Fall Out Boy: 'Our Band Is Evolving With Every Record'

Just prior to the start of Fall Out Boy's tour, guitarist Joe Trohman shared some words with Ultimate-Guitar.

Fall Out Boy: 'Our Band Is Evolving With Every Record'
0
Fall Out Boy is a band that most people either hate or love. Since 2001, the band has toured the world multiple times, seen indie and major label success, and crafted some of the most edgy, but catchy pop rock songs. Fall Out Boy has definitely left their mark on this generation, proving themselves over and over to be more than just a "flavor of the week" band. This past December, Fall Out Boy released a new record, Folie A Deux, which immediately hit the top ten on the Billboard charts, and has sold many hundreds of thousands of copies since. They are currently on their first US tour in support of Folie A Deux, touring with All Time Low, Metro Station, Cobra Starship, and Hey Monday. Just prior to the start of their tour, guitarist Joe Trohman shared some words with Ultimate-Guitar. UG: Hey Joe how are you? Joe Trohman: I'm great how are you? I'm good, where abouts are you right now? I'm in Arizona right now. We got here yesterday and started doing some production rehearsals and we're pretty much going to do the same today. Are you stoked? Yeah I'm excited. When I got here yesterday my power amp broke. That totally sucked but I had a backup 212. It was good though, we're throwing some new songs into the mix. I like what we're doing production wise. It's kind of theatrical, everything is really planned out. Everyone is really involved in it and I think it's going to really entertain, possibly even captivate the crowd.

"It is crazy thinking that we put out the record late last year and we haven't even toured in the US on it yet."

When you say theatrical, do you mean in terms of visuals? Yeah. We're spending the last 48 hours preparing, editing, and compiling a lot of video content. It's somewhat interactive on stage as well. Hopefully it will end up being that way. Knock on wood. I hope it doesn't come out half baked. The cool thing about this is that on previous tours we had it all prepared by somebody else. For this tour, we've been the ones kind of making and controlling the content. You've been rocking the long hair lately, who or what inspired the long hair?* I actually used to have long hair before people cared about Fall Out Boy. It was really long, about this long. You know how as you grow older the texture of your hair changes? My hair used to be like the longer it wouldn't weight down, it would just go out. Now it weighs down. I think it has to do with me getting older and my hair texture just completely changing. It was weird. Our fans kept bugging me to grow my hair back out and I was like um yeah, sure, why not? I started doing it. It is cool for playing live. I've always noticed that dudes that have long hair when they're headbanging it looks like they're rocking out harder than they really are. I know that's the visual trickery of it. Of course all the cool, classic rock guitar players had long hair which made them look awesome. I like it. My hair is so thick and unmanageable that it really gets in the way sometimes of not just eating, but seeing too. Especially on stage it can be a difficult thing to do. I'm still learning how to balance enjoying my hair length and being able to see and play on stage. When are you guys going to release Tiffany Blews as a single? We're actually going to practice it today in our session rehearsal. We're still working on America's Suitehearts right now but it's definitely a possibility for our third single. We love the song and we know a lot of other people love it too. I'm not going to say that's our definite. We've never played it before as a band, but we're rehearsing it today. We're definitely working it into the mix because people like it so much and we like the song too. Does it ever get boring or tiresome playing the same song over and over? When you're doing the TV circuit you've gotta go in and play your single. I think the most boring part is that you get there early to soundcheck, and then you sit through a rehearsal of the entire show, then you sit around for the actual taping of the show. So you're there from like 10AM till 6PM just waiting to play one song. That's probably the most boring part of it. You guys did an overseas tour already for support of this record right? Yeah which is crazy thinking that we put out the record late last year and we haven't even toured in the US on it yet. Did the tour go over well? Yeah it went over really well. The Asia/Australia/New Zealand one was first. That was packed and great. Same with the UK/Europe tour. Again, that was packed out and had a great response. We played places like Italy and Madrid where we had never played before. That had a great response and the turnout was incredible. In different countries you release different singles depending on what they're into. It's cool to see how people react to songs on our new record. It seems like internationally our new record is becoming already more widely known than any of our older material.

"It seems like internationally our new record is becoming already more widely known than any of our older material."

