album, Move Along, produced by Howard Benson. The album's first single, "Dirty Little Secret", was released that summer to radio stations.

At the end of 2005, The All-American Rejects embarked on The Rise of the Fall Tour along with The Academy Is... and Rooney.[18] Then, on December 13, The Bite Back EP was released on the iTunes Music Store, and on New Year's Eve 2005, the band performed The Cars' "Good Times Roll" with Fall Out Boy on MTV.

In 2006, the second single and title track from Move Along, was released. Within the first weeks after premiering their video, it had been on the Total Request Live countdown, hitting number-one four days in a row. The single did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100 until almost six months after its release, in June. On March 15, 2006, the All-American Rejects began a tour of the United States that wrapped up on May 13, 2006. On May 25, The All-American Rejects performed at the first ever VH1 Rock Honors, covering Def Leppard's "Photograph". In July the band sent a promotional single from Move Along, "Top of the World" to modern rock radio. A music video was created for it from clips of The All-American Rejects on tour and in concert.

"Move Along" was also used to help promote Lego Bionicle's Inika toy sets in the summer of 2006. The band also participated in a promotion for the sets called "Free the Band". The overall priority of the promotion was that the Rejects got kidnapped by the villainous Piraka whilst sailing on a yacht and people had to assist the Inika on finding and rescuing the band via the website ''. A competition could also be entered where the winners would receive Bionicle and All-American Rejects merchandise alike.[19]

In September 2006, a third headlining single, "It Ends Tonight", was released from Move Along. The video debuted at No. 10 on the VH1 Top 20 countdown. The video also peaked at No. 2 on TRL.[20] Later in the year The All-American Rejects launched the Tournado tour in support of Move Along. The tour kicked off at Hartford, Connecticut on October 27, and wrapped up at Champaign, Illinois on December 20.

That New Year's Eve, The All-American Rejects performed on a special on Las Vegas' Fremont Street, which also included the bands OK Go, Five for Fighting, Rock Star Supernova, and Chicago.

2007-2009: When the World Comes Down

Main article: When the World Comes Down

The All-American Rejects began writing material for their third studio album in December 2006. The band also collaborated with composer Danny Elfman on "The Future Has Arrived", which was included on the soundtrack of Disney film Meet the Robinsons. The song was created in conjunction with the film's musical score.

On July 17, 2007 The All-American Rejects released their second live DVD, titled Tournado, with content from the 2006 headlining tour of the same name. In December 2007, the songs "Move Along" and "Dirty Little Secret" were released as downloadable content in the video game Rock Band.[21] In the summer of 2008, The All-American Rejects canceled their dates on that year's Warped Tour to complete When the World Comes Down. The demo for the song "Real World" was selected for the soundtrack of Madden 09. Also during the summer, they covered "Jack's Lament" from The Nightmare Before Christmas, which was featured on Nightmare Revisited. The finished album version of the song "I Wanna" appeared in the movie, The House Bunny, which was released to theaters on August 22, 2008. Vocalist/bassist Tyson Ritter played a role in the film, and offered up "I Wanna" for the soundtrack.[22]

On September 30, 2008 the first single from When the World Comes Down, "Gives You Hell" was released on October 8, 2008. The All-American Rejects were inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, and were awarded with "Rising Star"[23] Gives You Hell peaked at No. 1 on Pop charts on and also peaked No. 1 on iTunes charts and No. 5 most downloaded song of the 2009 year, and the No. 1 most played song of the year 2009. ".[24] The music video for "Gives You Hell" was released November fifth and reached number one on VH1's Top 20 Countdown. On the sixth, in support of "Gives You Hell", the band started the Gives You Hell Tour, which hit many small venues and clubs. Then, on the eighteenth "Mona Lisa (When the World Comes Down)", another song from the band's upcoming album, was released digitally on iTunes. In the first week of December, the album version of "Real World" was made available for download on Rock Band for the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3.

