Fall Out Boy have spoken to NME about their eighth studio album ‘So Much (For) Stardust’, comparing it to the spirit of their divisive 2009 album ‘Folie à Deux’.
The emo veterans announced the album earlier this week, as well as sharing lead single ‘Love From The Other Side’. Speaking to NME about the guitar-driven track, frontman Patrick Stump explained that “rather than evoke another band or era, I just picked up a guitar and wrote without any pretence. I looked at Pete’s [Wentz bassist] lyrics and just let it flow.”
Speaking of the meaning of the song, he continued: “We get called an emo band, and emo was all about being hurt and showing emotion – but there’s something about the way Pete’s writing [lyrics] now that’s way more hurt.
“It’s the kind of hurt you get when you’re in your early 40s, you look around at the state of the world and think, ‘Jeez’. There’s something about what he had to say throughout the whole album that really resonated with me. ‘Love From The Other Side’ definitely has this very mature bitterness to it.”
‘Love From The Other Side’, the first new FOB song since the surf rock of 2019’s ‘Dear Future Self (Hands Up)’ featuring Wyclef Jean, has been praised by fans for recapturing the urgency and intimacy of the band’s early material.
“I wouldn’t say that the whole of ‘So Much (For) Stardust)’ is this fast, hard rock record but throughout there is this feeling of just us, together, which I was really happy to hear again,” said Stump.
The lead single may have that classic Fall Out Boy energy but, according to Stump, “it’s not a throwback record”.
“I didn’t want to go back to a specific style, but I wanted to imagine what would it have sounded like if we had made a record right after ‘Folie à Deux’ [Fall Out Boy’s divisive 2009 album] instead of taking a break for a few years,” said Stump. “It was like exploring the multiverse. It was an experiment in seeing what we would have done.”
In a statement about the album, Wentz said: “Our band has been an ongoing art project for 20 years and we know there have been many inception points along that journey. We wanted to create an album that merged those points together – something new, but carved from our foundation.”
Stump then told NME that it took a “while” for the band to agree on the vision for ‘So Much (For) Stardust’ with producer Neal Avron [who’d previously worked on 2005’s ‘From Under The Cork Tree’, 2007’s ‘Infinity On High’ and 2008’s ‘Folie à Deux’] acting as the “catalyst”.
“He was a little hesitant because he doesn’t really produce records anymore,” explained Stump. “He’s gone onto bigger and better things. Pete was a little hesitant as well because he didn’t want to do a throwback record, but I asked him to trust me. Neal has this ability to get the best out of us, so I really fought for him to be involved. He finally said yes, Pete said yes and as soon as that happened, it was like swimming for a fish; it just happened so naturally.”
‘So Much (For) Stardust’ comes at a time where the champions of the ‘00s emo scene (My Chemical Romance, Paramore) are bigger than ever while a new wave of rock artists (Willow, Meet Me @ The Altar, Machine Gun Kelly) are inspiring the next generation. Stump said that Fall Out Boy’s new album hasn’t been inspired by the resurgence of the scene though. “If anything, it was us rejecting that,” he revealed.
“I’m not a nostalgic person,” he continued. “And to be frank, we were very much there [for that ‘00s scene] but at the same time, we were never fully embraced or accepted by it. There was always this standoffish thing about it. ‘Folie’ wasn’t really accepted by the thing and I wanted to make another record like that. That might be our role in the emo, pop-punk revival; being the band that makes a record people don’t like.”
Stump added: “‘Love From The Other Side’ includes literal ideas that I had sitting around from ‘Folie’, that were just unrequited,” including the orchestral section and the piano at the very beginning of the song. “That’s one of the reasons it starts the record, I wanted to set the tone that [this album] is going to branch off. It’s not a warm, fuzzy rejoiner of our previous stuff.”
Speaking of that battle-ready mentality, Stump explained: “Before making ‘Folie’, I felt like Fall Out Boy had had a great run and by all rights, we should probably fade into obscurity because that’s what happened to most bands. So with that album, we just wanted to make something that we loved and that meant something to us. We weren’t worried about singles or hits and all that stuff, because it doesn’t matter. It hurt like hell when people hated it, but I was really proud of that record.
“We’re in a similar place now. Here we are, over 20 years in and people still care. How much longer does that happen? I wanted to make a record that I cared about, and that I am proud of. It’s not about having anything to prove. It’s a trust fall; letting whatever we do, happen.”
Shortly after the announcement of ‘So Much (For) Stardust’, guitarist Joe Trohman confirmed he would be “stepping away from Fall Out Boy for a spell,” to focus on his mental health. “Will I return to the fold? Absolutely, 100 per cent,” he added.
Stump told NME that Trohman featured “hugely” on the new Fall Out Boy album.
“He’s 100 per cent in the band and on that record,” said Stump. “He has this work ethic where he really has to be there, but he called us up and said that his doctor told him he needed a break. We told him, ‘Take the break, your seat’s warm, you’re not any less a part of it.’ He’s all over the record. It’s as much his as it is any of ours”
Stump added: “It was his decision to [put out that statement] and I’m really proud of him. It’s really brave [to be so open]. I’m so impressed with the way he’s able to just share, because I’m a very reserved person. I admire him.”
‘So Much (For) Stardust’ is out March 24.