Fall Out Boy is an American rock band formed in Wilmette, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago in 2001. The band consists of vocalist/guitarist Patrick Stump, bassist Pete Wentz, guitarist Joe Trohman, and drummer Andy Hurley. The band originated from Chicago's hardcore punk scene, with which Wentz was heavily involved. The group was formed by Wentz and Trohman as a pop punk side project of their respective hardcore bands, and Stump joined shortly thereafter. The group went through a succession of drummers before landing Hurley and recording their debut album, Take This to Your Grave (2003), which sold well for independent label Fueled by Ramen.
The band's 2005 major-label breakthrough, From Under the Cork Tree, produced two hit singles, "Sugar, We're Goin Down" and "Dance, Dance", and went double platinum, transforming the group into superstars and making Wentz a celebrity and tabloid fixture. Their 2007 follow-up, Infinity on High, landed at number one on the Billboard 200, and produced several hit singles, "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" and "Thnks fr th Mmrs". Folie à Deux, the band's fourth album, created a mixed response from fans and commercially undersold expectations. The band took a hiatus from 2009 to 2012 to "decompress", exploring various side projects. They regrouped and recorded Save Rock and Roll (2013), which gave the band their second career number one and produced the top 20 single "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)".
While Fall Out Boy's music has been typically described as pop punk and pop rock, the band were generally seen in the mid-2000s at the forefront of the "emo pop" explosion.
2001–02: Early years
Fall Out Boy was formed in 2001 in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette, Illinois by friends Pete Wentz and Joe Trohman. Pete Wentz was a "visible fixture" of the relatively small Chicago hardcore punk scene of the late 1990s, performing in various groups such as Birthright, Extinction and First Born, as well the metalcore band Arma Angelus and the more political Racetraitor, "a band that managed to land the covers of Maximumrocknroll and Heartattack fanzines before releasing a single note of music." Wentz was growing dissatisfied with the changing mores of the community, which he viewed as a transition from political activism to an emphasis on moshing and breakdowns. With enthusiasm in Arma Angelus waning, he created a pop punk side project with Trohman as an "easy and escapist" project. Trohman met Patrick Stump, then a drummer for grindcore band Xgrinding processX and a host other bands that "never really managed," at a Borders bookstore in Wilmette. While discussing Neurosis with a friend, Stump interrupted the conversation to correct their classification of the band in a conversation that soon shifted to the new band. Stump, viewing it as an opportunity to try out with "local hardcore celebrity" Wentz, directed Trohman to his MP3.com page, which contained sung-through acoustic recordings. Stump intended to try out as a drummer, but Trohman urged him to bring out his acoustic guitar; he impressed the duo with songs from Saves the Day's Through Being Cool. While Wentz wanted Racetraitor bandmate Andy Hurley in the group as drummer, Hurley appeared uninterested and too busy.
The band's first public performance came in a cafeteria at DePaul University alongside Stilwell and another group that performed Black Sabbath in its entirety. The band's only performance with guitarist John Flamandan and original drummer Ben Rose was in retrospect described as "goofy" and "bad," but Trohman made an active effort to make the band work, picking up members for practice. Wentz and Stump argued over band names; the former favored verbose, tongue-in-cheek names while the latter desired to reference Tom Waits in name. After creating a short list of names that included "Fall Out Boy," a one-time character from The Simpsons, friends voted on the name. Their second performance, at a southern Illinois university with The Killing Tree, began with Wentz introducing the band under a name Stump recalled as "very long." According to Stump, an audience member yelled out, "Fuck that, no, you're Fall Out Boy!", and the band were credited later in the show under that name by Killing Tree frontman Tim McIlrath. As the group looked up to McIlwrath and Trohman and Stump were "die-hard" Simpsons fans, the name stuck. The group's first cassette tape demo was recorded in Rose's basement, but they later set off for Wisconsin to record a proper demo with 7 Angels 7 Plagues drummer Jared Logan, whom Wentz knew through connections in the hardcore scene.
