One product of all your focus is Love From The Other Side – what made you choose it as the first single from the album?
“I don’t know (laughs). I was surprised when that got suggested. Management were like, ‘Other Side!’ and I was like, ‘Really?!’ Label were like, ‘Other Side!” I was like, ‘Really?!’ I guess I assumed that it was not streamlined enough or pop enough, and I assumed it had to be more straight ahead or something... so I was really happy when everybody picked the song. It’s kinda become a running gag that I don’t know what ‘the’ song is. Any time I'm like, ‘I love that song! That’s the song!’ Everyone’s like, ‘Eeeeh, yeah it's okay…’”
And what is your favourite song on the record?
“I probably can’t talk about it yet, but it was the first song we wrote – it was written long before we got Neal onboard, long before COVID-19, and there’s a couple of things in there that I think people would be very surprised to hear lyrically. Pete was talking about the state of the world, and it seems like he landed very surreptitiously on what was about to happen (laughs). So there’s something magical to me about the way that happened. There’s a little bit at the end that directly references COVID, that was added after the fact, but the rest of it was all just Pete thinking about the world and, well, it’s been a weird bunch of years, hasn’t it?”
Pete does seem to be extra contemplative about the world at the moment – more so than unusual…
"Definitely! And that was something I really resonated with, that he’s speaking in a different way than he used to. The lyrics really drove me on this one, in a way that I was very excited about – I just followed them and where they went. Again, I don’t really have any control of the things I focus on – they tend to be these big scary world event things. That’s where my head’s usually at. If you ask me to stop and think about how I'm personally feeling, I couldn't tell you. I’m not very in tune with my emotions, but I’m very in tune with ‘insert name of current world event here’. So there was something about the way Pete blended the two that really spoke to me.”
And how does the rest of the album sound?
“It’s different. If people are expecting a big, loud, 2007 pop-punk record, it’s not that at all, but if you are acquainted enough with our history, I think it really feels like it’s in the thread of Infinity On High and Folie à Deux – it feels like part of that continuum. It’s not Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down Part 4.”
Finally, you mentioned it’s been a weird bunch of years – have they changed you much? Who is Patrick Stump these days?
“(Pauses to think) I’m a dad, I'm a composer, I'm a nerd… and I sit around and try and help other people tell their stories. And it’s always a joy when I get to help Pete tell his.”
Fall Out Boy's new album So Much (For) Stardust is released on March 24 via Fueled By Ramen / Elektra
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