South Florida is a mecca for anything that involves rap, booty-shaking beats or electro mixes, but recently, the underground rock scene is starting to make waves. Slowly gaining attention from venues such as Poplife, Revolution and Ft. Lauderdale’s The Culture Room, bands with a rock edge are coming to the forefront. One band in particular, Fall Out Boy, has made several visits to South Florida, defining its presence in the scene. Peter Wentz, bassist for the band, spoke lightheartedly to The Hurricane about some aspects of life and music.
The Hurricane: What’s the one question you are sick and tired of hearing?
Peter Wentz: How did you get your band name, or anything like that, that’s in the bio.
TH: What’s the best part about touring?
PW: Seeing the world where you can meet new people and at the same time still go back to all your old friends.
TH: What’s the worst?
PW: When you go home, everything is a little different. You stay the same but everything is a little different, your friends are a little bit weird and everyone’s grown their own ways.
TH: You write most of the lyrics, correct? Which are you most proud of?
PW: Yeah, I really like the new ones we’ve been working on, but I guess I’d say “The Pros and Cons of Breathing,” but we never really play it.
TH: What are you guys looking to do when this tour ends?
PW: As soon as we’re done here, we’re going to start recording, actually a week from now.
TH: So you leave one tour that must have been hectic as anything, you go record the new album, and then you’re back on the road in December.
PW: Yeah, [laughs] we’ve got our tour in December, and then we go back out to L.A to mix our record; it’s crazy but it’s cool.
TH: You guys tour down here, but you don’t really come that far south. I’m from N.Y., which has a huge scene. What is the difference from playing at a big scene to coming to places where the scene isn’t so big?
PW: It’s cool, to me different places have different scenes; it’s not better or worse. Your hometown scene is always going to be your favorite scene (unless you hate your hometown). For the most part, Chicago is my favorite scene because that’s where I grew up, at the same time it’s cool to see how each place you tour is different. When you go to play at smaller places, the shows there can be insane because they don’t get shows too often and they really appreciate it more than anything.
TH: We saw you guys play at the Culture Room last year. How do you think Fall Out Boy has evolved over the past year?
PW: We learned how to be a better band, how to interact with each other better. When you’ve been on the road with each other for so long that helps, at the same time we’ve grown up a little bit, that will definitely be reflected in our next record. People have this pressure they want to put on us, you know, “save pop-punk,” you have to be this totally different thing but we’re gonna write what we wanna write.
TH: Where do you guys love to play the most, and where do you get the best response back?
PW: Chicago, definitely, southern California, New York, Texas…Florida has actually been really good to us.
TH: What’s the craziest thing you guys have seen on this tour?
PW: I’ve seen crazy stuff all week; we lit a pumpkin on fire last night and smashed it over some guy’s head. We saw this kid eat his own puke, this other guy flamed his pubes – it’s been ridiculous all week.
TH: Does anyone in the band have strange hobbies?
PW: Nothing too insane, we like to play video games a lot. I’m a big fan of old school Nintendo, ya know, Balloon Fight and Dig Dug.
TH: What’s the nerdiest thing you’ve ever done as a kid?
PW: I used to do so much nerdy stuff: I used to be in hardcore and punk rock, I used to practice all my dance moves in the mirror. One time I was into death metal and I wanted a satanic bible or something, so I stole it from the library page by page and glued it back together.
TH: I know that you recently launched your side project, “Clandestine Industries.” How is everything going with that?
PW: Oh, it’s rad, we just wrote this book that just came out a few days ago, it’s going pretty well.
TH: What are your top artists and CDs, at this time?
PW: underOATH, The Academy – their new CD is awesome.
TH: The University of Miami has had its ties with the presidential debate so we figured we should ask you one political question. Have you ever flip-flopped?
PW: Never politically, but I flip flop everything else.
TH: All right, last question: If you guys could no longer play music, where do you think you’d find yourself and Fall Out Boy?
PW: I’d probably be dead, haha.
Darin Wade can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Flieschner can be contacted at email@example.com.