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Q&A: Fall Out Boy singer Patrick Stump

April 12, 2013|By Matt Pais | RedEye Sound Board

If it counts for anything, I say you sound better on every album.
Well, thank you very much. But anyway I think that was a huge thing on this record: I just had to learn how to back off. A lot of times it would be four against one where the band and Butch would be like, “No, just let it be where it is, man!”

How challenging was it for you, having shown so much of yourself and doing things you hadn’t before with “Soul Punk,” to determine what made sense for Fall Out Boy? You of course don’t want to go in and seem like you’re convincing the band to do what you did in your solo work.
Right. Um, I didn’t really find that very challenging. If anything, it was kind of a challenge to allow any relation to it. I had such mixed feelings about that record and that experience, about “Soul Punk,” that I think sometimes I would find myself--like I had to be almost pushed a little bit to let myself sound like that at times. I guess I was looking initially at doing this [Fall Out Boy] record as a means of closing that chapter of my life, and it’s like, well that’s not really what it’s about. It should be about just enjoying the thing that you’re doing; it shouldn’t be in reaction to anything else. I guess the best way to say it [is] it was just a challenge to allow myself to be the guy that was in Fall Out Boy and also the guy that had done “Soul Punk.”

You’ve been asked before about why the band has been so divisive. I’ve never understood that. Has time added any understanding about that?
Fall Out Boy is polarizing, and I think there’s a lot of reasons for that, but one of ‘em to me is that there was always this thing that prefaced us before we got in the room about who we were and where we were coming from. There was always somebody’s perspective that showed up before we did. So first it was, OK, it’s Pete Wentz’s pop-punk band because we were all hardcore kids and he was known for hardcore bands, and here comes this pop-punk band. And even though we didn’t really sound anything like New Found Glory or Saves the Day, the fact that they were also guys from hardcore bands doing pop music, pop-rock music, people automatically assumed that we were one of those bands. And I don’t really think we ever really fit in there, but you know, that’s cool. The emo thing started to happen, and I have to say, I’m fine either way with whatever anyone wanted to call us, but we always felt like outsiders in that world because none of those bands wanted to tour with us. [Laughs] So it’s like, “OK, cool.” So that became the thing. Then it was, you know, it’s, “Fall Out Boy, that emo band,” so that was the thing that followed us around or whatever. It took a long time for whatever identity we have, whoever we actually are--I think it’s really taken a long time for anybody to notice any of that.

I think preconceptions in general, for a band or a movie or anything can be so misleading and can be when people give things more or less credit than they deserve.
Sorry, I rambled myself away from my point—that’s very common for me—the thing I was going to say is that so in that way, it kind of made it so when you wanted an emo band and we weren’t that emo band, it pissed you off. When you didn’t want that emo band and you heard that we were that emo band, it pissed you off. [Laughs] So it was like a catch-22 where we weren’t in the right lane for a lot of people.

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