Archives For fall out boy

A little over six years passed in between my last two interviews with the band All Time Low. During that stretch, I did run-in to the guys a couple of times. During a 2014 trip to Baltimore, the band’s hometown, for Derek Jeter’s last game at Camden Yards I ended up at the same bar as lead singer Alex Gaskarth. Talk about a small world: Gaskarth played a DJ set at that same venue the previous night. I was there the next day, Sunday, because it also served as Baltimore’s designated Buffalo Bills Backers Bar.

The place is owned by Alex’s bandmate Jack Barakat.

Then this past February while in Los Angeles for The GRAMMYs, I saw singer Cassadee Pope and her boyfriend, ATL drummer Rian Dawson outside of Microsoft Theater. They were chatting with friends and I was filming vignettes with Westwood One, so I just stopped briefly to say hello.

Of course, what I didn’t see was the engagement ring on Pope’s hand. Dawson popped the question that day. However a few weeks ago, the pending nuptials were reportedly called off.

Many things besides relationship statuses can change in six years. During the span in between our sit-downs, the Baltimore quartet added four studio albums to their discography and changed record labels twice. They switched up the band’s sound as well, although Gaskarth insists that the new sound has nothing to do with All Time Low’s new home at Fueled By Ramen.

“I think the change in direction of music was something that was already happening within the band,” the front man explained. “We knew we wanted to try some new things and go in some different directions on the album.”

With All Time Low’s previous deal at Hopeless Records up, the guys felt that signing with Fueled By Ramen made the most sense.

“Fueled By is rad, they always have been,” Gaskarth continued. “I love their roster now and I love what they do.

“I think the biggest part of us switching (to FBR) was that we sort of had the idea in mind that we kind of wanted to try some new things with our music, and (FBR) was all about it.”

Fueled By Ramen most notably housed Fall Out Boy and still counts Panic! At The Disco, Paramore, Twenty One Pilots and Young The Giant as a part of its roster.

“Fall Out Boy served as inspiration for us when we were younger,” Gaskarth noted. “Panic!, we kind of came up around the same time; obviously different trajectory and different path but (Brendon Urie) has been at it just as long as we have and works just as hard, if not harder than we do.”

For the three aforementioned groups, it is kind of fun to pause-and-reflect on both their longevity and evolution: FOB still headlines arenas, Panic! was nominated for a GRAMMY last year and All Time Low is charting a single at Adult Contemporary radio. Of course there have also been other acts that have come and gone not just from the label, but the scene; something ATL is cognizant of.

“Yunno, we’ve seen a lot of our friends’ bands and other bands fade out, and it’s amazing to sort of be in the other category of still being able to do it.”

And if All Time Low continues in that category for six more years, the band can celebrate a 20th anniversary.

I spent all of last week silent on Facebook, which no one probably noticed for a number of reasons: I was active on other social networks, I was still frequently in touch with family and friends and of course I was on live on the radio every weeknight.

To me, it felt weird. Last weekend I returned to Syracuse to catch the Orange (don’t get me started on the tournament snub) beat Georgia Tech and attend the annual WJPZ reunion dinner. On Monday I joined my friends on TV at “Chasing News” to talk about my Vinny Guadagnino interview. Wednesday I made the trek down to Brooklyn to watch the Orange lose in the first round of the ACC Tournament (and probably cement that aforementioned snub). And of course, I spent the week counting down the days until my trip to Las Vegas Tuesday, which yes I know might not even happen now with this pending blizzard.

But guess what? None of it mattered this week.

Saturday I was leaving the bookstore inside the Schine Student Center on SU’s campus when I looked down to see a new text notification on my BlackBerry. It was from a coworker with a link to an article on Billboard’s website.

My former colleague, Tommy Page, was found dead in an apparent suicide. I immediately felt numb.

I first met Tommy in May of 2009. I lived in Wilkes Barre, and was as Tommy would later refer to me, “a baby DJ.” At the time, Page was working A&R at Warner Bros. Records. He was so excited about his new act, a boy-band called V-Factory, that he decided to personally bring them by the studio for an interview.

Tommy and I hit it off right away, but to be honest a lot of it was more circumstantial; I think he immediately took a liking to me or at least gave me the benefit of the doubt because he was close with my Program Director at the time, A.J. He also was a bit fan of 97 BHT, particularly the station’s position in the market as the younger, hipper pop station that wasn’t afraid to lean rhythmic or electronic (example: WBHT broke Lady Gaga in the metro when other stations across the country declared that “Just Dance” was “too dance-y” – whatever that jargon means).

