Fall Out Boy received a bit of unexpected flack when the Chicago modern rockers hit the road late last fall to coincide with the release of their fi fth album, “Folie á Deux.”
“A lot of press showed up and were like, ‘This is a preview of their new album, but they’re not playing any of their new songs. What’s with that?!” recalls Patrick Stump, Fall Out Boys’ cap-wearing frontman and songwriting partner with bassist Pete Wentz.
“But that wasn’t the point of (the shows). We hadn’t toured in awhile, and we were just trying to play for our fans and play a lot of old music. We never said it was a preview. We just wanted to go out and entertain people, you know, not just blasé in there and play a bunch of stuff they haven’t heard yet.”
Fall Out Boy still aims to please on its current “Believers Never Die Part Deux” tour, but with “Folie á Deux” out for five months and already certified gold, Stump says the album has become part of that package.
“We’ve only been around for about eight years and we have five albums — so we’re making good time, but that means we have a lot of ground to cover on our set list, too,” he explains. “Obviously, we want to play a lot of the new stuff, but I think we’re always going to cover our old stuff, too.
“You have to play it by ear, in a way. If you go to see a Prince show, he plays whatever he wants — but his audience expects that. If I go to shows, I’m bummed if I don’t hear some of the songs that I really like. It’s good when those lines kind of intersect; I play (2006’s) ‘Dance, Dance’ every night because it’s my favorite song, and, fortunately, it’s one of our biggest hits, so it works for everybody.”
“Folie á Deux,” meanwhile, is a somewhat different creature than some of Fall Out Boy’s other albums, says Stump — who confesses that “this was not a fun record to make.” Recorded in a relatively short month-and-a-half, Stump says the album — which features guest appearances by Lil Wayne, Elvis Costello, Blondie’s Debbie Harry and many more — was “much more collaborative” than its predecessors, extending more creative space for guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley.
But that wasn’t easy for Stump, who had grown used to a controlling input not only as a songwriter, but also as a producer.
“The nature of compromise is that the ego thinks it loses, no matter what,” Stump, who’s also produced albums by Gym Class Heroes, Cobra Starship and others, explains with a laugh. “It’s always really rough when you have to give up stuff, especially in an artistic setting. But we felt like we have to be something of a selfless band. We have to be a unit, not individuals. We didn’t want it to be led by one person or anything.”
That extended to the Stump-Wentz songwriting relationship, too, which Stump says changed markedly this time around.
“I let his words really be my focus this time,” Stump says. “Before, I don’t think I was reading as much into the lyrics as I probably should have, being a songwriting partner. I was really more interested in what I was doing musically. This time around, what I was doing musically, exclusively existed to help with what he had to say.
“We still fought a lot,” Stump adds with another laugh, “but it was more fighting for the greater good. It wasn’t fighting for your idea; it was fighting for the best idea.”
Fortunately, Stump says, there were no permanent injuries.
“I sound like I’m taking this thing too seriously,” he acknowledges, “ ’cause it’s just a pop album at the end of the day. But it is serious business to us, you know?”
Fall Out Boy, Cobra Starship, Metro Station, All Time Low and Hey Monday perform at 6:30 p.m. Friday (May 8) at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center, 799 N. Hewitt Road, Ypsilanti. Some tickets remain at $36. Call (734) 487-2282 or visit www.livenation.com.
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