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Pete Wentz Reveals New Reggae-Inspired Band

"I know this won't be for everyone," Wentz says of new group Black Cards

July 9, 2010 9:42 AM ET

Since Fall Out Boy revealed last year that they would be going on an "indefinite hiatus," bassist/spokesman Pete Wentz seemingly sat idly as his fellow bandmates began work on new music: Patrick Stump embarked on a solo album and guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley formed the heavy metal side project the Damned Things. After weeks of rumors, however, Wentz finally confirmed his return to music yesterday with a new project called Black Cards, unveiling snippets of two songs and explaining the inspiration behind this new, still-secretive group on the Black Cards' newly launched website. "The takeover, the break is indeed over," Wentz writes.

"When FOB went on hiatus, I wasn't really sure what to do with myself. I know I wanted to keep traveling the world with my family," Wentz writes. "We had been to Jamaica recently. I spent a lot of time hanging around the beaches and I started to get inspired again by songs like [Culture's] 'Two Sevens Clash' and [the Gladiators'] 'Warriors.' … I could imagine them having an everlasting imprint, like people would dance to this stuff forever. I could feel these songs really meant something. Not just in Jamaica but globally, crossing through culture and language."

So far, Wentz has posted clips of Black Cards tracks "Club Called Heaven" and "Beating in My Chest," and fans can definitely hear a poppy dancehall influence that's rooted in a terrain far from the emo that Fall Out Boy cultivated over the past decade. "I know this won't be for everyone but honestly it's a chance for me to try something different," Wentz adds. For the project, Wentz teamed up with producer Sam Hollander, who Wentz worked with on Gym Class Heroes' As Cruel as School Children. The pair then recruited a female vocalist because "I couldn't imagine trying to replace Patrick [Stump]. Combine all this with my nonsense and ideas. Stuff I could never write or never had a perspective to write from in FOB." Wentz has not yet revealed the identity of the female singer, but fans' guesses range from Wentz' sister Hillary to Shiny Toy Guns singer Carah Faye Charnow to Wentz' own wife, Ashlee Simpson.

What began as simply an "indefinite hiatus" — speaking to Rolling Stone last year, Wentz compared it to kids on a snow day, "The snow will melt one day. It will melt sooner rather than later" — took a less optimistic turn when Stump revealed that he was "not in Fall Out Boy right now." Wentz admitted, "I don't know the future of Fall Out Boy" and told fans, "There is a chance it'll work out, or not." Even with the future of Fall Out Boy in flux, Wentz signed off his Black Cards letter to fans with, "I remain Fall Out Boy's #1 fan."

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Song Stories

“Bizness”

Tune-Yards | 2011

The opening track to Merrill Garbus’ second album under the Tune-Yards banner (she also plays in the trio Sister Suvi), “Bizness” is a song about relationships that is as colorful as the face paint favored by Garbus both live and in her videos. Disjointed funk bass, skittering African beats, diced-and-sliced horns and Garbus’ dynamic voice, which ranges from playful coos to throat-shredding howls, make “Bizness” reminiscent of another creative medium. “I'd like for them not to be songs as much as quilts or collages or something,” Garbus said.

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