6 takeaways from Pete Wentz’s Artist Friendly interview
This week, Pete Wentz was the featured guest on the Artist Friendly podcast. The Fall Out Boy bassist and rock icon spoke with host Joel Madden about the making of the band's latest album So Much (For) Stardust, the alternative scene today and emo revival, the band's evolution, and so much more.
Before you dive into the full episode, which is out now wherever you listen to podcasts, see below for some of the key takeaways from the conversation.
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He really values his collaborative relationship with Patrick Stump
Wentz took time on the podcast to sing the praises of Patrick Stump, who he calls his best friend on the episode. He explains that Stump doesn't always get as much credit as he deserves as a vocalist and artist, and mentions that he loves the craft so much that he knows he would be doing "a different version of this" even if FOB didn't exist. He also breaks down their creative partnership, explaining that Stump is all the music and melody, while he's all about the lyrics and visuals. "When we get it right, we get it really right, and when we get it wrong, one of us kind of weighs the other one," he says. "I think that being at odds with each other, it's like a little oil and water in a good way when we get it right." Ultimately, his best friend and bandmate "always gets what [he's] putting down"
Fall Out Boy looked to Green Day's history for inspiration while making So Much (For) Stardust
Wentz says on the podcast that, even with the recent emo revival, he and FOB knew they didn't want to make "Sugar, We’re Goin Down" part two. He explains that he wanted to think about what they were doing as "adjacent" to it, though — building on their legacy to create something new. So, they considered what Green Day did when FOB and bands in their scene, such as My Chemical Romance, were coming up. "I always thought they could've put out a record that aped what we were doing, but instead they put out American Idiot, which was this thing that reminded everyone like, 'Oh, Green Day. They were the band that put out Dookie,'" he says. "It was adjacent to what we were doing, but it reminded the world what Green Day was. That's what we thought about with the record."
Fall Out Boy has talked to My Chemical Romance about going on tour together
Wentz confirms on the pod that FOB and My Chem have in fact discussed going on tour together. It was about 15 years ago that there were conversations in the work, he clarifies, but Wentz is certainly open to the idea of resuming those talks and eventually hitting the road. He says, "I think that would be amazing! We should make it happen!"
So Much (For) Stardust reflects the band’s love of movies
If you watch the music videos that accompany Fall Out Boy’s So Much (For) Stardust singles, they feel like their own story. That’s all by design. Now more than ever, the band have been using their love of film to fuel their music. “[Patrick] has been scoring, so he thinks in movie score terms now, but I also think a lot of times our references will be more cinematic stuff,” Wentz says. “When we’re in the airport or waiting backstage, we’re talking about movies and debating. I think we just let that naturally come into the record a little bit more.”
Fall Out Boy began as a fun side project
Before Fall Out Boy, Wentz played in a ton of hardcore bands throughout Chicago. Fall Out Boy, naturally, was the side project that he did for fun. “Of course that’s the one that you’re doing 20 years later,” he says. “It was like, ‘Let’s do something that’s not the other thing.’ I always think about it [in terms of] sports I’m playing. My best swing is when I’m free, when I let it go, when I’m not thinking about all the other stuff.” However, things changed when people beyond their family and friends were drawn to the music, which fueled their decision to start grinding for real so they could become a success. Over two decades later, they’ve certainly exceeded that goal.
He realized the band were a success in 2004
Though Fall Out Boy released their debut album, Take This To Your Grave, in 2003, it didn’t take off instantly. “In 2004, we were this band that every kid knew, but no adult knew,” Wentz explains. Though their shows drew massive crowds that fire marshalls would often shut down, there was a whole other demographic that didn’t understand the band, and their songs didn’t get played on the radio. Once they made the music video for “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy,” which deviated from the typical pop-punk pool party shoot, in 2004, they started to gain traction. “It went up TRL because of our fanbase, and then radio just had to play it,” Wentz says.