Here's an MTV interview that Patrick did the other day:
"Much like his SXSW show, the album (which is still untitled) will feature Stump — and no one else. He's playing everything on it and it will feature no guest stars. The decision to go it alone was a multifaceted one, in part due to his desire to get the songs in his head onto an album, and part due to the fact that he's just not that good at working with others. And feel free to infer what you will from that last statement.
"The record is ... I play everything on it. And I'm kind of being very strict about that, because it's one of those things where I've always wanted to do it, but also because I've had a lot of friends I've wanted to work with, and it's sort of a nice blanket rule to work under, because then I don't have a sea of guests [on the album]," Stump told MTV News. "Plus, I feel like some musicians are really good at relating to other musicians and improvising on the spot. I don't know if that's my strength. I'm more of an internal musician ... I groove a lot better with myself than I do with other people, so it's a different sound altogether.
"And it's also this big, convoluted way to get me to play drums again, because I really just miss playing drums," he jokingly added. "And there's no reason for me to play over [Fall Out Boy's] Andy [Hurley], because he's a really good drummer."
So when then album does hit stores — Stump is currently mastering, will mix in May, and hopes to have the finished product out this summer — fans will hear plenty of instruments (drums, keys, guitar and bass, plus a whole lot of horns), all of which were played by him alone. And while the video he posted on his official site earlier this year hinted at that, there's plenty that's changed about the album too.
"It's a really strange thing. I don't know anymore. I had all these ideas, these kind of fun ideas — and a lot of people pointed to the 'funkiness,' and that's definitely something that is a part of my writing — but there's also been, since the video came out, there's been a lot of really trying things that have happened in my personal life," Stump offered. "And I've ended up having a lot of writing to do, that took on a more ... cathartic thing. So it's kind of half-and-half now — I don't really know what record it is anymore. I could've told you a month ago that it was going to be more of a funk record, but now I don't really know."
A pair of songs on the album, "Spotlight" and "The Bad Side Of 25," deal explicitly with those "trying" things, which, without getting into too much detail, involve the deaths of not just Stump's uncle, but friend and potential collaborator T-Bone Wolk. But there's seemingly not shortage of drama in Stump's life these days, as evidenced by the firestorm that erupted after he told Spin magazine "I'm not in Fall Out Boy right now." The problem was, his comments came immediately after Pete Wentz had taken to his Twitter account to declare that he "can't imagine playing in Fall Out Boy again" and almost immediately fans began pitting one against the other. But that's not the case, according to Stump. Timing, he admits, has never been his strong suit.
"Well, one of the things that was really frustrating was that ... there was a story that was happening, and then I was doing my thing. I happily didn't know about any of it. And I had an interview scheduled from weeks before that I was all excited to do," he said. "And I go to do this interview, and all of a sudden, it's an interview in reaction to [what Wentz had written], which I was blissfully unaware of. It's just frustrating how much context affects the arts. ... It was a really busy couple of days. It was insane. My phone was off the hook for a few days."
But for the time being, he's putting all that FOB talk behind him ("Honestly, I would say you know as much about it as I do at this point," he said), and focusing on getting the Patrick Stump Project ready. It's been a pretty hectic voyage just to get to this point, but Stump chalks it all up to on-the-job training. He's learning the solo artist gig on his feet, and he's not shying away from making big plans for the future.
"Everything's kind of been a new learning experience. I'm having to do interviews where what I say matters. It's very strange," he laughed. "I have this big open road right now, as far as how I want to do it. I want to get a band together, and I want to practice, I really want to go out and play shows. And I'm hoping that people like the record enough so I can go do some small theaters and stuff. But we'll see how it goes."
And here are some people talking about him:
Patrick Stump Premieres, Hole Returns, Muse Reigns In The Rain: Friday At SXSW
By James Montgomery
AUSTIN, Texas — "Hi. I'm Patrick."
That's how Patrick Stump, former Fall Out Boy frontman/ current poster boy for portion-control dieting (I mean, have you seen the dude lately?) kicked off his solo career, one song into his much-discussed South by Southwest set. It was a brief, seemingly needless introduction — everyone was here to see him, after all — yet it was somewhat fitting too. He's always been a man of few words.
It was one of the few times he actually spoke to the audience at Austin's dive-licious Dirty Dog Bar, preferring instead to let his new music do the talking for him. And for the most part, that music didn't let him down. It was funky, it was soulful, it was a pretty nice preview of what fans can expect to hear on his upcoming solo album, which, based solely on Friday night's set, is shaping up to be perhaps the greatest '80s R&B album since, well, the '80s.
It wasn't all silky smooth though. Stump's big "one-man band" concept (just him, two guitars, a keyboard and organ, a drum kit, and some samplers) stumbled out of the gate, as opener "As Long As I Know I'm Getting Paid" was marred by sound problems and a general lack of rehearsal time, but things got progressively better from there. A pair of new songs (one a slinky electronic track featuring him keening "I've got nothing to confess," the other a shuffling, funky number with looped drums, handclaps and scratchy guitars) got the night headed in the right direction, and Stump knew it too, loosening up and cracking a smile.
And with his mood sufficiently lifted, Stump took things to the next level. Sliding over to the electric organ, he eased his way into a track that worked in Bobby Womack's "If You Think You're Lonely Now," then morphed into an R&B space jam, full of crashing drums, baying organ and Stump's pained falsetto. He belted out lines like "I'm not brokenhearted, I'm just kind of pissed off," pulled a winging guitar solo out of his fretboard, then let the song fall away for just a second, before bringing the beat back with a decidedly sexy grunt. It was a tantalizing preview of things to come, for sure.
And then, as the crowd whistled their approval, he simply said, "Done," saluted and walked offstage. There really wasn't much else to say. After all, he's a man of few words.
