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Pete Wentz on Surpassing Mediocrity

Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz on their anticipated seventh studio album M A N I A

Pete Wentz may be best known as the follically gifted bassist of Fall Out Boy, but he also serves as the band’s main lyricist, penning anthems like “Sugar, We’re Going Down Swinging” and “Dance Dance” that propelled their 2005 breakthrough as well as 2017 releases, like the electro-tinted “Young and Menace” and irreverent “Last of the Real Ones,” which have solidified the band as an everlasting fixture on the charts.

Fall Out Boy vocalist Patrick Stump, bassist Pete Wentz, guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley have always maintained high expectations for themselves, which accounts for their award-winning videos, progressive sound and dedicated fan base. Those standards are what led to their much-anticipated seventh studio album, M A  N   I    A—and to its delayed release. “The truth is, I think we felt like the songs were headed towards mediocrity, which is basically the worst thing of all time,” Wentz says. “It’s like having no opinion. It’s not terrible and it’s not great, it’s just forgettable.”

After announcing a January 2018 release date, Wentz took the opportunity to revisit the album’s lyrics with a new perspective. “Sometimes you’re so close to something that you don’t realize by adding all these colors, the rainbow is now brown,” he says. Initially addressing everything from the neurosis of daily life to the manic times we are living in right now, Wentz shifted his focus to what he believes connects us as human beings.

“I want people to walk away from listening to M A  N   I    A and no matter what you do, if you make music, play a sport or make memes on the internet, be the most excellent version of that you can be,” Wentz says. “Don’t shoot for the participation award.”

As an entertainer, Wentz feels obligated to give back to the community. Instead of complaining about the “mania” we’re living in, he wants to be proactive–which is why on the band’s 2018 Mania Tour they’re introducing a Champion of the Mania initiative, selecting a fan in each city who is “helping to change the world for the better” and making a donation in their name to a charity of their choice. Needless to say, Fall Out Boy is still swinging.

M A  N   I    A will be released January 19, 2018.

Main image credit: Marcus Maschwitz