On Tap magazine
Fall Out Boy can definitely claim its fair share of the U.S. emo empire with their emotionally driven punk rock that expresses deep thoughts, feelings and angst to the masses. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have tabloid-friendly bass player Pete Wentz — known for his lyric writing as well as his relationship with pop starlet wife Ashlee Simpson-Wentz — to rev up the band’s public profile. "Yeah, I think it’s pretty weird seeing him on TV all the time, people invading our space," said Fall Out Boy drummer Andy Hurley. "I definitely don’t see him as a celebrity, and I don’t think of him as famous, because we’re all good friends, making good music and touring. I try not to watch a lot of TV, except for ‘Lost’ on iTunes." But a relationship with a famous pop star did not make FOB the band it is today. They have built up a loyal following through relentless touring, racking up more than 1200 shows since they started out in Chicago clubs in 2000. Crowds have grown from a few hundred to tens of thousands worldwide. The 2007 album "Infinity On High" was lauded by critics and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. "Infinity" was one of the most highly anticipated albums of that year due to the success of 2005’s "From Under The Cork Tree," which spent 72 weeks on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Wentz may get the magazine covers, but his tongue-in-cheek lyrics have helped FOB make the band what it is today. While many bands would have taken some time off after such a successful album, FOB felt it was necessary to come back in 2008 with "Folie à Deux." "There were big changes going on in the (cultural) environment, and that gave us inspiration," said Hurley. "We’ve been touring six years straight, and then recording with no break. But we saw what was going on around us and it just felt right." The lead single off the album is "I Don’t Care," an incredibly catchy riff-driven biting criticism of an American society that’s far too consumer driven. The chorus sums it all up: "I don’t care what you think as long as it’s about me/The best of us can find happiness in misery." "It’s the way the economy went, the way people were buying stuff, making a quick buck, the credit companies giving loans to people who couldn’t afford them," says Hurley. "People were selfish enough to want things they couldn’t afford. That’s fueled by a machine that portrays this American dream that you want to achieve." The band, which also features vocalists/guitarists Patrick Stump and Joe Trohman, displays its criticism for the former Bush administration in full force in the off-the-wall ballad "America’s Suitehearts." They chose to release their album shortly after the election to help usher in the new administration and say good riddance to the old. Even the album’s title is a play on words. "Folie" is an American psychiatric term that literally means a madness shared by two. "It’s just a metaphor for pop culture, American culture, the consumer, the corporate world, politics and the masses," said Hurley. And while Wentz, Simpson and their adventures with the paparazzi can certainly be an example of this madness, don’t look for any clues into Pete’s personal life in the album. Wentz purposely wrote lyrics from the perspective of his bandmates, meaning no mention of Simpson Wentz or their baby. "I feel that this album is a natural step for us, a natural progression, a natural evolution from our last record," said Hurley. "I think it’s my (one of my) favorite records that we’ve done. It’s our most together record in that we’ve all added the most to it. It’s our most energetic since our first record, not that we ever lost it, but I feel this record took that (young) spirit and brought out our best." Fall Out Boy performs with Cobra Starship at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, Saturday, April 25. 5 p.m. doors. For more information on Fall Out Boy, visit www.falloutboyrock.com.