Former Fall Out Boy falls into new role as solo artist
Published: Monday, August 29, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 17:08
You have a lot going for you, especially in producing. So why did you decide to go solo?
I think producing had just as much influence [as Fall Out Boy]. I learned on the job how to produce other artists and teach them how to arrange a song and write a song, or whatever. I also learned a lot about writing songs. I found I was becoming way more prolific. It kind of starts because one of the essential things in Fall Out Boy is Pete's lyrics. When Pete would give me lyrics, then I would write a song. I started writing so fast that I had this girth of songs that needed lyrics […] and before I knew it I had a whole album's worth of material that didn't have Pete's lyrics on it. And I talked to him about it a lot, you know, 'Should we do this with Fall Out Boy?' He was actually really encouraging, but it might have been Andy Hurley that said, you know, 'That's not how we work.' Musically, it started to diverge. So, before I knew it, I had a solo album and we had reached a natural break. The whole thing happened sort of organically. It was funny, because I was in an interview earlier today and someone pointed out I had said outright in an interview with Idolator [a commercial music blog]that I probably would never do one. And here I am.
You intentionally made sure there were no other artists on this album. Was that just another natural thing where you had already written all the songs yourself so why bring another mind into it?
One of the things I really wanted to do was I wanted to know I meant it. If anyone is ever going to accuse me of taking the easy way out – I don't want to throw anybody under the bus, so I'm not going to name names of other artists that have done really crappy solo records […] – I wanted to let people know this is something I care about. There's no better 'money where your mouth is' kind of moment other than doing everything myself. I think context can have a lot of impact on the way any piece of art is received. And so I thought contextually it made a lot of sense to me that if it's gonna be a solo record, it better be a solo record. And that's kind of where it started, just from there. And I love playing instruments, so that was natural to play a lot of instruments and more than just one somewhere. Ultimately, it was part of the mission statement for this record.
Did you pick up any new [instruments] for this record?
Yeah. This is the most trumpet I've ever recorded, so you'll hear me play some trumpet here and there. There is a tiny, tiny bit of saxophone, which is very new to me and I'm very bad at. Like, I can't play 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star' on that thing. I'm pretty bad. But whatever couple notes I play end up on the record somewhere. On "Everybody Wants Somebody," [imitates the saxophone riff on the song], that's three notes.
What can fans expect at your show?
I recorded everything myself, of course. […] I think we're a really cynical society, and I wanted to something where it would be very easy for me to make the same exact record that would sound pretty much the same, using a laptop and never touching an instrument. You can very easily sequence everything in Garage Band and have it sound pretty close to what I did, but I played every instrument. I picked up every instrument and touched it and played it. That was very important to me. In that same way, I think we're very cynical about pop music. We think that pop music just comes out of a laptop or a computer; there's just a computer program that poops out pop music. And, there are, unfortunately. But I wanted the show to really accentuate that it's music and really I'm very, very lucky to have this band of gifted musicians and we really go out and play this stuff and give it our all. I think that's what I hope people get out of it. I want it to be an exciting show, but I wanted to do it without a lot of smoke and mirrors. It really is a musician show. You go and see a bunch of musicians playing really intensely. I'm the guy whose name is on the marquee, but it doesn't feel like just me. I feel like it's a little bit more communal.
Do you have a guy playing three notes on the saxophone?
No, I do not have a guy playing three notes on the saxophone. I have, when he's available, I have a gifted, gifted saxophone player who plays circles around me. [Laughs] His name is Casey Benjamin and he's amazing. That's the thing. The next record, I'll probably record my band. […] My band bettered [my music] in rehearsals and auditions. They killed it.
Patrick Stump w/Wynter Gordon, John West, Rockie Fresh, Martini Ranch, Aug. 30, 6:30 p.m., $20