117 of 131 DOCUMENTS

  The Kansas City Star

June 23, 2005 Thursday 1 EDITION

Interview: Fall Out Boy explains its name and other things


LENGTH: 2302 words

Going into Warped Tour, there were a couple bands that were at the top of everyone’s lists for possible interviews and Fall Out Boy was one of them. Patrick Stump, lead vocalist and guitarist, and Pete Wentz, bassist, were cool enough to sit down and chat with TeenStar about new fans, old fans, their favorite Warped memories and their writing process.
Nicole Farley: Tell me a bit about how you guys got started.
Patrick Stump: Well, Pete and our guitar player, Joe (Trohman), were just hanging out around the hardcore scene in Chicago for a long time and talked about starting a band, and then I met Joe, and it kind of just fell in place. And we’ve known Andy (Hurley, drummer) for a long time and when he finally was available, we were courting him for a long time, and we finally got him in the band, but it’s been the same group ever since.
NF: I’ve heard that your name came from someone shouting it out at your second show what made you choose Fall Out Boy over the other suggestions?
Pete Wentz: We didn’t really have any. The other suggestions were terrible, I can’t really remember what they were.

PS:Yeah, basically we just didn’t have a name straight-up, and it was one of those things where I think the guy that booked the next show was there that night, and we were like, “Yeah, we’ll be Fall Out Boy tonight!,” and then the next show we were Fall Out Boy, and it’s been the same since then.
NF: Did you know at the time that Fall Out Boy was the Simpson’s character, or did you find that out later?
PW:I found that out.
NF: The title of your new album (“From Under the Cork Tree”) was inspired by a storybook. What was it about that story that inspired you?
PW: I remember growing up and just being my mom read that story to me all the time, and I remember thinking how strange it was that the bull was so shy, and then, I kind of was a shy person, and you just kind of need something to kind of sting you into doing other things and kind of going out there into the world. We couldn’t come up with a title, we came up with a bunch of different ones and we were just waiting for one to jump out, and that was the one that kind of could mean so many different things. Ultimately, it was just a symbol for pacifism at the time, and I think that it could mean so many different things and there’s so much on the level of the competition of music, which is just so stupid
PS: Yeah, we were at a time where we were thinking about those jazz record titles, like “Birth of Cool,” and these guys just have these really arrogant titles, and those are awesome titles, but we were thinking, “How would we do it?” and we’d just do that we’re not really competing, that we’re just going to do our own thing, and that was kind of our take on it. I mean, that’s one aspect of that title. There’s a ton of other meanings to it, too
NF: What else does the title mean to you?
PW: Well, you’re sitting right in the middle of one of the, I think, most misunderstood wars in recent history and I think that pacifism is a voice that needs to be heard. I mean, I’m not a pacifist, per se, but it’s definitely there’s a bull ring, an arena and we have an *** that marches around it and I think that that’s something that should be commented on.
NF: Very well-said. Now, I’ve heard that for this album Patrick did the music after Pete had written the lyrics. Is that different than how you’ve done it in the past?
