Chicago natives Fall Out Boy (L-R — drummer Andy Hurley, bassist/lyricist Pete Wentz, lead singer/guitarist Patrick Stumph and guitarist Joe Trohman) formed their band a little over four years ago, and in doing so began a journey to becoming 2005’s hottest (excuse the cliché) “boy band.” Of course they don’t sport matching outfits and dance around to choreographed songs, but they are of the male gender and they are a band.. so please avoid the hate mail for that comment.
The music isn’t straight pop, nor is it full-on punk.. but it does include elements of both genres. Don’t let that confuse you though, they don’t want to be thought of as a “pop-punk band,” but they’re not emo either just because they express their feelings very vividly.. then again, what real songwriter doesn’t?
The band’s rise to fame hasn’t been easy though. They’ve been turned away from multiple record labels, toured in a run down van, criticized on their music and played to a crowd of people that cover about 6 feet of floor space. Fall Out Boy has faced their share of downfalls, so they continued to play shows for the underground “sceners” and build a good relationship with their fan base. In the spring of 2003 they released their first record Take This To Your Grave after they finally signed with the indie label Fueled By Ramen, “It turned out to be the best decision we’ve ever made,” says Wentz.
Although that’s in the past and this band has a very bright future.
Speaking of Wentz, when he was younger Pete enjoyed reading and one of his favorite books, “The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf was a story of a bull who sat alone beneath a cork tree and took in the scenery instead of battling in a bullfight. That tale stuck with Wentz and became the story behind the title of Fall Out Boy’s latest album on the major label Island/Def Jam Records, From Under The Cork Tree.
From Under The Cork Tree is like reading the band’s own personal diary, their songs are like stories that may be autobiographical or just things that could happen to people. Almost like they’re in a confessional speaking to us on every lyric and we follow along word by word — accompanied by nifty guitar rifts, infectious choruses and straight-to-the-core honesty.
Fall Out Boy has become one of MTV TRL’s quickest chart-toppers with their first single off Cork Tree, “Sugar, We’re Going Down.” It topped the countdown in no time at all and caught the attention of a whole new range and more diverse fan base. While some fans took their mainstream crossover as a diss to the underground “scene,” thinking that they were suddenly sell-outs, other’s welcomed it and looked at it as another accomplishment from the already talented band. They deserve to be noticed for their talent, and it’s not nice to be stingy.
This past August, “Sugar We’re Going Down” was nominated and took home the moon man for the MTV2 award at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards. Wentz described it as being the most important award because it was the fans who voted for them. With that under their belts to go with their now certified gold album (meaning over 500,000 copies sold), an upcoming tour with Nintendo and a stronger-than-ever fan base — do you understand what all the fuss is about now? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
– Courtney Justice, September 2005