Finally, three years after Move Along was released, the group's third album, When the World Comes Down (produced by Eric Valentine), was released on December 16, 2008.[25] After the Gives You Hell Tour wrapped up, the band embarked on a world tour until coming back to the states to start the I Wanna Rock Tour, which hit many major venues in the United States.

In May 2009 The All-American Rejects released a second single in the United States, entitled "The Wind Blows", which achieved moderate success. "I Wanna" was released internationally on July 8 to Australia and the United Kingdom. Another song from When the World Comes Down, "Real World", was featured on the "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" soundtrack released on June 23, 2009, but is not featured in the film. In July, "Real World" was released as a promotional single in the United States, followed by "I Wanna" as a headliner. In late summer The All-American Rejects joined Weezer, Fall Out Boy and Taking Back Sunday for the second half of the Blink-182 Reunion Tour.

On 15 August The All-American Rejects made history, performing alongside Hoobastank, Raygun, Boys Like Girls, Pixie Lott and Kasabian as one of the live acts at Asia's very first MTV World Stage Live In Malaysia concert.[26] This performance gained them recognition in Malaysia. When the World Comes Down soon sold over 15,000 digital and physical copies in the country. On August 21 the "I Wanna" single was issued to Austria and Germany.

In October 2009, The All-American Rejects were forced to cancel shows due to an injury to frontman Tyson Ritter. He performed from a wheelchair with his leg in a brace on September 27 during a show in Tampa, Florida, amid reports suggesting the singer had undergone knee surgery to remove a tumor that had been there for many months. Ritter's leg became infected, and he remained hospitalized for five days. Ritter made a full recovery in time to return to kick off the Battle Of The Bands Tour with Taking Back Sunday, with the first date at MSU in Michigan.[27][28]

The All-American Rejects announced that they will be performing their last show in support of When the World Comes Down at Hollywood, California on December 14. Since the date soon sold out, the band added a second date at the venue for the next day. However, the band played one more show at the "Jingle Bell Bash" in Seattle on December 19.

2010present: Kids in the Street

Main article: Kids in the Street

In February 2010, The All-American Rejects performed at the Winter Olympics at the Whistler Medals Plaza. They also had DirecTV performances at Super Bowl XLIV and a special set aired in February. The band also wrote and recorded the song "The Poison" for the Almost Alice compilation, a collection of songs representing the 2010 Tim Burton film Alice in Wonderland. From June 25 to July 18, The All-American Rejects toured the United States and Canada as part of the Warped Tour 2010 festival.

Later that year, the band began working on a fourth studio album. Songwriters Nick Wheeler and Tyson Ritter went on numerous writing retreats into secluded parts of the United States; a tradition of writing used on their previously released albums. Recording for the album wrapped up in June 2011, with mixing commencing the following August and concluding early September. On November 14, 2011 Ritter announced that ex Taking Back Sunday bassist Matt Rubano had joined the band as their bass player for live performances, but stated that [Ritter] is still the bass player recording-wise.[29][30]

The All-American Rejects released the song "Someday's Gone" from their fourth studio album on December 3, 2011 as a free download from their official website, a music video for the track that was filmed over the previous weekend also premiered the same day.[31] The band later announced the title and track listing for their fourth studio album Kids in the Street on December 16, 2011, and that its first single would be titled "Beekeeper's Daughter", it premiered in an episode of American teen drama 90210 featuring the band performing the track on January 31, 2012, as well as being released the same day.[32] The album spawned two further singles; "Kids in the Street" and "Heartbeat Slowing Down", both of which achieved moderate success in the US.

