From Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle” in the 1970s to Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time” in the ’80s, and R. Kelly’s “If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time” a decade later, songs about stopping time are as numerous as sands in an hourglass. The All-American Rejects extend the time-honored tradition with their third single, “Time Stands Still.”
The song, which follows “Swing Swing” and “The Last Song,” is similar to the themes that flow through the Oklahoma band’s self-titled debut album in that they’re all about singer, bassist and lyricist Tyson Ritter’s girl problems. But unlike the album’s other tracks, “Time Stands Still” focuses on the good times, before the bad ones arose.
“It’s about me wishing that nothing would change from that honeymoon period, the first six or seven months,” Ritter said, before adding, “For me, it’s like three.
“It’s that time when nothing matters with your lady because it’s all good,” he continued. “And nothing gets you down, nothing at all.”
Barring the use of magic spells and charms, Ritter had a surprising solution for making the good times last. “Be on the road more,” he quipped. “It disassociates us even more from a real relationship.”
Personal bonds will remain long-distance while the Rejects continue to tour in support of their debut, which has sold nearly 800,000 copies, according to SoundScan. Ritter, co-founding guitarist Nick Wheeler, guitarist Mike Kennerty and drummer Chris Gaylor will be on the road through the end of the month before heading to Japan.
Fans who catch those shows will notice a new song, “Dance Inside,” that’s expected to appear on the Rejects’ next album. Ritter said the song is about a girl – no surprise there – but that it pertains to present-day happiness and isn’t a lament over yesterday.
“We wrote it on the road after I met a beautiful girl,” Ritter said. “It’s about being in love… and stuff like that. It’s about passionate love, on a deeper level than I used to write about before.”
The Rejects won’t begin working on their second album until after they return from tour. Despite the official addition of relatively new members Kennerty and Gaylor, Wheeler and Ritter will continue to serve as the core writing team.
“We’re a four-piece band and all, but me and Tyson have been the songwriters and will continue to be,” Wheeler explained. “We’re going to see how that grows. Look at Bon Jovi, they’ve always had the same dynamic. If you do one song here with somebody and one song there with somebody, it’s not really efficient and you don’t see any growth. Whatever dynamic you have, you should keep it and see how it grows, and when that doesn’t work anymore, that’s when you should reach for other sources.”