No, you’re not high — Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa are really on tour together.
That pop-punk band your weird cousin who worked at Hot Topic listened to 10 years ago and, the rapper who looks like a homeless woman, might be the most anomalous pairing of any concert tour this summer — but they’re actually “kindred spirits,” says Pete Wentz.
The Fall Out Boy bassist says his chart-topping “Boys of Zummer” co-headliner has more in common with his group than people may suspect.
“We’re both trying to articulate our strengths into pop culture,” Wentz said. “Wiz is obviously a rapper, but he’s also got one foot in that and one foot in pop culture. I think Fall Out Boy has that legacy as well with rock music and pop culture. It’s interesting because we both have that island to ourselves. We don’t necessarily have someone to look to in our own genre. It makes sense to look to somebody who feels the same way.”
Weekender caught up with Wentz before his genre-defying band takes the stage on July 4 at the Pavilion at Montage. Wentz discussed the tour, his brotherhood with fellow band mates Andy Hurley, Joe Trohman and Patrick Stump, and surviving the music industry for more than a decade.
Weekender: What does it mean to you to be spending the Fourth of July with your fans?
Pete Wentz: It means a lot. I think the Fourth of July is a fun one. It’s a holiday everybody in the United States can get behind. It’s pretty easy to tailgate and watch fireworks and celebrate the history of our country. We have a song called “The Fourth of July” on our new record, so we look forward to actually being able to perform it then.
W: To many, you’re the face of Fall Out Boy. Being successful in your own right, why is it important to you to still be involved with the group?
PW: I think that our band has always kind of been a gang. We got into this together. We’re brothers. So I don’t think that it would make sense for us to do one thing or another without each other. I can’t see myself doing anything without them.
W: There was a time [2009-2012] your group took a break and focused on doing things without each other.
PW: We got to a point where we weren’t interacting with each other. We were interacting through managers. We weren’t talking or communicating. We didn’t appreciate each other as a band.
W: The hiatus seemed to fix something. More than a decade into the game, you’re at the height of your career. Your latest album, “American Beauty/American Psycho,” saw your most successful debut. How did your time off help evolve the band to get where you’re at now?
PW: I think now we’re able to know when to give each other space and not push each other’s buttons; the kind of stuff you don’t know when you just get into it. It’s impossible to learn that stuff without going through it.
W: You mentioned that you didn’t appreciate each other in the past. What do you appreciate or admire about your band-mates presently?
PW: Andy is like the glue of the band. When it’s all a giant tornado and everything’s falling apart, he’s right there always holding things together more than anything. He doesn’t talk a lot, but when he does, it’s always something important. Joe, one of the things that I admire about him, is he’s always down for a good time. We were in Italy playing a show in Milan and me and him went to Florence on a whim. We did a two-day trip in Florence. Just hanging out. He’s always down for stuff like that and I admire that. And Patrick is probably one of the most talented people that I know. Guitar. Singing. Songwriting. I would say that I admire his skill-set.
W: Sounds like you, Andy, Joe and Patrick have been through a lot together. What’s the secret to your longevity as a group and a long-standing presence in the music industry?
PW: The big part about survival is just surviving. You have to evolve and adapt. You have to try different things. Some things won’t work. Some of it will work. You just have to figure things out as you go along. But the fans are probably the biggest part of us being able to stay around.
W: Speaking of your fans, they’ve been very invested in your music over the years. But they’ve also taken an interest in your personal life — which you’ve been eminently candid about; especially when it comes to having bipolar disorder. You’ve been open about not taking medication — instead opting for cognitive therapy — to manage your mental illness. A lot of people might not understand that.
PW: Most of the people I know feel sad sometimes or elation sometimes — to different degrees. I think that to say there’s this one-size-fits-all way to take care of it is just not true. Everyone figures themselves out in different ways.
W: Is there any other misconception you’d like to myth-bust about bipolar disorder?
PW: I think a lot of people perceive being bipolar as something you shouldn’t talk out about. I think there should be no shame to talk about it.
W: Switching gears back to the tour, what can concert-goers expect?
PW: I think that this will be the biggest incarnation of a record we’ve done before. But hopefully we’re doing something when we’re on stage that will inspire kids to pick up instruments.
Weekender is giving away some Fall Out Boy tickets to the first few readers who send a SnapChat of them holding the latest issue of the paper. Snap — and follow — us at TheWeekender93 for your pair of tickets.
Reach Justin at 570.991.6652 and follow him #PartyLikeAJournalist on Instagram @justinadambrown