Tyson Ritter: A Revealing Chat with The All-American Rejects Frontman07.31.12
An estimated 10 million albums sold worldwide. Currently on a European tour with rock legends, Blink 182. Now Tyson Ritter, the lead singer of fan fave The All-American Rejects, is giving us an intimate look inside the whirlwind life of a musician.
Cotton Candy Magazine® caught up with the 28-year-old heartthrob from Stillwater, Oklahoma. Ritter talks inspiration, goals and finding love.
Cotton Candy: Did you ever think while living in Oklahoma that this kind of success was possible?
Tyson Ritter: Growing up in Oklahoma there’s a beautiful naïvety that lets someone have the perfect blank canvas to create with a more pure and uninfluenced approach. I never expected any sort of success with it. But the dreamer in me always kissed heads-up pennies I’d find – just in case. And hey, my pops calls me little Elvis now. That’s a bonus.
CC: Your new album, Kids in the Street, was released earlier this year. How was this project different from the three other studios albums in the past?
TR: This record has no restrictions. When Greg Wells – our producer – took the helm, we had our Willy Wonka, and he took us down the chocolate river and paddled some candy out of us.
Kids in the Street was really an undertaking for us musically. It’s our fourth studio album at the ten year mark for us as a band, and it really took a lot from us to make it happen.
But, it’s a record about my quarter-life crisis in Los Angeles. Songs, like our new single Walk over Me, are a big bombastic display of the madness [going on at that time]. We knew that with this album that we wanted you to leave feeling like we took you somewhere and brought you back better. I’ve been told it’s a great driving-at-night record, and that really tickled me. Fas And Slow is one of my favorites on the record. It has this really sexy cadence and is a real cool moment for us musically, I think.
CC: What is it about playing the bass that intrigues you?
TR: The bass is the governor of music. It is the ground that a song walks on, skips to, and therefore I was immediately drawn to the allure. I feel that when writing melody, the bass really shows me the path of a song with more clarity. I still play the piano quite a lot, but the bass was what my pops went and pawned for me at Christmas, always a dear memory that keeps me closest to that four-stringed harp.
CC: What are some of the things that people always assume about you, good and bad?
TR: (Laughs) Well, being a skinny guy that used to perform while covered in glitter, I think you can guess what’s come my way. But I don’t mind a little speculation.
You, know a lot of people go see a band play, and that’s all the band will give you. We don’t have a touring Cirque du Soleil group, and we don’t have fire and explosions to distract you from anything. When you come see a Rejects show, it’s a full on dynamic performance that is a show. Sometimes my exaggerated persona on stage has led many to think of me as irresponsible man when I’m off stage, but I guess that means I’m doing what I should. I want [fans] to love us, or hate us, when we get off stage. Lukewarm water is not something I’m comfortable with.
CC: What would you say is your single, biggest professional accomplishment?
TR: My biggest contribution to the world is my music. That’s really all I can say.
CC: What about personally?
TR: I’ve never been one to assess too much. But I am really proud of what I’ve been doing with my charity DontHateOnHaiti.org. Since the tragic earthquake there, I’ve really done as much as I can to raise money and awareness for those still afflicted by this awful catastrophe. Standing on a little podium to raise money for these people by just yelling my compassion into a bull horn just feels good too.
CC: What haven’t you accomplished in life that you still dream about every day?
TR: I want to score film eventually. I just love the way music and cinema share such a sensory lock when the two collide at the right moment. I also dream about the right gal and what she’s doing at the same time as me. In my head though she does the same things I do when I put thought to it. Like if I’m cooking spaghetti she is too – wherever in the world that may be.
Written by: Natasha Danielle Smith