Fall Out Boy Biography
Fall Out Boy Biography
Fall Out Boy is an American Grammy-nominated rock band from Wilmette, Illinois, formed in 2001. The band consists of vocalist-rhythm guitarist Patrick Stump, lead guitarist Joe Trohman, bassist Pete Wentz and drummer Andy Hurley.
With Pete Wentz as the band’s primary lyricist, and Patrick Stump as the primary composer, Fall Out Boy reached mainstream success with its major label debut, From Under the Cork Tree. Released in 2005, the album won several awards and has achieved double platinum status after selling more than 2.5 million albums in the United States alone.
Early years (2001?2002)
After playing in various hardcore punk bands in the Chicago area, best friends, Joseph Mark Trohman and Peter Lewis Kingston Wentz III wanted to play songs by bands they listened to growing up such as Green Day and Descendents. Trohman met Irish-born high school student Patrick Martin Stump in a Borders book store. Trohman introduced himself to Stump when he overheard him talking about the band Neurosis, in which they shared a mutual interest. Stump auditioned as a drummer, but as soon as his vocal range was discovered, he became the lead singer.
The band was nameless for their first two shows. At the end of their second show, they asked the audience to give them a name. One audience member suggested “Fallout Boy”, a reference to the sidekick of the character Radioactive Man from The Simpsons. On January 25, 2009, Fall Out Boy would play the theme ending on The Simpsons.
Two other Chicago musicians, T.J. “Raccine” Kunasch and Mike Pareskuwicz, were recruited to play drums and guitar. The following year, the band debuted with a self-released demo and followed it up with the , 2002 release of Split EP, which featured Project Rocket, on Uprising Records. The group released a mini-LP, Fall Out Boy’s Evening Out with Your Girlfriend, also on Uprising Records, in 2002.
Independent success (2003?2004)
After the release of their mini-album, Andrew John Hurley, formerly of Racetraitor, joined the band and Stump picked up guitar, while Raccine and Pareskuwicz left. During this time, they played many local shows at the The Knights of Columbus Hall in Arlington Heights, Illinois, the site of their “Dead on Arrival” video. The same year, after signing to Fueled by Ramen, they released their first full-length album, Take This to Your Grave, on May 6, 2003. The band received an advance from Island Records to record its proper debut, but the advance came with a right of first refusal for Island on Fall Out Boy’s next album. With major financing in place, the band recorded Take This to Your Grave at the Butch Vig-owned Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin, with Sean O’Keefe as producer.
With singles “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy” and “Saturday” receiving video airplay on FUSE, mtvU and Target’s in-store video stream and radio airplay on mainstream stations across the country, the album sold very well and eventually achieved Gold status, but only after the success of the band’s next album, From Under the Cork Tree.
In mid-2003, the band signed with Island Records which is a part of the mainstream label Island Def Jam Music Group, along with Def Jam Records. This was after it picked up the option for its next album. In the meantime of recording its mainstream debut, the band released the acoustic EP My Heart Will Always Be the B-Side to My Tongue on Fueled by Ramen, May 18, 2004. It debuted at #153 on the Billboard 200, the band’s first such entry on the chart. The two-disc set included more acoustic performances and a fan photo gallery.
From Under the Cork Tree and mainstream success (2005?2006)
With Pete Wentz as the band’s primary lyricist, and Patrick Stump the primary composer, Fall Out Boy reached mainstream success with its first major label album on May 3, 2005, From Under the Cork Tree, which debuted on the Billboard 200 at #9, selling over 68,000 copies in its first week. The album achieved double platinum status after selling more than 2.5 million albums in the United States alone. Earlier that year, the band’s stability was threatened when Wentz overdosed on the sedative Ativan. The track “7 Minutes in Heaven (Atavan Halen)” from their album From Under the Cork Tree is based upon Wentz’s experience.
Their first single, “Sugar, We’re Goin Down”, peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100, #6 on the Pop 100, and #3 on the Modern Rock Charts. The video reached #1 on MTV’s TRL, where it was retired on August 26, 2005. The video won the MTV2 Award at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, prompting a huge new interest and surge in sales. The band was also nominated for “Best New Artist” at the 2006 Grammy Awards.
