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Alex DiVincenzo 02/28/12 09:24 PM

Confessions of Patrick Stump
Patrick Stump posted a lengthy blog entitled "We Liked You Better Fat: Confessions of a Pariah" in which he discusses the challenges of living in the shadow of his Fall Out Boy past.
BlogThereís this really nice piece at underthegunreview.net by Jacob Tender that a friend forwarded me today. Itís about how important Fall Out Boyís album ďFrom Under the Cork Tree,Ē was to him. After reading it though, nostalgic and well-written as it was, I really found myself more depressed than anything. Itís a complicated feeling, one that Iíve been incapable of explaining to anyone and have them fully understand. In spite of this though, I suppose I will give it the old-I-didnít-go-to-college-try:

Tender had one line that really hit home for me. I related to it in terms of my feelings towards other artists, but I also winced at the profound implications it touched on in my own professional life:

ďI didnít like those pretentious assholes who didnít like anything after Take This To Your Grave. I now recognize that Iím one of those assholes, but I still fume when some of my favorite records are so easily discredited by ignorant semi-listeners.Ē

The reality is that for a certain number of people, all Iíve ever done, all I ever will do, and all I ever had the capacity to do worth a damn was a record I began recording when I was 18 years old. That I can live with. Thatís fine and fair; I have those records in my collection that seem to stand out far above the rest of my favorite artists catalogues (and especially for artists in whom I only have a passing interest). I suppose thereís nothing wrong in thinking Iím at a point in my life where it seems Iíll never catch up: If anyoneís going to appreciate the work Iím making, it wonít be until long after Iím done doing it. Again, this is fine: Iím insanely lucky to even imagine anyone ever appreciating anything I ever do, let alone in real time. Countless artists far better than I have only achieved posthumous acclaim. If I am to be obscure and financially unsuccessful, thereís nothing disheartening in that. The thing thatís more disheartening is the constant stream of insults Iím enduring in my financially unsuccessful obscurity.

Fall Out Boyís last album Folie A Deux was our most critically panned and audiences openly hated it (it was also our poorest selling major label album even if one adjusts for the changing music economy). Now, thatís not to say it didnít have its fans, but at no other point in my professional career was I nearly booed off stages for playing new songs. Touring on Folie was like being the last act at the Vaudville show: We were rotten vegetable targets in Clandestine hoodies.

That experience really took the wind out of the bandís sails; It stopped being fun. I suppose Iím just not that thick skinned. So perhaps it was even more ill-advised when I went out and did something Iíd always wanted to do; make my album and have it released by Island Records [my solo record Soul Punk]. I coincidentally happened to achieve another goal which was to lose the weight Iíd been carrying around since a month-long drinking binge after a bad breakup. Those accomplishments were happy things. Living in the moments of achieving them were perhaps among the happiest in my life.

So when I went out into the world to show off the self I felt like I was happiest and most comfortable being, I suppose I knew there would be the ďHatersĒ [I loathe the clumsy/insufficient word but it seems the most universal]; The elitists that would always prove impossible to please. I had always been prepared for ďHaters,Ē because thereís never been a moment since I graduated high school where I havenít been the guy in ďThat Emo band.Ē First said emo band was dismissed as third rate pop-punk played by hardcore kidsÖa pale imitation of Saves the Day. Then we were swept up in the emo backlash [I really didnít know we were an emo bandÖthatís not what the word meant a decade ago]. To this day my favorite writer at cracked.com will occasionally take swipes at my band as one of the worst things to come out of the 2000ís. We were a (albeit funny) running joke on an episode of Childrenís Hospital.

Those examples of ďHaters,Ē were people who never liked me (or at least never liked my music) and, by all rights, never really should. Such is the way of things. Different strokes for different folks as it were. What I wasnít prepared for was the fervor of the hate from people who were ostensibly my own supporters (or at least supporters of something I had been part of). The barrage of ďWe liked you better fat,Ē the threatening letters to my home, the kids that paid for tickets to my solo shows to tell me how much I sucked without Fall Out Boy, that wasnít something I suppose I was or ever will be ready for. Thatís dedication. Thatís real palpable anger. Add into that the economic risk I had taken [In short: I blew my nest egg on that record and touring in support of it] the hate really crushed me. The standard response to any complaints I could possibly have about my position in life seems to be ďYou poor sad multi-millionaire. I feel so sorry for you.Ē

Quite right, I still have access to enough money to live on in order to avoid bankruptcy for at least a few years as long as I stick to my budget, but money really isnít everything and it never was. Perhaps those are the words of a privileged man who doesnít really know what poverty really feels like. Again, that would be a fair rebuttal; I wasnít raised rich, but lower middle class upbringing in early 90ís Midwest US of A is still a far way from the bread line. Still, thereís no amount of money in the world that makes one feel content with having no self respect. Thereís no amount of money that makes you feel better when people think of you as a joke or a hack or a failure or ugly or stupid or morally empty.

This of course isnít Tenderís fault. He never said anything negative and indeed only said great/supportive things. I guess Iím just angry because he illuminates why Iím a 27 has-been. Iím a touring artist and I feel Iíve become incapable of touring anymore with any actÖwhether I were to go out as a solo artist or do some Fall Out Boy ďReunionĒ [nope: Still never broke up] or start a new bandÖthere will still be 10-20 percent of the audience there to tell me how shitty whatever it is Iím doing is and how much better the thing I used to do was. Not only that, but that 10-20 percent combined with whatever notoriety Fall Out Boy used to have prevents me from having the ability to start over from the bottom again. I canít even go back to playing basement shows. As the saying goes: I couldnít get booked at the opening of a letter.

