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The Hot Sweat
Hana Pestle
Hana Pestle
By Amy Walker-- Staff Writer, Midwest

After taking a break from touring and working on recording their new album, The All American Rejects are back and stronger than ever. With the excitement  of their album, "When The World Comes Down" out in December and a music video for their new single, "Gives You Hell," they are ready to show the world who they really are. We had a chance to talk to Nick before the first show of their headlining tour in Orlando, FL.

Amy: For starters, can you state your name and your position in the band?
Nick: My name is Nicholas Wheeler. I play guitar in the All American Rejects.

AW: How does it feel to be releasing a new record and getting back out on the road?

NW: I’m freakin stoked. Making this record, it was fun at times, it was miserable at times, but after the experience, this is definitely a treat to be able to go out on the road and play new songs and just reconnect. Last time we made a record, there was no youtube and there was barely myspace. It was still a new thing. So we feel very disconnected right now. So we just want to get out there and you know, do it again.

AW: How have you changed personally and as a band while recording the new record?

NW: I think each time we get to do this, we start to treat it more and more seriously, like we get a third shot at this. If we do it right, we might actually be able to do it as a career, you know. None of us really have anything else going on, so we definitely tried to make this record better than the last and we feel like we did. We’re proud as shit of it, and we can’t wait to go out and play the songs, and do it all again in two years.

AW: Are there any bands that had an influence on you while making this record?

NW: If anything, just ourselves. I’m sorry, I’m about to sneeze. Look to the light, Nick, look to the light. (sneezes).
AW: Bless you

NW: Thanks. We didn’t really listen to much music making this record. We kinda just shut ourselves out and tried to do this for ourselves and not have too many outside influences.

AW: How would you compare this record to your previous records?

NW: I think sonically, it’s quite different from song to song. It’s definitely a journey. It’s not just a bunch of songs, it’s a collection of 11 different songs and it a journey. It takes you on some twists and turns, some hills and valleys along the way. It’s a good listen. I’m not saying the last ones weren’t, it’s just a little different.

AW: What was it like working with Eric Valentine?

NW: Eric is a producer that you know, there’s not too many producers like him anymore. He still uses tapes. He work ethic is insane. He’s the first one in and the last one out every night. We were in the studio for six months from noon to midnight six days a weeks for six months. That guy doesn’t drink coffee, doesn’t drink alcohol, doesn’t smoke. Eats very healthy. He’s a machine.
AW: Wow.

NW: Yeah

AW: Who came up with the idea for the video for “Gives You Hell” and was it fun making it?

NW: That was a Mark Webb treatment. He also did the “Move Along” video, and yeah, that was really fun. I used to hate making music videos, but after making like seven or eight of them, I’ve kind of started to learn to like them. I’ve grown up watching music videos. It’s an honor to get to make them. I don’t know if anyone’s going to actually play it because no one really plays videos anymore but yeah it’s an honor to keep getting to do that. The actually making of it was fun. We actually got to do shit.

AW: When you first started as a band, did you ever expect that you would be where you are right now?

NW: No. I mean, we don’t know anybody. We don’t have famous parents, so it’s definitely a luck thing. We always hoped. You know, you can have big dreams when your young and growing up in a band that’s playing birthday parties. You can have dreams. You can take it as seriously as you want, but unless you get lucky or know somebody, it ain’t gonna happen. Fortunately, we got lucky. It’s really cool to know that I get to do this for a living and I get to show up in a random city and a bunch of people I don’t know come see us play. That’s pretty sweet.

AW: What do you want fans to get from your music?
NW: Honestly, there’s so much negativity around right now. I just want them to have a good time and actually take something from it, whether it’s musically or just a feeling when they hear the music. I just want them to hear it and take something from it and not just throw it away, you know. Me, when I get a new album, I listen to it for about two weeks, and then I don’t listen to it again for a long time, but it’s kind of a soundtrack for that moment in my life. If I like an album that much, I can only hope it’s the soundtrack for some kid’s moment in time when they listen to it.

AW: What do the All American Rejects have planned for 2009?

NW: We’re doing a little club tour right now to finish out 2008. Then we’re going overseas and then coming back and doing the Honda Civic Tour in the spring in the US. Then after that, more touring and more touring and more touring, until nobody wants to see us anymore.
AW: I don’t think that’s going to happen.

NW: Hopefully people will start to get sick of us and we’ll be able to make a new record. That’s all I hope.

AW: If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would you change?

NW: I want to say the internet, but it actually helps a lot too. (laughs) It’s a really interesting time right now. Labels are hurting, bands are hurting, records are hurting. Something needs to happen. I think if I could change anything, it would just be to hurry along that one thing that needs to happen whether it’s a revolutionary album or just a shift of power where somebody can just put the brakes on pirating or whatever it is. It all revolves around the internet and it helps a lot of bands too. It helps us a lot. We were able to do that thing with Justin.tv and the kyte player to where we documented the making of and got to showcase how we do it. I don’t really know what I would change. Everything that’s happening is weird, but weird in a good way if that makes sense.

AW: Have you always known that music is what you wanted to pursue?

NW: Yeah definitely. I started playing when I was seven. I definitely don’t know how to do anything else. Other than the paper route I had in junior high, there’s never really been anything else I’ve been good at. I taught guitar lessons. I went to college for music for a minute till this happened. Yeah, it’s really been all I wanted to do and I’m definitely really fortunate that I get to do this for a living, whether it’s playing music or doing something with it, or doing something with the band, etc, it’s all because we play music and it’s pretty wonderful.

AW: What is your favorite song of yours to play live?

NW: I like the newer ones but we’re still learning some of them that we haven’t played in probably six months. “Gives You Hell” is really fun. It’s really difficult to play live but that’s what makes it even more fun. It’s just trying to make it happen. Tonight’s the first night we’re playing it for people. I’m really excited to see that happen.

AW: What is your favorite part of touring?

NW: My favorite part of touring honestly, playing the show. That’s the best part. The day is so damn long waiting to play. Right now, that’s the highlight.

AW: Where do you see yourself in ten years?

NW: Hopefully still doing this. We’re playing a small club in Orlando tonight. Probably only holds a few hundred people. Whether I’m playing here or we’re playing in an arena somewhere, I just hope we’re doing this.

AW: Is there anything else you’d like to say to the readers?

NW: “When The World Comes Down” December 16. I hope you like it.
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