When Fall Out Boy returned to music Monday (Feb. 4) after a 3-plus year hiatus, the announcement came out of nowhere. There were a few whispered rumors over the past six months, but for the most part, no one was expecting the band’s new album, single or tour dates.
A day later, less than 24 hours after the band played their first reunion show to a small group of fans at Chicago’s Subterranean club, bassist Pete Wentz took to his keyboard to answer some of the many questions that had been thrown at the band for the past day and a half.
“The music had to be right first,” Wentz wrote on his website, explaining why the comeback is happening now. “About nine or 10 months ago Patrick and I wrote a few songs — they didn’t feel right, so we kept our heads down and went about other projects.”
But when he and vocalist Patrick Stump met up again recently, “we felt like we had written a few of the most compelling and heartfelt songs Fall Out Boy has ever written,” Wentz explained.
The group’s last album, “Folie a Deux,” debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 in late 2008 and has sold 449,000 copies to date, according Nielsen SoundScan. Overall the band has sold 5.7 million albums since its first full-length studio release, 2003’s “Take This to Your Grave.”
Fall Out Boy has scored three Hot 100 top 10 singles, rising highest with 2007’s “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race,” which debuted and peaked at No. 2.
“Save Rock And Roll,” which drops May 7, is “the best album we’ve ever made,” said Wentz. “It doesn’t sound like the other Fall Out Boy albums, but it sounds exactly like Fall Out Boy in 2013.”
When Fall Out Boy’s four members — Wentz, Stump, guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley — announced that they were going on hiatus in November 2009, they had just wrapped a tour opening for Blink-182 and released a greatest hits album, “Believers Never Die.”
“I think we all needed a break. We toured non-stop for seven years all over the world,” Wentz said of the hiatus, which many fans and reporters at the time saw as the end of the pop-punk band. “There was no real plan with it. We needed to figure ourselves out in being creative and our personal lives. We never thought it would end up being as big of a deal as it was.”
Although the title of the band’s upcoming album is a lofty one, Wentz said “Save Rock And Roll” is not meant to be taken literally. “One of the problems with rock lately is that people take things too seriously. Fall Out Boy has always played with irony and tried to take the piss out of ourselves as much as anyone else.”
Fall Out Boy just wants to get back to the beginning of the band’s career, Wentz said, when they started the group in the early 2000s for adventure, music and friendship. The album title is “a personal statement for the band as much as anything else. Because at the end of the day, rock and roll saved us.”