And of course, Tommy loved Northeastern Pennsylvania. He raved about his vacation home in East Stroudsburg, and also had recently purchased a fixer-upper in Jim Thorpe.

Tommy and I would spend 2010 through 2014 crossing paths at various events, either in New York or out in Los Angeles. I remember my first GRAMMYs; I attended Billboard’s after-party at The London in West Hollywood. Tommy was its publisher at the time, and immediately left his conversation when he saw me just to come over and say hello. That meant a lot.

Then in 2015, he joined our company as a Senior Vice President of Brand Partnerships. I enjoyed this because not only would I see Tommy in our building occasionally, but I’d get to work with him at some of our signature backstage broadcast events, including the Billboard Music Awards and the American Music Awards in addition to the aforementioned GRAMMYs.

The weekend after our first BBMAs working together in Vegas, Tommy and I both headed down the shore to Point Pleasant for 95.5 PLJ’s Summer Kick-Off. We sat down at the client party and talked about where the company was moving before he tasked me to help write a spec promo for an upcoming event we were working on called “Malibu Mansion Live.”

I’ll never forget, while music played and people partook in the open bar, Tommy and I sat alone in a corner of the room and wrote the script; Tommy throwing out ideas followed by me feverishly typing away on my BlackBerry and reading lines out loud to see what if any changes he wanted.

After a few more revisions, that promo was eventually voiced, produced and presented to company executives and our marketing department. The following November, Tommy and I were in Malibu for the two-night promotion that featured country singer Cam (who he sang “Happy Birthday” to while I walked out with a makeshift cake/candle for her), Nick Jonas, Tori Kelly and Fall Out Boy.

As the second, successful night winded down, Tommy pulled me aside.

“Remember when we first started talking about this and we wrote that promo in Point Pleasant?” he asked. “The whole thing came to life. It was like you and I wrote a hit record together.”

Of course, it was Tommy and his team that did all of the hard work. But coming from a guy who scored a number one hit in 1990 with the single, “I’ll Be Your Everything,” that compliment really struck a chord with me.

That was a unique trait of Tommy’s; working with others and making them feel like they belonged. It’s one of the reasons he was adored by so many, and certainly it’s one of the reasons why I and many others will miss him.

It was a nice welcome to our Westwood One Backstage broadcast for the 2015 American Music Awards: my first interview of the day was the venerable Pete Wentz, bassist for one of my favorite bands Fall Out Boy. Another favorite of mine, alt-pop outfit Walk The Moon stopped by as well. Also swinging through our area: Pentatonix, Lindsey Stirling and R5.




The “Boys Of Zummer” Tour starring Fall Out Boy, Wiz Khalifa and Hoodie Allen took over The Pavilion at Montage Mountain in Scranton, Pa. on Saturday. I was in attendance at the show, and here is what I noticed from my perspective.

– I attended the meet-and-greets for both Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa, hopping between lines because both were off to a bit of a late start (I believe sound check ran late, thus pushing everything back). I just wanted to say a quick hello to the fellas of FOB; my presence was actually necessary at the Wiz meeting because his label required the radio station to have a representative on hand snapping photos.

– Although I don’t frequent them as much as I used to, I have attended my fair share of meet-and-greets. Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa do a great job of making time to actually converse with each fan. It’s always nice to see artists that still don’t take such things as people wanting to meet them for granted.
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– Wiz was about a dressed down as you would expect when he strolled in to the tent we waited in backstage: flip flops, track pants and a green hoodie pulled up. His demeanor was pretty laid back, even when my camera stuttered before taking the first photo of our winners (thankfully I figured out the issue quickly. The photos are up now at 97bht.com).

– Fall Out Boy’s team runs its meet-and-greet a bit different. First, everybody is lined up just outside the venue’s entrance. A person from the band’s camp checks everyone in on a list one-by-one. Then we’re all lined up again, in the venue. From there, we proceeded to the VIP deck. A security guard stands by to hold any bags or phones; none were permitted as FOB has a staff photographer handle all photos. The shots are then uploaded to a website for download. They also offer props for the picture – sunglasses, boas, etc. Very photo booth-like.

