Fall Out Boy

By paul

This interview was conducted with Patrick and Andy or Fallout Boy, on the band’s bus before the Leeds gig of the recent headlining tour. Yes I know it’s out of date..so sue me…

Paul: So I believe you only arrived here in the UK this morning…how was the journey? You must be tired!
Patrick: Well it was much better than last time, there was a lot of turbulence and stuff. I slept all day but I think Andy’s exhausted.

Paul: This is the second time you’ve been over here, your second tour, was the first time round what you expected it to be?
Patrick: I really didn’t have any expectations because I’d never been here. It was great, so far already I feel this tour is better. Just as far as kids know who we are this time.
Andy: They’re so excited.
Patrick: They know everything…it’s like an internet culture, they know everything that’s going on.
Paul: That’s something I was going to ask you about later…but as you’ve brought it up now, is it a bit of a worry and the hype about the new album, do you get worried about the expectation? Do you feel the pressure?
Patrick: Absolutely. There’s a tonne of hype about us in the scene or whatever, but we are on a major label now so they are pushing us to another scene as well. In the grand scheme of things no-one knows who we are, but in our scene we are way over-hyped. It’s good and bad at the same time.
Andy: The hype is cool because people like us. That’s awesome. But there’s a lot of pressure and we get nervous, yet at the same time excited.
Patrick: But people are talking about us and at the end of the day I’d rather they talk about us. It being hyped isn’t the most fun experience. As a writer you just want to write, you don’t want to write as work. So, really I think that’s one of the reasons why this album took so long in the first place, just getting somewhere where we were inspired. We had false starts where we would write songs that would sound forced or whatever. But we got the Taking Back Sunday tour and we wrote our record and we are happy with it.

Paul: Have you got a title for the album?
Patrick: Yeah, it’s ‘From Under The Cork Tree’. It’s a story. You’d have to ask Pete but he’s not on this tour. It’s a child story about a bull and he’s the biggest toughest bull in the world but he doesn’t want to fight. He just likes to sit under his cork tree.
Paul: Is that some kind of metaphor for the band?
Patrick: Possibly. You’d need to ask Pete but knowing him that’s what he’s getting at.

Paul: Does he come up with all the song titles? I mean very few on the last record seem to reference the songs…are they more like stories where the title of the book means something, but isn’t necessarily referenced to the song? From what I know of the new record it’s the same again…maybe some reference to myspace?
Patrick: Yeah! I think that’s true, it’s almost a literary thing. Pete’s the lyric writer and the title he applies to it is just something like a quote of a reference. Something he feels sums up something well. There’s also, at the end of the day, we’re not an entrepreneur band. We want to sell records but we are left to our own devices. I’m sorry to talk about Pete but he’s had some good points on that subject. He always feels like how many titles are called ‘Down’ or ‘pain’. They’re all Jimmy Eat World songs! How many songs called ‘Halloween’? There’s like 30, so we like to have a little originality. After a while you start to run out of single name stuff!

Paul: The whole myspace thing…it seems like Fallout Boy and the internet go hand in hand. Like the internet? Dislike the internet?
Patrick: That song isn’t going on the album but it’s had a lot of press. We recorded a demo but it wont see the light of day. The title refers to some more of the negative things. It’s not about myspace even, just frivolous people who talk about stuff. People they don’t know or rumours. Pete came up with that title because he was reading about stuff he apparently did. He was reading stuff that totally wasn’t true. I’ve read stuff about me. My girlfriend read some nasty stuff about me.
Andy: get rid of that part, but for spreading information it’s great. Without the internet we wouldn’t be here.
Patrick: The first few tours we did, we toured 6 months without an album and so there are bands that flip out cos they don’t get paid, but at the end of the day it’s the best promotional tool. It evens out the market. Kids don’t have to settle for bands they don’t like, they can go out and find something that they do. It’s one of those things, if you write a good song people will buy the record. The internet is awesome for everything part spreading the silly stuff. Bands like Brand New and Taking back Sunday will get a lot bigger. Where all these bands are is really weird – there’s this thing developed…a culture where people are suspicious. There’s always rumours. Even just now Pete couldn’t make this tour and I’m dying to see the stuff people write about it. Everything is mutated.
Paul: So, for the record, why is he not here?
Patrick: Just some personal stuff he had to take care of. He missed the flight and he will come out later.
Paul: So he’s a member of the band still?
Patrick: Oh, not even close to not being.
Paul: But you know people will ask that question.
Patrick: Oh yeah, but I regret we even have to answer that. It’s never a consideration.