Several more members passed through the group, including drummer Mike Pareskuwicz of Subsist and guitarist T.J. "Racine" Kunasch. While Stump at this point felt uninterested in the group, Wentz was, according to Uprising Records owner Sean Muttaqi, viewing the group as "the thing that would make him famous. He had a clear vision." Wentz was "singularly focused on taking things to the next level," and threw the band into promotion via early social media. Muttaqi got word of the demo and wanted to release half of it as a split extended play with Hurley's band Project Rocket, which the band viewed as competition. Uprising desired to release an album with the emerging band, which to that point had only written three songs. With the help of Logan, the group attempted to put together an collection of songs in two days, and recorded them as Fall Out Boy's Evening Out with Your Girlfriend. The rushed recording experience and underdeveloped songs left the band discontent. When the band set off to Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin to record their three songs of a possible split 7-inch with 504 Plan, engineer Sean O'Keefe suggested they record the trio with Hurley. Hurley was also recording an EP with his new group the Kill Pill in Chicago the same day, but raced to Madison to lay down drums for Fall Out Boy. "It was still a fill-in thing but when Andy sat in, it just felt different. It was one of those "a-ha" moments," recalled Wentz.
2003–04: Early success and Take This to Your Grave
The band booked a two-week tour with Spitalfield, but Pareskuwicz was unable to get time off from work and Racine was kicked out of the band as the group "had all gotten sick of him." Kunasch was temporarily replaced by friend Brandon Hamm on guitar, alongside drummer Chris Envy from the recently disbanded Showoff, but both quit prior to the kickoff of the tour. The band invited Hurley instead to fill-in once more, while Stump borrowed one of Trohman's guitars for the trek. While most shows were cancelled, the band played any show possible: "Let's just get on whatever show we can. You can pay us in pizza," remembered Wentz. As the tour concluded, the general consensus was that Hurley would be the band's new drummer, and the band began to shop around the three songs from their unreleased split as a demo to record labels. The band set their sights on pop punk labels, and attempted with considerable effort to join Drive-Thru Records. A showcase for label co-founders went largely mediocre, and the band were offered to sign to side label Rushmore, an offer they passed. They got particularly far in discussions with The Militia Group and Victory Records, and Bob McLynn of Crush Management became the band's first manager. The band re-entered the studio with O'Keefe to record several more tracks to create label interest. Wentz felt "in the backseat" in writing the songs and temporarily questioned his place in the group, but Stump argued in his favor: "No! That's not fair! Don't leave me with this band! Don't make me kind of like this band and then leave it! That's bullshit!"
The band's early tour vehicle was a "tiny V6 that was running on three cylinders, and it was not getting enough air, so it would drive really slowly," recalled Wentz. "We had to turn on the hot air to reach the speed limit, so we had the heat on all the time in 120 degree weather. It was so hot it melted the plastic molding around the windows. When it rained, we'd get all wet."John Janick of Fueled by Ramen had heard an early version of a song online and cold-called the band at their apartment, first reaching Stump and later talking to Wentz for an hour.Rob Stevenson from Island Records eventually offered the band a "first-ever incubator sort of deal," in which they gave the band money to sign with Fueled by Ramen for their one-off debut, knowing they could "upstream" the band to radio on the sophomore record. Fueled by Ramen, at the time the smallest of independent labels clamoring to sign the band, would effectively release their debut album and help build their ever-expanding fanbase before they moved to Island. The band again partnered with O'Keefe at Smart Studios, bringing together the three songs from the demo and recording an additional seven songs in nine days. The band, according to Stump, didn't "sleep anywhere that we could shower [...] There was a girl that Andy's girlfriend at the time went to school with who let us sleep on her floor, but we'd be there for maybe four hours at a time. It was crazy." As the band progressed and their roles more defined, Wentz took lyrics extremely seriously in contrast to Stump, who had been the group's primary lyricist up to that point. Arguments during the recording sessions led to what "most reductively boils down to Wentz writing the lyrics and Stump writing the melodies."
The band's debut album, Take This to Your Grave, was issued by Fueled by Ramen in May 2003. Previously, one of the band's earliest recordings, Evening Out with Your Girlfriend, had not seen release until shortly before Grave in March 2003, when the band had gained considerable momentum. "Our record was something being rushed out to help generate some interest, but that inerest was building before we could even get the record out," said Sean Muttaqi. The band actively tried to stop Uprising from releasing the recordings (as the band's relationship with Muttaqi had grown sour), as the band viewed it as a "giant piece of garbage" recorded before Hurley's involvement that the band ceased to consider their debut album. Gradually, the band's fanbase grew in size as the label pushed for the album's mainstream success. According to Wentz, shows began to end in a near-riot and the group were banned from several venues because the entire crowd would end up onstage. The band gained positive reviews for subsequent gigs at South by Southwest (SXSW) and various tour appearances. The band joined the Warped Tour for five dates in the summer of 2004, and on one date the band had only performed three songs when the stage collapsed due to the large crowd (the band finished with an a capella rendition "Where Is Your Boy" with the audience). The band graced the cover of the August 2004 edition of Alternative Press, and listening stations at Hot Topic partially helped the album move 2,000-3,000 copies per week by Christmas 2004, at which point the label considered the band "tipping" into mainstream success.
