Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump Recalls The Moment He Realized He Could Sing
By Katrina Nattress
April 18, 2019
Patrick Stump has been the singer of Fall Out Boy for nearly two decades, but before he auditioned for the band the thought of being a frontman never occurred to him — he had always been the drummer in projects past. During a recent podcast interview, Stump went into great detail about how his singing career came to be, and how it surprised him more than anyone else. Read the full transcript below.
I’ve told this story a lot, basically Pete and Joe, had wanted to start up a pop-punk band or something melodic, something fun, because they were doing exclusively really heavy bands, and that was all they did. They just wanted to play around with something fun. My last band had broken up and there had been a pretty long draught. I was kinda surprised - usually it would be pretty easy for me to get into bands, and I would audition and I would get something or whatever, and I can’t remember how long it was but, in terms of teenage years, it felt like eons ago!
No one was really letting me play in a band, and I bumped into Joe and he was talking about Pete Wentz and how they were putting together a band and I was like 'Wentz, he’s in a real band! They tour and stuff!', so I was like 'I wanna see what that is, I wanna see what the vibe is'. Joe had said that they were looking for a guitar player, a singer, and a drummer, ‘cause at that point, it was Pete and Joe, and I was kinda bluffing because I had already only ever played drums in bands, but I said 'I can do one of those, for sure, in a pop-punk band, sure!' – I was being kind of arrogant because I didn’t take pop-punk very seriously, I’m like 'sure, whatever. One of those, I’m sure I can do'.
But I went in, kind of with an agenda of like 'I am going to play my song, I’m gonna play a couple songs for them, and see if I can get them to take my songs', because that’s all I really wanted, to make songs and make music. But I had my kit set up in the corner, knowing that was gonna be the thing.
They come over, I play them the songs, and it wasn’t even in my mind to even consider being a singer. At most, I was like 'well, I could be the rhythm guitar player who does maybe backups or something', it was never even a thought of mine. I played a couple of songs, they lean over to each other, and Pete goes 'I think this guy should sing'.
Joe had told him that, by the way, Joe had heard something that I had done, I had posted some songs somewhere, and I think I was just trying to let people know that I write songs, I’d post it on mp3.com or something, and Joe had heard that, so was like 'oh this guy can sing' – they knew before I did! It was kind of like 'you should sing' and I’m like 'what did you think of the song?', and it really started from there.
It’s really like one of those Disney movies from the 90s where you just find out that you can throw the football really far; it’s just one of those things I really had no idea. The other thing too that’s weird is I didn’t know it wasn’t a thing everyone could do. I had no idea, I hadn’t had a lot of experience with other people singing, I thought everyone could sing to some degree. I had never really experienced anyone singing badly. I had the blind luck of being a drummer, so my rhythm was pretty good, and then we’re doing all these stacked harmonies and they were lining up really well.
Though it's great hearing the story straight from Stump's mouth, we can't help but love Panic! At The Disco singer Brendon Urie's Drunk History version from 2014. Watch that priceless video below.
Photo: Getty Images