As Fall Out Boy prepare to release their eighth studio album So Much (For) Stardust, frontman Patrick Stump has told Rolling Stone UK how global upheaval and pain in recent years directly shaped the record.
The emo-rock icons announced the record last week, as well as sharing the lead single ‘Love From The Other Side’. The song sees the group eschewing the electro-rock sound they debuted on their last album (2018’s Mania) to head back to their rockier beginnings.
Speaking to Rolling Stone UK, Stump explained how the overall sound of the record emerged when they reunited with Neal Avron, the producer responsible for the band’s first three albums.
“It’s funny, because it wasn’t a conscious thing,” explained Stump of their latest sound. “But working with Neal was one of the biggest things. It’s just the way he mixed songs, there’s a lot less layers so it becomes more about this drum, this guitar, and whatever it might be.”
“The other thing was our manager, who has these great little Yoda moments. He said to me: ‘your songs used to ramble a lot. You haven’t rambled in a while!’ I went home from that conversation and this song spilled out. There was something about experimenting, a lot of our older songs have this run-on quality so I just kinda followed that and this song came out.”
As for the spirit of the record, Stump explained that it shares similarities with Folie à Deux, their third album from 2009.
“I wanted to get back to this feeling that I had with Folie, that it was very self guided. We weren’t worried about outside influences or making hits,” he said.
‘That wasn’t really where our heads were with that record and I wanted to make something that followed that. It isn’t a rock record overall, it’s more like the next record from that band that made Folie.”
While reluctant to label the whole album as “bleak”, Stump admitted that bassist and lyricist Pete Wentz has channelled the turbulence of the last five years in the album songs.
“There’s a through line throughout all of it. I don’t want to say it’s a bleak record but Pete was in this place where y’know, it’s been a weird five years, so it really deals with that,” he said.
“There’s something interesting about making a pop record in very not-pop times.”
Asked if the record could be considered Wentz’ response to pandemic times, Stump said: “Yeah, I think it’s his personal perspectives on those things, because it’s a weird time to be looking at them.
“We’re all a bit older as a band and I really love his voice as a writer on this record because he’s found this place where there’s a resignation you get as you’re older where you’re like ‘well this is what I’m dealing with’.
“It’s not exactly hopeless, but it’s matter-of-fact and I love that.”
As well as the announcement of the album, last week saw Fall Out Boy confirm that founding guitarist Joe Trohman is “stepping away” from the group in order to focus on his mental health.
“It’s not a departure and he’ll be back in the band at some point,” said Stump of Trohman’s break.
“He called us and said ‘hey, my doctor says I need to take a break for a minute’. It was as simple as that.”
Stump added: “Being in a band is a strange thing, because if you work in an office and you have a surgery or something, you request the time off and then you come back a week later and it’s not really notable. But when you’re in a band and something like that happens, it’s like are you ever coming back? He’s 100 percent in the band, he’s all over the record and it’s his as much as it is ours, he just needs a little rest. So that’s it.”
‘So Much (For) Stardust’ is out March 24.