Chat with All-American Rejects
Nick Wheeler (second from left) and Chris Gaylor (third from left) hit up SportsNation.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, guitarist Nick Wheeler and drummer Chris Gaylor of the band All-American Rejects will stop by to chat about their latest album "Kids in the Street" (buy here) which was released Monday.
"Kids" is the band's fourth studio album and the first since 2008's "When the World Comes Down." Wheeler and lead vocalist Tyson Ritter composed the songs and wrote the lyrics for "Kids."
Wheeler, along with Ritter, started the band in Stillwater, Okla. in 1999 while the two were still in high school, and have gone on to sell more than 10 million albums worldwide. All-American Rejects was ESPN's artist of the month for March.
Send your questions now and join the guys Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:17 PM)
Hello everyone! Buzzmaster here! I'm the official chat host here in SportsNation! The guys will be here in about 15 minutes! Keep your questions coming!
Buzzmaster (1:33 PM)
Hang tight ... should be starting soon! Keep those questions coming!
Nick Wheeler (1:39 PM)
Laura Wilson (Mizzou)
Which do you enjoy more ... creating the music or performing it?
Nick Wheeler (1:40 PM)
It used to be tour tour tour! Just get on the stage! But the new record has been an amazing experience and really fun. It's usually stressful in the studio because you put so much pressure on yourself, but this time around it was an adventure. Greg, our producer, was great and just made it a fun ride for us all. I think you can hear that when you listen to it. So before it was touring but now it's really both.
If you guys could have been a big successful band in any other decade which would you choose?
Nick Wheeler (1:42 PM)
Any decade but this one! It's tough being a rock band these days. You don't hear much guitar anymore. It's tough. I would choose a different decade for sure ... I think the 80s was probably the most fun and debauchreous decadade. You made money and got to enjoy it. But as a musician, I'd have to say 60s or 70s. I love discovering bands from 40 years ago more than bands from now. I'd say 70s! Let's go with that!
Do fans with AAR tattoos freak you out?
Nick Wheeler (1:44 PM)
It's awesome! I can't believe I put our band name on my body! When someoody likes you that much it's pretty cool. I have several band tattoos myself of bands I like and made me who I am. It's a huge honor.
mandi (st. louis, missouri)
Describe the new album in 3 words?
Nick Wheeler (1:44 PM)
Kids In The Street is four words! Wow.. hmm.. gimme a second and we'll come back to that one!
Sarah L. (Orlando FL)
Have you guys been to a Thunder game? Are they going to win teh NBA championship this year?
Nick Wheeler (1:45 PM)
No! It's pretty great that they are doing so well. We've never had a pro anything. When the Hornets were relocated for a bit that was huge. Everybody freaked. Finally get a pro team was huge. I just haven't been to a game yet.
Nick Wheeler (1:46 PM)
I did go to a SuperSonics game in Seattle one time and have a jersey with my name on the back. Sort of ironic now!
Tom L. (New York)
Are you the best band to come out of Oklahoma? If not, who is?
Nick Wheeler (1:48 PM)
I don't know! The Flaming Lips would give us a run for our money! I'm a trader and moved to L.A. The year the Lakers and Thunder were in the playoffs I went down to the bar and that game was on the TV and I was the only Thunder fan. I looked around and realized I better keep it quiet. The Lakers ended up winning and the riot squad was out in front of my place making sure nobody was setting fires and turning cars over. But I cannot say we are the best band to come out of OK. But we are one of the only ones still standing from this last decade.
Do you guys have any time to watch sports or are your schedules just to packed? Do you ever get to catch a game or go to see other concerts?
Nick Wheeler (1:49 PM)
We just watched the Super Bowl in Nashville. We had a day off and got to sit around and have a Super Bowl bus party. I have the ESPN Watch app on my phone so I get the notifications when Oklahoma State is playing. When the playoffs are World Series are going on, I make sure I can watch that. Last year I was sick during the World Series so got to just sit around and watch the games.
Nick Wheeler (1:49 PM)
Sometimes being on the road is a really good thing because the timing works out and you can see a game ... like in Seattle with the SuperSonics.
Could you imagine being like the Rolling Stones and doing a 50-year anniversary tour someday?
Nick Wheeler (1:51 PM)
If we are lucky! If the fans are that true to us to keep us around for 50 years, absolutely. We haven't had our bad drug phase yet so that's good. We'll see! We're in our 10th year now ... our first record came out 10 years ago.
Are making music videos still fun or is it more of a chore?
Nick Wheeler (1:53 PM)
Not being the singer helps! The rest of us don't have to work as hard. It depends on the video. Some have been a real pain in the ass like "when the wind blows" .. the performance scene was in the ocean and it was not a warm time of the year. We had to wear wet suits under our clothes. Chris's drum set kept floating away. But the new video for "Beekeepers Daughter" really was a blast. We recreated a parade and Wayne Newton was the parademaster. We just called him up and asked him and he said yes. Turns out his daughter is a fan. We brought our albums to have him sign them.
