10 bands you might not have discovered without Pete Wentz
Fall Out Boy aside, the bassist pretty much built the scene from the ground up.February 24, 2021
The Fall Out Boy bassist launched his Fueled By Ramen imprint, Decaydance Records, in 2005 and quickly started accumulating a roster of soon-to-be icons. Though rebranded in 2014 as DCD2 Records, the label has continued to put forward notable scene favorites, such as nothing,nowhere., well into the modern era.
Given Wentz’s propensity for scouting legends in the making, we can only imagine how vastly different the scene would have looked without his contributions. Here are 10 artists you might not have discovered without him.
A Rocket To The Moon
A Rocket To The Moon were still in their fledgling stages when they signed to Fueled By Ramen in 2008. Of course, you probably already know who’s responsible for getting them in the door. Wentz had originally scouted the band for Decaydance, but ultimately they ended up releasing On Your Side under the parent company in 2009.
Gym Class Heroes
This one shouldn’t come as any surprise, given Wentz’s long-standing friendship with Gym Class Heroes frontman Travie McCoy. The two initially met at a Fall Out Boy show in 2004, the year before The Papercut Chronicles dropped, and “hit it off” immediately. The band went on to release that album under Decaydance, and McCoy remains on the roster to this day.
Panic! At The Disco
It seems pretty natural to compare Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy to one another. Between their theatric anthems, long song titles and extravagant music videos, they’re definitely operating within the same wheelhouse. Of course, that begins to make a hell of a lot of sense when you realize that Panic! were a Wentz discovery. In fact, the band were first signed under Decaydance and have remained on the label for over 15 years.
The Hush Sound
As it turns out, signing Panic! At The Disco had some rather direct implications for other artists. The mainstream emergence of the Hush Sound was the result of a joint effort between Wentz and Ryan Ross. Ross reportedly found the band on the internet following the release of their 2005 debut album, So Sudden. He passed them onto Wentz, who reached out regarding a signing. The group went on to re-release that album through Decaydance as well as drop two additional full-lengths, 2006’s Like Vines and 2008’s Goodbye Blues.
The Ready Set
No doubt, the Ready Set‘s “Love Like Woe” holds its own as a 2000s anthem. So, it’s pretty hard to stomach that we may have never heard it had Wentz not discovered Jordan Witzigreuter in 2009. Witzigreuter released I’m Alive, I’m Dreaming the next year under a joint signing by both Decaydance and Sire Records, a Warner Music Group subsidiary.
Cobra Starship said it themselves in their 2009 track: “Pete Wentz Is The Only Reason We’re Famous.” Upon first glance, it just seems like a sassy tribute to Gabe Saporta‘s iconic friendship (you know, the one that’s been hilariously memorialized on Wentz’s skin…). When you break down the history, though, there’s far more truth to the nod than you might immediately think. While the frontman found success with his former outfit, Midtown, it was the Decaydance supergroup project “Bring It (Snakes On A Plane)” that really gained Cobra Starship significant traction. After the collaboration, they went on to release albums under the label through their entire tenure.
Despite their brief reunion in 2019, Hey Monday may be one of the most severely missed bands from the 2000s. As you could probably guess, we have Wentz to thank for all that pain (though, we’ll admit, it’s worth it). Wentz discovered the outfit shortly after their inception in 2008 and released their debut album, Hold On Tight, that same year through a joint deal with Columbia Records.
We were all shook when Wentz popped up in the Cab‘s “One Of THOSE Nights” music video. However, the appearance didn’t just appropriately accent Patrick Stump‘s feature—it also paid homage to the band’s big break. The Cab were another group passed on to Wentz by way of Panic! At The Disco. They released their debut album, Whisper War, under Decaydance in 2008.
Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows
You probably remember D.R.U.G.S. as the decade-old supergroup composed of members from Chiodos, From First To Last, Story Of The Year, Matchbook Romance and Underminded. Do you recall the Wentz connection, though? The band released their first, and so far only, album through Decaydance in 2011. Just prior, in a 2010 interview with MTV, Wentz had cited Craig Owens as his favorite new artist. Now on the heels of a new D.R.U.G.S. demo and Owens’ collaboration with Wentz and Stump on 100 gecs‘ “hand crushed by a mallet (Remix),” we have to wonder if the band might rejoin the DCD2 roster going forward.
The Academy Is…
The Academy Is… and Fall Out Boy have been interwoven for as long as we can remember. Just look to the “We’ve Got A Big Mess On Our Hands” and “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More ‘Touch Me’” music videos for confirmation of their creative symbiosis. You may chalk it up to being part of the 2000s Chicago scene, but, as it turns out, Wentz is actually responsible for getting TAI signed to Fueled By Ramen ahead of releasing Almost Here. This of course happened in 2004, prior to the establishment of Decaydance. However, the band released their next two records under Wentz’s label.
Which of your favorite bands have foundational ties to Pete Wentz? Let us know in the comments below!