Think PATRICK STUMP (vocals/guitar) is the quiet one in FALL OUT BOY? Ha! Check out just some of the stuff he told us for their cover story that we didn’t have room for:



What was the incentive to make this record?

Art. Because you want to express something. Whenever you’re making art, it can get reduced by the means of promotion. And I think that’s one of the things we were working on really hard with this record-that the promotion is part of the art. The things that Pete [Wentz] has been doing are so subversive, and part of what the record is about is that it’s exciting to make records again.



What there a time when it wasn’t exciting?

It’s always exciting to make records. That’s always cool. There’s always going to be something fun about it. But that doesn’t mean you have to put it out. So why put out a record? That’s more the question. Because the second you put out a record, you’re going to have to go out and do international press and walk red carpets and kiss babies and shakes hands. That’s not exciting to me at all. It’s all about the art. I have an awesome job because I get to make music and stuff. When making music becomes tertiary to promoting the music that’s incidentally made, I don’t want that job at all. Turning around that promotion and making it into art is the only way of keeping my interest in promoting things. I wouldn’t really have much interest in doing this interview if it was about what I’m wearing today or who I’m dating or whoever. That’s not interesting to me at all.



You’ve said this is your favorite record of Pete’s lyrically. Why?

The record doesn’t sound anything like folk music, whatsoever; I don’t think it would ever be mistaken for it. But the thing that is so important to me about folk music is the lyric and the strength of lyric. Folk music is one of those forms where the form itself is fairly basic. Often it’s a guy or a woman and a guitar and it’s very stripped down. The thing that changes from song to song is the lyric. Who’s the main character that you’re speaking from? It’s basically like writing a novel every time you say something. And that’s the thing that I think really inspired this record, whereas these aren’t lyrics where it’s like, “This is what happened to me today, let me tell you about it.” My dad [Dave Stump] was a folk musician and that has always inspired my love of lyric and the type of lyric I respond to. And my heroes like Tom Waits pull a lot from the tradition of American folk music. I think Warren Zevon did, too. And Randy Newman does. Elvis Costello does. I think the thing they all have in common is that they are able to express all manners of emotions in three-minute pop songs. I think that’s the thing about this record; Pete really expressed a very wide range of emotions. I think that’s something that’s been lacking in pop music quite a bit. The irony is that people will probably mistake the title Folie Á Deux as about something about romantic relationships in some way, and it’s our only record where that theme is not touched. There are lyrics on this record that controversially go into certain admitting things that I wasn’t necessarily sure I wanted to admit. We haven’t been that openly political as a band. But on this record, there are some lyrics that spell it out. I’m not naming it, because I don’t know it yet, but we openly talk about American foreign policy, but in the way it affects you emotionally on a day-to-day basis and how it can kind of bum you out. You know how when you go out of the county, and you meet someone and you open your mouth and they’re like, “Oh, you’re American,” and you’re like, “I know. I’m sorry.”



Was it scary to put that out there lyrically?

We pushed each other a little bit. I pushed Pete to go into places musically that I think he’s scared to go in. These are things he always would love to do and wants to do it. And he pushes me in places lyrically where, if I were writing my own lyrics, I wouldn’t be able to say aloud in a song. But he has the balls to push me on it. That’s another reason I’m so proud of it lyrically. I can’t say if this is my favorite record unilaterally, because I still have to sit with it for a while. But I’m absolutely astounded with the lyrics. It’s the first time I’ve been totally proud of everybody. I know everybody did their best. The band is the best we’ve ever been.



Funny you mentioned that because Joe [Trohman, guitar] said there was a time when he felt distanced from the band, but you guys talked about it and now he feels more in the fold than ever.

Of all the bands I know, we’re the only one that doesn’t really complain about each other the second anyone turns their back. We will make jokes about each other, but it’s not like, “I hate that dude.” We’re all actually really good friends. That’s another reason to make a record-because it’s a lot easier to suffer through some of the things you don’t like when you know everybody is in it together.



How do you still participate in the scene that brought you up?

I don’t know. People will ask me about new bands who are coming up, and I don’t really know who they are. It’s not in the way that I’m not paying attention to new music. It’s one thing when you’re playing shows and every other show is a completely different bill, so it was easy to talk about bands that you played with. Now I already know all of the bands I tour with.



What about producing up and coming bands? Is that a way of staying active?

Yeah, but I don’t know how I was ever involved in the scene. I had my friends and I liked my friends in other bands and there had been times when we had been called a “scene” together. And there were times when I’d hear we’re in completely different scenes. Gym Class Heroes have been going in and out of being in a scene. It’s like, “Oh, they’re a hip-hop band. Oh, they’re an emo slash hip-hop band. No, they’re an emo band. No they’re a straight up hip-hop band.” But they’re just a band. I don’t know what a scene means to me. It’s after the smoke clears and everybody retires and moves to the suburbs, then you talk about the scene. You say, “Oh, those were the good old days.” But in the moment, it’s hard to identify what is a scene. I would say that maybe there is a scene of Decaydance bands because we’re all friends. And that’s the whole purpose of it.



Was there ever a moment when you thought the band jumped the shark and did something you said you’d never do again?

There are all sorts of little things like that [which] you’re artistically upset about, but like we got a lot of flak for being sponsored by Honda on [the Honda Civic Tour]. But at the same time, I got to promote the idea of a hybrid car because I’m an environmentalist and for various reasons, I can go into promoting hybrid cars. I was perfectly happy with that situation and I would do that a billion times over because that’s something I wanted to express. It’s part of the art. The environment is something I like to talk about, but we got flak for it. There are some things that we were maybe disappointed in, but people were excited about. I remember we were really disappointed in the cut of the “Sugar, We’re Going Down” video. I don’t want to publicly flag the director-he was awesome-but it was one of those things where we had a big hesitation about the first reaction. I love the video now, and there was a time when I was thinking, “I don’t know if I’d do that video again.” But people loved that video. So it’s hard to say what are your “jump the shark” moments. It’s also a personal thing. If I’d known I would never play my drum set again, I would probably have never opened my mouth [to sing]. I don’t have no regrets, but I have very few major regrets. –JR Griffin