Pete Wentz: 'If You Grew Up in the '90s, It's Hard Not to Crush on Uma Thurman'

Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy Boys of Zummer 2015
Zachary Mazur/WireImage

Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy performs onstage during The Boys of Zummer tour at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on June 24, 2015 in Wantagh, New York. 

The Fall Out Boy bassist Wentz, 36, hit No. 36 on the Hot 100 with the band's "Uma Thurman," from their album American Beauty/American Psycho.

"Uma Thurman" is clearly named after the actress. What makes her such a badass?

Uma Thurman picks these quirky, yet powerful roles. When we were writing the song, a lot of people I played it for immediately thought of Pulp Fiction. But to me, I felt like it was more her character in Kill Bill -- iconic, vengeful. If you grew up in the '90s, it's hard not to crush on Uma Thurman.

Fall Out Boy & Wiz Khalifa Perform 'Uma Thurman' at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards: Watch

Which came first, the music or the lyrical concept?

We had the tracks done. But people kept saying, "Oh, Pulp Fiction," so we were like, "Why don't we write something in the Quentin Tarantino world?" Then the Uma idea came up. We reached out to her; I don't know how she feels about the song, but she's OK with us naming it "Uma Thurman."

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Fall Out Boy's latest, American Beauty/American Psycho, outsold 2013's Save Rock and Roll its first week. Were you surprised?

With Save, it was like, "Can we even make a record again?" This album was a true experiment, [responding] to pop culture with immediacy. I don't know if there's a lane for a band like Fall Out Boy, but we've been able to carve one out.

Listen to "Uma Thurman" and more music from this issue in the Spotify playlist below:

This story originally appeared in the Aug. 1 issue of Billboard.