When I last checked in with Fall Out Boy, they were headlining Spring’s Bamboozle Fest in the Meadowlands parking lot, riding high on the success of their multi-platinum major label debut From Under The Cork Tree. Bassist/lyricist/resident cutie Pete Wentz, who launched the careers of Panic! At The Disco and Gym Class Heroes by signing them to his Decaydence imprint when he’s not running Clandestine Industries, his own clothing line, was surprisingly self-aware and comfortable with his band’s place in current pop culture. This time out, I spoke with vocalist/ guitarist/songwriter Patrick Stump, and found him to be on a similar mental wavelength to Wentz.
Fall Out Boy are one of the biggest bands in the world, based on the fact that their music appeals to a wide spectrum of fans. The kids love the band. The girls love the band. The mall rats love the band. You get the picture. Now that 2006 has wrapped up, Fall Out Boy are about to release their next album, Infinity On High, supported by the “Friends Or Enemies” tour with New Found Glory, Permanent Me and Lifetime in tow. This flurry of activity, their catchy hooks, and the fact that FOB can make legions of adolescent girls scream their heads off, is what garnered them the “Band Of The Year” honors here at The Aquarian. A lot of the band’s critics and detractors have labeled the music as “right now” and something that the teens will abandon when they enter college and/or the real world. But all you hipster elitists can say whatever you want about FOB’s music because no matter what you think of the addictively catchy, shake your ass pop punk that the band manufactures, it doesn’t change the fact that this music has saved lives by speaking to the disaffected, broken hearts of adolescents out there.
Stump was on time for our interview despite the extremely last minute scheduling and the fact that he was waiting for a plane at the Detroit airport after playing a radio gig. Stump is a little more low key than Wentz, but he see things through a very clear eye. Read on about The Aquarian’s band of the year.
Can you quickly sum up what Fall Out Boy have done since headlining Bamboozle in New Jersey last May? Seems like ages ago!
I don’t remember anything anymore! We did a tour with All American Rejects and Hawthorne Heights. Right from there, we took a few months off, wrote the new record, went out to L.A. and we started recording. That’s been where we’re at, up until two months ago. We’ve been getting ready for the new record, Infinity On High, which comes out in February.
Okay, your fans reading this article are jonesing for information about the new album. Can you give us a little hint about what to expect?
It’s one of those things where you get older as a band and you do your own thing, you know? The older Fall Out Boy elements, from the early records, are definitely there, and this album is an extension of that. It’s one of those records that’s hard to take out of context. None of the songs sound like the record, in general. There are a lot of different moods, altogether. We have the heaviest song we’ve ever written on the record, and the single, ‘This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race’ is the funkiest thing we’ve ever done. [laughs] There’s a lot more piano. There’s even a song that I do solo on the piano, which is obviously much softer than anything we’ve ever done. Lyrically, Pete stepped it up and he covers a lot of ground. It’s not just break up songs, and it’s not always from the same perspective, which I like, too. We have everything from love songs, which is a first for us, and then there is a story song. It’s all stuff I wouldn’t have expected Fall Out Boy to write!