Fall Out Boy
he band that would become Fall Out Boy started in 2001 in Wilmette, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, by friends Pete Wentz (bass/backing vocals) and Joe Trohman (guitar/piano/keyboards/backing vocals). Wentz previously had played in hardcore punk bands around Chicago such as Birthright, Extinction and First Born, as well the metalcore band Arma Angelus and Racetraitor, a more political activist act. Meeting Patrick Stump by chance at a local book store Trohman hired Stump as vocalist and guitarist when he was impressed by his on-line recording samples; Stump had intended to try out as a drummer but Trohman preferred his guitar work.
Featuring guitarist John Flamandan and original drummer Ben Rose, the band's first public performance came in a cafeteria at DePaul University with the band Stilwell and another group that performed Black Sabbath in its entirety. Practice members would come and go as the act worked on their sound and tried to select a name, eventually settling on "Fall Out Boy", a fictional character from The Simpsons and Bongo Comics. The name was not implimented right away, however, for at their second gig, at a southern Illinois university with The Killing Tree, Wentz introduced the band under a different really long name when an audience member, aware of the name debate, heckled, "Fuck that, no, you're Fall Out Boy!" They were credited under the name and it stuck from then on.
Several more members came and went, including drummer Mike Pareskuwicz of Subsist and guitarist T.J. "Racine" Kunasch. The act's first recording didn't made it to press right away. Having only three songs, they rushed to put together more tracks to form a collection in two days, and recorded them as Fall Out Boy's Evening Out with Your Girlfriend; they were unsatisfied with it and scrapped the demo... for now... it would re-emerge in March 2003, just before the release of their debut when the band had gained record label interest and some popular momentum. That debut album proper, Take This to Your Grave, would arrive by 'Fueled by Ramen' in May 2003 and featuring Andy Hurley on drums.
Wentz had an emotional breakdown in February 2005 resulting in an unsuccessful suicide attempt; his condition only apparent through his lyrics. After being rushed to the hospital and having his stomach pumped after the overdose of anxiety pills, Wentz moved back home to Wilmette to live with his parents for the time being.
The next album, From Under the Cork Tree (2005) debuted and peaked at 9 on the Billboard 200 and received play on pop radio on the strength of the singles, Sugar, We're Goin' Down and Dance, Dance that went triple platinum on its own. Wentz now became the celebrity member of the band. It started when he told the press about his suicide attempt, then nude photos of him appeared on the Internet in 2006. On the up side, however, he gained exposure through his clothing line, his 'Decaydance' record label (an imprint of 'Fueled by Ramen'), and eventually his relationship with pop singer Ashlee Simpson, which made the two tabloid news in the US.
Infinity on High (2007), their first for major label 'Island', saw Fall Out Boy diversify their sound with an array of musical styles including funk, R&B, and flamenco. The album debut at 1. The band followed it up with headlining the 2007 Honda Civic Tour. Though the tour was postponed due to personal issues, it would go on +44, Cobra Starship, The Academy Is... and Paul Wall as supporting acts.
For the recording of their next album, the members of Fall Out Boy decided to keep publicity down, but the recording sessions themselves proved to be difficult when Wentz started experimenting with LSD, and did so for nearly a year. The sessions were also exacerbated by Stump and Wentz arguing over many issues. To promote the album, Wentz launched a "viral campaign" (use of social media to promote) in August 2008, inspired by George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), and the autocratic, overbearing 'Big Brother' organization; a novel previously used by Apple Computer in 1984 as an inspiration for the commercials for the launch of the Macintosh Computer. The resulting album, Folie à Deux (2008) failed to do as well as its predecessors commercially, but managed an 8 on the Billboard charts. The supporting tour of Canada and USA saw fans booing the band when they attempted to play tracks from the album. Seeing a need for change the band shut down following the greatest hits compilation, Believers Never Die - Greatest Hits (2009).
The band's reunification was kept as a secret as was the recording of the comeback album, Save rock and Roll (2013). What a return it was! The album proved to be a massive success, receiving a 1 in the US and 2 UK eventually getting platinum status. The chart placing on the follow-ups American Beauty/American Psycho (2015) and Mania (2018) was a carbon copy; American Beauty/American Psycho going platinum.
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Fall Out Boy live in 2014. Photo by: Stefan Brending.
CC BY-SA 3.0
|Active Years||2001-2009, 2013-|
|RRCA File Code||N/A|