The second single off the album, “Dance, Dance”, became their second Top 10 Single when it peaked at #9 on the Hot 100. It reached #6 on the Pop 100, becoming the band’s highest charting single when it reached #2 on the Modern Rock Charts. The video for the song premiered on TRL on October 11, 2005; it soon reached #1 and was later retired on January 17, 2006. “Dance, Dance” was also featured on the PlayStation 2 version of Dance Dance Revolution SuperNova by Konami. The third single off the album, “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More “Touch Me””, was much less popular than both prior singles, but still managed to peak at #65 on the Hot 100 and hit #1 twice on TRL, retiring on June 6, 2006.
The band headlined the Nintendo Fusion Tour in the fall of 2005, joining The Starting Line, Motion City Soundtrack, Boys Night Out, and Panic! at the Disco on a 31 city tour. Due to its increased success from their MTV Video Music Award, the group headlined the Black Clouds and Underdogs Tour, a pop/punk event that featured The All-American Rejects, Well-Known Secret, Hawthorne Heights, and From First to Last. The tour also featured The Hush Sound for half of the tour and October Fall for half. They played to 53 dates in the US, Canada, and the UK.
Infinity On High, Live in Phoenix and other projects (2007?2008)
In early 2007, the band released its second major label album, Infinity on High. The album had a successful debut week, selling 260,000 copies and reaching number one on the Billboard 200. This charting was spurred by the single This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race, which reached number two in the U.S. and U.K. Fall Out Boy then headlined the Honda Civic Tour to promote the album. Though the tour was initially postponed due to personal issues, it would take place with +44, Cobra Starship, The Academy Is… and Paul Wall as supporting acts. The show at Phoenix would be taped and become Fall Out Boy’s first live album.
“Beat It (feat. John Mayer)” cover excerpt
From the album **** Live in Phoenix.
A CD and DVD of live material recorded during a June 22, 2007, concert at Phoenix’s Cricket Wireless Pavilion was released on April 1, 2008. Of note, the album, simply called ****, contains a new studio recording covering Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” with John Mayer as a guest on guitar. The song premiered for the first time on Wentz’s site Friends or Enemies, and was released as a single on March 25, 2008. Following its release, it debuted at #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at #19.
On March 18, it was revealed that Fall Out Boy had plans to play a show in Antarctica to go into the Guinness Book of World Records as the only band to play a concert on all seven continents in less than nine months; however weather conditions did not permit them to play in Antarctica.
Fall Out Boy collaborated with rapper T.I. for the album Paper Trail on a track entitled “Out in the Cold”. However the song was left out of the final cut. T.I. told MTV that he may add some of the cut tracks to his next album.
Citizens for Our Betterment (2008)
A viral campaign was launched by Pete Wentz on August 18, 2008 to promote what is now known to be the band’s fifth studio album Folie ? Deux. The campaign started when the website for Decaydance Records was supposedly “hacked” by an organization called “Citizens For Our Betterment”. A posted link led to the organization’s website which was decorated in the colors of the American flag. Links on the page were met with dead ends, requiring specific IP addresses to access their destinations. A post counter was displayed on the page with the number 59,994. Wentz left clues on his personal blog that the 60,000 would reveal something big. The Decaydance site returned back to normal the following day. On August 19, Ashlee Simpson was seen carrying a pamphlet for the organization, raising suspicion and sparking many rumors online. New posts appeared on the Citizens For Our Betterment web page everyday, many referring to November 4, the same day as the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Also, Wentz posted more clues on his blog. More and more links were opened to the public, as well. On August 24, one such link led to a page saying “FOB – The Return – November Four” in large stencil font, causing many to believe that Fall Out Boy would release their new album on November 4. Others theorized that this was another one of Wentz’s attempts to raise political awareness, as he did by previously holding a rally for the United States Democratic Party’s Presidential Candidate, Barack Obama. In addition, many Fueled By Ramen bands posted MySpace bulletins the same day with the title “Welcome To The New Administration”. Every bulletin contained one word: ten. Finally, on , 2008, the Citizens For Our Betterment website was redirected to the band’s “Friends or Enemies” page, which now displayed an image of a voting booth featuring ballots with the names of several Decaydance artists. By clicking on each individual ballot, there is an audio clip from the respective artist reciting passages from past posts on the Citizens For Our Betterment website. A mixtape was also made available for download called “Welcome To The New Administration” that included songs from several Decaydance bands and an interlude by Ludacris announcing that the album would be released on November 4.
Folie ? Deux (2008?2009)
On December 16, 2008, the band released its fifth studio album, Folie ? Deux, as a follow-up to their 2007 album Infinity on High. The band collaborated with other artists such as Elvis Costello, Lil Wayne, Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco, Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship, Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes, Doug, Alex DeLeon of The Cab, William Beckett of The Academy Is…, Debbie Harry of Blondie and Pharrell Williams.
