Fall Out Boy hadn’t released an album in nearly five years, but that didn’t stop Save Rock and Roll from debuting at No. 1 a few weeks back.
Though they’ve reached that pinnacle before (the group’s 2007 album Infinity On High also debuted in the top spot), it remains a major accomplishment for a band whom many in the industry had dismissed as kings of a genre whose time had passed.
Still, frontman Patrick Stump isn’t letting it go to his head. “I think there’s a lot of outside pressure to be focused on [numbers], but we try to focus on making the music,” Stump says. “When you’re No. 1 or No. 300, you still get to play and write the songs.”
In an extended conversation with EW, Stump talks about the creation of Save Rock and Roll, what it’s like to work with Pete Wentz, and why Elton John knows more about music than just about anybody.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was the first song that came together for Save Rock and Roll?
PATRICK STUMP: “Where Did the Party Go” was the first one. Pete and I had been throwing around a lot of ideas, and sometimes Pete speaks in really funny kind of riddles. That’s one of the classic things that used to frustrate me, when people would complain about our long song titles that don’t make any sense and don’t have any relation to the song. I always thought, “You need to talk to Pete Wentz, because when you hang out with him for 10 minutes, you realize that’s how that guy talks.” He threw this puzzle at me, and he wanted me to combine a whole bunch of songs and feelings that were so disparate. As a trained musician, I thought, “Those things literally can’t go together.” But in trying to do it, not only did I surprise myself, but he was going, “Yeah, that’s it!” It was the first song that felt like the band. It’s a great song and an important song to have on the record, but the most important thing is the story behind it because it was the song that really opened up the record for us. And there’s a hint of where we wanted to go on that, because it sounds a lot like old Fall Out Boy and nothing like old Fall Out Boy.
Your records have really evolved quite a bit over time, so what do you consider “old” Fall Out Boy?
One of the things we wanted to toy around with was taking those hallmarks that people identified with us and taking them out of the superficial definitions. People talk to me all the time about emo, and I have no problem with having been identified with that, but make no mistake, we never planned on being an emo band. That was never a talk that we had. When Pete got that haircut, it was just him doing his own weird thing. Everything about it was kind of accidental. So there’s a temptation to focus on recapturing that spirit we had in 2003, and I can’t disagree with that, because that’s when the band discovered themselves. But I think we really tried to make a Fall Out Boy record without any of the genre involved. READ FULL STORY