Most bands don’t get a second shot at success. They’ll burn bright for a few years, then go away, never to be seen again — unless, through a series of bad choices, they need the money. Then you get a reformed version of the band years later, hoping to cash in on their past glories and capture the cash they blew in their heyday.
Such is not the case with Fall Out Boy. When they exited the music scene in 2010 after a daring and brilliant, yet commercially disappointing, CD and a barrage of tabloid press surrounding bassist/songwriter Pete Wentz’s marriage, it seemed they were history.
Then, in 2013, Fall Out Boy returned, refreshed and bigger than ever, and with a new sound. The band released two solid back-to-back albums, “Save Rock and Roll” and “American Beauty/American Psycho,” as well as a hit song on the soundtrack to Disney’s animated feature “Big Hero 6.”
Ahead of the band’s “Boys of Zummer” stop at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, Mr. Wentz reflects on the band’s second coming.
Question: Are you surprised at the massive success surrounding the return of Fall Out Boy?
Answer: Oh yeah, for sure. We thought there would be some kind of cult reaction, but for it to [explode] in pop culture the way it has has been really humbling.
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Q: The sound of the band has evolved. Has the creative process?
A: More than anything, we’ve gotten faster. We’re able to interact with each other and create our ideas faster. We have a new perspective, and we appreciate each other’s space and time more than before. Being in the studio is a much more pleasant experience [now].
Q: Has “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening ever sent you a bill for using the name Fall Out Boy, which was the name of a fictional superhero sidekick on the cartoon?
A: He has not. [laughs] He has always been pretty gracious about it. We actually got to go to a table read, which was pretty cool. And we played the end credit song one time. They’ve always been really cool.
Q: As the songwriter, do you reveal the meanings of your songs, and have they changed over time?
A: I’m always open for revelations. But there is something to be said for people finding and having their own meanings in songs. The revelation can’t take away whatever someone else’s meaning is. The meanings have definitely changed over the years for me. Anytime you look back on the last ten years of your life, you think, “Wow, I was pretty awkward there.”
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Q: Is it harder to have someone else sing the songs you wrote?
A: I think in some ways it’s easier, because it’s getting processed through [lead singer] Patrick [Stump]. It feels almost like a shield. You have a designated hitter up there that does the damage. You get to go out and pitch but never have to get up to bat.
Also, to be in a band with someone who is as musically talented as Patrick, I’m in awe of his musicality. You hang out with the guy, and out of nowhere he starts playing the trumpet.
Q: You’ve been vocal about your battles with depression. Do you realize that talking about it helps your fans?
A: I think destigmatizing stuff is important. Everybody has struggles. It’s OK to talk about it. And it is probably more helpful to talk about it.
Q: Why is the tour called “Boys of Zummer”?
A: We got down to the wire trying to figure out a name for this tour. [While] tossing around “Boys of Summer,” Wiz [Khalifa] said, “I’ll throw in the Z.”
Getting out there and getting to play shows in the summer has always been exciting. So we’re stoked to do it.
Q: Do you remember a favorite summer concert from your youth?
A: The first concert my dad ever took me to was Jimmy Buffet. It was cool seeing all those people together.
Q: Do you have any favorite songs to perform live?
A: “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” is fun to play live. As is “Centuries.” We designed these songs to be played in arenas and stadiums. To see them make it to that level is fun.
Q: You’ve worked with Elton John, Courtney Love and Debbie Harry. Any other people you’d like to collaborate with?
A: It would be cool to work with Sia and Rihanna. We’re open to collaborations.
Q: You used to get a lot of tabloid attention. Are you glad to be free of that?
A: When it started that attention was exciting, but then it became vapid very quickly. To just be able to hang out with my kids and then go out and play shows with my band is a lot more fun.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: “Boys of Zummer” tour with Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa
WHERE: Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. 21044
WHEN: Saturday, 7 p.m.
INFO: Tickets $40 to $75 by calling 877/435-9849 or visiting MerriweatherMusic.com