Shortly after forming in 2001, Fall Out Boy, which performs on Wednesday at the Wolstein Center, experienced a meteoric rise to fame. The band went from playing concert halls like the Agora, where it performed in 2007, to playing outdoor sheds like Blossom, where it played that same year. But then it hit rock bottom after the release of 2008’s Folie a Deux. Fans started booing the group during live performances and the guys decided it was best to take a break.
“I think we had just been doing it for so long and non-stop. Joe [Trohman] and Patrick [Stump] were really young when it all happened,” says drummer Andy Hurley. “Pete [Wentz] and I were a little older. We didn’t have the tools to navigate everything that happened. We had been touring for a couple of years before it got big. It just never stopped. It got to the point where we just weren’t friends anymore. Not that we weren’t friends, but it just became this business and it started to wear on us. It’s something we all really loved and we knew we had to take a break and gain perspective and do other things.”
The guys all worked on solo projects. But then Wentz and Stump, the band’s primary songwriters, began exchanging lyrics. They called up Hurley and Trohman and decided to get the group back together again.
“I think we all really missed it and grew up and matured and learned a lot of things and experienced life,” says Hurley. “The comeback was about having the right songs. It was about us being in the right headspace together. It’s been non-stop, but we’re in better places and we talk about things a lot more. When things start to suck, we’ll talk about it. Everything operates in a much different way.”
The band went to Venice, Calif. to record its new album, Save Rock and Roll, with producer Butch Walker (Taylor Swift, Pink). They kept the sessions secretive because they didn’t want to put any unnecessary pressure on themselves.
“Our fans are like private investigators,” Hurley says. “There was even a moment when we were rehearsing at Patrick’s house and there were paparazzi following him. I don’t know if they didn’t know who I was because I cut my hair but they didn’t notice I was there, too. They could have broken the story. And I think the main thing was talk about a tenth anniversary tour. There was never any expectation about new music. That anniversary being talked about took the heat off.”
The album veers away from the band’s signature emo sound to embrace pop and power-pop. Elton John makes a guest appearance on the title track, which he recorded from his Atlanta studio
“Patrick flew out to do that with him,” Hurley says of the tune. “Patrick said it was awesome. He said it was a weird thing to hit the talkback button to tell Elton John he has to do something differently. That was one of my favorite songs and finding out that Elton John was going to be on it was crazy, especially with the name of the song being the name of the record. It felt so right. When I heard it, it gave me goosebumps. It was one of those golden moments for everything. It made me realize this comeback is going to be cool regardless if anyone cares.”
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