(Fun fact: I was so nervous to ask Pete to take a photo with me that I didn’t! Luckily, we met again at the MTV VMAs five years later, so here’s that grainy photo instead!)
Interview with Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz
Skate & Surf Festival 2004
Asbury Park, NJ
S&S: Do you currently have plans for a new record?
Pete: We do. We’re working on a new record that will be out either this fall or this winter. It will be out on Island Records. We have an acoustic EP/DVD that comes out May 18 off Fueled By Ramen Records.
S&S: You obviously write a lot. How do you choose which lyrics become songs and which do not?
Pete: I think it’s just the vibe of it. You start writing stuff, and lots of times the things you think will [become] the best song just kind of don’t work with the whole band. Patrick comes to us with a lot of ideas, and then we play them as a band, and if it just doesn’t vibe or work well, we just trash it. There’s no reason to keep the song if it’s not working.
S&S: If you could bring back any group/musicians from the dead to play with, who would it be and why?
Pete: It’d be Ian Curtis from Joy Division because I think he had a lot to say, and I don’t think he got it out.
S&S: When you’re on tour, what do you miss most about home?
Pete: My mother and then my bed.
S&S: Do you call her all the time?
S&S: Why do you like girls’ jeans so much?
Pete: (laughter) I don’t know. I look really weird in guys’ jeans. I don’t really know why.
S&S: A nicer fit?
Pete: Yeah, it’s just better for me I guess. I don’t know.
S&S: Which is your favorite song to play live?
Pete: I like playing “Saturday” live.
S&S: What is your favorite Taco Bell meal?
Pete: I get the three hard taco supremes with rice instead of beans.
S&S: You meet a lot of bands on the road. Do you ever get “star-struck,” so to speak, if you meet a band you think is amazing?
Pete: Yeah, definitely, even Less Than Jake. We’re on their label, and they’re like a band we were into when we were 14. We work with Atticus. Atticus sponsors us, but still, you see Blink all over tv and when you see them in person, they’re just these nice, regular guys. It’s very weird. People expect you to be this other thing. People know us only from Fuse or the record, and when they meet us they’re like, “Oh, you guys aren’t assholes.” [People think that] people with some amount of fame, even if it’s just punk rock fame like us, have a license to be an asshole. Most bands really aren’t. I think sometimes there are one or two in a band, but there’s also one or two nice guys always. It’s really rare that a whole band is dicks. But that has happened.
S&S: If you were suddenly naked on stage, what would you say to everyone?
Pete: (laughter) I’d say something about ass sweat, because I think the only place I sweat is like, right here [points to butt]. Or I’d say, “One inch isn’t gonna hurt ya in the eye.” (laughter) ‘Cause that’s all there is! I don’t know what I’d say. I don’t think that would ever happen. I’d say, “Wake me up please!”
S&S: What is the most important lesson you have learned in life?
Pete: Be yourself and stand up for yourself. At the end of the day, that’s really important, and a lot of people don’t understand it.