Former Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump rose to fame after his band toured the world and sold hundreds of thousands of records. Stump now finds himself on the road supporting his self-produced solo music, an infectious blend of radio pop and groovy R&B that's a far cry from the pop-punk that made him a household name. Currently on tour with Panic! at the Disco, Stump acknowledges what many fans expect of him. However, he's more than comfortable just being the soulful, multi-instrumental performer he hasn't gotten to showcase until now.
How’s your tour with Panic! at the Disco going so far?
Awesome. This is day 3 and it's been killing, so rad.
You have a long history with Panic!, are you guys still good friends?
Yea, I don’t get to see them much so it's cool. I basically see them whenever we tour together and this is my 3rd tour with them. It's also been rad, because Foxy Shazam is great too. It's a very comfortable tour.
How are people reacting to the songs?
It's weird. A lot of Panic fans know who I am. I walk out on stage and they're excited because it’s the guy from Fall Out Boy. Then I don’t play Fall Out Boy songs and they're bummed. Then halfway through, they're like "This is cool" (laughs). I'm winning people over, it's fun. I like playing music. I'm just here to play music. And it's good to have to do it.
Is there something in your live show that you couldn't do with Fall Out Boy?
Rock shows, not in a bad way, are less built around playing. It's about getting in the crowds face and doing your best and killing it. This, I feel like it’s a musical show. It's about interacting with the musicians. It’s a solo thing but I don’t feel like it's solo. I feel like part of a group. It’s a really fun show to do.
What was the writing process for your new record Soul Punk like?
It took a while to decide where I was going with it and what songs I was putting on it. I spent a lot of time on it lyrically. I had a lot of the stuff that I knew I was gonna be doing the whole time. I had a lot of the music and a lot of the ideas the whole time. There's a big question mark, like "What me am I gonna be." There are a lot of aspects to myself and one record isn't gonna compress all of me. It was easy once I got to the studio. I spent a month doing it. Until then it was a lot of second guessing.
What’s your favorite song on it?
Every day I have a new one. If I do things right, hopefully they’ll all be my favorite eventually (laughs).
What was it like getting to play every instrument on the record?
I love drums, that’s my home. I was talking to someone about how we're solo artists. When they think "singer of a rock band going solo," you think singer with an acoustic guitar, but that’s not comfortable to me. Maybe someday I might find something fascinating about acoustic guitar, but that’s not comfortable. To me drums are comfortable.
Was it a challenge writing lyrics after collaborating with (Fall Out Boy bassist/lyricist) Pete Wentz for so long?
Yes. I found it changed my lyrics a lot. After writing with him my lyrics started to sound like him. I'd say, "Well this something that Pete does better than I do." I scratched a lot of stuff that could have been him. In doing so, I kinda went back and found a lot of way older influences like folk music, where things are more storytelling or character stuff. That was the hardest part of writing and recording the record - Finding the voice.
Any songs on Soul Punk that might catch your listeners off guard?
I think a lot of the people assume the record is pretty different. Its tough to say. I can't imagine a song like "Greed" being on a major label pop record.
Would you be making solo records if Fall Out Boy was still together?
Oh yea. Not in a bad way. It's kinda hard. A lot of things I say on this subject get taken out of context. Fall Out Boy satisfies my desire to be in Fall Out Boy. This music I'm making, I can't make it in Fall Out Boy or make something that fulfills me in the same way. Fall Out Boy scratches the Fall Out Boy itch, not the Patrick stump musician/writer itch. I can't play drums or write lyrics or play trumpet or synth. I can't sing story songs, or do a lot of things that are very me.
How did your collaboration with Boston indie band Transit come about?
I was looking for people to open my first run of shows in April, and a lot of Bostonians suggested Transit. And I was like, "Damn, I like this band a lot, but they would not make any sense with what I'm doing" (laughs). I said, "I like you guys a lot, but I don’t think we would make sense on a bill together," and they felt the same way. I told them to let me know if they wanted to work with me and they hit me up. I like their record. They're good dudes.
What would be a dream tour for you?
There are the tours that you would like because you like all the bands and then there are the tours where you have to think "Would it work out?" (laughs). I really want to do a proper tour with Janelle Monae. We did a short one opening for Bruno Mars and it was awesome. I would love to tour with Bruno again. It was cool because Janelle's band and my band are all really good musicians. It was really exciting having the bands watch each other and learn from one another.
Have there been any crowd jeers for Fall Out Boy songs?
Haven’t been so far. I have to stay true to what I was planning on doing. It'd be disrespectful to Fall Out Boy and our audience to do Fall Out Boy songs. If that’s what I'm trying to do, I should just be on a Fall Out Boy tour. I'm not trying to sell more Fall Out Boy shirts, or even Patrick Stump shirts. I just want to play music.