Fall Out Boy on new album ‘Mania’ and their controversial evolution from pop punk

NME chatted with the Chicago band on Facebook Live.

Fall Out Boy’s seventh studio album, the eccentrically punctuated ‘M A N I A’, has already proved divisive – and it’s not even out until Friday (January 19)! Teaser singles such as ‘Young and Menace’ and ‘Champion’ saw them depart from the pop-punk sound with which they made their name and explore EDM and electro-influenced territory – and the rest of the album follows suit.

Last week, the band joined NME on Facebook live, where we talked about the new album before putting across some questions sent in by fans. Explaining the new direction, bassist and vocalist Pete Wentz explained said the Chicago band’s music “should make you feel something”, adding: “When I got into Metallica, it was The Black Album. Some of the stuff afterwards, I was like, ‘Well, why aren’t they doing ‘Enter Sandman Pt. II’? Then afterwards you kinda realised they’re progressing and because of that it’s forced you to have new thoughts and progressions.”


Guitarist and frontman Patrick Stump added: “We’re a band that has made no secret of experimenting and changing. [We’ve been] playing around with different sounds on most of our albums at this point. How long have we been a band? 17 years? To have anyone be surprised that we’re doing what we’re doing – it’s like, were you paying any attention?”

Pete described lead single ‘Young And Menace’ as “a palette cleanser” after their thematically similar last two albums, revealing: “When Patrick first played it, it was like, ‘Wow!’ It was different. It was like jumping into a cold tub of water or something. It was like: ‘This is kind of crazy – but I love it.’”

It was then onto the fan questions. One asked: “Is there anything you miss from playing basement shows?”

Patrick replied: “One some level it was neat to play basement shows because there were no expectations. There was always a microphone that fell over, or an amplifier that exploded. Something would always go wrong. If you made it all the way throught and played all your songs, it felt like an achievement. So that’s kind of a fun thing that I miss.”

Asked by another fan if he feels “more confident in this album than previous albums or eras”, Patrick said: “Yes, I do feel very confident in this one – a lot more than I did when releasing some of the other records. This is the first record we’ve ever put out where I don’t think, ‘Yeah… but that one.’ I love every song on it.’”