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Punk rock boy Patrick Stump still calls Chicago 'sweet home'

  • Patrick Stump, shown here performing at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Cafe, returns to Chicago Nov. 11 to perform at the Metro.
Patrick Stump, shown here performing at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Cafe, returns… (Getty Images )
November 10, 2011|By Kyle Kramer | For RedEye

Patrick Stump doesn’t claim to be cool.

“I don't believe in guilty pleasures,” Stump says, when the subject of pop music comes up.

The Fall Out Boy singer’s solo album, “Soul Punk,” which dropped Oct. 18, is the cool kind of pop music, though: the kind that draws on Timbaland as much as any punk band and ends up sounding a little like a Prince record.

Stump, who caps his tour Friday at Metro, called in during a recent stop in Buffalo to talk with RedEye about Hollywood parties, socialism and what hip-hop fans think of his other band.

Do you feel less famous now? Like “I'm just a dude who can talk to my fans after the show instead of getting mobbed?”
I never really felt all that famous. If anything now because it's my show, it's my name … I feel a little bit more famous … But you know, that's something I never really get used to.

Do you feel like you kind of have to make an effort to socialize in the way people expect now that you're in the spotlight?
Interacting with the audience is fine. That's the awesome part. … I look forward to that. That's how it always was when I was doing shows…

The thing I don't like is having to, like, sell myself to other artists. It's such a thing where it’s like, “Well that's how you get tours, that's how you get spots on records and stuff.” [It’s] this whole industry idea of you have to … try and make best friends with some pop star.

Pop musicians don't really play shows, don't really tour like rock musicians do. It was really easy coming up in Fall Out Boy to have all these friends in bands because you're always touring, you're always playing with somebody. But this [is] really hard. It's really arbitrary for me to call up somebody whose record I like and try to be cooler with them than I am.

Why have you decided to stay in the Chicago area? [He lives in Glenview.]
It’s just home, you know? I'm not going to lie to anybody, I keep a place in LA because there's a lot of work out there and I have to go out there all the time … My family's been in Chicago for 150 years. We all have the accent. I inherited furniture that was buried in the fire ... That's where I feel like I come from. That's the only city that I would want to live in.

Why do you think more artists don't choose to stay in Chicago? What do you think Chicago could do to have a higher national profile?
I think one of the things about Chicago is there's not really a lot of really bad scenes. I say that meaning in LA or New York—and this is nothing to slight LA or New York because there are excellent scenes there too—you can easily fall into a super drugged out party scene in either place. … I never really encountered that at home. I've gotten to play all over the place—my girlfriend is shaking her head at me right now! She's laughing at me! I don't know! That's my interpretation of it!

[LA] does attract—there are a lot of people that are looking for that. But then at the same time look at entertainment as a whole. I feel like you can't be an actor and not have passed through Chicago. You can't be a comedian and not have passed through Chicago. And honestly, I don't know, man. I don't want to beat my chest too much but I think we're pretty cool and I think we're just nice people.

You were 20 when Fall Out Boy blew up. Was it a challenge being welcomed into that sort of fame and being exposed to that kind of partying when you were 20?
I didn't take to it at all. I've been to a few Hollywood parties, but I remember one specifically … I just remember standing in the corner. It's funny because I was standing behind somebody famous, I think, so a picture of me ended up in a magazine, like me in the background. My mom cut it out … It's me just wallflowering so hard.

A lot of the lyrics on your album acknowledge that you're getting older. You're 26. Do you feel like a super old adult now?
I do feel pretty adult. I can't lie. The weird thing about getting out and doing my solo thing is … I am doing a lot of the same things all over again. It's very déjà vu, but I get to look at it with the benefit of hindsight, like, “I wish I knew all that I knew now when I was younger.” That kind of stuff.

Which I think is a very relatable theme. A lot of people in their twenties, maybe, are feeling that.
It's funny. I realized—I didn't do this on purpose—but I realized that part of me was really wanting for some kind of, like, pop music for grown folks. They have all these pop songs for kids, but there’s not a lot of pop music for people with their first mortgage who are struggling, people who are still trying to pay off their student loans, whatever it is, all those things.

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