CHICAGO – If you're wondering how Pete Wentz feels about becoming a dad or looking for insight into his recent marriage to Ashlee Simpson, don't expect to find any details by listening to Fall Out Boy's new CD, "Folie A Deux."
Even though the bassist is the chief lyricist and the band's tabloid-centric spokesman, for "Folie A Deux," Wentz shifted the focus away from himself and turned it outward onto the world.
Lead singer Patrick Stump calls "Folie A Deux" the band's "statement record."
"(It's) dissecting how self-motivated our culture is," Stump said in a recent interview. "Pete on this record wrote from a very different perspective than he did on previous records."
"Folie A Deux," French for "shared madness of two," was released on Tuesday. It's the third major-label CD for the emo-rockers, who became a multiplatinum success story with the release of their 2005 album, "From Under the Cork Tree," which included the top single "Sugar, We're Goin Down."
While Stump's melodious falsetto anchors the band's sound, it's Wentz who provides the band's emotional content (the group's other members are guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley). In the past, Wentz has worn his heart on the Fall Out Boy's lyrical sleeve, with songs about relationship dramas and painful splits.
Over the past two years, Wentz has become a sought-after star thanks to his high-profile union with Simpson, their new baby (Bronx Mowgli), his turn as TV host on MTV's "FNMTV" and his endless blog postings (Stump has had successful collaborations with the likes of bands like Gym Class Heroes — on Wentz's record label — but has preferred to stay out of the limelight).
But as Wentz's reaches a new high in name recognition, musically, he decided to stop writing as much from a personal standpoint.
"This record is not the standard autobiographical thing like when we first started," says Stump, sitting with his bandmates as they prepared to tape a concert special for Fuse TV. "Autobiography loses its luster when everyone is doing it."
"Sometimes I've gone into a big dark cave and that's no fun," adds Wentz, looking a bit fatigued.
"Folie A Deux" is the group's second album in two years. While the band has become used to topping the charts, they insist their main goal is simply creating good music.
But at the same time, they don't want to overthink it.
"A lot of bands sit on their hands and think, 'We need to make the perfect record,'" Wentz says. "(They should be) taking a snapshot of the moment you're (in) at the time."
"The Jonas Brothers can't have all the shine," he jokes.
The band purposely cut short the amount of time set aside for recording the album. Stump said that was going back to the days when they were a young, broke band who had to finish an album before the money ran out.
"There was something really interesting about that creative process when we were starting out," says Stump. "The more time you have, the more potential you have for excess."