What are you thoughts on the bands that you'll be touring with on this upcoming tour? The bands are great. I'm excited. The Cobra Starship guys I know really well. Ryland is one of my good friends. All Time Low I don't know too well but since the whole Twitter phenomenon happened some of the guys in that band have twittered me so we sent some goofy twitters back and fourth so I'm looking forward to hanging out with those guys. Metro Station I don't really know too well. Hey Monday we just did some international gigs with them. They're really excited to be on tour with bands that they like, which is really refreshing. We also have 50 Cent who will be taking over the days that Metro Station won't be playing which is great for two reasons. First of all, we're really happy that he agreed to be part of the tour, and secondly it's nice to mix it up musically. You can kind of test peoples' musical prejudices that way, and you can hopefully open up peoples' minds to different kinds of music. If 50 Cent were to go out on tour with a million other bands, people would question it. What do you think it is about your band, or this particular tour that makes a guy like 50 Cent fit appropriately? Do you think he might even feel uncomfortable? He doesn't seem like a guy that's so insecure that he's going to feel uncomfortable. I think he's excited. He's a smart guy. He's really excited about exposing himself to people who have never really given hip hop a true chance. I also think he knows that he will probably be bringing some of his fans to our show and he knows that will be good for us. So I think it's really good for everyone all around regardless of how polarizing it is for one side or another. I think some people are kind of weary of it. It's interesting, we just did this remix of America's Suitehearts, and going back to Twitter, I love Twitter because I can just like really interact with my fans. I can poll, who likes it? How many of you like it? How many of you hate it? I really polarize. I ask again, do you hate it because you don't like the song, or do you hate it because you don't like hip-hop? There's a lot of guys that don't like hip hop, but I can tell it's because they've just never really given it a chance. Sometimes you have to see someone perform for them to win you over. I'm excited, I've never seen him perform live. I think it's really good for everybody all around. I think even if there's a negative backlash. Polarization is truly important. We're a polarizing band. I think it keeps us relevant, and it keeps us interesting to people. We really cause this extreme love or extreme hate. There's always different influences on your records. Within the band, we overlap on things, but we have a lot of independent interests as well, and we combine to really create what Fall Out Boy is all about. Our band is always evolving with every record as well. What do you get out of doing a large-scale pavilion type tour that you don't get out of a smaller club tour? You get different venues with different vibes. Obviously you can fit more people into a big pavilion than you can into a small club. That's not the purpose. We're doing some House of Blues-size venues on this tour as well. So we're kinding to the gamut a little bit. It's a different vibe. Also, we're able to bring our production out on a bigger-venue tour. Some of the smaller venues we're not really able to go all out with our production and do that full grandiose thing that we're trying to do. That's one of the big reasons that we're trying to play some bigger size places, just to bring our production out and give everyone the full experience.

"We have a lot of independent interests, and we combine to really create what Fall Out Boy is all about."

Do you have a preference between bigger and smaller venues? Not really, they're kind of different beasts. I used to get this question a lot like do you prefer recording in the studio or playing live? They're different beasts, it's apples and oranges. It's that way with different size venues. A 500 person club is really fun but it's like a party. Playing like a House of Blues like club is a different club. You go and play the bigger places and again it's a different vibe. It's going to sound different and it's going to feel different, you're going to have more people or less people. It's really hard to compare. Your band has been in the limelight lately, popping up in more mainstream publications and such. Does it concern you how you personally, and how your bands mates, are viewed by the media? I go back and forth between that I suppose. Sometimes it's abummer when people have this really wrong perception of what your band is. You get people sometimes and they assign rolls to people in the band and they have nothing to do with the bad and they don't even understand the band at all whatsoever. I think that can be kind of a bummer at times. Sometimes you have to remember that they aren't in the band, and to an extent sometimes we're all a little bit like Mr. Burns sitting behind the desk tapping his fingers together saying excellent in a very snakelike voice. To an extent sometimes I feel like we get to pull the wool over peoples' eyes. What comes along with that is really inaccurate media coverage. It is what it is. Sometimes people get it right, sometimes they don't. The good thing is that when people get it really right we always try to go back and have relationships with those people because it's fun to do interviews with people that understand you and your band. I think some people get it, and some people don't. It can equally fun to do interviews with people that don't get it because you get to kind of pull a fast one. That's how I feel sometimes. Sometimes we're kind of like the puppet masters sitting behind the big desk watching everything happen. Thanks so much for this interview man! No problem! * Trohman has since cut his hair. Interview by Brandon Weiss Ultimate-Guitar.Com 2009

