As hype continues to build for the All-American Rejects forthcoming album “Kids In The Street,” set for release March 27th, the band’s Rhythm Guitarist and Backing Vocalist Mike Kennerty took some time to answer a few questions.
Whats the first thing you think of when you wake up?
How do I get inside the venue?
What do you like most about what success has afforded you thus far?
The success of the All-American Rejects has afforded me everything I could ever want in life. Picking one thing is impossible. I get to live my dream. And the fact that 10 years in we still get the opportunity to make records we’re truly proud of, like our new album “Kids In The Street,” is an amazing feeling.
When did you know that music was part of your path?
I’ve always been consumed by music as long as I can remember. I remember my family getting a new cable box when I was 4 and the first thing my parents did was show me which channel was MTV. I used to watch and sing along to Twisted Sister videos, using a plastic baseball bat as a surrogate guitar.
What is you favorite part about being a human being?
Being able to concentrate on things besides eating and surviving.
What has being in music taught you about yourself as a person?
It’s taught me that all I need to be happy are these chords. There are several songs on “Kids In The Street” that reflect that. Life can throw a lot at you, but for us, having this band gives us all we need to be happy.
What’s your favorite thing about working in rock and roll?
In rock and roll, in contrast to a lot of genres, playing live is truly playing live. You connect with people, you feel the music physically in your hands and through air blasting from speakers, you make noise. I don’t know why you’d want to play anything else.
What about this album are you most excited for your fans to hear?
With the “Kids In The Street” we’ve expanded stylistically in ways we never have before. And whereas in the past we’ve stretched our abilities and range, I don’t believe we’ve ever done it as successfully as we have on “Kids In The Street.” It’s our most varied record, yet it maintains a cohesiveness that makes it feel like journey rather than just the 11 newest songs we’ve written.
What are your secret hopes for your music?
No secrets. We just want to make songs that make people’s ears perk up. We try to do it with a combination of vocal hooks and musically interesting ideas. I feel like there’s something for a both casual listeners and music nerds on “Kids In The Street.”
Any fans ever inspire you?
Shows wouldn’t be nearly as exciting or fun without them.
I once said that good rock and roll makes the audience feel just a little too powerful and/or sexy for their own good, but I really don’t know why – its got something to do with a feeling of freedom methinks. You’ve stated you were attracted to the sexual power of rock and roll. Can you explain my statement for me?
Good rock and roll puts the audience in a different world. They’re not thinking about the real world at that moment. They’re consumed by the feeling the music gives them. It’s cult-like. It’s escapist. It’s why entertainment is so profound. It’s a drug in it’s own way.
What is the strangest thing that’s ever inspired a song?
If I told you, the song wouldn’t mean the same to you anymore.
Give me some insight into your music and songwriting process.
The songs start with the melody. Our heart lies with songs that grab you and stick in your head. From there the music is constructed around those melodies. It comes down to this… if you can’t tear a song apart and hear that it’s a great song in it’s most skeletal, primal form, then you don’t have much of a song.
What has been the most rewarding part of your story?
It’s rewarding that we get to make a record like “Kids In The Street” after a decade of being a band. A lot of bands loose steam in that time, but I feel like we’re still just as hungry for it as we’ve ever been. We’re getting ready to shoot a video for the first single entitled “Beekeeper’s Daughter,” and the fact that a record label still believes in us enough to sink the kind of cash these days is a pretty awesome!
What is the most ridiculous gig you’ve ever taken on?
We’ve done every kind of gig you can imagine. Playing in 10 degree weather for a rowing competition was pretty ridiculous.
You‘re forced at gunpoint to get your karaoke on; go!
Neil Diamond — Cracklin’ Rosie
Name your Guilty Music Pleasure.
I ain’t guilty about shit…
Check out The All-American Rejects on the road:
1/18 San Luis Obispo- SLO
1/19 Reno, NV- The Alley
1/21 Portland, OR- Hawthorne Theatre
1/23 Spokane, WA- A Club
1/24 Boise, ID- The Venue
1/25 Park City, UT- Sundance event
1/27 Aspen, CO- Belly Up
1/28 Colorado Springs, CO- The Black Sheep
1/30 Wichita, KS- The Scene-ary
2/4 Ft. Wayne, IN- Pieres
2/6 Nashville, TN- TBD
2/7 Columbia, MO- The Blue Note
2/10 Phoenix, AZ- ASU Campus
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