Itís as though Iíve received some big cosmic sign that says I should disappear. So Iíve kind of disappeared. I know a lot of you have wondered where Iíve been. Iím sure others of you are disappointed to hear Iím still kicking around somewhere (kiddingÖsort of). But the truth is wherever and whoever I am, whoever I am whenever I release whatever release is my next, whoever said recording is recorded with: I will never be the kid from Take This To Your Grave again. And Iím deeply sorry that I canít be, I truly am (no irony, no sarcasm). I hate waking up every morning knowing Iím disappointing so many people. I hate feeling like the awkward adult husk of a discarded once-cute child actor. Iím debating going back to school and learning a proper trade. Itís tempting to say I wonít ever play/tour/record again, but I think thatís probably just pent up poor-me emotional pessimism talking (I suppose can be excused of that though right? I am the guy from That Emo Band after all).

Iíve managed to cobble together some workÖIíve been moonlighting as a professional songwriter/producer for hire and Iíve even been doing a bit of acting here and there. I have no interest (and evidently that sentiment is reciprocated) in performing music publicly any time soon but as Iíve said Iím sure that will happen when it happens. I have been debating releasing the unfinished follow-up to Soul Punk. Weíll see what happens there. Still no word on Fall Out BoyÖI know Joeís working on his new record and Peteís mixtape just came out so I donít expect anything on that front in the near future. I, as always, would be super psyched to do the band again though. Iíve been watching a lot of Downton Abbey and Iíve finally caught up on the Office. Friends have been turning me on to all the records Iíve been too busy to listen to over the past couple years.

I do suggest reading Tenderís column if it sounds interesting to you; Heís a great writer and itís a fun/relatable little story regardless of who the band is within it (film adaptations of Nick Hornby novels should be proof of that).


Tyler Dumont 02/28/12 09:31 PM

I loved Soul Punk, to be honest. I really hope he can shrug off his "haters" because I think his writing just got better and better which every album FOB did.

DemBitties 02/28/12 09:31 PM

He lost me at "I've finally caught up with the Office."

Alex DiVincenzo 02/28/12 09:32 PM


Originally Posted by DemBitties (Post 103876002)
He lost me at "I've finally caught up with the Office."

Losing you on one of the last sentences of a long read - not too shabby.

DemBitties 02/28/12 09:33 PM


Originally Posted by Alex DiVincenzo (Post 103876022)
Losing you on one of the last sentences of a long read - not too shabby.

Truthfully I skimmed to the bottom and just saw that line. haha.

blimpcityhero11 02/28/12 09:33 PM

Somber read from one of my favorite artists. There's too much talent there to say good bye to music and performing though. I really hope Patrick can overcome the naysayers to just enjoy his craft for himself and the people who support him in any endeavor.

Deborah Remus 02/28/12 09:34 PM

Reading this really bummed me out. Fall Out Boy have been my favourite band since the TTTYG days and I still think Folie a Deux is their best record by far. I don't get why more people never grew with them like I did. I can only listen to TTTYG and FUCT because of the nostalgia nowadays, they were capable of writing much better songs and they did. Sucks to hear they actually got booed for it.

Also, Soul Punk had some really good songs. I still love "Allie" just to name one.

LivingTheLyrics 02/28/12 09:34 PM

He goes from saying he may never make music or play shows again, and then immediately says "I'd love to do FOB again"? But, this was an interesting if not uncomfortable read. Surely not what I was expecting.

Manufactured Dreams 02/28/12 09:35 PM

Oh my god :bluesad:

This seriously made me tear up. Even though I'm not one of those fans who make him feel shitty cause I've never done anything he has said I still just feel so terrible that he feels this way. I wish I could just give him a big hug and tell him I love Soul Punk.

steve187 02/28/12 09:35 PM

excellent read. i always enjoy what patrick has to say even though it's pretty sad stuff

kinda feel bad but this made me laugh imagining this

the kids that paid for tickets to my solo shows to tell me how much I sucked without Fall Out Boy

AC91 02/28/12 09:36 PM

He has just been progressing musically, not digressing. That article was honestly just depressing. I'm sure there are thousands of people on this site that have been helped by Patrick's music in one way or another, or used it as a "gateway drug" into the bands they listen to now. For him to have the courage to pursue a solo career in the way he did was inspiring. This post was really just disheartening. To see someone so influential get so beaten down is not a very happy thing.

ReadyForAction 02/28/12 09:36 PM

This broke my fucking heart. I love Patrick Stump and whatever else he creates. I feel like I really know him when I hear him perform

rawesome 02/28/12 09:36 PM

I just saw someone link to this on Tumblr and read it. It makes me feel really shitty to read that and just imagine how despondent he probably is. I hope things turn around for him.

gr33ndayfr3ak 02/28/12 09:40 PM

As much as I love Fall Out Boy (Folie a Deux and all), I feel for the guy. He makes an incredibly good and well-worded point in that he's never going to live up to his past in the eyes of other people, even if he's improving in his own.
I was one of the few who actually enjoyed Soul Punk quite a bit, and I'll continue to support Mr. Stump regardless what he decides to do/release in the future. I just hope he doesn't get stuck in the same no-self-respect rut he was in the past.

EastCoastVans 02/28/12 09:40 PM

Wow... what a downer. I wish the dude the best of luck in music, acting, school... whatever path he chooses to take.