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Patrick Stump Talks ‘Soul Punk’ & Musical Adventures Beyond Fall Out Boy!

Patrick Stump, along with his equally talented band mates in pop-punk fueled band, Fall Out Boy, started out simply enough by playing everything from basements to small clubs. It wasn’t take long before they found themselves performing to growing numbers of screaming fans in sold out arenas around country, selling millions of records worldwide and rocketing toward super-stardom at lightning speed! A spotlight such as that burns bright and hot and the band found themselves growing in direct directions creatively.

In late 2009, it was announced that Fall Out Boy was on indefinite hiatus. However, for fans of the band or even the casual music observer, this it where it gets exciting! Each of the band members has gone on to pursue new sonic endeavors. Pete Wentz, with singer Bebe Rexha, formed the ska/electropop band Black Cards, a project inspired by a discussion Wentz had with producer Sam Hollander about mashing up ska, dance and reggae with 80s British rock and pop to create a new experimental sound. Joseph Trohman and Andy Hurley teamed up with Keith Buckley from Every Time I Die, Scott Ian and Rob Caggiano from Anthrax and David Karon to form the heavy metal band The Damned Things and released their debut album ‘Ironiclast’ in December 2010. All eyes were then laid on frontman Patrick Stump as fans worldwide anxiously awaited word of his next move. Stump soon obliged and confirmed that his next project would be a sleek, R&B/pop inspired solo album called ‘Soul Punk,’ which is set to hit stores on October 18th, 2011.

An ambitious outing where this amazing artist has dedicated himself to handling everything on his own. From the writing of the lyrics to playing all the instruments and composing the music to tackling the album’s production — from start to finish, ‘Soul Punk’ is the essence of Patrick Stump at this point in his career. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught with Patrick Stump to discuss the making of ‘Soul Punk,’  how it may impact his future work and the misconceptions that surround him and Fall Out Boy.

Your new album has quit a buzz already. How excited are you to final unleash this album?

Patrick Stump

You know, it’s kind of a scary thing. I don’t know that I have it. All I know is I’m excited to have a copy of it, finally! I was saying to a friend of mine, I feel like I just wanted to make my record and know that I did it. I intend to be making music the rest of my life, but if I ever give up on it and if I ever get lazy, I can show my grandkids that I did it once!

Having listened to a few of the songs from the album and seen you perform live, is it safe to say that you’re in a positive place creatively these days?

Oh, yeah, man. It’s super fun. It’s awesome. It’s kinda scary because you’re kind of on guard for when things are gonna go bad, because I’m having such a good time. I’m really enjoying – I’m really enjoying the situation that I’m in. As far as playing this music – and with the musicians that I’m playing with – the audiences have been really awesome and respectful. So, it’s like I’m really waiting for the catch, you know?

What can you tell us about the writing process for this album?

It was kinda tough, because I had to be really restrained. I had to be really focused, you know? Because I’m kinda scatterbrained as far as my taste in music and my interest in music. I’m very comfortable playing music in general, so I had to kind of really distill myself and try and – I guess, for lack of a better word, almost existentially – so kinda just find myself and rediscover really who I am, what sings to me the most, and what I enjoy doing the most.

And that extended to everything. That extended to the production sound of the music and the instruments and the way they were played and the lyrics and every word choice mattered. And the way I sang – it’s just letting myself be natural and not hold anything back and sing the way I wanted to sing. You know, not to say I ever did that in Fall Out Boy, but that I ever – that I was contrived or anything. But it’s just that in a band it’s a little bit more of a natural process; you kind of just go wherever the band goes. You all kind of follow each other. You know?

I had to be the band all by myself. You know, I mean that more emotionally, intellectually. I play all the instruments, but that was the easy part. The hard part was making the decisions myself.

What was the most satisfying part of this creative process for you?

I’d say the most satisfying part was getting on stage and playing this music in front of people for the first time. I think that’s what it’s really about is being a live musician. I think that it’s analogous to the different between making a movie and being a theater actor. It’s like if you can’t do it on stage then you’re probably not a good actor. You know? And that is what it is like with this album – ‘cause I can record the record all I want, but if I can’t play it on a stage then I’m not worth my salt. And that was really fun to get out there and play it. And who knows? Maybe I suck live. [laughs] I have a good time, though; that’s what counts.

Obviously, a lot of people are going to be most familiar with you from Fall Out Boy. Do you feel that that’s a blessing or a curse when it comes to a solo project like this?