2005–06: From Under the Cork Tree
"Sugar, We're Goin Down"
"Sugar, We're Going Down", the band's breakthrough single.
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
The band had been flooded with "hyperbolic praise," and deemed "the next big thing" by multiple media outlets. While the band recorded the acoustic EP/DVD My Heart Will Always Be the B-Side to My Tongue in 2004, they did not begin recording the follow-up to their debut until later in the year. From Under the Cork Tree was recorded in Burbank, California, and served as the first time the band had stayed in California for an extended period of time. The group lived in corporate housing during the making of the album. In contrast to Take This to Your Grave's rushed recording schedule, Fall Out Boy took a much more gradual pace while working on From Under the Cork Tree. It was the first Fall Out Boy record in which Stump created all the music and Wentz wrote all the lyrics, continuing the approach they took for some songs on Grave. Stump felt that this process was much more "smooth" as every member was able to focus on their individual strengths. He explained: "We haven't had any of those moments when I play the music and he'll say, 'I don't like that,' and he'll read me lyrics and I'll say, 'I don't like those lyrics.' It's very natural and fun." Despite this, the band had great difficulty creating its desired sound for the album, constantly scrapping new material. Two weeks before recording sessions began, the group abandoned ten songs and wrote eight more, including the album's first single, "Sugar, We're Goin Down".
The band suffered a setback, however, when Wentz had an emotional breakdown in February 2005, culminating in an unsuccessful suicide attempt. He had withdrawn from the rest of the group, only appearing to hand them in his lyrics, and had become obsessed with the recent Indian tsunami and his own self-doubt. "It is particularly overwhelming when you are on the cusp of doing something very big and thinking that it will be a big flop," he said later. Wentz swallowed a handful of Ativan anxiety pills (he described the act as "hypermedicating") in the Chicago Best Buy parking lot. After being rushed to the hospital and having his stomach pumped, Wentz moved back home to Wilmette to live with his parents.
From Under the Cork Tree peaked at number nine on the Billboard 200 upon its May 2005 release. The band's breakthrough single, "Sugar, We're Goin' Down", reached number eight in the US Billboard Hot 100 in September 2005, and in the UK chart in February 2006. "Dance, Dance", the album's second single, also was a top ten hit in the United States. The record's success led to stardom among teenagers in North America, and the band's first arena tour had them playing to 10,000 kids per night.Rolling Stone wrote that the band's "anthems", distributed and marketed through their MySpace, connected with "skinny-jeans-wearing teen girls." In support of From Under the Cork Tree, the band toured exhaustively with international tours, TRL visits, late-night television appearances and music award shows. The band performed at music festivals in 2005 and 2006, including the third Nintendo Fusion Tour in the fall of 2005, joining The Starting Line, Motion City Soundtrack, Boys Night Out, and Panic! at the Disco on a 31 city tour. The album earned the band a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, and sold over three million copies in the United States, becoming the group's best-selling album.
2007: Infinity on High
In the wake of the band's multiplatinum success, the "especially extroverted" Wentz became the most publicly visible member of the band. He confided to the press his suicide attempt and nude photos of the bassist appeared on the Internet in 2006. He gained additional exposure through his clothing line, his Decaydance record label (an imprint of Fueled by Ramen), and eventually a celebrity relationship with pop singer Ashlee Simpson, which made the two tabloid fixtures in the United States. Due to its increased success from their MTV Video Music Award, the group headlined the Black Clouds and Underdogs Tour, a pop punk event that featured The All-American Rejects, Well-Known Secret, Hawthorne Heights, and From First to Last. The tour also featured The Hush Sound for half of the tour and October Fall for half. They played to 53 dates in the US, Canada, and the UK.
