Burning Stars: Your new album, When The World Comes Down, was released in December and it was produced by Eric Valentine. Tell me about the recording process and what it was like working with Eric. Mike Kennerty: Eric is great. He's the antithesis to Howard Benson, who we worked with on "Move Along." There's nothing wrong with Howard's methods, but we needed someone who would be there with us every step of the way this time around, and Eric definitely obliged. He's the most methodical and exacting producer we've ever encountered, and it was those traits combined with his unending energy that helped us make the record we were shooting for. And we couldn't be more proud of the end result.
BS: When you went into the studio to record, how many songs were written for the album and how did you narrow it down to the twelve that were chosen? Did you do anything different in the studio this time around than you did on your previous two albums? Mike: When we first entered the studio we had a bunch of songs written, but only maybe half a record's worth that we felt solid about. And even those weren't fully arranged yet. We definitely went in a little more haphazardly than usual. We're usually the band that goes in with no questions unanswered and as rehearsed as it gets, which has let us knock out our past records in no time at all. But this time things just weren't falling into place like they had before. The songs were calling for more than what a jam space was offering us in terms of constructing the songs. So we went in the studio and just started working, and demoing, and laying stuff down, and redemoing, and playing til we were sore. But that method allowed us to be more spontaneous while tracking and give us the inspiration to do something different for us.
BS: You will be releasing the video for the second single "The Wind Blows" next week. How did you decide on that song to be the next single? And tell me about the video concept. Mike: We just love the song and think its something people won't be expecting from us. We pushed the boundaries of who people think we are as a band with "Give You Hell," so figure why stop there? The video is probably the most artful video we've made, and reflects the mood of the song perfectly. Its melancholy and beautiful and turned out great! The director is a guy named Rich Lee, and I don't think we've ever had a director hit the nail so hard on the head with such ease. He's a really talented guy.
BS: Currently you are out on the road headlining the I Wanna Rock Tour. What have been some of the highlights so far on the tour? And how has it been touring with the Shiny Toy Guns, Ace Enders and Vedera? Mike: We've had a bunch of great shows so far. The crowds have been amazing and we've been having a blast. The other bands are great too, and I think everyone has just been enjoying what's been a pretty smooth, enjoyable tour so far.
BS: At the Geneseo date you performed "Another Heart Calls" with Kristen from Vedera. What made you pick that date to play it live for the first time and have you played it since then? Mike: We'd been kicking around the idea of doing it with her for the few days preceding, and it just finally was ready that night. Its definitely one of all of our favorite songs on the new record, so we were stoked to finally have someone who could give us the opportunity play it live. And man, she killed it. Her voice is great. We only got to do it more night after that before Vedera's part of the tour was over, but playing it those two nights was one of the biggest highlights of the tour for me.
BS: Besides the song "Gives You Hell", which songs off the new album do you feel the fans are enjoying the most? Is there a song in particular that you enjoy playing live the most? Mike: I like playing "Fallin' Apart" a lot. Kids jump, and that always makes me happy. But it seems like the crowds are warming up to all the new songs nicely.
BS: Your album ranked at #6 on the Top Rock Albums, #4 on the Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums and your single "Gives You Hell" has ranked in the top 5 on most of the singles charts. How do you feel about this? Mike: Can't complain. We were in Asia when we heard that "Gives You Hell" went #1 on Top 40. That was a pretty surreal moment.
BS: To promote your new album you did a Got Milk? ad and you were the only other full band to one besides KISS. Was it the bands idea to do the ad or did the company come to you with the idea? What do you think about being the only other full band to do this? Mike: They came to us. Honestly, the biggest selling point for us was that Annie Leibovitz was going to shoot it. It just such a cool thing to say we got to do a shoot with her, so we were stoked. And she was great, and it turned out cool. Chris Brown was doing his the same day. Oh brother...
BS You donated 10% of the profits of your album sales to Feed The Children, which is pretty awesome. What made you pick that charity? Mike: They're Oklahoma based, which is where we're from. And its just such a great cause. And we're not selfish assholes, so why not, right?
BS: What does the band have in store for their fans for the remainer of 2009? Do you have anything else you would like to say to your fans? Mike: We're touring and touring some more. Europe and Asia in the summer, back in the US for the fall. We're working on some pretty cool stuff, so people should check out www.allamericanrejects.com cause we'll be announcing things that certain folks might like. Mysterious, eh?