116 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    Aeroblast
    I don't understand where most of you get off saying that they have no talent. If they had no talent, they wouldn't be as big as they are. You think that they'd have packed tours around the world if they sounded like crap? Get your heads out of your asses and quit hating.
    RukiaTH
    Aeroblast wrote: I don't understand where most of you get off saying that they have no talent. If they had no talent, they wouldn't be as big as they are. You think that they'd have packed tours around the world if they sounded like crap? Get your heads out of your asses and quit hating.
    You know, even though I like Fall Out Boy, I need to point something out: The number of albums sold or how big a band is DOES NOT equal the bands talent. If it did, bands like Children of Bodom would be freaking huge OUTSIDE of the metal community.
    mitch311
    RCAlbright wrote: Wow, i didn't think that anyone even liked fall out boy.
    Most here don't. They're just too scared to post cause they know they'll get banned. This Joe guys acts nice but he is pretty much talentless
    M Power
    You honestly didn't think anyone liked a top selling band that packs world tours? Really now?
    Gr33n
    Aeroblast wrote: I don't understand where most of you get off saying that they have no talent. If they had no talent, they wouldn't be as big as they are. You think that they'd have packed tours around the world if they sounded like crap? Get your heads out of your asses and quit hating.
    +1 A lot of people here don't like them, but that doesn't mean they have no talent. If they were as shit as everyone says, they obviously wouldn't be as big as they are now, and they definatly wouldn't have a record deal or be playing packed out stadiums.
    Mr. Skull
    ya there solos are soooo much more evolved now. oh wait...
    Gr33n wrote: Aeroblast wrote: I don't understand where most of you get off saying that they have no talent. If they had no talent, they wouldn't be as big as they are. You think that they'd have packed tours around the world if they sounded like crap? Get your heads out of your asses and quit hating. A lot of people here don't like them, but that doesn't mean they have no talent. If they were as shit as everyone says, they obviously wouldn't be as big as they are now, and they definatly wouldn't have a record deal or be playing packed out stadiums.
    hannah montana sells out stadiums too. FAIL
    cblowrun
    thegreatfen wrote: sorry guys there was a typo, i think they misspelt devolution
    LOL
    spiff-corgi
    I've never got involved in any of the comment-posting on this site. I'm glad. Most of the people here need to stick to tabbing because when they talk it comes out of their arses. Music is about opinion. As long as it's not dance then it can be classed as music, and ANYONE has a right to like it. Looking down on someone because they have a different opinion to you is the road to Douchebaggery.
    stevenpollock
    Double post alert: I'm not a FOB fan. Don't own a record, only know what I see on the magazine's and what I hear on the radio. But they are a perfect example of a band who has accomplished what every band wants. Smart guys. /rant.
    stevenpollock
    Mr. Skull wrote: ya there solos are soooo much more evolved now. oh wait...Gr33n wrote: Aeroblast wrote: I don't understand where most of you get off saying that they have no talent. If they had no talent, they wouldn't be as big as they are. You think that they'd have packed tours around the world if they sounded like crap? Get your heads out of your asses and quit hating. A lot of people here don't like them, but that doesn't mean they have no talent. If they were as shit as everyone says, they obviously wouldn't be as big as they are now, and they definatly wouldn't have a record deal or be playing packed out stadiums. hannah montana sells out stadiums too. FAIL
    God, who give's a sh!t about guitar solo's? Whether or not ANY song has an epic solo, from any instrument, or a repetitive hooky riff, it doesn't matter. I strictly I hate everyone* on this site. Everyone here thinks they have something to prove and spend way too much time thinking that being a guitar-artist is about being better than everyone else. But I stay here for the sake of helping people, and getting help on the forums, so no, I won't "leave then." *except for about 10 people so far. By the way, who care's about Hannah Montana? She has more money than you(and me.) So what? I guarantee none** of you will ever become anything with playing music. You will never write one song that sells. And it's because you have this elitist attitude, which no one in the music industry cares about. I'm bored with typing. Not like it matters anyways. BTW Aeroblast wins.
    TheEsupremacy
    While I have never been a FOB fan, I have heard all their cd's (girlfriend digs 'em) but their latest cd really sucks. A totally forgetable opus.
    JBoy343
    Yehh evolving every album.. into an even more mainstream guitar pop band.. any punk sense from fall out boy has totally gone
    Zell182