After taking a two-month-long break following the band’s Black Clouds and Underdogs tour in promotion of their 2005 album From Under the Cork Tree, Fall Out Boy returned to the studio to begin work on a follow-up effort. The band began writing songs for the new album while touring, and intended to quickly make a new album in order to keep momentum in the wake of its breakthrough success. In early 2007, Fall Out Boy released their fourth studio album, Infinity on High, as their second release on major label Island. The album marked a departure in Fall Out Boy’s sound in which the band implemented a diverse array of musical styles including funk, R&B, and flamenco. As reported by Billboard, Fall Out Boy "drifts further from its hardcore punk roots to write increasingly accessible pop tunes," a slight departure from the group's previous more pop punk sound predominant on their 2003 effort, Take This to Your Grave.
Infinity's first week was a major success and was the band's biggest selling week, selling 260,000 copies to debut at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 and inside the top five worldwide. This charting was spurred by the lead single "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race", which reached No. 2 in both the US and UK as well as the top five in many other countries. On the band's decision to pick the song as the first single, Wentz commented "There may be other songs on the record that would be bigger radio hits, but this one had the right message." "Thnks fr th Mmrs", the second single peaked just outside the top 10 at No. 11 on the strength of sales and popular radio play, and went on to sell over two million copies in the US. It found its greatest success in Australia where it charted at No. 3. In 2007, Fall Out Boy placed at No. 9 in the Top Selling Digital Artists chart with 4,423,000 digital tracks sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album itself has sold over two million copies worldwide and subsequently went RIAA Platinum.
Fall Out Boy then headlined the 2007 Honda Civic Tour to promote the album. Though the tour was initially postponed due to personal issues, it would take place with +44, Cobra Starship, The Academy Is... and Paul Wall as supporting acts. The band also headlined the Young Wild Things Tour, an international arena tour featuring Gym Class Heroes, Plain White T's and Cute Is What We Aim For. Inspired by Maurice Sendak's 1963 children's book Where the Wild Things Are, the concert tour and included sets designed by artist Rob Dobi containing images from the book. The band's "hugely successful" amphitheater tour to promote Infinity led to the release of the 2008 live album Live in Phoenix, consisting of live material recorded during a June 22, 2007, concert at Phoenix's Cricket Wireless Pavilion, a date of the Honda Civic Tour. The disc also a studio cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It", with guitarist John Mayer guesting for a guitar solo. The track was released as a single and became a mainstay on the iTunes top ten.
2008–09: Folie à Deux
The band members decided to keep publicity down during the recording of their fourth album, as they were taken aback by such press surrounding Infinity on High. Sessions proved to be difficult for the band. Stump called the making of the album "painful", noting that he and Wentz quarreled over many issues, revealing "I threw something across the room over a major-to-minor progression." On previous albums, Trohman felt he and Hurley did not have enough musical freedom and that Stump and Wentz exerted too much control over the group: "I felt, 'Man, this isn't my band anymore.' It's no one's fault, and I don't want to make it seem that way. It was more of a complex I developed based off of stuff I was reading. It's hard to hear, 'Joe and Andy are just along for the ride.'" To amend the situation, Trohman sat down with Stump to communicate his concerns, which led to more collaboration on Folie à Deux. "It made me feel like I owned the songs a lot more. It made me really excited about contributing to Fall Out Boy and made me find my role in the band," Trohman recalled.
As the release of the new album approached, the band and its management found that they would have to navigate changes in the music industry, facing declining record sales, the lack of a proper outlet for exhibition of music videos, and the burgeoning US economic crisis. To promote the album, Wentz launched a viral campaign in August 2008, inspired by George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), and the autocratic, overbearing Big Brother organization.Folie à Deux, released in December 2008, did not perform as well commercially as its predecessor, Infinity on High. It debuted at number eight on the US Billboard 200 chart with first week sales of 150,000 copies during a highly competitive week with other big debuts, becoming Fall Out Boy's third consecutive top ten album. This is in contrast to the band's more successful previous effort which shifted 260,000 copies in its opening week to debut at number one the chart.Folie spent two weeks within the top 20 out of its 22 chart weeks. It also entered Billboard's Rock Albums and Alternative Albums charts at number three. Within two months of its release, Folie à Deux was certified Gold in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting shipments of 500,000 copies. The lead single, "I Don't Care", reached a peak at number twenty-one on the Bilboard Hot 100, and was certified Platinum by the RIAA for shipments of one million copies.