The All-American Rejects later embarked on their Shaking Off the Rust tour, which began in San Luis Obispo, California, United States on January 18, 2012 and continued through the year - some of which they performed as a support act for Blink-182's 20th Anniversary Tour in the UK - and ended on July 27, 2013. The band performed at Sepang International Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on September 27, 2013 alongside The Wanted and Five for Fighting as part of the Arthur's Day celebrations promoted by the Guinness brewing company. On November 5, 2013, Ritter released a solo song titled "Air"[33] in order to "tide fans over until the next Rejects record",[34] which Ritter claimed "it's time to start fishing for hooks for", while in an interview with Variance magazine.[35]

The band are to headline the Slam Dunk festival tour in the UK on the Bank Holiday weekend of May 2426, 2014, alongside other bands such as Goldfinger, Letlive and Zebrahead.[36]

Band members


  • Tyson Ritter lead vocals, piano, bass guitar (1999present)
  • Nick Wheeler lead guitar, backing vocals (2002present), drums, percussion (1999-2001);
  • Mike Kennerty rhythm guitar, bass guitar, backing vocals (2002present)
  • Chris Gaylord drums, percussion (2002present)


  • Tim Campbell drums (1999)
  • Jesse Tabish lead vocals, lead guitar (1999-2001)


Using mainly Fender and Gibson guitars, The All-American Rejects use numerous models. The band uses Sennheiser microphones, Ernie Ball guitar strings, and Dunlop Picks.

Lead singer and bassist Tyson Ritter uses two models of Fender; one is a Black P-Bass, and the other model is the recently discontinued Jaguar Bass. Ritter also uses Gibson models, including the Gibson Thunderbird and the Epiphone Flying V.[37]

The lead guitarist of The All-American Rejects, Nick Wheeler, primarily uses Gibson guitars. Wheeler's main guitar is the Gibson Firebird. He primarily uses a Vintage Sunburst Firebird V. Wheeler owns a rare cherry Firebird VII, which he no longer uses for live shows, as well as a custom Firebird, which is painted in blue glitter. He owns eight Firebirds overall. He also uses a Classic Gibson Firebird. Wheeler frequently uses a Gibson ES-335. This guitar is notably used live for the intro of "Top of the World", taking the place of the classical guitar originally used in the "Top of the World" recording. It is also commonly used in the songs "It Ends Tonight", "Real World", "Stab My Back", "My Paper Heart", "Gives You Hell" and "Dance Inside". Another guitar that Wheeler favors is the Gibson EDS-1275 doubleneck guitar, which he uses live on "The Wind Blows". He has also been known to occasionally use the Gibson Flying V, namely for the performing "The Last Song" live.[38][39]

Rhythm guitarist Mike Kennerty has used the Gibson SG since joining the band, and also uses Washburn Guitars. Another guitar that Kennerty favors is the PRS Guitars Mira X which came out in early 2009.[40][41]

Chris Gaylor, drummer for the band, uses Remo heads for his drums. Gaylor used to endorse Tama drums, but now he endorses C&C drums. He has a set with a Rootbeer Sparkle wood finish, as well as an acrylic kit. Gaylor's most-current set-up contains seven drums. He uses a 12×7 rack tom, 14×10, 16×12, and 18×14 floor toms, a 14×6.5 Nickel-Over-Brass snare, a 12×7 effects snare, and a 24×16 bass drum. Gaylor uses Tama hardware.

Also, Gaylor uses Vater Universal drumsticks, and his cymbals are Sabian. His hi-hats are Sabian 14-inch HHX Evolution. His 3 crashes he uses are an 18 inch HHXplosion crash, a 19 inch AAXplosion crash, and a 20-inch HHX stage crash. Gaylor also uses 22-inch HH Power Bell ride cymbal. Gaylor also includes an LP cowbell in his set. The drummer also uses an Alesis ADAT HD24 for recording purposes.[8][42]


Main article: The All-American Rejects discography
Studio albums
  • The All-American Rejects (2002)
  • Move Along (2005)
  • When the World Comes Down (2008)
  • Kids in the Street (2012)

Awards and nominations

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by The All-American Rejects


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Nick Wheeler (All American Rejects): "I did not know that we have fans in Croatia", Monika Lelas, Thursday, 17 September 2009 (translated)
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  7. Horowitz, Joanna, Jingle Bell Bash is ready to ring, with the All-American Rejects and more, The Seattle Times, December 17, 2009.
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External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: The All-American Rejects

  • Official website
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