The Return Of Fall Out Boy
(CNN) — When rock groups announce that they’re going on “indefinite hiatus,” usually it’s publicist-speak for “don’t hold your breath that they’re ever coming back.”
But Fall Out Boy beat the odds when they announced that they’d secretly recorded a new album, their first since going on “indefinite hiatus” in 2009. Tagged with the tongue-in-cheek title “Save Rock and Roll,” the disc promptly shot to the top of the Billboard 200 album chart and debuted at number one on iTunes in 27 countries.
CNN recently spoke with singer Patrick Stump, bassist Pete Wentz, guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley about their surprise reunion.
CNN: We thought you guys were on “indefinite hiatus.”
Pete Wentz: Well, it’s ended. It has become definite.
Patrick Stump: We did just genuinely mean that we were just going to take a break, like it’s supposed to be.
Joe Trohman: I think a lot of people don’t understand that we were kids and that some of us grew up in this band, and we needed a little time away from the band. We may have been in our mid-20s or early 30s, but we still felt like we were 17, so we kind of needed to catch up to being whatever age we were by the end.
CNN: How did you manage to record the new album in secret?
Stump: There weren’t a lot of people knocking down our doors, going, “When’s the next Fall Out Boy record?” That wasn’t a thing that we were really getting pelted with, so we didn’t really have any expectations to live up to.
Andy Hurley: Which is nice, because then you make something that you’re happy with, and you don’t have to do something for this group of people, which is a great way to do it.
CNN: Your first single is called “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark.”
Wentz: The video is pretty cool. It has our buddy (rapper) 2 Chainz in it, basically burning a lot of stuff — which seemed apt in some way.
Stump: 2 Chainz is in his second act, and I think he learned so much from the first time around that he has a total other perspective than a lot of others have. You don’t see a lot of artists in any genre who are on time and prepared to work. I think that’s something you get with the benefit of hindsight a little bit.
CNN: What are you doing differently this time around?
Wentz: I think that there was a lot of “ready, fire, aim” stuff that would go on. It was kind of like, “Oh, we’ve got to the do this right now,” and now I think that we realize it’s not so much quantity and constantly saying, “Yes.” There’s the power of “No” and doing things the way that you want to do it and making sure quality is the most important aspect.
I think at the end of the day, that’s what determines your legacy. You can either be a fast food restaurant or you can be making art, and I don’t want to flip burgers, really.
CNN: How’s the communication in the group these days?
Trohman: Guys are notoriously bad at emoting and communicating, and I think we had to learn how to do that. But also taking that time apart to be with our families, do other projects, work with different people and experience different things allowed us to come back and realize that maybe we did this thing not so well; maybe we should have talked more; maybe we shouldn’t have been so passive-aggressive; maybe this guy should have voiced his opinion more. I think we are better at that, and it has been very healthy for the band.
CNN: Joe, you and Patrick got married. Pete became a dad. How have your personal lives changed things?
Trohman: It changes your perspective. We had to pay attention to these people who have been supporting us for so long, have been waiting for us while we’ve been on the road, and I think they’ve been waiting long enough.
Wentz: I took my kid to preschool today, and he has a friend who is really into music there — this little kid — and he was like, “I want to play Fall Out Boy right now.” And my kid was like, “I don’t. I want to play Justice League.” (laughter) That will keep you grounded.
CNN: “Save Rock and Roll” just debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. It also went No. 1 on iTunes in 27 countries.
Wentz: Wow. How mind-blowing is this? Coming back, we never thought something like that was even possible. At the end of the day, we just put the music out there in the world. We are humbled and thankful for the world’s reaction.
CNN: Fall Out Boy will be embarking on an arena tour later this year.
Wentz: We just announced that we’re taking our buddies Panic! at the Disco on tour with us this fall in arenas. A bunch of those — like Barclay’s in New York — are almost sold out, so make sure you get your tickets so we can hang out and be weird together.
Stump: On the subject of arena tours, it’s interesting. Sometimes I’ll talk to fans, and there’s always these different perspectives of “I like the big rooms” or “I like the small rooms.”
Wentz: If you’re bummed about the arena tour, you’re going to be REAL bummed about the stadium tour! (laughter)