Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz isn't done mixing it up yet
"It’s so refreshing that you can include different ideas, as long as it’s not a parody."
Published: 11:04 am, September 07, 2016
When Fall Out Boy returned in 2013 with ‘Save Rock and Roll’, people were confused. A rock band staking a claim for a genre with an album that was decidedly not rock, what gives? Three years later, it all makes sense. Fall Out Boy have always looked a little further than most and now, as they headline Reading Festival, it seems everyone’s caught up. Speaking to Pete Wentz a few hours before they take to the stage though, it’s painfully clear Fall Out Boy aren’t done keeping on just yet.
“We always were always influenced by all these other genres and now kids, with how they consume music, genre matters so much less now. People know, just because you’re a fan of this doesn’t mean you can’t be a fan of that. I look out and I see Twenty One Pilots or Panic! At The Disco and that’s what they’re doing. They’re bending it all and mixing it all together. They grew up like that. I feel like we’re as influenced by Slayer as we are by Lil’ Wayne as we are by Moombahton. It’s all over the place. It’s so refreshing that you can include different ideas, as long as it’s not a parody. The wildest thing to me is that some kinds of music and art gets stuck on this one thing. This is what it’s going to be forever. ‘This is what rock music is going to be forever, it has to be this.’ Dude, imagine if people in silent films said that. What, we would just never have Star Wars? There’s room for all of it. I appreciate a lot of the music, I went to a Guns ‘n’ Roses concert the other night and I thought that was fucking cool. I wanted to see the Guns ‘n’ Roses/Metallica tour so much when I was little and I wasn’t allowed. Then I also watch videos of Kanye on a floating stage. This is bonkers. Thirty years ago, Axl Rose would have been doing that 100%.”
As wild and hyperactive as it all sounds what Fall Out Boy are doing, and have always done, is very simple. “The thing I’ve always loved is inclusion. From the community we came from, it’s inclusive. If you’re weird, you can be part of it. If you’re not weird, you can be a part of it. You just have to be tolerant and contribute.”
While it seems Fall Out Boy have no limits, there are definite things Pete’s a fan of that he knows will never work within the band. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to know how the world works. “The last couple of years has been a real learning experience for me. I love to see what other experts in their field do. I love to sit with my friends when they make films. Me and my eight year old went to a bee farm the other day. I’m not an expert in the field, I probably couldn’t be a hobbyist but I love seeing people craft and it really makes up for all the internet negativity or whatever. It’s so cool to go out in the real world and realise no, people are great and they’re contributing to life and that’s cool.”
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Fall Out Boy have been dipping their toes in a variety of media of late. ‘Bloom’ includes a short film, merch and a handful of live dates including tonight’s headline show at Reading. Where that goes next, “I like to think of it all in the same way. The merch and the visual, you are taking part in the whole element. It’s all one thing. I don’t know if I’d be like, ‘yeah I should direct a film.’. Actually, that should probably not happen but I think that, as we move forward, I think it’s a great time to experiment. We did an all hip-hop remixes album and then we did ‘PAX AM Days’ with Ryan Adams. I think you can do it all. As long as it’s stuff you want to do, people will give it a shot.”
With eclectic falling somewhat short of describing Pete Wentz’ interests, what’s exciting him right now? Glad you asked. “Jack U. I felt like that was so epic. It’s hard for people to have the perspective of a year before Jack U doing Justin Bieber. There’s no way you’d say Diplo and Skrillex should do a thing with Justin Bieber. No one said that. At all. Apart from Diplo and Skrillex but they did it and did it in such a classy, tongue in cheek, interesting and most importantly, authentic way. Now, everyone likes that song. My eight year old likes that song. I like that song. I thought that was so clever and so interesting but I’m all over the place. I like to see all the stuff that everyone else is doing. Last night we were watching this movie, ‘Sicario’. The soundtrack gave me such anxiety and I think that’s what it’s supposed to do. I have no idea who did it but it’s fucking awesome. My favourite thing is, our neighbors have some older kids and they tell me about stuff. They were telling me about snapchat before I knew what snapchat was and they tell me about the bands and artists they listen to. Lil Uzi Vert and other people that I probably wouldn’t have heard of otherwise. It’s refreshing to be able to listen to it. Sometimes, I don’t even like it but I can appreciate what went into it. I’m listening to just about everything though. I seriously will sometimes just sit on Soundcloud and go down a hole, because it’s just interesting.”