Formed in Wilmette, IL in 2001, the Fall Out Boy was an unlikely product of Chicago's hardcore punk scene. With its members Patrick Stump on rhythm guitars and vocals, Pete Wentz on bass, Joe Trohman on lead guitars, and Andy Hurley on drums, the band have dominated the 2000s with hits like "Sugar, We're Goin Down," "The Take Over, The Breaks Over," and "I Don't Care."
By the turn of the decade, the band took a hiatus at the top of their career. While the world moved on, members of the band fought and struggled. Their effort was rewarded with a rejuvenated Fall Out Boy and a career comeback in 2013, reclaiming their position among the best rock bands of the modern era.
Now, the band is set to co-headline the Hella Mega Tour, with fellow rock icons Green Day and Weezer. From their debut, their temporary breakup, and their illustrious return, take a look at how Fall Out Boy rose from their ashes.
A Pop Punk Side Project With A Name That Stuck
What would become Fall Out Boy was first founded by Wentz and Trohman, staples of the local hardcore music scene from the 90s, starting the band as a side project. The two later met Patrick Stump, then a grindcore drummer pushed to the guitar and vocals after sampling showing Wentz and Trohman some of his acoustic recordings. Pete later took Hurley as the drummer, with Hurley initially hesitant and busy to participate.
Joe Trohman went the extra mile, picking up members for practice sessions while Wentz and Stump initially disagreed on the band's name. After creating a list a list of names, one of which was Fall Out Boy (Radioactive Man's sidekick in The Simpsons' universe), the band voted on a name.
In the band's second appearance together, at a southern Illinois university show where they played with hardcore punk band The Killing Tree, Wentz started their set by introducing the band with another name. A member of the audience screamed "F**k that, no, you're Fall Out Boy," and the name stuck with them for the rest of the show, being credited as such by The Killing Tree and Rise Against frontman Tim McIlrath.
The band had a shaky lineup, going through T.J. Kunasch, Brandon Hamm, Ben Rose, and Mike Pareskuwicz, and played any show that would take them. Wentz recalled in an interview with Ryan Downey of Alt Press that they were accepting pizza as payment. They soon released their debut album "Take This To Your Grave," with help from Fueled by Ramen, to critical acclaim.
Rising From Under the Cork Tree to Reaching Infinity on High
The eyes of several media outlets were already on them. Fall Out Boy then released an acoustic EP "My Heart Will Always Be The B-Side To My Tongue," which was their first charting entry to the Billboard 200. The band now enjoyed a smoother songwriting session between Stump and Wentz, but had a setback when Wentz unfortunately suffered from an emotional breakdown, he took some time off and their second album, "From Under the Cork Tree," was released.
Their sophomore album peaked at the ninth spot of the Billboard 200 in 2005, largely due to their breakthrough hit "Sugar, We're Goin Down." The next single from the album, "Dance, Dance," was also a hit across the charts and the band went on tour.
While they have started writing songs during their tour, they finished in the studio and released "Infinity on High" in 2007. It marked a larger step in the band's sound from their mostly punk rock repertoire to a pop-rock sound for a wider audience, mixed with elements from funk, flamenco, and R&B. It was followed by "Folie à Deux" in 2008. It was not as successful as its predecessor, but it spawned the hit "I Don't Care."
Decompressing Before Saving Rock and Roll and The Return To The Top
In promotion of their fourth album, the band went on a tour and had to face the divided fans. Concertgoers booed them for performing the songs in "Folie à Deux." After releasing their greatest hits album the band decided to take a break. Wentz explained that this was not a breakup or a hiatus, but that they were just "decompressing."
The break was not a summer vacation for the members. Andy Hurley later shared with Rolling Stone about the depression he had to go through and Pete Wentz went through a divorce and had to go back to therapy. Patrick Stump tried to continue doing music - recording his debut album "Soul Punk" all by himself, from songwriting to playing all instruments. He was able to marry his longtime girlfriend and shed over sixty pounds. However, during his performances, fans would harass and insult him as he performed.
Bit by bit, the band reformed and started creating new material by 2012. They released "Save Rock and Roll" by April 2013, debuting at No. 1 at the Billboard 200 and spawning the hits "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)," and "The Phoenix."
"Save Rock and Roll" marked a successful renaissance for Fall Out Boy, going on a co-headlining tour with Paramore and following it up with an even more successful album "American Beauty/ American Psycho" in 2015, supported by the ESPN sports theme "Centuries." By 2018, the band again experimented with their seventh album, "Mania," exemplified by the heavy electro-pop sound in its tracks.