To promote the album, Fall Out Boy embarked on the Believers Never Die Tour Part Deux, which included dates in the United States and Canada. The constant touring schedule became difficult for the band due to conflicting fan opinion regarding Folie à Deux: concertgoers would "boo the band for performing numbers from the record in concert", leading Stump to describe touring in support of Folie as like "being the last act at the vaudeville show: We were rotten vegetable targets in Clandestine hoods." "Some of us were miserable onstage," said guitarist Joe Trohman. "Others were just drunk." A greatest hits compilation, Believers Never Die – Greatest Hits, followed in the fall, and following these events, the band decided to take a break. The band's decision stemmed from disillusionment with the music industry and Stump recalled that "We found ourselves running on fumes a little bit -- creatively and probably as people, too." Stump realized the band was desperate to take a break; he sat the group down and explained that a hiatus was in order if the band wanted to continue in the future. All involved felt the dynamic of the group had changed as personalities developed.
Rumors and misquotes led to confusion as to what such a break truly meant; Wentz preferred to not refer to the break as a "hiatus," instead explaining that the band was just "decompressing." Fall Out Boy played their last show at Madison Square Garden on October 4, 2009. Near the end, Blink-182's Mark Hoppus shaved Wentz's head in a move Rolling Stone would later describe as a "symbolic cleansing of the past, but also the beginning of a very dark chapter for the band."
2010–12: Hiatus and solo careers
By the time the break began, Stump was the heaviest he had ever been and loathed the band's image as an "emo" band. Coming home from tour, drummer Andy Hurley "went through the darkest depression [I've] ever felt. I looked at my calendar and it was just empty." Wentz, who had been abusing Xanax and Klonopin, was divorced by his wife Ashlee Simpson and returned to therapy. "I'd basically gone from being the guy in Fall Out Boy to being the guy who, like, hangs out all day," Wentz recalled. Previously known as the "overexposed, despised" leader of the band, Wentz "simply grew up," sharing custody of his son and embracing maturity: "There was a jump-cut in my life. I started thinking – like, being old would be cool."
During the hiatus, the band members each pursued individual musical interests, which were met with "varying degrees of failure." Stump was the only member of the quartet to take on a solo project while Fall Out Boy was on hiatus, recording debut album Soul Punk entirely on his own: he wrote, produced, and played every instrument for all tracks on the record. In addition, he married his longtime girlfriend and lost over sixty pounds through portion control and exercise. Stump blew through most of his savings putting together a large band to tour behind Soul Punk, but ticket sales were sparse and the album stalled commercially. During a particularly dark moment in February 2012, Stump poured his heart out in a 1500-word blog entry called "We Liked You Better Fat: Confessions of a Pariah." In the post, Stump lamented the harsh reception of the record and his status as a "has-been" at 27. Stump revealed that fans harassed him on his solo tour, hurling insults such as "We liked you better fat," and noted that "Whatever notoriety Fall Out Boy used to have prevents me from having the ability to start over from the bottom again." Aside from Soul Punk and personal developments, Stump moonlighted as a professional songwriter/producer, co-writing tracks with Bruno Mars and All Time Low, and pursued acting.
Wentz formed electronic duo Black Cards with vocalist Bebe Rexha in July 2010. The project released one single before album delays led to Rexha's departure in 2011. Black Cards added Spencer Peterson to complete the Use Your Disillusion EP in 2012. Wentz also completed writing a novel, Gray, that he had been working on for six years outside the band, and began hosting the reality tattoo competition show Best Ink. Hurley ventured farther into rock during the hiatus, drumming with multiple bands over the three-year period. He continued to manage his record label, Fuck City, and drummed for bands Burning Empires and Enabler. He also formed heavy metal outfit The Damned Things with Trohman, Scott Ian and Rob Caggiano of Anthrax, and Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die. Despite this, the members all remained cordial to one another; Wentz was Stump's best man at his wedding. The hiatus was, all things considered, beneficial for the group and its members, according to Hurley. "The hiatus helped them all kind of figure themselves out," he explained in 2013. "Especially Joe and Patrick, who were so young. And Pete is a million times better."
