"This is the year of the Rejects," The All-American Rejects lead singer Tyson Ritter declares. "We're going to conquer the world and this is the record we're going to do it with."
Ritter is referencing the band's third album, When the World Comes Down, which was released last year.
And though these are confident words, if you've heard Ritter speak before, they're not all that surprising. In terms of music, World is certainly the album the band can conquer the world with.
Tempe Music Festival
The All-American Rejects are scheduled to perform Saturday, April 4.
Their sound has progressed from more than simple pop punk and songs like "Swing, Swing," which ignited their career in 2003. World is filled with the band's usual killer pop anthems — check out "Gives You Hell," which hit number one on Billboard's Mainstream Top 40 chart — but it's also filled with musical complexities, lush landscapes, and deeper lyrics than anything the band has produced before.
"I'm so proud of what we've done," he says of the disc. "We've put our whole entire life force behind it."
Ritter says the album was a natural evolution for AAR.
"We're a very pop-sensible group," he says. "We always try to trick people with different modes in the pop formula. This album is about change for the band immensely. We touch on things that are bigger than just relationships."
Take the track "Believe": "It's about a friend of mine who passed away," he says. "It's keeping them alive in your head and your heart and I've never touched on that before . . . This is a record that really goes beyond."
"We didn't want to go make a fucking Beatles album," Ritter continues. "There's some bands out there that have had that as their nasty little Pandora's Box, and they get shit all over for doing that."
Besides releasing an album, the band — and especially its frontman — has had a lot on their plates. They were apart of MTV's spring break, and Ritter will appear on MTV's Cribs sometime in late April. The singer also appeared as a frat boy in last year's The House Bunny.
Ritter says he enjoyed the experience but isn't exactly chasing an Oscar at the moment.
"Of course I would love to do it again, but I have to prioritize," he says. "The band has to be number one right now."
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The band also recently covered Britney Spears' "Womanizer."
"Yahoo told us that if we didn't cover it, we wouldn't get the front page," Ritter jokes. "I feel like the way Britney did the song, it didn't expose the musicality of it. The verses are so theatrical. I feel like we made it more of a siren-y song."
Ritter says those attending this weekend's Tempe Music Festival on Saturday, where the band is headlining, may hear the cover.
"You're going to get a really crazy rock show that has adrenaline and a lot of sexual energy," he says. "We're a band that's not afraid to expose [what] kids want to make their parents close their ears. Girls want to do you. Guys want to be you."