“I had no coping skills. I was a mess.”  Joe Trohman weighs in on Fall Out Boy’s reunion

May 9, 2013 by Ryan J. Downey

“I had no coping skills. I was a mess.”  Joe Trohman weighs in on Fall Out Boy’s reunion

In AP (#299), on sale now, Ryan J. Downey sat down with the members of FALL OUT BOY to wave away all the ether surrounding their reunion. Guitarist Joe Trohman was the most vocal about everything, from the terms of the reunion to how it would be announced out to his role in the band from that point forward. He was determined to make sure his situation in the band had changed. Trust us, angry fans on Twitter chastising the guitarist for denying the reunion was the last thing on his mind.

Andy Hurley [drums] said Patrick was the one who initiated the conversation to reunite.
JOE TROHMAN: Pete [Wentz, bass] and Patrick [Stump, vocals/guitar] had been sending material back and forth for a while and it never really gelled. None of the music was working, so they kind of stopped but kept going a little, kept going back and forth. At one point during the break, I sent something to Patrick and we worked on it for a minute. Then I felt weird about it and stopped. I wasn't ready to do this, but they had been doing it. Eventually, they felt the vibe was back.

So I gathered this is how it went: Patrick called Andy; Andy is pretty game. I think Andy was ready to go back a bit ago. Then Patrick called me, to the point where afterward, my throat hurt from talking too long, too loud and too much. But we had talked the prior day, sort of skirting around Fall Out Boy stuff, skirting around writing things together and getting creative. The next day, he texted me asking if I wanted to talk about something to the degree about doing the thing. I was apprehensive.

Josh Newton, who was in the Damned Things and With Knives with me, we were writing With Knives stuff. Josh and I are close; he knows everything that’s going on. He asked why I wasn’t going to do Fall Out Boy again. He told me I was in a different place, the other dudes were in a different place, and it would be dumb not to do it again. I give him credit for having a hand in making me see the forest for the trees.

How hard will it be to go back to playing the old songs you had little input with after getting to do your own stuff?
A hard thing about Fall Out Boy—especially for Patrick and I—[is that] we started the band at 17. I had no coping skills, no clear-formed ideas. I was a mess, so to speak. I wrote a few things here and there, but I wasn't getting it out the way I wanted to. I think I had to learn how to do it. Go play with other people and do other things at the time, which for a while was really discouraging. It was discouraged to go outside of the band because it was all about the band. That's not healthy or helping me, which was when I met Scott Ian [of Anthrax] and he liked the songs I had and we started doing that. [If I hadn’t done Damned Things], it would be weird to come back and do this band and just play old material. Being able to be a real part of the writing process [with the new Fall Out Boy album], makes playing the old stuff more exciting. Going out and getting my creative juices flowing with the other bands certainly helps, but I want to be able to put my imprint on these new songs. Now, I almost feel more ownership over the old stuff, more so than I ever did before.

Aren’t Pete and Patrick sort of an Axl/Slash, Mick/Keith, Page/Plant type partnership? You know, the same chemistry that makes them great makes them fall apart? What’s changed now? And really, what sort of room is there for you in that pairing?
They’re always going to have a special thing together. No matter how much I come in and write, it'll never be the three of us. If you're going to bring up Page/Plant, maybe I'll always be the John Paul Jones—or maybe I’m George Harrison. Those are dudes I love. You know who wrote “Black Dog.” Going on hiatus helped me develop a confidence in my writing abilities and in myself. I'll put my foot in the door, I'll constantly give my opinion and ideas, and I think that's well responded to. Whining and being a baby about it without having anything to back it up is a pretty shitty way to go about it. I also think going away enabled everyone to look at each other individually and say, “That guy can do that, this guy can do that.” It developed a trust and respect for each other. That hiatus was important for many reasons but definitely for that reason.

I don't think it'll ever be—not that it couldn't be—I'm not going to set the bar so high and expect to meet it to the point where I’m saying, “Well, it'll be a three-person collaboration.” It'll never be that way; people love the two-person partnership. It's kind of what it is in this band. Patrick and Pete are the focal points in that manner, and they do have that special thing together. But surprisingly, through this writing process, Patrick and I have developed a good writing team together as well, which is fun. alt

Check out AP 299 for our seven-page feature on Fall Out Boy, on sale now. And another thing, check out our digital edition for our special hard-question bonus round.

<<Part One with Patrick

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