2013–present: Reformation and Save Rock and Roll
Stump and Wentz met up for the first time in several years in early 2012 for a writing session. Wentz reached out to Stump after he penned his letter, as he too felt he was in a dark place and needed a creative outlet. He was at first reluctant to approach Stump, likening the phone call to reconnecting with a lover after years of acrimony. "I know what you need - you need your band," Wentz told Stump. "I think it's kind of weird that we haven't really seen each other this year. We paid for each others houses and you don't know my kid," Wentz remarked. The result, "three or four" new songs, were shelved with near immediacy, with the two concluding that "it just wasn't right and didn't feel right." Several months later, the two reconvened and wrote tracks that they felt truly represented the band in a modern form. The band decided that if a comeback was in order, it must represent the band in its current form: "We didn't want to come back just to bask in the glory days and, like, and collect a few checks and pretend ... and do our best 2003 impersonation," said Stump. Afterwards, the quartet held an all-day secret meeting at their manager's home in New York City where they discussed ideas and the mechanics of getting together to record. Trohman was the last to be contacted, through a three-hour phone call from Stump. As Trohman was arguably the most excited to begin other projects, he had a list of stipulations for rejoining the band. "If I'm not coming back to this band writing music […] then I don't want to," he remarked, and Stump disarmed him: "He said I needed to be writing more."
The band's main goal was to reinvent their sound from scratch, creating what Trohman called a "reimagining of the band," which focuses more on pop. Sessions were not without their difficulties, as the band struggled initially to produce new material. Walker had doubts about the band's volatility, feeling the record would not get made following "meltdown after meltdown." The entire album was recorded in secrecy from the music industry, critics, and their own fans. While specifically denying that their announcement was a reunion because "[we] never broke up", the band announced a reunion tour and details of Save Rock and Roll on February 4, 2013. The quartet's announcement included a photo of them, taken earlier that morning, huddled around a bonfire, tossing copies of their back catalog into the flames at the original location of 1979's Disco Demolition Night.Save Rock and Roll debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, with first week sales of 154,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The arrival of Save Rock and Roll posted the quartet's third-biggest sales week, and earned their second career number one on the chart. The band's chart success was best described as unexpected by music journalists. Rolling Stone called the band's comeback a "rather stunning renaissance", and Entertainment Weekly called the number one a "major accomplishment for a band whom many in the industry had dismissed as kings of a genre whose time had passed."
The record's lead single, "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)", peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking the band's first top twenty single since their 2008 cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It". Inspired in part by Daft Punk's Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, the band plans to release a music video for every song on the album in a series titled The Young Blood Chronicles. The band also issued an EP, PAX AM Days, in late 2013.
Musical style and influences
While widely considered to be a pop punk band, Fall Out Boy has also been described as pop rock and emo and cites emo group The Get Up Kids as an influence among many other bands. When interviewed for a retrospective article in Alternative Press at the time The Get Up Kids disbanded in 2005, Pete Wentz stated that "Fall Out Boy would not be a band if it were not for The Get Up Kids." Early in the band's career, when Jared Logan was producing their debut album, he asked bassist Pete Wentz what sound the band desired for recording. Wentz responded by "handing over the first two New Found Glory records". Wentz also cites Green Day, the Ramones, Screeching Weasel, Metallica, Earth Crisis, Gorilla Biscuits and Lifetime as influences. The band acknowledges its hardcore punk roots as an influence; all four members were involved in the Chicago hardcore scene before joining Fall Out Boy. Wentz described the band's affiliation with the genre by saying "I think the interesting thing is that we are all hardcore kids that are writing pop music...It gives us a different style because at our core we are always hardcore. That aspect is always going to be evident in the music. We are hardcore kids that couldn't quite cut it as hardcore kids." He referred to Fall Out Boy's genre as "softcore": hardcore punk mixed with pop sensibility. Lead singer Patrick Stump, however, is also influenced by artists he listened to while growing up including Prince, David Bowie and Michael Jackson.
