You probably got to know Patrick Stump from hearing him sing Pete Wentz's lyrics. In that, he's a rare case: a lead singer from a massively successful rock band who's not recognized as the group's frontman. Stump's childhood friend was always the prettier Fall Out Boy, the one who pep talks the crowd in between songs, the one who writes the lyrics -- or as he'd call them, "weapons in the form of words." Together, they're among 21st century pop's most successful symbiotic partnerships: the unflinching, soulful vibrato and the unflinching social media presence.
Stump does a lot of creating outside Fall Out Boy, and if his role in the band is often understated, his work beyond it is a near mystery. His latest project was writing the often-ominous score for Spell, a bizarro thriller set in the wilds of Iceland -- which also happens to be the first feature film from Crush Pictures, a film extension of management company that's worked Fall Out Boy since 2002. You'd think it would have been some inside job, but Stump reveals Crush actually didn't seek him out until he insisted, and after production was already well underway: "They said they were looking for a composer for a movie and I just go, 'Yeah, I’m a composer.' It was this right-under-their-noses thing -- “Oh yeah! Weird, you are I guess!”
In Spell, Stump is tasked with capturing the frenetic inner monologue of Benny (Barak Hardley), a troubled 30-something American on a surreal journey through the Icelandic wilderness following the sudden death of his fiancée. Sparse, icy, and often jarring, the suites Stump wrote for Spell sound nothing like Fall Out Boy, though the film does contain one familiar nugget for fans of his solo career: a retro-sounding soul song, written and sung by Stump, which plays a crucial role in the plot. It also features the voicework of Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo and a brand new song from Weezer themselves. As he got acquainted with the script for his cameo as Benny's doctor, Cuomo tweaked an unreleased demo he had lying around to fit Spell's vibe, which now appears in the end credits as "California Snow." (The just-announced song is set for proper release tomorrow, but you can hear a snippet of it in the Spell trailer, premiering exclusively below). And keeping it all in house, Spell is the directorial debut from Crush's Brendan Walter, who's directed numerous Fall Out Boy and Weezer videos.