    Every album has been worse since they became famous. Take This To Your Grave was great and From Under The Cork Tree was very good...I'd like to slap whoever decided to remake the video for Sugar We're Going Down which basically made them mainstream ;o
    PapaSchumpf
    woow. fallout boy is so versatile and excitting. you can hear their songs your whole live. ...
    wouldyakindly
    Ha, I'm not going to lie, i hate fall out boy. Especially that **** Pete Wentz. However, I'm tired of being a mindless flamer, so I'm merely going to say that I hope they get better so I can perhaps listen to one of their songs without feeling the urge to stabbing kittens. Have a nice day FoB fans!
    aig91
    CHECKED! Just a few reminders: 1) Flaming and bashing the band being discussed or the other members WILL earn you a warning or a ban. I'd recommend refraining from posting if you've only come here to flame the band. 2) Quoting said flaming, bashing, or spam to reply to it is completely pointless, unnecessary, and VERY annoying. Don't do it. Just leave it for a Column Cleaner to deal with.
    KurdtStaley
    i guess pretty much everyone likes take this to your grave.. i definitely loved that shit when i first heard it. haven't really listened to any FOB lately, maybe i'll listen to it tonight. personally i think i'd like the band a lot if they made more music with that sound, but better lyrics. nothing against their lyrics, they're clever in ways, just the overall theme is not something i want to hear much.. they need to evolve lyrically then they'll really get credit for being a good band.
    voodoochild23
    pnkr0cker wrote: voodoochild23 wrote: There are two kinds of 'musicians'. Musicians who create, and musicians who write 4 albums worth of garbage over the same chord progressions, leaving themselves plenty of time to consider what hairstyle would please their fans the most. Actually they are pretty good at doing very different chord progressions, I'd say somewhat inventive. Especially "Bang the Doldrums" I understand a reason for not liking them, but this is just one of those bands that if you judge by their singles, you aren't giving them a fair chance. They also take some listening to, to get used to since they are a very different band.
    I've listened to every one of their albums through, since they first appeared. I wouldn't judge a band based on their singles, but in what way does 'bang the doldrums' contain an inventive chord progression? They put zero effort into songwriting, same with every pop rock act. Call them catchy, fair enough, but don't call them good musicians. I for one don't get enough simply from 'catchy' music and I'm glad, there are hundreds of bands out there who actually offer something new with what they write and relatively speaking Fall Out Boy are not 'good' in the same room as any one of them.
    Helloween_rox
    How exactly are they writing "edgy" songs? They're bland, boring, horrible mainstream overplayed emo/pop-punk garbage. While there may be some small sliver of talent with this band (at least in the marketing division), they have no idea how to use it musically or they might actually be a good band. Until they do (which I seriously doubt they ever will), they will continue to hold the title of "world's worst band" in a tie with Nicklef@g.
    spiff-corgi
    Well I actually find Fall Out Boy quite original and refreshing (and my favourite band is Muse!) I mean listen to Sum 41's last album (actually - don't you really don't want), they had the same chord progression in every bleeding song. It may not be pop-punk anymore but Patrick Stump is still a creative musician and great singer.
    Kapalen
    Marshall Lead12 wrote: radomu wrote: Eh, let's not bash them, they are musicians and they do have the right to make their music I agree, and... wtbskill91 wrote: I hate bands like this that only care about making money with the same recycled music over and over again. You can sit down. Personally I don't like rap at all, but I'm not going to bash it. It's all music. Only two things in music: Taste & Opinion. Until you realise that, you're a failtard.
    What the heck are you talking about? The guy said he doesn't like bands that sellout. He's not bashing any kind of music, he's saying he doesn't like that type of PERSON you "failtard"
    kattaway96
    you mean there are still fags who listen to fallout boy out there. I thought that trend died years ago.
    shooshi123
    Tiffany blews? Nooo, its not that great. They should release the shipped or west coast smoker.
    tinyer3
    It's "I'm in love with my own sins" dude. And Folie a Deax does seem like mostly filler music. The only good songs are I Don't Care, She's My Winona (love the drums in that one), and Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes. The rest of the songs put me to sleep. -.-
    SOADriff
    I publicly hate this band. The only decent member is the drummer, the rest are terrible.
    your^consience
    Im realy glad i know all about his hair now... you know cus you read articles on a guitar site cus you want to know about hair thickness and how the textures of your hair change as you grow older.... .....anyone who says that this band is not an imaged based band can go suck a fat one.
    funkyfigure8
