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Members include Andy Hurley, drums; Patrick Stump, guitar, vocals; Joe Trohman, guitar; Peter Wentz, vocals, bass. Addresses: Record company--Islands Records, 825 Eighth Ave., New York, NY 10019. Website--Fall Out Boy Official Website: http://www.falloutboyrock.com/..

Fall Out Boy rocketed to emo/pop-punk stardom, going from a nameless band in 2000 to winning the MTV2 Award at MTV's Video Music Award in 2005 for their popular first single "Sugar, We're Going Down" from the album From Under the Cork Tree. Comprised of lead singer, bassist, and lyricist Peter Wentz, guitarists Patrick Stump and Joe Trohman, and drummer Andy Hurley, Fall Out Boy has combined success with a large dose of irreverence.

The band formed haphazardly through connections the members made in the hardcore music scene around Chicago. Trohman invited Stump to sing with him, eventually adding Wentz and Hurley. All of them had been part of other bands; Hurley had drummed for the somewhat legendary metalcore band Racetraitor.

Wentz, Stump, Trohman, and Hurley performed as a nameless band until one night they asked the crowd they were performing for to give them a name. Stump told Joe Kominowski of DrivenFarOff.com that "it was kind of an accident." What they got was a reference to a character named Fallout Boy, which came from the popular animated series The Simpsons, and it subsequently became the name for their band.

In 2002 Fall Out Boy released a split album with Project Rocket on Uprising Records. This was followed a year later by Fall Out Boy's Evening Out with Your Girlfriend, an EP released by Uprising Records. It turned out to be an eventful year for the group, as they were signed to the Gainesville, Florida, label Fueled By Ramen. At the same time, the group signed a distribution deal with Island Records, which also included a right of first refusal for the band's follow-up record.

Take This To Your Grave was recorded in Madison, Wisconsin, at Smart Studios. Sean O'Keefe, who had produced pop-punk favorites like Motion City Soundtrack, engineered Fall Out Boy's major label debut. Take This To Your Grave was mostly written out of the anger and hurt that Wentz experienced when he discovered his girlfriend had cheated on him, but while the songs are dark, they are also humorous, revealing a balance between the maudlin and the comic.

Critics found much to like on the album. The group's performance at South by Southwest, a showcase of bands from around the country that takes place yearly in Austin, Texas, was also well received. Despite the critical attention, there were still some hurdles to overcome. Wentz explained to James Montgomery of VH1.com what it was like touring for Take This To Your Grave with the band Less Than Jake: "On the Less Than Jake tour, we were so green they had us open for a magician. It was really depressing. They were like 'OK, it's you guys, then the magician, then us.' It was insane."

Even though their first experience touring left something to be desired, Fall Out Boy eventually gained a spot in 2004 on the coveted independent music tour, the Vans Warped Tour. Of the several stages used on the Warped Tour, Fall Out Boy played the small one. One of the band's most memorable moments came when the crowd for the show in Michigan at the Pontiac Silverdome swelled to more than 4,000, about ten times more than could be accommodated. When the barricades collapsed and the stage became unstable, the band was forced to end their set prematurely. Wentz told Christine Fuoco of liveDaily, "Some of the kids sang one of our songs by themselves. It was cool."

Using such influences as the 1980s edgy alternative pop band The Cure, as well as that of British singer/songwriter Elvis Costello, Wentz and Stump have collaborated extensively on the lyrics and music for Fall Out Boy. Wentz writes lyrics, while Stump works on the music. They tend to use the down time on their tours to create. Stump explained to Fuoco, "We're not in bands because we want the MTV. We're in bands because we enjoy doing it. ... At any given moment we're putting something together."

In 2005 the group's ability to put something together launched them to the top of some of the music industry's most influential lists. Working with Island Records, Fall Out Boy released From Under the Cork Tree in the spring of 2005. It debuted at number nine on the Billboard 200 most popular albums, while their first single, "Sugar, We're Going Down," was so popular on MTV's TRL that it became the number one song within a month of the album's release. Explaining the album's incredible popularity, Wentz told Fuoco, "I think it's just that our fans have always been cult-like and [use] word of mouth. We achieved all that without radio and MTV." Of the album, Stump explained to Fuoco, "It was more focused this time around. The music had more backbone to accommodate that."

In the summer of 2005, Fall Out Boy went on the Vans Warped Tour for a second time. Instead of playing the small stage, they were now on the main stage. Following the tour, Fall Out Boy received the MTV2 Award, given out at the 2005 Video Music Awards held in Miami, Florida. As 2005 came to a close, Fall Out Boy planned an even more extensive tour, including an opening gig for the Nintendo Fusion Tour. With a nod toward their irreverence and DIY (do-it-yourself) roots, they also mentioned to Montgomery their desire to do a tour of VFW halls and other small venues.

The band's contract with Island Records has left them plenty of opportunity to do what they please, while providing them with the means to distribute their music to an even wider audience. They have had time to ponder what their lives were like before they became MTV stars. Hurley described the attraction of the good old days to Montgomery: "Things were way more fun because it was more dangerous. ... Now the only decision we have to make is which pool of money to sleep in. And that's not really that fun."

by Eve Hermann

Fall Out Boy's Career

Formed in Wilmette, IL, 2000; released split record with Project Rocket, Uprising Records, 2002; released Fall Out Boy's Evening Out with Your Girlfriend (EP), with Uprising Records; signed with Fueled by Ramen, released Take This to Your Grave, then signed with Island Records, 2003; part of Vans Warped Tour, 2004; From Under the Cork Tree released, 2005.

Fall Out Boy's Awards

MTV2 Video Music Award, Best Video, for "Sugar We're Going Down," 2005.

Famous Works

Further Reading



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