3 Questions with Tyson Ritter from the All-American Rejects

I’ve been a fan of the All-American Rejects since their first single, “Swing, Swing” came out when I was in high school. Since then, I have been to various concerts of theirs at completely different venues. Everywhere from an intimate concert at Starland Ballroom to a crowd of hundreds, maybe even thousands, at Giants Stadium for the Bamboozle Festival a few years ago. So when my friend invited me along to help cover a concert at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton last summer, naturally I went. She was working on a piece for the Trenton Times about the venue and how it’s trying to attract a younger crowd. Hence, the concert, entitled Popfest, was put on by local radio station WPST 94.5 attracting many of its younger listeners. In addition to the All-American Rejects, performers included Nick Lachey, The Fray, Bo Bice, and The Click Five.

My friend was promised a press pass to interview some of the bands, but for some reason it fell through. This is where my ingenious Plan B came in. “Let’s just go find their tour buses,” I remember telling her matter-of-factly. And to preface the interview below let me just tell you once again, I am not a groupie, despite the fact that I did take a picture with some of the guys from AAR. They were really short on time, so we only got to do probably less than a 5-minute impromptu interview. But hey, I’ll take what I can get!

How is it for you playing a show like Popfest at a smaller venue vs. your bigger arena shows?
Our first time to step out in an arena was with Fall Out Boy two months ago and we just got off that tour. So I guess coming off that tour this might seem smaller, but this is still a large show to us. Definitely a different energy though. At a pop show, people don’t move as much.

Do you enjoy playing shows like Bamboozle more?
Oh yeah. That’s like [Bamboozle] the voice of a generation all in one spot at the same time. They’re the future leaders of America. Even though they may listen to music that’s not contemporary or run of the mill, those people are a lot different when they go to Bamboozle. The people who go to Bamboozle are definitely…I don’t know, more cerebral than normal people, I find. Whereas at these shows people scream and go crazy like five seconds after they see us. At Bamboozle a kid will be like ‘What’s up Tyson?’ and try to talk to you, as opposed to try to bombard you or scream until you give into some weird wish that they want. But it’s all fun.

Would you consider coming back to Trenton?
Oh yeah. It was great, the kids were loud, girls were giggly. The next time we come here we’d like to come and play a proper show. We had the option to headline but we wanted to make The Click Five look bad. We don’t like bands that don’t rock their instruments. There’s a difference between playing your instrument and rocking it. I don’t play my instrument. It’s really kind of, I like to call it ho-hum music because after one song you kind of go ‘ahhhh’ [referring to bands who don’t rock their instruments].

Gotta love the honesty…here’s some pics with lead singer/bass Tyson and drummer Chris.