Why Are Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa Bringing Their Kids on Tour This Summer? "It’s Like Our Family Vacation"
Fall Out Boy has been touring for 14 years, but when it comes to putting on a concert, the band still manages to keep fans on their toes. The foursome—comprised of lead singer Patrick Stump, bassist Pete Wentz, guitarist Joe Trohman, and drummer Andy Hurley—recently embarked on The Boys of Zummer U.S. tour with rappers Wiz Khalifa and Hoodie Allen, putting on a must-see show that seamlessly caters to a rock-meets-hip-hop crowd.
Last night, the tour stopped in Wantagh, New York, bringing fans of both music worlds together at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater. Hours before taking the stage, Stump chatted with InStyle—and he revealed that Fall Out Boy had a special connection to the bayside venue thanks to one of the band’s past shows. “I remember the first time we performed here, and one of Pete’s basses got thrown into the water,” Stump said. “It sank like a rock—and it’s probably still stuck at the bottom of the ocean floor somewhere.” Below, Stump talks everything from performing new music—the band released their sixth studio album, American Beauty/American Psycho, in January—to touring with their kids and hanging out with Khalifa backstage.
Fall Out Boy still manages to keep concerts fresh, even after 14 years of touring. What are you most looking forward to this time around?
I’m excited to play the new material next to some of the older material. I hear a lot about how we’ve changed and how different we’ve sounded over the years, and I think when you play those songs back-to-back people are shocked at how much it sounds like one band. That’s exciting.
How is this concert different from Fall Out Boy’s past tours?
In a weird way we’re almost fighting our catalog. We have almost too many songs now—and it’s the first time that’s ever happened. I remember the first tour we ever did we would only get like fifteen minutes to play five songs, and those were the only five songs we had. Now, we have this sprawling back catalog of songs that people who come to see us might really want to hear. You have this big challenge to find this set list that satisfies as many people as you can because you want the audience to be happy, and you want people who haven’t heard you to be happy.
What does it take to please everyone, then?
It’s summertime and it’s live music. We’ve always been into that. It’s something that we did as kids. Every band that you go see, you’re not necessarily so deep into their stuff that you know every word of their new record and you know every word to all the songs. You’ve got to make sure that you play something that everybody in the audience knows. It’s almost your responsibility, kind of figuring things out.
And you’re touring with Wiz, who’s not exactly in the same genre as Fall Out Boy. Why was he the perfect fit?
I think we both felt a certain kind of camaraderie in the way that we kind of feel like outsiders in pop music in a lot of ways, and I think he feels the same way. We both kind of built our following one fan at a time. I feel like the way that Wiz started in Pittsburgh was very similar to the way that we started out in Chicago, when we were playing live every weekend. It was really about the live experience that built kind of who we are. He’s a very similar artist in that way, and when you’re going to do a live tour, you want someone who cares about live touring.
So, how do you manage to play to both the Fall Out Boy fans and the Wiz fans in the audience?
There are a lot of Wiz fans who have never heard us before and they stand there and go, “Oh, what’s this?” We also have to consider the audience who’s been following us for 14 years. And then you also have to just put on a show that you enjoy, that feels fun to you. That’s kind of cool. I think that’s maybe the most exciting thing about this tour—how much it keeps us on our toes.
What’s it like to tour with Wiz?
Everyone on this tour has been so cool in a way where it’s like we’ve all been doing this together for decades. That’s what it feels like. It’s been a really amazing combination, because Wiz’s show is an awesome complementary show to ours. There’s a lot of common threads, but it’s also different enough that it’s really worth seeing both sets.
Do you all hang out between rehearsals and performances?
Yeah, we hang out. It’s funny—there’s a very careful level that you have to figure out to have enough fun but still be able to have babies backstage. Wiz’s kid will be around and the band’s kids will be around, so you have fun—but it’s more like entertaining-little-kids fun. It becomes the thing that you do in the summer. Like, “Oh, it’s summer, we’re going to go tour. Come on family.” It’s like our family vacation.
How does that change the touring experience?
It’s this totally different vibe. When you’re touring when you’re 21, it’s this wacky chaos in one way and when you’re touring with babies, it’s wacky chaos in a totally different way.
Still, it seems like there are plenty of fun moments backstage—at least based on what Pete shares on Instagram.
Pete has a lot of fun. I think I’m more of the sip tea and practice backstage kind of guy.
Fans have been able to meet you guys through Pepsi’s “Pop Open Music Every Hour” campaign on the tour. How has it been to meet some of FOB’s diehards?
It’s cool to meet fans and show them how easy it is for them to do this, which is something that we’ve always been very open about. We got lucky, but anyone can get lucky and part of it is just trying and caring. We’re always shocked at how great the fans’ ideas are. They’re so creative. They come with paintings and their demos, which is awesome. Pete says it every night and it sounds like a canned thing but we really believe it wholeheartedly: Anytime we’re on stage, we know that someone in that room is going to end up on that stage someday. You can just tell. That’s how we started, and it’s great to share that with the audience.
The Boys of Zummer tour will be traveling through the U.S. until August 10. For dates and tickets, go to livenation.com.