@kissesfordavid (Ann Arbor, MI)
To Nick - You're definitely one of the few guitarist in Pop music who really knows what they're doing. Growing up, what bands did you listen too that really influenced the skills and sound you have today?
Nick Wheeler (1:55 PM)
Wow, thanks. The sound I guess I just developed over time. The guys who interested me were Richie Sambora and Phil Collen from Def Leppard. I've been able to meet both of them. I don't really listen to a lot of new music these days. But I'm always discovering guys from decades past. I love 80s bands a lot because of my sisters tapes that I used to always listen to. I also love the simplicity of some of the 90s music, especially with guitar. Not much doubling or over-dubbing. They just had one, big awesome guitar and I loved it. We tried to take that less is more approach, but it's hard to not want to do everything you think of.
Julie Dominick (S Carolina)
Since Tyson isn't here to defend himself, what's something embarrassing about him us fans don't know?
Nick Wheeler (1:57 PM)
Something embarrassing? While we were making this record .. we both moved to L.A. recently and he quickly got over it. We always said we would stay out of L.A. but we finally did move here. He still doesn't claim that he "lives" here and he sleeps on the couch in his own home.
Mandi (St. Louis)
Did you think of 3 words to describe the new album yet? :)
Nick Wheeler (1:59 PM)
Ah crap! It's definitely an "album" which sounds kind of obvious but its the first time we've managed to really create an album and not just a collection of good songs. It's a true ride from beginning to end. We listened to it on vinly for the first time the other day and that was really fun. That's one word. More to come!
Sean Boyce (Bartlesville, Oklahoma)
was it hard to get back into the process of making an album after not making one in four years?
Nick Wheeler (2:00 PM)
It's always a trip coming off tour for the last time on a cycle knowing if you ever want to do that again, you have to make a good album that is better than the last. Always a lot of growing pains. I think it's not really like riding a bike. You can't just jump back in. We can get back to writing the same songs easy enough, but you would rather push yourself to figuring things out and doing something new and better. You can't be afraid.
Nick Oliden (Wisconsin)
Hey Guys have you guys ever gotten into fights or disagreements about the albums or songs on the albums?
Nick Wheeler (2:02 PM)
I've seen that Kings of Leon documentary and it's funny. If you ever made a doc about us it would be extremely boring. We don't fight at all. If we ever do disagree about a song or idea, we just try it out to humor each other and hear each other out. I've had plenty of bad ideas. I know that. Once we try it it becomes obvious. We really do like each other.
Chris and Nick, What are your hobbies now that music is your job?
Nick Wheeler (2:03 PM)
I guess music has always been what I was good at so it became my job. I love to cook but I don't have the time that often. I watch a lot of TV as well. You miss out on some much when you are on tour. I just got caught up on Walking Dead. I named my dog after Dexter. My dog is my biggest hobby right now. He is who I spend most of my spare time with these days.
Fizzy Womack (Yonkers,NY)
Were you guys losers in high school? is that where you got the name?
Nick Wheeler (2:07 PM)
We were definitely not cool. Tyson did play football. We couldn't wait to get to band practice. That's how we ended up meeting and writing songs. Everyone else skipped band practice. I hated school. There was nothing in it for me. I would drive home at lunch and work on demos and then hurry back to do whatever for 3 more hours and then go back to music. The name didn't' really come from that. Maybe subconsiously it did. But not really. The name is just something we came up with. We started out pop-punk and the name seemed to fit. Then we figured we should just keep it.
Do you guys prefer playing at small gigs or big arenas?
Nick Wheeler (2:08 PM)
We just did the "Shaking off the Rust" tour and it was great. We played a lot of 300-500 size rooms. We had so much gear on stage we could barely move. I got nervous before those shows. I haven't felt that alive in awhile. But whether it is 300 or 3000 it is great.
Katie Kuzma (Asheville, nC)
Which is more stresssful: worrying that you won't come up with awesome songs during writer's block or wondering how the fans/critics will react to the songs once the album is released?
Nick Wheeler (2:10 PM)
Personally I don't think about them simultaneously. We do worry about it though becauase we are human. We manage to dig and push ourselves until we find it. "Heartbeats Falling Down" took a lot of courage to write. We just put our baby out for the world to see and it can be stressful. You wonder if it's going to fall on deaf ears. We're a nervous wreck .. always!
Nick Wheeler (2:10 PM)
But we are always confident once we got on stage ... that's when we are at our best.
Nick Wheeler (2:12 PM)
Next word ... "Therapy" ... making the record exorcised some demons. Tyson got a lot of feelings out lyrically. He dug really deep. And for me, getting to play music makes me feel really lucky. I'd go crazy if I didn't get to do this. Last word .. "Adventure" .. this album will really take you on a ride.
Nick Wheeler (2:14 PM)
Thanks for all the questions and for not throwing a bunch of sports questions at me I can't answer! I'm going to give you a fourth word to describe the album "Bedlam" .. people who know will know what I chose that one! Thanks again for the questions and we hope to see you all out on tour!
Buzzmaster (2:14 PM)
Thanks, Nick! FYI Chris got tied up and was unable to join us today.