While suburban Chicago-bred pop-punk-rock outfit Fall Out Boy didn’t exactly Save Rock and Roll – also the title of their 2013 album – they did manage to resuscitate their musical career.
After a three-year hiatus that followed disappointing sales and mixed reviews of their last album, 2008’s Folie a Deux, and a troubled tour where audiences sometimes booed the new material, the group rebounded with a No. 1 album last year.
They’ve also hooked up with Paramore for a North American trek called the Monumentour that visits Toronto’s Molson Canadian Amphitheatre on Wednesday for its lone stop on this side of the border.
“When we made this album Folie a Deux, I think we maybe reached a little beyond what people kind of expected or were comfortable with at the time and some of it maybe fell short,” said FOB’s guitarist-lyricist Pete Wentz during a teleconference call.
“I don’t really know. I’m not really sure... But at the same time I think that that paved the way for us to do Save Rock and Roll and move beyond what people would have normally expected.”
Wentz said the group haven’t “officially” begun work on their next album and fans should prepare themselves yet again for something different.
“Like doing the Young Blood Chronicles (a series of videos for every song on Save Rock and Roll) was a lot of fun for us, doing the film or whatever,” said Wentz, 35. “If anything I think that we’re far more open now to doing something that’s like probably outside of what people would consider our genre or who we are. So the music that we’ve written so far, to me it’s sounds different than any of the other stuff we’ve ever worked on.”
Wentz describes the Young Blood Chronicles as “a passion project” that will eventually be released on DVD.
“Fall Out Boy in 2014 is really about the curation of ideas as much as it is about creating albums... I think that Pharrell curating this art show that goes along with his album is like just a great other stream that you can examine as an artist right now.”
The Young Blood Chronicles ended dramatically with the last gore-filled video for the title track featuring an entirely white-clad Elton John, 67, covered in blood.
“It was crazy,” said Wentz. “When we were like jamming in the room, all of the rest of our instruments are muted obviously, but a piano you don’t really mute ... So to hear Elton playing Save Rock and Roll live ... it was really just epic. He was just doing different takes every time and it really was interesting. The thing that I think is lost on a lot of people is like there’s a wink with everything. He’s really funny, really, really sharp, and I think people are kind like, ‘Is he’s a diva?’ It’s not that. It’s really sharp. People that don’t get it aren’t really in on the joke. He’s just pretty unfiltered.”
Wentz said he was there when John, who advised FOB early on to keep the Save Rock and Roll album title and polarizing cover (two boys in Burma, one in monk robes, the other in a t-shirt and jeans smoking a cigarette), was covered in blood.
“I really wanted to see it. Right before the shot I remember the first A.D. was like, ‘Don’t get any blood on his face! That’s the one thing!’ and then the blood (ended up on his face.) And it was like, ‘Well, I think this is the end of the video.’ I remembered when it happened everyone was like, ‘Oh, my God, this is going to be so explosive!” And then he just laughed about it all and took a shower and left. I haven’t seen obviously all sides of Elton John but seeing the side where he’s super-charismatic and super funny and witty was great.”