Photos: Backstage Lollapalooza 2011 Portraits
Patrick Stump

There are a few things lighter about Patrick Stump these days. Aside from his appearance, which is much slimmer than the Fall Out Boy era, Stump is enjoying the freedom of playing to smaller (and more fervent, he says) audiences in his current incarnation as a solo artist. "I'd rather play to ten people who really wanna see the show than like, a 100,000 that [don't]," he says.

An hour before his set at Lollapalooza on Saturday (Aug. 6), Stump told Billboard.com why he knew it was time to strike out on his own.

"When I listen to the last Fall Out Boy record, I hear me pushing the band in ways that they didn't really wanna go," he said. "And it took some self-awareness to be like, okay, I should have somewhere to do this so that the band doesn't have to."

That product is "Soul Punk," the singer-songwriter's album due in October. Not that his label (Island) knew he was going to be delivering them the R&B-tinged tracks (with nods to Prince and Michael Jackson).

"My label didn't even know for a while that I was putting out a record. That I was making a record," he said. "I love that kind of silent freedom where there's not a lot of expectation. I'm pretty much… I'm nobody again, and I love it."

Pete Wentz and Black Cards Talk New Album

Stump says that he and his Fall Out Boy brethren -- Pete Wentz, Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley -- are great friends, but when they were at the height of their fame, "The stuff around us got to be so frustrating… and so much and so big that it became this behemoth following us around. So it's really nice to have no expectations."

Stump and his solo band kicked off a 24-date U.S. tour on Aug. 3 in Minneapolis.

Photos: Lollapalooza 2011 | Photos: Lollapalooza 2011 Portraits
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