Fall Out Boy's albums Take This to Your Grave and From Under the Cork Tree are both said to have pop punk as well as punk rock sounds and influences, and Infinity on High features a wide range of styles and instrumentation, including orchestral and choral arrangements ("Thnks fr th Mmrs" and "You're Crashing, But You're No Wave") and a slower piano ballad ("Golden"). R&B influences on Infinity on High are on songs such as "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" and two of the album's tracks are produced by R&B singer/producer Babyface. On Folie à Deux, Fall Out Boy continues to evolve their sound, with less of a pop punk sound and increasing the use of piano ("What a Catch, Donnie", "Headfirst Slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet", and "20 Dollar Nose Bleed"), synthesizers, and guest artists. The band also shows a number of influences, with the opening track borrowing a chord sequence from The Who song "Baba O'Riley". The group has worked with many producers and artists, including The Neptunes, Timbaland, Lil Wayne and Kanye West, the latter of which Patrick Stump described as "the Prince of his generation."
A central part of Fall Out Boy's sound is rooted in the band's lyrics, mainly penned by bassist Pete Wentz, who commonly uses irony and other literary devices to narrate personal experience and stories. "I write about what I’m going through most of the time, or what I imagine people are going through most of the time." He draws inspiration from authors such as Charles Bukowski, Ernest Hemingway, and JT LeRoy, as well as rappers such as Lil Wayne, who he described as his primary influence while writing Infinity on High. On Fall Out Boy's earlier works, Wentz wrote primarily about love and heartbreak. Themes addressed on From Under the Cork Tree include narcissism and megalomania, while many tracks on Infinity on High discuss the ups and downs of fame. While writing Folie à Deux, he explored moral dilemmas and societal shortcomings, as well as concepts such as trust, infidelity, responsibility, and commitment. While the album does contain political overtones, the band wanted to avoid being overt about these themes, leaving many lyrics open to interpretation for listeners.
- Studio albums
- Take This to Your Grave (2003)
- From Under the Cork Tree (2005)
- Infinity on High (2007)
- Folie à Deux (2008)
- Save Rock and Roll (2013)
A select list of Fall Out Boy's awards and nominations.
|2005||"Sugar, We're Goin Down"||MTV Video Music Award – MTV2 Award||Won|
|2006||"Dance, Dance"||MuchMusic Video Award – People's Choice: Favorite International Group||Won|
|"Sugar, We're Goin Down"||Kerrang! Award for Best Single||Nominated|
|"Sugar, We're Goin Down"||Kerrang! Award – Best Video||Won|
|"Dance, Dance"||Teen Choice Award – Rock Track||Won|
|"Dance, Dance"||Teen Choice Award – Single||Won|
|Fall Out Boy||Teen Choice Award – Rock Group||Won|
|Fall Out Boy||MTV Video Music Award – Viewer's Choice||Won|
|Fall Out Boy||Grammy Award for Best New Artist||Nominated|
|2007||"This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race"||Kerrang! Award – Best Video||Won|
|"Thnks fr th Mmrs"||Teen Choice Award – Single||Won|
|Fall Out Boy||Teen Choice Award – Best Group||Won|
|Fall Out Boy||MTV Video Music Award – Best Group||Won|
|"Thnks fr th Mmrs"||Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award – Single||Won|
|2008||""The Take Over, the Breaks Over""||MuchMusic Video Award – People's Choice: Favorite International Video||Won|
|Fall Out Boy||TMF Award – Best Live International||Won|
|Fall Out Boy||TMF Award – Best Rock International||Won|
|Fall Out Boy||TMF Award – Best Alternative International||Won|
|"Beat It"||MTV Video Music Award – Best Rock Video||Nominated|
|Fall Out Boy||Teen Choice Award – Choice Rock Group||Nominated|
|Pete Wentz||Teen Choice Award – Choice Hotties||Nominated|
|2009||"I Don't Care"||NRJ Music Award – Best International Band||Nominated|
|2013||"The Phoenix"||Kerrang! Award for Best Single||Won|
|"My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)"||MTV Video Music Award for Best Rock Video||Nominated|
|Fall Out Boy||MTV Europe Music Awards - Best Alternative||Pending|
|2014||Fall Out Boy||Billboard Music Awards - Top Rock Artist||Pending|
|Save Rock and Roll||Billboard Music Awards - Top Rock Album||Pending|
- Downey, Ryan (October 2013). "Chicago Is So 10 Years Ago". Alternative Press (Alternative Press Magazine, Inc.) (303). ISSN . Pages 64–78
- Sutherland, Mark (October 27, 2012). "Fall Out Boy Are Missing Presumed Dead". In James McMahon. Kerrang! (Bauer Media Group) (1438). ISSN . Pages 24–25
Media related to Fall Out Boy at Wikimedia Commons