Fall Out Boy on Green Day's Rock Hall Induction: 'A Win for Punk Rock'

Backstage, Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz and Joe Trohman explain why Green Day are their "reference point for everything"

Fall Out Boy inducts Green Day into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty

Fall Out Boy played an afternoon show on Saturday in D.C., but they weren't going to miss inducting Green Day into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame that night in Cleveland. Backstage, they talked about what the punk trio means to them.

What did it feel like to stand up there with those guys at that peak moment of their career?
Pete Wentz: One of the coolest things about Green Day to me is being in a working rock band or working punk rock band, Green Day represents all of us. So seeing them up there is absolutely amazing. We played in D.C. today and they were like, can you guys do this? And it's a big deal. I can't think of any other band we would want to do that for.

Joe Trohman: It's crazy. When Pete and I got together and started what would become Fall Out Boy there were literally three bands we wanted to emulate: the Descendants, Saves the Day and Green Day. I remember growing up with Dookie, watching the "Basket Case" video, listening to the stuff on Lookout Records. To stand up there and present them the award... I can't really believe it, to be honest. 

What do they mean to you in how you guide your own careers?
Patrick Stump: This isn't lip service: Every time we're at one of those points in our career, turning points, literally every time Green Day comes up because we look at how they handle things. When you look at their track record at every stage of the game, they do kind of the coolest thing they could do – the most raddest, honest thing you can do as an artist. Bringing people onstage, putting out a folk record and putting out American Idiot, which was a ballsy record

Wentz: People talk about Green Day and [whether they're] punk rock, and it's not like they're domesticated. Green Day's threat level is very high. People had kind of written them off and American Idiot came out and it smashed you in the face, you know? Around every corner they've made the decision to do what Green Day wants to do, which is sometimes turning left when everyone expected them to turn right. 

Trohman: We use them as a model because we can relate to how they started. They started from humble beginnings, a basement band sleeping on people's floors, the Ford 15-passenger. We did the same stuff. They're our reference point for everything. They went from the basement band to the giant commercial-success band.

It's cool to see their kids and families here.
Stump: That's not something we ignore. They've really been with people they trust for a long time, and they've made it a family. You watch a lot of bands totally drop the ball on that, and they're amazing at it.

Trohman: It's easy when you're spending time with people constantly, it's easy to hate them. And they've spent 20 years together in small rooms: I'm sure they've had their personal up and downs, but they've come out stronger 

Stump: This wasn't just a win for Green Day. It was a win for the whole thing. I mean it was a win for punk rock in general.

Wentz: They're always kicking doors down

Billy Joe said, "My whole record collection is here." What's it like to be here?
Wentz: It's almost overwhelming. We're in the room with two Beatles. That's fucking crazy.

Stump: It's so surreal you almost get dulled to it. You look around and are like, "There's the Beatles, there's Stevie Wonder." Then you're like, "Oh yeah, we're sitting at the table with Beck."

Wentz: The excitement can't catch up with the insanity.

What's it like sitting with Beck?
Pete: Oh, it was great. He told us about the first time he met Green Day, and he told the story in such an amazing, funny way. He made us feel very comfortable.