Fall Out Boy: Interview with Patrick Stump

Things went from a buzz to a deafening roar for the band in the past two years. I asked Pete this in May and now I am asking you. Has that blown your mind at all? Is being famous, and on MTV, weird for you? Do you have trouble dealing?

Well, there are two things. You wake up every morning, brush your teeth, look in the mirror and you are still the same person. There is no amount of attention from people that can change that. Secondly, you don’t see it. You are out there playing shows and you’re removed from seeing it in front of you. When we played to 100 people, it’s the same experience, day to day, as it is playing to 10,000 people.

I am amazed that despite the way your band has blown up, you all still seem like kids who love playing music and still manage to keep your heads on straight!

It’s weird, because there are people in music and there are a lot of people in L.A., where we did the record, and in the entertainment industry who believe their own hype. It’s not like they are normal people doing extraordinary things. I feel like as a person, you are going to change over time, and that type of stuff can change you, but it’s not like you have to go out and buy Lamborghinis! If anything, you always are under a microscope and you become a better person, simply because there is always someone watching you. You can’t have a bad day in front of everyone and start yelling and screaming!

Also, I wanted to let you know that we’ve chosen Fall Out Boy as the band of the year at this publication!

That’s just incredible. It’s an honor, and thank you.

How do you respond to the critics who say Fall Out Boy is a band that only 14-year-olds can like?

I don’t mind. I think there’s a prevalent, arrogant opinion in rock music, where people assume that the kids don’t know shit. And I think I’d rather be playing to 14-year-olds who aren’t jaded and whose record collections don’t exist to impress their friends. It’s this adult idea of guilty pleasures. ‘Oh I like this, but I don’t want anyone to know that I do,’ which is so pretentious. I don’t believe in that. There is something honest about the fact that the kids like your band, and that’s a great reward for us. There is no pretense.

That’s so true, so true. I’ll be honest with you. I’m primarily a metal and hardcore fan, but I love Fall Out Boy music because it’s so much fun and catchy!

If you watch [drummer] Andy [Hurley] and [guitarist] Joe [Trohman] and if you check their ‘best of’ lists in magazines every year, they usually put stuff like Arsis and stuff like that on their lists. We come from a heavy music background, too! People have ideas of who we are when they see us on tv, or they wonder what our intentions are, but at the end of the day, we do it because we enjoy it. I think one of things that is hard for people to believe is that we’re in our mid-20s now, and we’ve been in music for a while and we don’t want to sound like Coldplay or Radiohead! I don’t know why that is hard for people to understand. We heard it, we know what is, and those bands exist, they are awesome, awesome bands, but that’s not what we do or what inspires us. Our music? It’s a cross between Michael Jackson and Pantera, that is where we are and it’s what we listen to.

That totally makes sense. So, did you have any time off or did the Fall Out Boy machine keep rolling?

I am one of those guys who if you gave me 20 million dollars, I would buy 20 million dollars worth of guitars and CDs. My time off would be spent working on Fall Out Boy, anyway. I love making music, playing shows and writing songs, that’s what I love doing, so I don’t stop. We talked about time off before the record, and we got it. I lose the argument with my management on that one. They said, ‘Take time off. You need a break.’ I said, ‘Fuck it. Put me in the studio! I want to do that anyway!’ But we did get about two months off.

Lastly, some people say Fall Out Boy are saving pop punk. Others say you are ruining it. What do you say, Patrick?

If someone doesn’t hate you, you’re not doing your job right. A kid reading this right now might be thinking, ‘I hate Fall Out Boy so much!’ And he may go on to make something musically awesome in retaliation and if it was retaliation against something he thought was lame, then that’s life.

Infinity On High expects a release in early February. For updated information, visit falloutboyrock.com