Patrick Stump's SXSW debut as a solo artist: a Fallout Boy untethered
Critically watching Fall Out Boy singer Patrick Stump play his first solo show at the small, smelly, not-quite jampacked Dirty Dog in Austin during South By Southwest was somewhat of a tricky proposition.
Can he be judged against the output of his arena-sized band, known for massive guitar-rock punk numbers and a cartoonish bassist who's a tabloid fixture? Or should he be seen on his own terms, as a new artist trying, like thousands of others, to use SXSW as a chance to break through?
There were certainly arguments for both; after all, Stump doesn't even look the same. Once famously, shyly pudgy, he's probably lost about 50 pounds since he was last seen on a stage, a now-svelte figure trying to find his way around his new body as the inner Chunk looks out. (I personally think they could have worded that better....or even just left it alone.)
Musically, it's clear that he's busy finding his own path as well. Gone are the distorted breakdowns and monster riffs, replaced by discotheque back beats and jazz-funk synths. Stump served as a one-man band for the five-song entirety of the show, on a couple of cuts looping instruments like Jon Brion's fumbling lab assistant, a task that tech problems (rather than instrumental prowess) revealed he wasn't quite up to.
On others, it was just the man, a guitar or keyboard, and a backing track, with Stump finding a groove and a surprisingly dynamic wail -- the pop-soul sound of someone who's never even heard of the Buzzcocks, let alone owns all their 45s.
It's not as huge a stretch as it sounds. After all, Fall Out Boy has collaborated with hip-hoppers, and Stump's on record as saying that he feels the roots of soul, rather than rock, as his inspiration. But tell that to the fan-girls waiting in earnest for an acoustic run-through of "Sugar, We're Going Down," or the music-biz hordes wondering how the hell this mainstream rocker even learned to play a Gm7 chord. For an arena-rock superstar, it was indulgent, to be sure. But for a brand-new artist, it was undoubtedly promising, as well.
(I just don't like this guy that much at all! I mean you can't compare Patrick's new stuff to FOB. He's doing something completely different. Besides, his dad was part of the funk/jazz scene. He grew up around it so of course that's what Trick's going to default as. And this guy was totally wrong to make a stereotypical comment about his fans. I don't think many of us are expecting him to do acoustic versions of old FOB songs. Besides, you can TOTALLY hear the soul in Trick's voice on FAD. That's his sound. And his success at playing in a rock band is completely irrelevant to his personal project. ...Sorry. This guy just rubbed me the wrong way. I wonder what his credentials are anyway. He knows nothing of Trick's background and thusly has no right to make such judgmental comments.)
-- Jeff Miller
SXSW Live Review Patrick Stump
As a musician and vocalist, Patrick Stump has proved himself skilled with some of Fall Out Boy’s more ambitious selections, among them “What A Catch, Donnie” and “(Coffee’s For Closers),” as well as offbeat one-off tracks like his cover of Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown.” So when video hit earlier this year showing Stump presumably working on a solo project, it came as no surprise to see the singer playing a variety of instruments.
In that sense, the format for the artist’s Friday night show at SXSW shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise, although for many it still did. Following reinvention performances from members of Panic At The Disco (The Young Veins) and Gym Class Heroes (Travis McCoy’s The Lazarus Project), the once (and future?) Fall Out Boy frontman took to the stage to minimal fanfare and immediately started playing drums. If the crowd was unresponsive at first, it was almost certainly because the man performing onstage in almost no way resembled Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy. Sporting short-cropped hair and a blazer in place of his trademark messy mop/hat/glasses combo, not to mention startlingly skinnier, the new Patrick Stump represented a clean break from his power-pop past, ready to embrace a more experimental future.
And experimental it is. Midway through playing drums at the start of his set, Stump stood up and moved to play keyboard, the guitar, then back to drums, followed by bass then moving on to adding big synthetic flourishes, all while prerecorded tracks kept running. It was a risky approach, and not one that necessarily went over flawlessly. The format was no doubt at first confusing for the crowd, and just for a second before beginning to sing, Stump looked paralyzed, unsure whether he’d be able to fully make the plunge into a live solo venture. Then, almost as soon as he started singing, the first song abruptly ended. From there, the artist moved between styles and instruments, with a funkier guitar-driven song finding Stump admitting “this is me confessing” before copping to “all the weight of the world on my back.” Other performances in the surprisingly succinct five-song set moved between more blues-leaning material to keyboard-oriented cuts. By the riff-led and funk-fueled last song, Stump seemed more than confident, declaring “I’m not broken hearted I’m just kind of pissed off,” his vocals stronger than they’d been all set. Which is where the artist chose to leave things, exiting almost as abruptly as he entered. It was a somewhat polarizing set, with a challenging structure and miles away from anything attempted by Fall Out Boy. But then, that was almost certainly the point in and of itself.
Should people be so surprised by Patrick's talent as a solo artist? I don't think so. I think people have just pushed FOB to the back burner for the most part and started to ignore how they were changing as a band and how talented they really are. In doing so, they completely overlooked that Patrick was evolving, not only as a vocalist, but that he was also picking up other instruments like the trumpet. So what if he's shy. Who cares what he looks like? Why should any of that matter? The man is completely and undeniably talented. If he wants to do soul, he can do soul. If he wants to do funk, he'll do funk. If he, for some crazy reason, wanted to create a hard rock/celtic/country/rap/polka song I'm sure he'd find a way to make it work. Sorry. Sometimes people just rub me the wrong way. Critics are so focused on such the wrong things. I mean, did you guys really read anything in there about his actual performance? Only a little bit. So frustrating. But I thought they were worth mentioning anyway.
Listening to...: Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance!