Interview: Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz

Interview: Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz
December 14, 2006 04:10 PM
by Christina Fuoco
LiveDaily Contributor

Multiplatinum rock band Fall Out Boy could play large venues in support of its forthcoming album "Infinity on High," but bassist/lyricist Pete Wentz hopes to teach fellow bands a lesson by gigging in clubs for diehard fans right out of the gate.

"I think it's arrogant for us to go out there and to assume that everybody loves our band and we're God's gift and that we don't have to go back out and earn it to some extent all over again," Wentz said during a recent phone interview. "To me, that's us sending a message to other bands--both bands we're friends with and bands that look up to us. You can't just sit there and let someone else do the work. You're going to have to go out and do that."

Thus, Wentz and his bandmates--singer Patrick Stump, guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley--will take to the club circuit in January with New Found Glory, Early November, Permanent Me and Lifetime.

"We've got these fans who are really loyal and really dedicated to us, and it's important for us to keep them that way," Wentz said. "We like seeing them there. We like feeling the heat off the crowd. We like seeing the sweated-out eyes in the front row. It's something that is indescribable, that we thought would be cool and fun to do and to do it with the bands that we're doing it with, like New Found Glory, who we looked up to and we wanted to play with for a long time. Early November are old friends, and Permanent Me and Lifetime are just cool bands."

Fall Out Boy's new album, "Infinity on High," is due in stores Feb. 6.. The group debuted the first single, "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race," at the American Music Awards, and it is streaming on the group's official website.

Meanwhile, in perhaps the most blatant example of just how big Fall Out Boy has become, California toy manufacturer SOTA recently released a series of action figures depicting the group's members.

While in Minneapolis recently, Wentz talked to LiveDaily about the making of "Infinity on High," having an action figure of himself and being the "weird kid."

LiveDaily: How's the tour going so far?

Pete Wentz: Ummm, Interesting.

Why do you say "interesting" so hesitantly?

It's a little weird. It's a lot of radio shows that we have to get up at 6 a.m. to fly places, and that does not bode well for us, because we go to bed at like 4 a.m. Then we're always the oddball at every show. We're a bit too melodic for a lot of the heavier shows, and a bit too rock for some of the more pop shows. But it's fun being the weird kid.

How's the reception been to the new songs?

It's been very good. We've only been playing one ["This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race."].

It sounded really good on the American Music Awards.

Did it? My in-ears [monitor] broke so I couldn't tell. To me, it sounded so bad it was unbelievable. It's hard to tell. When you're cooking your own food, you always think it's bad, I think. It's a very human quality. Please don't let any of the readers know I have any human qualities.

Oh, I won't. I'll make them think you're some kind of god.

No, no, no. We're going for some kind of machine. I don't want to piss God off and not make it into heaven. Some kind of machine.

You may not be a machine, but you are an action figure. How do you feel about that? You're the hardest one to find, by the way.

I kind of consider them dolls. I'm like, "Watch out Ken. Barbie's got a new boyfriend." [Laughs] Since I was 8, I wanted to be an action figure or to be a doll. It's every boy's dream. I put them up next to all my other toys. I don't even really care what anybody else thinks. It was just so cool for us to be able to do that.

So what was it like to work with Babyface on the new album?

It must have been great for him. Um, no, it was cool. It's like when you date a girl for four years and then like all of a sudden you're single and you're, like, trying to kiss the other girl and you bump foreheads because you haven't kissed somebody new in so long. It took a little bit to kind of get used to. But he's probably one of the funniest and most talented people I've ever met in my life. It was a really good experience.

What was the most important thing that you learned from him?

Uh, you want to know the actual truth?


No matter how big your band gets or who you think you are, don't get a private jet because you'll lose all your money. [Laughs] That sounds about right. Not that any of us have had a chance to do that, but we were like, "Dude, private jets would be so cool." He's like, "Never get a private jet. That would be a waste of all your money."

Who else did you collaborate with on this album? I understand that a member of New Found Glory is on the album.

Yes. And our friend Ryan [Ross] from Panic! At the Disco plays a guitar solo on it. And then our boss, the president, Jay-Z is on the record as well, on "Thriller." It's an eclectic mix.

Did you write most of the songs on the album again? And did you write them before you went in the studio, or while you were in the studio?

Yes. It was about half and half this time.

Is it more difficult to do one than the other?