    TheSoupDragon wrote: Fall Out Boy are a pop band, you can't bash them for not making technical or heavy music. Nobody rips on indie bands for not having a super extensive knowledge of chords, or the ability to play at 4324849bpm. TTTYG and FUTCT were very good pop-punk albums. Compare them to badns such as Simple Plan - FOB have better lyrics, catchier songs, more interesting drumming and faaaaar superior vocals. IOH was a good pop-rock album. FAD was a good pop album. Pat's vocals sound amazing on certain songs. Oh, and how do those songs all sound the same as at least one guy said? Fall Out Boy are one of my favourite bands. Protest The Hero, Dream Theater, Led Zeppelin and Coheed & Cambria are also some of my favourite bands. It's OK to like pop music. Seriously. It is. You aren't gay for doing so.
    I'm the same way, except through in Whitechapel and Job for a Cowboy in there too. I love Take This To Your Grave.
    Higgzy
    I liked their first album, but 'Our band is evolving with every record?" More like their fan base of 12 year old girls is.
    VoidedSquirrel
    I actually think that FOB are a great band for their genre. They are one of the few bands that I can sit and listen to their albums without skipping through tracks. People follow like sheep too much and others just start bitchin about them cuz others do. If you don't like them.... don't listen to them!
    mikko 9119
    Tiffany Blews....single
    horrible choice. coffees for closers would have been better imo. can't stand tiffany. but oh well
    Lardboy
    Josh_crosby wrote: 'Our Band Is Evolving With Every Record' no
    You ever listened to 'Fall Out Boy's Evening Out With Your Girlfriend?' Ever noticed the massive transition in the quality of the material between that and 'Take This To Your Grave?' If you have no idea what you're talking about, don't bother posting buddy
    hle0871
    folie a deux has its moments: "disloyal order of the water buffaloes" or "headfirst slide" and so does from under the cork tree. but infinity on high and take this to your grave, as different as they may be, are both brilliant albums.
    Fender700
    wow i cant believe i get a "warning" for saying my thoughts about pete wentz! for the record, you have people saying the most rediculous crap in the world and you threaten to delete my account because i think pete wentz is a fail? hey UG check your sh%@ next time before you "warn" people for HARMLESS comments...
    jonny108
    im a guy... but his new look suks... i like fob... for about 15 minutes... then i get bored.. AND ANYONE STATING HIS OPINION ABOUT FOB IS A JERK!!! THIS IS NOT A FREE WORLD!! YOU CANT SAY THEY SUK!!!
    spiff-corgi
    ShadesOfNight wrote: did i hear you order something a bit more interesting? Well hows about moving on from this shit then? FOB are never going to be interesting, especially musically.
    My point is that they are more interesting than they were. I don't dig all the pop-punk scene, I did when I was 12 but now I want to listen to something different. So Fall Out Boy's evolution or "devolution" coincides with the fact I have got bored of bands like Good Charlotte and Alkaline Trio who produce songs that all sound the same. Even if it's poppy it's still better than most of the songs in the top 10 nowadays. (Muse still own their ass though)
    Cafas
    Shit, if they really wanted to open people up to hip-hop, you'd think they'd bring an artistically credible artist. All 50 Cent does is reinforce things that people don't like about the hip-hop they're exposed to. And I don't mean violence. Wu-Tang \/\/
    kamjam7
    G0dzilla wrote: eiirish wrote: TTTYG: Awesome! FUTCT: Awesome!! IOH: Pretty good. FAD: fail + 1.
    + 1 over and over again! ioh was pretty good just cause the carpel tunnel of love, but the new one is just horrible!!!! i would have tried it a little longer, but the i heard america's suitehearts and the whole "in love with my own sister" thing is just crossing every line there is to cross! i still think this band may go back to better days, but until then, i don't know this band!
    axejam123
    meleadyoufollow wrote: THEY'RE getting rather blah. Like alot of people have said, Take This To Your Grave is a great album, From Under The Cork Tree is pretty damn good too, Infinity On High has its moments, but the new album is a fail. its not bad music, but every song sounds exactly the same. it's all over-produced. and pete wentz is a tool. listen to their live recordings. every song is preceded by wentz screaming shit at the crowd. he's annoying. stump has a great voice that's getting wasted on wentz' shite lyrics, and dull music in general.
    I agree completely. wentz is such a liability for them. His ridiculous antics that are neither cool nor funny make lots of people who otherwise would probably like FOB hate them with a passion. Not to mention he's a crap bass player, so he doesn't even make up for it all with his playing. They'd definitely be better off without him. And yeah, the CD was WAY overproduced. It sounded so dull
    spiff-corgi
    kattaway96 wrote: you mean there are still fags who listen to fallout boy out there. I thought that trend died years ago.
    well done demonstrating my point.