We are backstage at KROQ Weenie Roast when we catch up with Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz. Having known him for years the conversation starts very casually, "What is new?"
"Same old same old," he says. But that is definitely not the case, as Wentz, who was just working on new material with lead vocalist Patrick Stump right before we meet him, is very excited by and has a lot to say about the current state of popular music. In this entertaining chat Wentz explains why the album is the only thing off limits right now, gives a timeline for new Fall Out Boy music and discusses child actors.
How's the tour been going?
Good, we just got back, we did South America and then we went over and played in Monte Carlo randomly for the World Music Awards. Then we're getting ready to go out, we're doing festivals this summer and then go out with Paramore.
Did you gamble in Monte Carlo?
I did not, I tried to. I went for the James Bond vibe or whatever and you couldn't get in if you did not have the right attire.
What would be James Bond's games of choice?
He's a roulette player. The funny thing is I don't know any gambling at all. I spent my last few days in Vermont at my parents' house and we played War, we learned how to play with my kid. It's not a hard game to master (laughs).
How old is your son now?
Five and a half, crazy.
How is he as a War player?
He calls two's "crummy two's" and he's an ace hogger, so he's a kid after my heart (laughs).
What is coming up for you guys musically?
We're writing. I was just listening to something Patrick had written in the trailer. So we're writing, finishing out the album cycle in South Africa in September and then I feel like the great thing about what internet culture has morphed into, we were goofing around with this weird French producer the other day just for the heck of it. And I feel like you can just put out whatever and as long as it's authentic to who you are. It can be singles or an EP, it's just whatever you want.
When you have a following as you guys do as well is it liberating because albums aren't the main money makers anymore, they are more for fun?
It's about curation now, so it's about curating a vibe. So it's like, "Oh, here's an EP that's this thing." We were able to do 12 videos that's one narrative, I don't feel like five years ago we could've pitched that to anybody. But now I think there's room for different kinds of ideas to come around in every way except for maybe like, "Let's put out a really long album."
Who do you pitch it to now?
The only people we ever need to pitch anything to is anyone we're trying to say, "Hey, will you pay for this?" They're the only ones you ever have to pitch to. They're always like, "Sure, is it possible for you to hold this?" "Alright, alright, we'll figure it out."
Is there an idea then of when new stuff will filter out?
I feel like it has to be before the end of the year. But we haven't set a date yet or what it's going to be like. I feel like you can just put out songs that you care about now.
Do you need an idea anymore though as long as you have songs? I feel like you can finish something on a Tuesday and put it out on Thursday.
Which I think is awesome. As a kid I would have loved that shit.
Isn't it also liberating as an artist because then everything stays relevant to you and in the moment versus trying to find a way to make songs you finished a year ago still feel fresh?
The funniest thing about it, to me, is I think that rock bands have the hardest time with it, cause rock bands like to take a bunch of time between albums, go somewhere really cool to like think about recording an album, have a bunch of fights and then record for three or four months. The new model is not that, the new model is there are kids doing it on laptops in their house.
Mark Foster and I talked about that cause he went to Morocco for this album.
If it influences what you're doing that's awesome. Otherwise I feel like we do it in Burbank because it's just as easy and I still get the ramen culture anyway.
So where is the favorite place to go and fight and record and discuss ideas?
(Cracks up) I think where our best ideas have been born, this is going to be the most mundane answer of all time, it's at the Oakwoods [apartments] in Los Angeles. That's where our best ideas and most creative stuff comes from, probably the least creative place to be.
Why is that?
I think it creates some kind of tension and it forces you to think outside of the box. Being at the Oakwoods is like being on a desert island, only not as much good weather and way more washed-up child actors.
What child actors would inspire the best song?
I have three answers. My super goof answer would be Matt Dillon in Over The Edge. It's a bizarre reference, but the movie is so good, so bad. But I would do Macaulay Culkin, I feel like Home Alone, Richie Rich era, but even before that maybe Uncle Buck era is so good. But then my real answer is my buddy Seth Green. He's been in a couple of videos of ours, he's like the ultimate child actor, dorky dudes who made good. He is actually a true inspiration to me because he's like the kid who made it and is cool and awesome.