I think, for me, it's hard to ever say something's finished. I have a hard time doing that. I tend to focus on single words, you know, and they will just kind of drive me crazy. At some point, Patrick had to tell me "Enough is enough. You can't sit here and weed through every single little word. You're never going to be happy with it."

In the "Fall Out Boyz" video you have on your website, you say that the punk-pop thing is over. Do you really think that's true?

I don't know. I kind of don't. Green Day started doing it 15 years ago and was the biggest band again last year. I don't think it's really possible to say it's over. Do I think that the guys at labels sort of took notice of some of the rock bands that were bigger this year and it became a little more saturated? Probably. Whatever genre you put them in, there's a lot of bands that outstand and outlast their genre--everything from Linkin Park to The Beatles to The Rolling Stones. Everyone pegged them, put them in this category and they ended up rising above that. If anything, that's what I hope Fall Out Boy accomplishes.

Is that why you went for an R&B/classic rock sound on this album? That's what I've picked up from the songs I've heard.

I don't know. To me, it's like a misnomer; if you take any selection of songs and put them next to each other you can make an argument in any direction. I could tell you four songs to listen to and you could say, "Oh this could be on 'From Under the Cork Tree,'" our last record. Or I'll give you four and you'll say, "Oh, this is indie rock." I just think it's a natural progression. It's our growth as songwriters and our experiences in the world. All of a sudden, our eyes have adjusted to the dark and we can see different things. You realize there's other things in the room rather than when you first walked in the room and you just thought it was black.


Anonymous said...

Pete Rocks
I Came On Here So I Could Look For Things That No1 Would No About Him As Im Doing A Quiz On Him On Bebo!
So I Mean How Many People Are Gonna No Jay-Z Features On Their New Album? Not Many =D
<3 Pete <3

Anonymous said...

Awesome interview!! Can't wait 'til their new album comes out here in New Zealand and also I have heard they will be touring here this year CAN'T WAIT!!! Pete is so hot you just don't see good looking guys like him every day!! Ha ha ha

Anonymous said...


much luv 2 pete wentz frm georgia lloyd

much luv

beki boo said...

fall out boy iz ace !! n pete iz fit 2 fuk !! neva saw a fit emo or w.e u r lol luv u pete

lee said...

i know this interview was ages ago but iv only just found out about it. i think pete is a genius for saying how a band can develop and rise above their genre and be different. its better than hearing bands that always play the same old crap becuase it shows that are not developing. love the new fall out boy album


heather said...

pete rocks , fall out boy rocks an the new album rocks even more favpourite song an vidoe at the moment thnks fr th mmrs rock on fall out boy pete is so hot x.x

M0onstah said...

Omg! I actually got to meet Pete in person, one on one. It was just so like..idk undescribable. He is probably one of the coolest guys out there. I told him I was practically in love with him and he told me he would deff. go for me. He even gave me his email address and aim. We talk every once in awhile but not much becasue I don't want to bother him too much, but we usually get on the topic of when we can meet again

Chelcie loves Pete Wentz said...

I love Pete Wentz more than any girl alive. [end of story]


Ariel said...

I just love comments, Michael Jackson, life, bands, computers, Patrick, Pete, Andy, Joe, the band, and all of you. Big slobbery kiss to the world. Mwah! I like Patrick the most...for reasons unknown. I would still get a private jet. They're just too cool. oh yeah, and I love Jay. And Kay and Babyface (have no idea who he is). Yeah. Think I'll go now.
Goodbye. Fall Out Boy is one of my favourite bands.

Anonymous said...

BYE GEORGIA! =) =) =)!!!

Anonymous said...

GEORGIA! =) =) =)!!!

heyyyyyyyy said...

i love pete so much!!
i love fob so muchh!!
please come here we love you so and you have never been in my country...

Caitlin said...

I LOVE YOU PETE!!!! I went to your concert you were great and so sexy! I'v only got four words to ask WILL YOU MARRY ME?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Laura said...

Oehh.. I simply love the music of fob! :D .. It's so awesome.. I realy hope their comming to Holland soon.. If they are, I'm so gonna be at their concert! XD

Oh and I like this interview!(A)

xxLaura .. Greetz from Holland Mate XD !

Laura said...

Love fob music (A) I realy hope their comming to Holland soon, if they are I'm so gonna be at one of their concerts! No matter where I have to go or what I have to pay XD Real fan right here :P.. They make the best music.. ( in my opinion ) .. So you guys have to come to the Netherlands! Your fans are waiting! XD

Kisses and Greetings from Holland.. Laura..