Paul: the new CD…what’s the difference in sound?
Patrick: We did it with Neal Avron who did Yellowcard and New Found Glory and he’s a lot more of a minimalist. Our last record was very thick and it has a certain sound, but Neal likes less is more. Sound-wise it’s going to be a lot more space. It’s not just thick, so it feels more like a band. We’re a much older band now so we’re better. We can play better and that’s more evident. It’s got the big choruses. We know who we are, we didn’t want to do the interesting second record. We didn’t want to do the synth album. There’s a couple of things, maybe a chord change that’s a little different but we’re the same deal.

Paul: Major labels…how did that come about? Was there a rush o sign you? Was the parting with FBR an amicable thing?
Patrick: Basically it happened because we were talking for a long time to Island and they were the coolest. We trusted them and felt it would be good, of all the people to go with. It wasn’t any faster than we thought, we were never thinking it. We don’t really bother too much with the future. It came up and we said ‘yeah sure’.
Andy: The main thing was that the A&R guys are there for the right reasons.
Patrick: You have to trust them. So far they have been really cool about that.

Paul: I heard this rumour ages back about Richard Reines trying to sign you for Rushmore…was there anything ever in that?
Patrick: That was years ago. We were looking at a lot of people. We love Richard abnd Stefanie and we were really interested in Drive Thru. A lot of that sytuff is timing. We had a deal with FBR and it was nothing personal. Im glad to see Rushmore’s off and running. I love the Drive Thru bands but we chose FBR. We took a chance and it worked out. They’re, honestly, I couldn’t say so many good things. We wouldn’t be here without FBR.
Paul: They’ve become such a diverse label now…I mean they have Gym Class Heroes, aren’t you on that record?
Patrick: Yeah, yeah…basically Pete had heard their demo and loved it. We played shows with them and they’re the coolest guys. We became friends and it was a thing where they had this song and it had a sample in it. They had the rights but they didn’t have the rights to the recording. They asked me to sing it and we stayed up late and hammered it out. I love the fact they let me do it.
Paul: I heard something too about you and Justin from Motion City Soundtrack…
Patrick:…Justin and I are like kindred spirits. We’re goofy mad scientist songwriter guys. He has a brilliant mind. We fooled around writing a song together but what we like to do is Justin sang on Take this To Your Grave…I love his voice.

Paul: You’re on the new Militia Group ‘Police’ tribute record, but I gather ‘Roxanne’ wasn’t your first choice…is that right?
Patrick: Well I kinda was scared to do it. It’s a big song. We wanted to get on it and last minute they told us to do Roxanne. We had two days to do it. They’re such a weird band to cover. That’s the thing because so much of their stuff…it’s the way his voice has a rasp and Andy Somers plays weird jazz chords. We wanted to make it a Fallout Boy song and hope for the best. Basically we thought about it and we wanted to please the kids and ourselves and make it something we want to play. If our kids don’t know The Police, for whatever reason, we want them to go out and hear it. We decided the best we could do it was make it sound like us. We recorded that song when we recorded Take It To Your Grave. We didn’t really do a cover…mainly because we’re a spazzy live band, we don’t sit down and play. What happens happens. We tried doing covers here and there but we like those bands too much. We run around and stuff, we don’t play them right. We used to do Love Will Tear Us Apart a bit.

Paul: Are you coming back this year?
Patrick: If anyone will have us we will come back, but we have no plans.
Andy: We’re on warped so I don’t know.
Patrick: Warped is like a punk rock summer camp, it’s really humbling. Everybody, even the big bands eat the same food. This whole punk thing…whatever we have, that’s where I see the best of it. Andy and I were eating one day and there’s Benji from Good Charlotte and Justin from Anti Flag and Hidden In Plain View all sitting together and it’s all familiar. It feels good to be there. It’s like the cub scouts.

Paul: Three bands you love in the US that you think we should know.
Patrick: The Academy Is…they’re awesome. Panic! At The Disco another awesome band.
Andy: Misery Signals, Since By Man and…I dunno. That’s all I have. Gym Class Heroes.
Paul: When you first heard ‘Taxi Driver’ what did you think?
Patrick: I was flattered they put our name in it. That’s how we first heard them. It’s great. It’s really witty. Travis is an amazing MC. He’s really good.
Andy: They’re a real hip-hop group. They’re dudes trying to do their thing, they’re not trying to break into punk. They’re real.
Patrick: It feels like they found the right niche. They have a real hip hop groove and Travis is phenomenal. I can’t wait for those guys to come over here.


Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]