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Q&A: Fall Out Boy singer Patrick Stump

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

You previously said Fall Out Boy records aren’t fun to make. It sounds like the new one is especially personal. Was “Save Rock and Roll” more fun to make, and should people think there was less of that on past albums because of label influence or something like that?
I think the biggest thing is that I just had to learn how to work in a studio. You know there’s that stereotypical motherly character who--say it’s mom. We’ll just call this “mom.” Maybe no one thinks to make dinner, or maybe you ask mom to make dinner. She makes dinner, right, happily. Happy to do it. Then the next night, she goes, “Maybe I’ll try making dinner again; that worked out so well.” The next night, everybody walks up to the table, sits down and goes, “Where’s dinner?” That happens or maybe dad comes in and tries to make dinner and mom goes, “No, no, let me just do that.” And kind of takes over. I feel like I had kind of found myself in a place where I had become probably a little bit controlling but by accident in the studio. So I kind of had turned into this worn-out [person saying], “I slaved over a hot stove for 10 hours!” I turned into that kind of character in the studio on every record and so they weren’t fun to make because I always felt like conversely everyone wanted me to be doing everything but secretly probably no one really did want me to do everything. It was this tough line of, “We want you to do a lot, but you still have to be part of an interplay.” I still have to be part of a conversation. I think that was the big difference with this record was that we were able to lose a lot of that. I think again Butch is a huge credit to that because he is a type-A personality, and you do not mess with him. And anytime I would get kind of whiny or whatever, he’d lay down the law. [Laughs] So you [find yourself] being happy because after the first [session] it was like, “Oh, I get how this is going to work.”

This time it was like you crack the eggs, Pete mixes them …
Exactly. They say dogs in a pack are a lot happier when they have direction. When they know where they are. When they know where they’re supposed to be. And know their roles. It’s no different for bands. If you know that you are expected to do this amount of work and can focus on it, it’s way better than this big question mark of, “Hey, can you do everything maybe?” [Laughs]

I have to ask: I really like your solo stuff and it’s great you all had different avenues to explore, but needless to say there was a lot of not-so-positive commentary coming your way. The Onion recently did a piece about bands whose members went back to the group with their tail between their legs after solo work, and they included you. How much have you thought about, had things gone differently for the solo projects, if things would have been different for Fall Out Boy now?
Look: We were always going to come back, and that was always the plan. We didn’t have a time frame on it. The thing was that we needed to figure ourselves out because we had kind of exhausted our patience with each other and our excitement for the music that we were making, the way that we were doing it. I think we had to figure out a new way to do it. I do not have my tail between my legs right now. I am very happy to be where I am. One thing that disappoints me, the way that people interpret everything, is that in the first place I wasn’t bummed that people didn’t like my solo record. Of course, I did [some different things], people weren’t going to like that. I was happy with that. The thing that I didn’t like was that they wanted something so specific from me that they prevented me from even doing the solo thing. And they wanted so badly to hate things that they said such nasty things. I didn’t care that they were saying it about me. I had never heard people say some of these things to each other. I don’t live in a world—I don’t hang out with a lot of total, total assholes.

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