PS: Yeah, we tried all sorts of different ways to do it for this record, where, there’s a couple songs that I wrote the lyrics to, and some of those didn’t turn out so hot. There’s a couple where he (Pete) would give me ideas of what to write about, and I’d still be writing them and he’d give me tones or certain subjects or certain words, and I’d try to do that. Another couple songs, where we just split it up entirely. I just did the music, and he just did the lyrics and those came out the best I think, and it was one of those things, where it wasn’t even, I don’t think, conscious, but it just kind of became that that was the way we ended up doing it. And I think it makes for a better record, I think it makes for a better band. I think we have more focus, because I got to focus on the music more, and so we ended up having more ideas to work with, and he being able to write more lyrics was really more productive and I think we’re way happier with it.
NF: Where do you see yourselves going from here?
PW: I think that Fall Out Boy has never been about expectations. We’ve never really been about goals at all. I think that commenting on where it’s going to go from here would be stupid, because tomorrow, it could stop being fun and then I could just go back to my house and work somewhere. I don’t know, I guess I don’t care where it goes from here, I think where it goes would be further than we expected.
PS:Yeah, I think to me, we kind of already surpassed all of our I know, I know, you (Pete) always say you never had any goalsI did. My goals were to play The Fireside Bowl, which was this tiny place down the street, and we surpassed that years ago.
PW:I just think that in the grander picture of Fall Out Boy, we’ve never had goals, and that’s kind of why we’ve gotten to where we’ve gotten.
NF: You guys have been having a lot more success since you’ve been on the major label, and on Total Request and all of that how have your old fans reacted to that? And do you get the same kind of vibes from your new fans that you used to get from the old, or?
PW: I think that a backlash is somewhat expected, because everybody wants a band that they can keep in their back pocket and can be their secret, and as a band grows it’s like growing pains it’s impossible to not have them. At the same time, I think that being as honest with people as you can be, the whole process, definitely eases those pains, and I think that different ages you’re at, and different places you are in life change your perspective on situations. I definitely remember being 14 years old and 13 years old and freaking out because my brother started listening to a band that I like. It’s a hard thing to understand. I think more than anything, we’ve always had a respect and understanding with our fans that we were trying to get this music out there and be at the forefront of it, and our fans have always kind of been ambassadors for us for that, so I think a lot of them, more than anything, have been proud. And the few that have discussed with me about “I’m worrying about this,” or “It seems like you’re selling out,” we’ll have a long discussion about it, and at the end of the day, it’s not me trying to convince them like “Oh, no, no, no, don’t worry. It’s all going to be the same,” but it’s to try and understand each other’s perspectives. People focus on selling out far too much. It’s so 1994, you know what I’m saying? We’ve moved on past that, I think, in that a lot of the music that’s been out there is just ****ing bands that are put together by people, and it’s just ****ing polished ****s. We’re not one of those bands, and for us to be on the TRL countdown between Kelly Clarkson and Mariah Carey is just hilarious, and everybody out there’s laughing, because everybody out there’s in on it.