I think when it comes to this solo project, it’s almost a little bit of a curse, because Fall Out Boy has such devoted fans, and I don’t wanna let them down. You know? I really don’t want to disappoint them or anything, but I also that’s one of the big reasons why I kind of took out all of Fall Out Boy from what I do, because I wanted to make sure that I don’t invalidate Fall Out Boy by doing my solo stuff. I really wanted to take that seriously.

And so, in that respect, I think it’s a little bit of a tough call, because I don’t want anyone to go into it thinking that they’re getting Fall Out Boy, because it’s not. It’s not Fall Out Boy in any way. It’s not. And I’m almost not even, when I do this, I’m almost not the guy from Fall Out Boy. I take on very different roles in the band than I do as a solo artist. You know? So, that was kind of a challenge. I’ve learned so much about writing and recording and performing from Fall Out Boy that it’s almost hard to separate the two, but I still try. I still wanna make sure that, like I said, at no point am I doing anything that infringes on Fall Out Boy’s territory.

This record is so diverse creatively. Do you see this having an impact on your future writing or work with Fall Out Boy? How has it made you evolve?

I think so, because if Fall Out Boy comes back and does another record, I think it’ll be a lot more focused and it’ll probably be more – I mean, in a weird way, it’ll probably be more of a rock record, because I’ve put so much of my other influences into this that I can focus on the things that made Fall Out Boy Fall Out Boy. You know what I mean?

When, if we ever make another record, I think it’ll be a lot more – it’ll be a lot more us, you know? That’s why I look back on the last record, I hear a lot of myself. I hear a lot of me pushing my agenda on the band, and I think the band was too nice to me to say that they didn’t really wanna play that kinda stuff. So, that’s something that I think will change. I think now I’ve kinda learned my lesson and I’m very comfortable to just kind of go where the band wants to go.

So the door is still open as far as working with the other guys — no hard feelings there or anything, right?

Yeah, yeah. Ultimately, now the harder thing is that we’re all busy now and we’re all doing something. We all have our solo things and we’re all working on other stuff, so now it’s harder to get us all in the same room. When we were all on the same bus and we were all on the same tour, talking about the next record was easy because you just knocked on the guy’s bunk and like, “Hey, when are we doing a record?” Now, it’s like who knows when we’ll get in the studio together again. But I definitely leave the door open for it. I’m in no matter what.

This record is gonna be really awesome live. For people who haven’t seen your solo act, what can they expect from this live show that you’re getting ready to go out and put on for us?

We put on a pretty great show. I mean, it feels pretty energetic. I don’t know how it looks from the ground. I just know how it feels from the stage. But we really put a lot into it, and it is a very music show. That’s one of the things I would like for people to at least give it a shot live and try to see it live. I think nowadays it’s really – it could be easy to make a record – to make any of that music just on a laptop or something. You get some samples and have a keyboard do all the work, whatever. When it comes to seeing us perform this music live, I think it really accentuates the fact that it’s all instruments and we really work our asses off playing it. And it’s a really musically fun show, I think. I have a blast playing it. And I also get to run around and play a lot of instruments and stuff; that’s always fun for me. It’s a little bit self-indulgent, I guess, in that regard, but, hey, that’s music, right?

I saw the medley that you performed over the weekend at Lollapalooza, of the New Jack Swing era stuff. I thought that was great!

Thanks, man. That’s so much fun to do! And that’s one the things is like if the audience didn’t care, I would still have such a blast and so happy to play that music.

Do you think there are any misconceptions about you as a solo artist that you’d like to dispel?

I don’t know. I mean, just the idea that I’m doing this to kinda spite Fall Out Boy, that we broke up and I’m angry at ‘em or something like. None of that stuff’s true. I just had to do my record. I just had to do something – you know, I just had to do something different. I had to do my thing for just once. You know, even just once in my life, I just had to do it. That’s to people that care about Fall Out Boy.

There’s also people that hated Fall Out Boy and really were happy to see us go. And to those people I’d say I sympathize, I understand. There are plenty of bands that I have not liked before. Maybe give my record a chance, because maybe you’ll like it. Maybe you’ll even understand Fall Out Boy a little bit more, I don’t know. But maybe we are totally bad and we’re not worth it, but, you know, maybe hear us out. Maybe hear me out.

Well, you get a good thumbs up from me. I really enjoyed it, and I thank you for your time. We look forward to see you bring this album to life on stage! We will be spreading the word!

All right, thanks for having me, man. Thanks again!

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Check out Patrick Stump’s official website at www.patrickstump.com for all the latest information and tour dates! ‘Soul Punk’ will be released on 18th October via Mercury.

Fans take note! You can get a free download of Patrick Stump’s single, This City, as this week’s free single of the week at iTunes! Click here to be magically transported to the download!