By John Benson
These days, Patrick Stump is just doing his job.
This includes being the frontman and guitarist for Fall Out Boy, which reformed earlier this year and enjoyed the unlikely success of new CD “Save Rock and Roll” and its ubiquitous lead single, the top 5 hit “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up).”
The reason it was unlikely was, well, the Grammy Award-winning pop-punk band – Stump, Pete Wentz (bass), Joe Trohman (guitar), and Andy Hurley (drums) – with a subtle hip-hop sensibility appeared to be as far off the mainstream radar as possible.
“It’s pretty crazy and weird,” said Stump, calling from Syracuse, N.Y. “Mostly other bands that have been around for as long as we have are in that place of, ‘Oh, cool, so now we’re going to retreat back into a cult status and maybe we’ll stop putting out records or maybe just do re-releases of records.’ So to have this big reaction, I don’t know how else to describe it other than it’s a big surprise.”
By all accounts, and for good or bad, it appeared as though Fall Out Boy could have been headed for a similar path taken by peers such as the Yellowcards and Taking Back Sundays of the world, which probably can tour House of Blues venues for the next decade. However, Stump said if his band had fallen into being a nostalgia act or was forever tied to a certain genre, he probably would have stepped away.
For Stump, it’s all about writing songs and treading new ground. There’s no doubt that Fall Out Boy did exactly that with “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up),” which not only has a modern rap feel but also a shiny pop sensibility that was so far outside of Fall Out Boy’s universe it took fans off guard, while simultaneously attracting a younger sort of crowd that vaguely knew about the band’s
“It’s modernism,” Stump said. “The hip-hop thing and the pop thing, those are us. Those are constants but I was scared because I don’t want to be like we’re purposely trying to sound like what’s on the radio right now. The irony being that nothing really on the radio sounds like it. It’s a pretty weird song. What is honest to Fall Out Boy is kind of always being a little bit the outsiders. When we were a little pop-punk band, we were kind of weird and none of the other pop-punk bands wanted to play with us. Then we ended up on radio.”