The All-American Rejects

The All-American Rejects
The All-American Rejects

Left to right: Nick Wheeler, Chris Gaylor, Mike Kennerty and Tyson Ritter
Background information
Origin Stillwater, Oklahoma,
United States
Genres Alternative rock, power pop, emo
Years active 1999–present
Labels Doghouse, DreamWorks, DGC, Interscope [1][2][3][4]
Tyson Ritter
Nick Wheeler
Mike Kennerty
Chris Gaylor
Past members
Tim Campbell
Jesse Tabish

The All-American Rejects are an American pop rock band formed in Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1999.[5] The band consists of lead vocalist and bass guitarist Tyson Ritter, lead guitarist, Nick Wheeler, rhythm guitarist Mike Kennerty, and drummer Chris Gaylor.

The band achieved mainstream success with their debut self-titled studio album, The All-American Rejects, released in 2003. The album was certified platinum by the RIAA and spawned the hit single "Swing, Swing".[6] The band's second album, Move Along (2005), brought the band more mainstream success. The album produced three hit singles; "It Ends Tonight", "Dirty Little Secret" and "Move Along", all of which charted in the top fifteen on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[7] Both "Move Along" and "Dirty Little Secret" sold over two million digital downloads in the United States. The album itself was certified double platinum by the RIAA.[6] The All-American Rejects' third album, When the World Comes Down, was released on December 16, 2008. The album was certified gold by the RIAA.[6] The first single, "Gives You Hell", became the band's first song to be successful internationally: it peaked at number-four on the Hot 100 chart, number-three on the Australian ARIA Singles chart and charted in the top twenty of the UK Singles Chart.[7][8][9] On March 21, 2011, the RIAA certified "Gives You Hell" 4× multi-platinum for sales of over 4 million in the United States.[10]

Since the start of their career, The All-American Rejects have sold over 10 million albums world wide.[11][12] The All-American Rejects were ranked #73 on the "Hot 100 Artists of the 2000s"[13] and #183 on Billboard magazine's "Billboard 200 Artists of the Decade" list.[14]



1999–2004: Formation and The All-American Rejects

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.[5]

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, and was recorded/mastered at Oops! I Crapped My Pants studio in Stillwater. 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. 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.[15]

In 2001, with producer Tim O'Hier, 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.[16] 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.[17]

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 #25 on the Billboard 200. The single "Swing, Swing" was also re-issued, which peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at #60 as well as #8 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.[18][19][20] The single "The Last Song" was also released spring 2003, and climbed to #29 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.[20]

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.[21]

2005–06: 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.[22] 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, called "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.[23]

In September 2006, a third headlining single, "It Ends Tonight", was released from Move Along. The video debuted at #10 on the VH1 Top 20 countdown. The video also peaked at #2 on TRL.[24] 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.

2007–09: 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.[25] 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.[26]

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 Gives You Hell peaked at #1 on Pop charts on and also peaked #1 on iTunes charts and #5 most downloaded song of the 2009 year, and the #1 most played song of the year 2009. ".[27] 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.[28] 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.[29] 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.[30][31]

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 will play one more show at the "Jingle Bell Bash" in Seattle on December 19.

2010–present: Fourth studio album

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 writing for a fourth studio album. The band's 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 All-American Rejects's fourth album wrapped up in June 2011, with mixing commencing the following August and concluding in early September. According to lead singer Tyson Ritter, the album will be much different compared to their past releases - including their previous album, When the World Comes Down, from which the band became more experimental with their sound.

During an interview with MTV in October 2011, lead singer Tyson Ritter confirmed that the band's fourth album will be released on February 7, 2012. "It’s going to be the year of the Rejects," Ritter teased. "[Our album release] is going to coincide with the Mayan end of the world thing, so the last song you’ll die to will be one of ours." Ritter went on to comment that the first single of the record would either be a "balls-out glam rock" song or an "ear worm that is going to eat your brain". [32] On November 14, 2011 Ritter announced via his Twitter that ex Taking Back Sunday bassist Matt Rubano had joined the band as their bass player for live performances.[33][34]

Band members

Ritter in 2006

Tyson Ritterlead vocals, bass guitar (1999–present)

