There was a time, in the now-distant past, when you could walk into a room where Fall Out Boy were and almost feel the tension. In the words of guitarist Joe Trohman, this was a band for whom “stress and anxiety was rife” while they navigated the pitfalls that accompanied their first full flush of fame.
Times change, however, and today, the four members of Fall Out Boy cut very different figures. As we join them in Los Angeles, they’re on reflective form, carrying the air of self-possessed grown-ups with nothing left to prove – men at ease in their own skin, assured about who they are and their creative contribution to the world.
Six years on from their return from a five-year hiatus and almost exactly a decade since their first collection came out, they’re preparing to release Greatest Hits: Believers Never Die – Volume Two, comprising the highlight reel from the band’s mammoth second wave of success, the tracklisting of which the band have convened today to talk Kerrang! through. Next summer they’ll play stadiums the world over, alongside Weezer and Green Day, on the Hella Mega Tour. A cursory glance at YouTube and music streaming stats since their comeback confirms that they’re now more popular than ever before.
For ever self-deprecating vocalist and guitarist Patrick Stump, this newfound level of fame is even more absurd than it was first time around.
“Sometimes I wake up and I just laugh, because it feels so improbable,” he admits, looking back on the pronounced highs of the past decade. “It feels so ridiculous and unlikely to me. The odds of us having this second act seemed so infinitely small, that it’s still crazy. It’s beyond surreal.”
Sitting alongside drummer and man of few words Andy Hurley, bassist, lyricist and de facto frontman Pete Wentz calls this phase in the band’s life “the ultimate lottery ticket”, and confesses to a disbelief that the quartet ever made it here at all.
“It makes me feel old!” he jokes about the imminent prospect of putting out their second greatest hits compilation. “It’s like when you go into a restaurant and you ask what the popular dishes are. That’s what a greatest hits is.”
In that case, bon appétit…