If you don’t know who Fall Out Boy is, you should consider getting rid of the rock that you live under. This pop-punk four-piece dropped a bomb on the charts in 2005 with their major label debut, From Under the Cork Tree. With help from singles like “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” and “Dance, Dance,”From Under the Cork Tree quickly went Double Platinum and gained Fall Out Boy a Grammy nomination for “Best New Artist” in ‘06. The band has recently released Infinity on High, which reached #1 on the Billboard Top 200 in its first week and continues to radiate its catchy, tongue-in-cheek rock vibe across the globe.
The members of Fall Out Boy have come a long way since their 2001 union in suburban Wilmette, Illinois. Vocalist/guitarist Patrick Stump, bassist/lyricist Pete Wentz, drummer Andrew Hurley, and guitarist Joe Trohman had all been in and out of various units connected to Chicago’s underground hardcore scene before forming this arena-filling titan also known as FOB. Their success has given them the opportunity to collaborate with other industry giants such as Babyface, Neil Avron, and Timbaland.
Patrick Stump contributes to Fall Out Boy’s hit-making formula with his killer vocal skills, contagious energy, on-stage charisma, and solid guitar elements. He began playing the drums at the tender age of ten and soon after, moved on to the guitar. Although mostly self-taught, he sites his father as an early influence and states that because of him, there was constantly a guitar available. “I showed up to one drum lesson and they were telling me about quarter notes and sixteenth notes. I still don’t know how to read (music). I went to one guitar lesson and they taught me all the chords my dad had already taught me. The way I learned to play guitar was that I wanted to write songs and there was always a guitar at my house because of dad. I didn’t really play seriously. Then I started Fall Out Boy and ended up being the lead singer, which was kind of an accident. I was writing a lot of songs on guitar but just because you can plunk out chords, doesn’t mean you can really play. We were a five-piece and one of our guitar players quit, so I had to learn.” And learn he did.
As the band spent more time recording, Patrick noticed that the VOX AC30 had a very frequent presence in the studios that they’d work in. “Everybody had an AC30. It’s one of those things where if you’re going to record, it’s a necessity to have an AC30.” He decided to get one for himself. That classic AC30 tone helps his playing perfectly compliment that of Joe Trohman’s while giving Patrick a unique presence in the mix from times of soft and sweet to those of cranked and crunchy. He says, “The clean has a really warm tone, but it can multi-task. As a clean amp, it does a lot at once. As a dirty amp, I think it’s a really great lead amp, which is made very obvious by Brian May and all the other great guitar players who have used it. There is a song on the new record (“The Take Over, the Breaks Over”) which was pretty much made and conceived on an AC30. That song totally relies on the sound of the amp.”
Patrick describes FOB’s last recording experience as “a lot of fun,” and with the cast of pros that chipped in, how can it <I>not</I>be? “We got to work with Babyface, Timbaland, Neil (Avron) again – who has been a good friend of mine. If anyone taught me anything about VOX, it was Neal. It’s like the number one recommended guitar amp for a studio.” Don’t take his word for it… try one yourself!
Stay up-to-date with Patrick Stump and the rest of Fall Out Boy at www6.falloutboyrock.com/falloutboy/blog.php!
By Evan O’Brien
Photo Credit: David Studarus