– Of course, the guys from FOB are familiar faces now, especially lead singer Patrick Stump and bassist Pete Wentz. All or part of the band has been on “Ralphie Tonight” four times in the past nine months. We exchanged quick salutations and I told them how excited I was to hear the newer stuff live.
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– I also had a chance to chop it up backstage with DJ Bonics, a radio personality who is also Khalifa’s tour DJ. He was telling me how well the tour has gone for Wiz. Some still don’t understand how the two-acts can co-exist on the same bill. After seeing the Pittsburgh-emcee’s set, which included all of Wiz’s hits from “Black and Yellow” to “Young, Wild and Free” and of course “See You Again,” it became much easier to understand. The crowd was engaged from start to finish, and if they didn’t initially show up to see Khalifa, they more-than-likely left the venue a fan.

– And Fall Out Boy gets better every time I see them live; the last prior to this being on the 2013 “Save Rock and Roll” arena tour. It’s a seamless string of hit-after-hit with some fan favorites sprinkled in. As expected, a highlight of the evening was the band playing “Fourth of July,” a track from “American Beauty/American Psycho,” on of course July 4th.

The second day of Red Carpet Radio at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards was hectic, as many BBMA finalists, presenters and performers stopped by to chat with “Ralphie Tonight.” Check out some of the photos and conversations below with Hozier, Tori Kelly, Fall Out Boy and more.
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Special thanks to BBMA co-host Ludacris, who also made some time for the show. We chatted with him while he waited for a car to pick him up… in the back of the MGM Grand Arena… on a curb. In Vegas, there is a first time for everything.





If you are creating a seating chart for the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, there are two artists that should be assigned prime real estate near the stage: Taylor Swift and Sam Smith. Finalists were revealed for the BBMAs last week, with the songstress and crooner racking up 14 and 13 entries respectively.

The 2015 Billboard Music Awards air Sunday May 17 at 8 pm on ABC from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Ludacris will return to host, but this time he’ll don the co-host title and share the stage with model Chrissy Teigen.

“I learned that we were in Vegas and that we should’ve been doing a lot more partying, so that’s exactly what we’re going to incorporate this year,” Luda, nee Chris Bridges, told me after appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” The hip hop artist was joined by Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz to announce some of the categories, and promised that this year he would push the envelope further. “We’re in Vegas. What better place to push the envelope?

And of course Ludacris will do so with the aforementioned Teigen. Her husband, singer John Legend, is featured on a bonus track of Luda’s new album, “Ludaversal.”

“I think people haven’t seen her personality,” the artist said of his partner-in-crime. “I think they’re going to be surprised because she is extremely funny and what better way to add a little spice to the hosting this year?”

Side note: Ludacris’s voice is as distinctive as they come, to the point where when he adds a little emphasis on the word “spice,” you expect him to drop a rhyme in the next sentence.

And for what it’s worth, Luda dropped a few predictions on us as well – picking Smith to win Top Artist and Top Male Artist, while tabbing Swift for Top Female Artist. The two lead all finalists in entries and will go head-to-head in eight different categories.

Finalists are determined by a number of key metrics and interactions through Billboard, including sales, airplay, streams and more. The entries reflect data reported between March 10, 2014 and March 8, 2015.

In addition to naming some of the finalists on “GMA,” Wentz announced that Fall Out Boy would perform “Uma Thurman” alongside soon-to-be tour mate Wiz Khalifa. FOB and Wiz will co-headline the “Boys Of Zummer” tour. The Chicago-quartet is also a finalist in two BBMA categories.

It’s been two years since Fall Out Boy announced that the band was getting back together after a multi-year hiatus. Since February of 2013 the band has released two number one albums and toured theaters, arenas, and outdoor amphitheaters.

And according to the guys, they’ve also learned a thing or two about each other.

“I think we learned how to be patient with each other, and how to trust each other,” lead singer Patrick Stump stated on “Ralphie Tonight” before recalling something bassist Pete Wentz told him after the band reunited. “I asked him, because we’ve always kind of felt like Pete leads the band in a lot of ways, I was like, ‘How did you get better at it because we used to argue about things and now we don’t so much?’”

Wentz’s response, as recalled by Stump, left an impression on the front man.

