Ever since The All-American Rejects jumped from independent label Doghouse Records to DreamWorks, the Oklahoma band has been experiencing the inevitable cries of “sell-out” from former supporters in the indie crowd.
“I think a lot of people don’t respect us anymore,” reflects drummer Chris Gaylor. “When we were on Doghouse we were this cool indie-pop band and that was awesome. But when you sign to a major, you’re just some dumb boy-band pop group. I don’t see how that differs. We didn’t change any of ourselves or any of the music.”
Originally issued in October of 2002, their self-titled debut was re-released earlier this year by DreamWorks to a much wider market. Aside from the addition of a small DreamWorks logo on the back cover, the contents of the CD remain exactly the same. The super-sized promotion budget notwithstanding, the songs remain as upbeat, hook-driven and radio-friendly as they have been since day one.
“It’s the same exact release and we haven’t done anything differently,” says Gaylor. “They haven’t told us how to write songs or any of that stuff. Basically we get to play all over the world and more people hear the music, but I don’t see why that ruins your credibility.”
Currently, The All-American Rejects are criss-crossing North America as headliners of the Nokia Unwired Tour, which also features Hoobastank, Ozomatli and Diffuser. Fans can expect to hear surprisingly faithful renditions of the studio versions, complete with drum programming and synthesized orchestra.
In addition to the 11 tracks from their debut CD, the Rejects will be performing one brand new song entitled “Dance Inside.” Gaylor describes it as “more sophisticated, a little darker, and more rock ‘n’ roll.”
The song also marks a lyrical progression for lyricist and youngest band member Tyson Ritter, who wrote most of the lyrics when he was only 17 years old. Now 19, Ritter’s writing has grown more mature. According to Gaylor, “it’s probably the best one written yet.”