If there were a Mount Rushmore of early 2000s emo and pop-punk, there’s absolutely no question the likeness of Pete Wentz would be carved into it. He’s known for those era-defining jet-black bangs, a trademark snarl and, of course, perfectly applied eyeliner. As a result, Wentz is a style icon for anyone who’s ever uttered the phrase, “It’s not a phase, mom!”

In this classic 2010 interview, Wentz opens up on breaking with his past, ditching eyeliner and avoiding self-parody. Instead, the bassist was met with an intense backlash. A legion of fans had feared their beloved patron saint of emo and guyliner had abandoned them.

Read more: Is this a Fall Out Boy or a Panic! At The Disco song title?


Wentz also discussed juggling his entrepreneurial endeavors in the form of Bartskull Films, his Decaydance Records imprint and his perennial Clandestine Industries moniker and what he thought the future had in store for Fall Out Boy post-2010. He also spills the beans on why you never see him rockin’ Clandestine merch onstage during shows. 

Wentz also recalled the bizarre offer from the Kidz Bop franchise that FOB had declined and the myriad of beer companies hoping to get Patrick Stump to sing the lyric, “Where is my beer tonight…” in the band’s early days. 

Read more: Taylor Swift joined Brendon Urie, Pete Wentz at “most emo dinner party”

“I know enough that anything I put my name on or our brand on, it has to be something I’m really into,” Wentz details from the outset. “If it’s just something to get your foot in the door, it’s probably just a poor idea.

“We get approached for the craziest stuff ever,” he continues. “‘How about a Fall Out Boy sports drink?’ and you’re like, ‘Let me think…’”

Credibility scales and guyliner be damned. Wentz is a silver surfer when it comes to navigating the tides of public opinion. Some things never change.