“He’s like, ‘I learned not to talk sometimes, because when you don’t talk, often times somebody else in the room is already going to say the thing you were thinking. You let everybody express themselves, and you learn things that you wouldn’t have said. You hear more voices than just your own.”

Stump said the band listens to each other more, and perhaps that is one of the reasons why the Chicago-born quartet is bigger than ever. The band’s sixth studio LP, American Beauty/American Psycho, debuted this week atop the Billboard 200 – FOB’s third number one album. The release is buoyed by the tracks “Centuries” and the dance party-friendly, “Uma Thurman,” for which the actress granted the band permission to use her name.

“The whole song was an elaborate ruse to get (Thurman’s) phone number,” joked Stump. “It’s 1-2-3-4-5-6-7,” guitarist Joe Trohman quickly added. Wentz said it was a case of their people reaching out to her people, and she gave them the green light. The bassist also noted that he isn’t sure if Thurman even heard the track.

Although “Centuries” is still gaining airplay on pop radio, “Uma” may not be far behind, meaning Ms. Thurman may soon find the song inescapable.

In an interview on “Ralphie Tonight” that is scheduled to air Wednesday evening, Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz took aim at an Australian retailer for what he believes is a negligence on their part to value other people’s art.

“Music is just not important to them,” Wentz said initially, when the topic of the band’s most recent leaked album was brought up. American Beauty/American Psycho came out January 20 and as of press time, is slated to be the band’s third number one LP on the Billboard 200. The album hit the Internet early, and it is believed that is the fault of Australian retailer JB Hi-Fi. “The proof of it is, stuff like (leaked albums) is just, ‘Oh, we put it up by accident.’”

“They wouldn’t ‘oops’ the new iPhone for them, because it would be a nightmare for them.”

Fall Out Boy did trace its most recent leak to an Australian music streaming service. But for Wentz, the experiences have him rethinking the way the quartet will promote its music ahead of release dates.

“Maybe next time, the only people we go and work with are people who are in the business of caring about music,” he said. “It’s not a big deal; once it was out, it’s just like, ‘Let’s put out high quality versions ourselves.’”

And on that particular point, Wentz went out of his way to deliver a message for the band’s supporters.

“There is a misnomer out there that I’m upset with our fans for listening to the record when it was leaked. I’m not in any way upset with our fans about that at all,” he clarified. “That was never a bummer.”

But the situation of the leaked album and other struggles surrounding the release compelled Wentz to tweet, “If they keep f—ing around I might leak the rest of it myself.” He later deleted the post.

It is a feeling that the band Fall Out Boy is unfortunately all-too-familiar with: an album you’ve worked hard on leaking to the Internet before its scheduled release. And it has happened again with the band’s sixth studio album, due out January 20.

The Chicago-quartet went through this back in 2007 with Infinity On High. About two weeks before the album’s on-sale, all 14 tracks from it hit the web. There were rumors that the release date would be pushed up. Instead, the band’s label offered an additional live EP to those who purchased the LP.

Folie á Deux shared a similar fate. Fall Out Boy’s fourth studio album leaked a week before it’s December 13, 2008 release. The ever-aware Pete Wentz figured it out and tweeted, “Alright. Obviously the record leaked or is leaking? We trust that ur gonna support our band. U always have in the past. (sic)”

When the pop rockers returned five years later with Save Rock And Roll, they decided to leak the entire album themselves.

“With out you, the most important piece, this record would never have been made,” the band wrote on its website in a message to its fans. “So we figured you have waited long enough… with out further ado, please listen closely.”

A Soundcloud playlist containing the full LP appeared below the message.

Fast forward a year and a half, and the luxury of controlling how and when your fans will hear new music seems to be one that has once again escaped Fall Out Boy. According to fans posting on the website HasItLeaked.com, Australian music streaming service JB HI-FI NOW offered the forthcoming American Beauty/American Psycho album in its entirety. Soon after, the full LP leaked for the rest of the world to hear.

“If they keep f—ing around I might leak the rest of it myself,” Wentz tweeted last weekend. He has since deleted the post. And besides, the rest of it leaked anyways.

Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz stopped by “Ralphie Tonight” to mostly talk about the band’s single “Centuries.” It serves as the lead single from FOB’s forthcoming LP, American Beauty/American Psycho and samples the 1981 Suzanne Vega hit, “Tom’s Diner.”


Pete also chatted on the show about last year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which FOB performed in but was not prepared for at all.