[vc_row][vc_column offset=”vc_col-lg-offset-1 vc_col-lg-10 vc_col-md-offset-1 vc_col-md-10″][vc_column_text]”Maybe this dooms it, but I feel the most pleased with this record than I’ve ever felt before,” starts Patrick Stump. “The record isn’t even out yet, and I love it.” Good news everyone, Fall Out Boy’s ‘M A N I A’ is finally done.
“It feels great that it’s actually done,” adds Pete Wentz. “You know when you’re driving somewhere, and your GPS fails, but you still make it there, and there’s a little bit of wonder at the fact that you made it? Well, that’s how I feel because we got off course a little bit but we still made it to the end.”
For a brief moment, it seemed like Fall Out Boy might get lost along the way. Announcing the record’s release before finishing it was always meant to capture the excitement of that moment “when the coach is like, we’re down by two points, and there’s one second left, you’ve got to make the shot.” The September release date came and went, delayed until the start of the new year so the band could get it just right.
“It was weird because inspiration comes when it comes. It’s not a thing that happens on a clock. Everybody knows that, that’s not news, but one of the things that happens sometimes is that you’ll find yourself building up to something and you can feel it. ‘Oh man, I think I have something here’, but then you run out of time, but you know there’s something really good here. What we have so far is good, but there’s something really special coming, and it’s just not ready yet. That was one of those things where you ask yourself, do you just keep the date where it is because you said somewhere along the line that you were going to put it out that day, or do you let yourself push it back and follow that thread of inspiration? That’s what we did, and I feel so good about it.”
Along the way, ‘M A N I A’ has shifted shape. ‘Young And Menace’ throws neon paint over a new canvas, while ‘Champion’ echoes the past, all uplifting anthem and powerhouse return, before ‘The Last Of The Real Ones’ gets misty-eyed. The latest taste, ‘Hold Me Close (Or Don’t)’ further blurs the lines of expectations. “I don’t think people have been able to get a grasp of the record yet,” grins Pete. He was inspired by a conversation with his therapist about almost committing to opinions; she said “you have to stop saying ‘I kinda’ about everything,” Pete explains. The track circles that “wishy-washy neurosis but at the same time, it’s a love song for the times we live in. It’s a love song for people who like swiping right and who watch two-minute YouTube videos.”
So far, every track from ‘M A N I A’ feels joyful. In their own way, each one is a love song. “It was easy when we were younger to tap into these really big emotions,” explains Pete. Now they’re older, “these ones are a little bit more subtle, a little bit harder to figure out. And they’re not perfect, they’re messy, and they’re flawed, but I think that’s what interesting about them. I feel like we live in a world that’s full of abject negativity and I don’t really want to add to that.”
Both Patrick and Pete agree that ‘M A N I A’ “is a progression. It feels like it’s pushing the ball forward.” “It’s pretty broad in terms of sound,” furthers Patrick. “That was one of the things that came into focus early on. It’s not a thing you can pin down, it’s a lot of different things, and I think that’s neat.”
Someone once told Patrick something, and it’s stuck ever since he heard it. “One of the things about Fall Out Boy is that you have this natural thing that’s you,” he recites. “Pete’s words, my voice, the way Andy plays drums and Joe plays his guitar; there’s something natural about those things that comes through in any context. Or it seems to. If we played ‘Old McDonald’, there would be something inherently Fall Out Boy about the way that we’d do it, so that was a bit of a license to go on some musical vacations and do some weird things. There were some pretty out there moments. This is one of our more all over the place records,” he promises. “But in a good way. Listening to it back, I’m excited. I just want people to hear it now. I just want it to be out. We’re weeks away from release, and I don’t want to wait that long.”