Fall Out Boy are returning to New Zealand this week to play Auckland's The Trusts Arena on Wednesday, March 7th in support of their recently released new album, 'M A N I A' - the band's first trip to our shores in three years.
We caught up with Pete Wentz ahead of their upcoming Auckland show to discuss all things 'M A N I A'...
...there is a lot more of me that wants to live with purpose now than maybe ten or twelve years ago, and I think it's really important to laugh everyday and to take in all of the beautiful moments but also all of the frustrating moments - I didn't have that perspective before.
COUP DE MAIN: Important question: Can you please play your cover of 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)' at your New Zealand show this month?
PETE WENTZ: <laughs> Maybe! That would be good!
CDM: It's so good.
PETE: Oh thanks! We don't really know how to really play it because we learnt it in the studio, but maybe, that'd be cool. We've been talking about doing that cover for a while.
CDM: Are the 'M A N I A' monsters/llamas going to be coming to New Zealand with you?
PETE: I don't know! I want them to, I don't know how well they travel, we'll see.
CDM: Why did you want to personify the themes of self-identification and the human condition with the two monsters?
PETE: When we first were creating them, I thought a lot about that movie 'Elf' and how he [Will Ferrell's character Buddy] wakes up and he's like, 'Oh my god, maybe I'm not an elf,' and there is probably a dark version of that where you feel like you fit in but you don't fit in and you realise you're different than everybody else. That is what the original creation was. It was also supposed to kind of be like, monsters don't always look like monsters I guess, and then it just kind of carried on. They were never supposed to be in all the videos and all the merch and all that stuff but it just kind of became a bigger thing, which is great. It feels a little bit like ShowBiz Pizza or Chuck E. Cheese or something.
CDM: Do you still write all of the lyrics for all Fall Out Boy songs?
PETE: Yeah, pretty much. I think sometimes Patrick will move stuff around, but yeah, it's all from this strange mind.
CDM: Do you view your lyrics like writing letters to your past selves? Or like writing a letter and throwing it away in a bottle out to sea?
PETE: Good question! Sometimes it's like writing to your past self. I think that in the case of an album like 'Infinity On High', it was kind of like finding the median between what the world thought that we were and what I thought that we were and trying to regulate the two. And in the case of 'M A N I A', I think that lots of times, the little flaws that we have, we try to hide them, and I think the truth is that is what makes you part of humanity and interconnects you with everybody else and everybody has them and all the little ones are very interesting. It's so interesting to me to see other people's tics and their little things. I think a lot of 'M A N I A' is written from that perspective.
CDM: In 'Champion' are you writing specifically to yourself or sort of generally?
PETE: There are moments in 'Champion' that for sure are to myself, but I think that more than that, I always thought of a kid like Napoleon Dynamite or the little guy from 'Rushmore'. The guy or girl that is odd and doesn't fit in, but is pretty brilliant and is creative - that is kind of what I thought about, which I guess is a past version of myself kind of. <laughs>
CDM: In 2008's 'She's My Winona' you wrote, "Hell or glory / I don't want anything in between," and now a decade later in 'Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea' you say, "I testify if I die in my sleep / Then know that my life was just a killer dream." What's changed for you over the last decade that you now feel more satisfied with your life's achievements?
PETE: That whole album, I was about to have a kid. My kid is nine now and I was really not sure if I was ready for that and not sure where I fit in the world and I wasn't sure about a lot of stuff and I didn't really know what was to come, and I think that since then for me personally, having kids brought out these pure feelings in me that I didn't know if I had before and I think that was a big part of it. I think the other part of it is that there is a lot more of me that wants to live with purpose now than maybe ten or twelve years ago, and I think it's really important to laugh everyday and to take in all of the beautiful moments but also all of the frustrating moments - I didn't have that perspective before. I'm sure ten years from now I'll have a different perspective, but it's almost like you have a second chance at the whole thing, the whole go-around of life in general, you know? A lot of people feel like that, if you're lucky to have a second chance at it, don't blow it, and so I think I'm just open to having more fun and being in touch with myself and being out of touch with myself and all that stuff. I think I feel more okay being myself.
CDM: I really like when Patrick repeats, "But what's inside you? But what's inside you?" in 'The Last Of The Real Ones'. How long do you think it takes to get to really know another human?
PETE: Oh man, I think that in some ways it could be forever right? Because depending on who we're talking about, I think that with some people there is just a depth and it just goes on and on and you think they're going to turn left and they turn right and it's just very interesting. To me the interesting people that I have as friends and who I have been lucky enough to have in my life, I think that there is like a depth - you think you've got them and you don't, and I think that is what is so interesting about them. I've met people who are like, not that I haven't figured them out or something like that, but there is just no attempt at having anything beneath the surface, it's just a facade - and that's cool, it's just not for me really.
CDM: I love 'Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)'! I think it's my favourite song on the new album, I'm really looking forward to seeing it live.
PETE: Thank you!
CDM: In the music video, at one point the Fall Out Boys are available to purchase as a special commemorative set on sale for $99,899.99. How did you decide that's how much you're worth?
PETE: In the first half of Fall Out Boy's life we worked with this guy Alan Ferguson on pretty much 90% of our videos, and he does like Jay-Z and Solange and all that stuff now, and so since then we've come back and we're working with a guy named Brendan Walter, so with matters like that we let him pick. If the band decides and makes those decisions, it's always not going to come out funny probably, if you decide how much, so he did all that stuff, and I think there's definitely a moment where I'm very much on sale. I was like, 'Oh my god, I'm very cheap!' <laughs>
CDM: Who's a more dynamic duo? Tom Hanks and Wilson? Or Patrick and Wilson?
PETE: You're never going to beat Tom Hanks and Wilson, but Patrick's still pretty funny to watch do anything. He's just an interesting guy, an interesting lad. But I think on a technicality, Tom Hanks is just... You don't want to go up against Tom Hanks.
CDM: On a desert island, who would be a better friend to have? Wilson or Franklin The Sheep?
PETE: I've spent more nights talking to... Franklin lives in my guest-room, because my three-year-old is kind of scared of him. He lives in my house and I talk to him all the time, so I would say Franklin.
CDM: Patrick's singing on 'Heaven's Gate' is amazing! Maybe his best vocals ever. How proud of him were you after hearing the finished studio version of that song?
PETE: It's really interesting, because it's hard to be proud when you're working on the thing together. You always feel like it's an ego moment, even though it's Patrick's voice, it's still like, 'I'm so proud!' or whatever, but at the same time... I always knew that Patrick could rip a vocal like that. I'm really glad that the world gets to know now. He always sings like that when we're just hanging out or whatever, but I'm really glad that everybody else gets to hear it. He's just super talented.
Fall Out Boy will play Auckland's The Trusts Arena on Wednesday, March 7th. Click here to purchase tickets from Ticketek now.
Watch the 'Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)' music video below...