“This is the first time the paparazzi made it to the gate!” Pete Wentz exclaims, rushing into the L.A. studio where Fall Out Boy are working on the follow-up to 2007’s platinum Infinity on High. “We recorded in secret. The tabloids think I just go to Starbucks and hang out at clubs — they don’t know what I do for a job.”
Working with Neal Avron — the primary producer of FOB’s last two records — the quartet made a decision to dial back the heavily multitracked sound of their last album. “With the Babyface collaborations, the R&B influence and vocal acrobatics, Infinity really opened up the lane,” Wentz says. “This time, we focused on making an ambitious record without giving the impression of making an ambitious record.” That proved challenging. “Making this record has been painful,” says singer Patrick Stump. “Pete and I fought more than we have in a long time. I threw something across the room over a major-to-minor progression.”
The first single, “I Don’t Care,” rides a Gary Glitter-style stomp with a wry chorus: “I don’t care what you think, as long as it’s about me.” Another standout is a still-untitled power-pop cut fueled by a pingponging guitar riff. “Am I the only one that hears ELO?” Guitarist Joe Trohman asks as the song fades out. “Enuff Z’nuff’s been mentioned twice,” Stump adds, “and I have a neon peace sign.”
The title of the album, Folie a Deux, is a psychiatric term that refers to psychosis shared between two people. “It’s like when your fans want you to be crazier, so you become crazier,” explains Wentz, who says the concept fits into the record’s theme, which loosely deals with the bassist-lyricist’s growing celebrity.
With the release only two months away, FOB are still finalizing cameos — they are hoping to get Kanye West, Pharrell and Panic at the Disco — and nailing down their famously long song titles. Still, you can be sure that the disc will be ready for Election Day. “It’s going to be one of the biggest days of the year, if not the decade,” says Wentz. “Why not be a part of it?”
[From Issue 1061 — September 18, 2008]