  • Tyson Jay Ritter, born April 24, 1984 in Stillwater, Oklahoma, is co-founder of The All-American Rejects. He lived in Destin, Florida after the success of The All-American Rejects, and moved to Los Angeles, California in 2009 where he lived briefly. In May 2010 Ritter moved back to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Aside from his role in the band, Ritter has worked as a film and television actor. He performed as himself in the American television medical drama House, M.D., appearing in the episode "Fetal Position" which aired April 3, 2007 on the Fox Network.[35] He also appeared with his other band members in television series Smallville season six episode 3, titled "Wither", performing "It Ends Tonight". He also appeared in his first film, The House Bunny, in 2008. In June 2010, Tyson Ritter sung a duet with R&B singer Timbaland with the song "I'm in Love With You". The song features as a bonus track on Timbaland's EP Shock Value II: The Singles. Tyson Ritter started his own charity called "Don't Hate On Haiti" to raise money to get water to the people in Haiti, by designing a t-shirt. He is very passionate about Haiti, as he has stated in many interviews and on his personal Twitter account. At Warped Tour 2010, he "sold his body" to raise money, by taking pictures, giving autographs, sidestage passes and even kisses for donating money. In June 2011 he began a campaign for Haiti that entails him keeping silent for 30 days. Many people have began to sponsor his silence by giving money for every day he keeps quiet.[36] "In the end, we're just a band, close friends, who care deeply about what we do," says Tyson.

Nick Wheelerlead guitar, backing vocals (1999–present)

  • Nickolas Don Wheeler was born on March 20, 1982 Sillwater, Oklahoma and lived there until moving to his current residence in Destin, Florida. He is co-founder of The All-American Rejects.

Mike Kennertyrhythm guitar, backing vocals (2002–present)

  • Michael Brian Kennerty, born on July 20, 1980, in Houston, Texas, grew up and lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. He joined the All-American Rejects in 2002 after The All-American Rejects had been completed. Kennerty is a founding member and guitarist of the punk band "These Enzymes", along with bandmate and drummer, Chris Gaylor. The side project was started after a 2003 tour in England, and includes other members Neil Rubenstein and Andrew Palmer.[37] He produced and played guitar on Ben Weasel's album These Ones Are Bitter. He is also the owner of Edmond Records, which specializes in colored vinyl pressings, including Ben Weasel's latest album.

Chris Gaylordrums, percussion (2002–present)

  • Christopher James Gaylor, born April 11, 1979, lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. After joining the band in 2002, Gaylor has added a muscular edge to the band's drums. Gaylor is a co-founding member and drummer of "These Enzymes", and played drums on the Ben Weasel album These Ones Are Bitter.


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.[38]

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.[39][40]

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.[41][42]

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.[12][43]


Studio albums

Awards and nominations


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  5. ^ a b – "Nick Wheeler (All American Rejects): "I did not know that we have fans in Croatia", Monika Lelas, Thursday, 17 September 2009 (translated)
  6. ^ a b c "Gold & Platinum – The All-American Rejects". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  7. ^ a b "Artist Singles Chart History – The All-American Rejects". Billboard. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  8. ^ "Chart Stats – The All-American Rejects". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
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  11. ^ Horowitz, Joanna (December 17, 2009). "Jingle Bell Bash is ready to ring, with the All-American Rejects and more". The Seattle Times. 
  12. ^ a b "Sabian Cymbals – Chris Gaylor". Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  13. ^ "". 2009-12-31. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  14. ^ "". 2009-12-31. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  15. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  16. ^[dead link]
  17. ^ Lentz, Andrew (2009). [ "Rejecting The Status Quo"]. Drum! (Enter Music Publishing) (151): 53–61. 
  18. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  19. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  20. ^ a b "". Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  21. ^ "" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  22. ^ "The Academy Is... On The Road". Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  23. ^ " - BIONICLEsector01". 2009-12-03. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
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  25. ^ "Rock Band Song List". Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
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  27. ^ "Discography The All-American Rejects". Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  28. ^ "Oklahoma hall of fame to induct musicians Entertainment: The All-American Rejects will close out ceremony and concert". NewsOK. Retrieved 2009-03-23. 
  29. ^ MTV World Stage Live In Malaysia
  30. ^ "All American Rejects – Rejects Cancel Shows After Ritter's Mysterious Injury". Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  31. ^ "The All-American Rejects Cancel Shows Following Tyson Ritter's Injury". All Headline News. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  32. ^ "Tyson Ritter Tells Us A Story, Along With A New ‘Rejects’ Album Preview". Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  33. ^ "Tyson Ritter twitter post announcing Matt Rubano as Bassist".!/tysonritter/status/135876882838200320. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  34. ^ "Tyson Ritter twitter post confirming he will still play Bass on records".!/tysonritter/status/135960234882629632. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
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  36. ^ "Tyson Ritter's 'Don't Hate On Haiti' Campaign Raises Funds For Relief Efforts". 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  37. ^[dead link]
  38. ^ "". Fender Support. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  39. ^ "All-American Rejects' Nick Wheeler: On New Record and Childhood Dreams". Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  40. ^ "The Wind Blows (Live on David Letterman's Late Show) - The All American Rejects (High Quality)". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  41. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  42. ^ "Paul Reed Smith Guitars - Mike Kennerty of All-American Rejects". Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  43. ^ "". DRUM! Jan-09 - Matt McDonough. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 

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