The lead single for the album, “I Don’t Care” was released on September 3, 2008, and the song is currently on its chart run. The title of the album refers to the rare psychiatric syndrome folie ? deux, literally meaning “a madness shared by two”, in which a symptom of psychosis, particularly a paranoid or delusional belief is transmitted from one individual to another. Their second single on the radio is “America’s Suitehearts” released on December 8, 2008. Wentz said at a recent concert in Sydney, Australia, this song is about the ongoing Bush administration.
On January 15, 2009 the band announced they would embark on the Believers Never Die Part Deux Tour with Cobra Starship, Metro Station, All Time Low and Hey Monday to support the Folie ? Deux release. Its name is based on their 2004 “Believers Never Die Tour”. The group also performed alongside Kanye West and Kid Rock at the Youth Ball for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Pete announced onstage in the Philippines on Feb 13th 2009 that Fall Out Boy is filming footage on their current world tour for a new DVD.
On April 27, 2009 an EP was released on iTunes, titled America’s Suitehearts: Remixed, Retouched, Rehabbed and Retoxed. It contains a remix from Blink-182 bassist Mark Hoppus.
On the , 2009 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, it was announced that Fall Out Boy, along with Weezer, will be the opening act for Blink-182’s summer reunion tour, beginning on , 2009.
While widely considered to be a pop punk band, Fall Out Boy is often described as emo and cites emo group Scream Infamy as an influence. When interviewed for a retrospective article in Alternative Press at the time The Get Up Kids disbanded in 2005, Pete Wentz stated that “Fall Out Boy would not be a band if it were not for The Get Up Kids.” Fall Out Boy’s main songwriters are Patrick Stump (melody) and Pete Wentz (lyrics), though they traditionally credit the whole band as songwriters. Their albums Take This To Your Grave and From Under The Cork Tree are both said to have pop punk as well as punk rock sounds and influences, and their second most recent work, Infinity on High, features a wide range of styles and instrumentation, including orchestral and choral arrangements (“Thnks fr th Mmrs” and “You’re Crashing, But You’re No Wave”) and a slower piano ballad (“Golden”). On the band’s latest work, Folie ? Deux, Fall Out Boy continues to evolve their sound, increasing the use of piano (“What a Catch, Donnie”, “Headfirst Slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet” and “20 Dollar Nose Bleed”), synthesizers and guest artists (Debbie Harry, Elvis Costello, Lil Wayne, Pharrell Williams). The band also shows a number of influences, with the opening track borrowing a chord sequence from The Who song “Baba O’Riley” and “What a Catch, Donnie” referencing Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway in both sound and lyrics.
The band has worked with many producers and artists, including The Neptunes, Timbaland, Lil’ Wayne and Kanye West, who Patrick Stump described as “the Prince of his generation.” In general, the group has direct ties to melodic pop music, with Patrick Stump becoming a producer aside from his work with the band, and they also are closely connected to hardcore punk, as evident in their use of throat vocals and their prior involvement in the underground Chicago music scene. Moreover, a central part of Fall Out Boy’s sound is rooted in the band’s lyrics, mainly penned by bassist Pete Wentz, who commonly uses irony and other literary devices to narrate personal experience and stories.
Fall Out Boy supports Invisible Children Inc., and Wentz has participated in Invisible Children’s Displace Me Campaign. The band also performed at the American leg of Live Earth on July 7, 2007.
Patrick Stump- vocals, rhythm guitar (early-2003-present)- Stump did not play guitar on Fall Out Boy’s Evening Out with Your Girlfriend.
Joe Trohman- lead guitar, backing vocals (early-2003-present)
Pete Wentz- bass guitar, backing vocals (early-2003-present)
Andy Hurley- drums, percussion (mid-2003-present)
T.J. “Raccine” Kunasch- rhythm guitar, backing vocals (early-2003)- the band’s original rhythm guitarist. After the release of Fall Out Boy’s Evening Out with Your Girlfriend, Raccine left Fall Out Boy as Patrick Stump takes over his rhythm guitar position.
Mike Pareskuwicz- drums, percussion-the band’s original drummer. He (and Raccine) left Fall Out Boy after their release of Fall Out Boy’s Evening Out with Your Girlfriend. After his drop-out, Andy Hurley replaced him as the current drummer.
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