Fall Out Boy is about to kick off a tour promoting an album that’s been delayed until next year. But the group is OK with that, according to bassist Pete Wentz.
“There’s part of us that’s like, ‘Well, we probably should have named it something different,'” Wentz tells Billboard about the tour for the quartet’s seventh album, Mania. The trek kicks off Friday (Oct. 20) in Cleveland with dates into mid-November, but the album was pushed to January in order for Fall Out Boy to complete it to its satisfaction.
“It’s one of those things where we made the decision to push it back on our own. I think it would be different if it was a decision that was not in our hands, so then we’d feel like we had to make certain changes. But since it’s in our hands we can do what we want. We can still play the songs that we want, so we’re going to play three or four songs off it. It’s within our control.”
Wentz adds that the show is “the biggest production that we’ve probably ever done as a band. It’s super visual. It’s still based on the album because I made the visuals before we finished the album. We live in a hip-hop world, a dance world, so it’s cool to have a couple of rock bands that are played on the radio and also can play in arenas. That’s what the staging’s supposed to be. It’s supposed to be a big rock show.”
Fall Out Boy has finished recording Mania, working with producers such as Dave Sardi, Butch Walker, Illangelo, Jesse Shatkin and Neal Avron. The range of the set, according to Wentz, is demonstrated by its first two singles, the EMD-influenced “Young And Menace,” which came out during April, and “Champion,” which followed in June (a third, “The Last Of The Real Ones,” came out last month).
“I think of the last two records (2013’s Save Rock And Roll and 2015’s American Beauty/American Psycho) as kind of one album cycle. Sonically they’re very similar,” Wentz explains. “I think (Mania) pushes the ball forward. ‘Young And Menace’ is the most extreme; That’s to me like when you hard reset your computer and you attempt to get it working again. And then, ‘Champion’s’ probably more what people could have expected from the last album. I think the album’s just between those for the most part. There’s some weird stuff, but I don’t think anything’s much weirder than ‘Young And Menace’ and I don’t think there’s anything as straight down the middle as ‘Champion,’ either.”
After its own tour wraps on Nov. 18, Fall Out Boy will be part of this year’s iHeartradio Jingle Ball Tour starting Dec. 4 in Saint Paul, Minn., and heads to Europe on Jan. 8 for what Wentz says will be a year heavily spent touring overseas. “We’ll do some underplay shows, and we’re trying to get to some emerging markets, for us, places we haven’t been before like China or India, those kinds of places,” he says. Wentz and his bandmates are also hoping to be spending some time during the next two weeks rooting for their home town Chicago Cubs, although even the bassist says a 3-1 deficit to the Los Angeles Dodgers feels insurmountable.
“I mean, four in a row’s a tall order with the way the Dodgers are playing,” Wentz says, “but I have faith.”
PHOTO: Pamela Littky