Katie Glueck: Since your video “Sugar, We’re Going Down” did debut on TRL at No. 5, I believe, how did you feel about it? I know it may seem kind of weird, but was it cool still that it was on TRL?
PS:It’s cool because it’s the same thing as the first time you see your first band has a t-shirt, or the first time you’re in a recording studio the first time, you know what I’m saying? It’s like the first time, if you’re an interviewer, the first time you’re interviewing a band. But then, it changes at every level. It’s like “Okay, I’ve interviewed like 80 million bands from Kansas, now I get to interview Green Day,” or something you know what I’m saying? And everything’s a level, so yeah, it’s really cool because it’s really new and something different, and at the same time, it’s weird. I don’t know, would it be weird interviewing Green Day? Because it would be weird for me, because they’re heroes of mine. It’s weird being on TRL, because Eminem and 50 Cent are on there. It’s strange. I haven’t even gone through it in my head. I don’t think about it. We don’t watch it, we don’t watch TRL, it’s something cool that our fans have made happen, plus, it shocks MTV because the VJ calls us “Fall Out Boys” and they don’t really know what’s going on, and I think it’s cool. It shakes it up a little bit.
NF: Gets more exposure, too you guys have very dedicated fans. I was on your Web site and I love the journal you have on there and I think it’s really awesome how often you guys update that. What kind of insights do you get from your fans when you’re talking to them what do they tell you, and what do you take from it?
PW: I guess different insights, because most of the fans that I’ve spent and had conversations at length with are people who have been fans for years, so that’s always how you can kind of tell the State of the Union of Fall Out Boyhave they talked to you before, are they bummed because they haven’t seen you in awhile? You get used to seeing people and then you get attached to them and then they don’t show up to shows in your town and you feel weird, kind of, like “I don’t know what’s going on,” and then they’ll be like “Oh, I had this going on in my family,” or “I went here to college,” or whatever, and then the Q&A on the site is cool because that’s a way to reach people. A lot of times, people have questions, and then problems arise that half the question are like “Do you guys have GF’s?Oh my God,” and all this stuff
PS:Just like “Why do you wear a hat?” (Stump is wearing a hat)
PW: Yeah just like that. It’s just questions that are repetitive and redundant and they’re just never going to be answered.
NF: What are some of the better questions you’ve gotten?
McClain Johnson: Yes. The craziest question?
PW: Craziest question I saw, ever, was I can’t show you what the punctuation and the spelling was on the question, but that was probably the most amazing part of it, but basically what they put was “What do you mean by the lyric, This is sidewalk. Flip me over.’?” (Laughs.) I was just like “Yes.” How do you answer that you know what I’m saying? It was just amazing!
NF: Let’s switch over to Warped now. You guys played a few dates last year, and now you’re playing the whole tour. What are some of your favorite Warped memories and experiences, or fun stories?
PS: A van sank in the mud in Montreal last year.
PW:No that was me.
PS: Hey, nice! We had to get pulled out
PW:I parked in the mud and refused to move it “I’ll move it later!” and then it sank in the mud and we had to get it pulled out. My favorite moment was in Detroit when the stage was shut down and it was insane.
PS:I thought, getting back to kids, that the kids singing, because we had to leave because it was dangerous. Everyone was going to get hurt if we kept playing and so we leave, and the kids sang “Where Is Your Boy?/Grand Theft Autumn,” whatever you call it, they sang it for us. So, that was pretty cool. That was one of those days where everybody narrowly averted disaster but I think everyone was stoked on it afterward. The kids were cool about it, Warped Tour was awesome about it. That was when Fall Out Boy and Warped Tour officially got to meet each other, because we were on it before then, but the stage was breaking. And that’s where we all got to really meet each other, and build the friendships we have.
NF: What other bands are you looking forward to seeing?
PW: MyChem. I want to see them. Matchbook Romance, From First To Last, The Matches, Senses Fail.
NF: Are there any bands that you get star-struck seeing? We talked about Green Day earlier, but how about the people on tour?
PS: Dude, Transplants are on tour right now. See, I was a drummer before I was in this band, and I definitely learned to play drums to “And Out Come the Wolves.” So the other night, I was standing in line for veggie burgers and Tim Armstrong (guitarist, The Transplants) walks up, and it was one of those things where they were out of veggie burgers but I was still standing there, and I was like “Hey man I’ve gotta go!”
KG: What’s your favorite song on your new CD?
PW: “I’ve Got a Dark Alley and a Bad Idea (That Says You Should) Shut Your Mouth.” I don’t know, it’s the only song that no one else really likes, and that’s not why I like it. I like it because I feel like the words are the most honest ones on the entire record to me.
MJ: Do you guys follow a certain song-writing process?
PS: Well, like we were saying, it’s his lyrics and my music, so I’m kind of writing them like you’d write a song, like one guy would write a song, but when I’m thinking of lyrics instead of thinking of my own, I grab from him. And then I’ll play it for him and he’ll go “Oh, I like that,” or “Oh, I absolutely hate that,” and so it’s kind of one of these things where we both have our separate things but they’re kind of connected in that I’m picking what words I’m going to use, and he’s picking what music he’s going to use. So, we’re both each other’s editor, kind of.
MJ: And do you write on the road? Do you set aside some time for writing?
PS: Yeah, the last record was pretty much written on the road.
PW:I’m sure that’s where the next one will be coming from.
MJ: Have you started working on any new materialare you writing on this tour?
PW: We’re both constantly writing, pretty much.
PS: Yeah, we’ll always be writing.
PW:We haven’t gone to officially start writing the record, but I’m sure he’s got a bunch of songs, and I’ve got a bunch of ideas, too.
To reach Nicole, Katie or McClain, send e-mail to teenstar@kcstar.com

LOAD-DATE: June 24, 2005


Copyright 2005 The Kansas City Star
All Rights Reserved

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: