Fresh off a three-month American tour, an African video shoot, and last month's MTV Video Music Awards (where the band won "Best Group"), Fall Out Boy could have taken a much-needed break.
But that would mean stopping the momentum. And after scoring multiple hit singles from their latest album, Infinity on High, and gaining jillions of MySpace friends, the Chicago-based emocore outfit has generated considerable energy.
So the quartet — Patrick Stump (vocals), Pete Wentz (bass), Joe Trohman (guitar), and Andy Hurley (drums) — have teamed up with the Plain White T's, Gym Class Heroes, and Cute Is What We Aim For for yet another cross-country tour.
They'll be playing Mud Island Amphitheatre on Saturday, October 27th. Hurley (pictured at far right) took a few minutes before a show in Columbus, Ohio, to catch up with Flyer.
Flyer: You guys started out modestly in Chicago's hardcore scene. Now, you're a rock star. Is it all it's cracked up to be?
Hurley: It's a lot harder than I thought it would be when I was kid and dreaming of being in a band like Metallica. It's a lot of work, but at the same time, I get to do what I love, and it's my job. At the end of the day, it doesn't really feel all that much like work.
Your breakthrough album, From Under the Corktree, scored double-platinum status. Was there pressure to create a bigger, better album with Infinity on High?
Not really. I think the pressure comes when a band isn't writing the whole time they're on tour. They go on tour for a year or two, and then they have to go into the studio after half-a-year off, and they don't have anything.
In our case, Patrick had been writing a lot while on tour for Corktree. By the time we went in to the studio, we had so many songs, it was like, what songs do we want to use?
Are there any songs you're sick of playing?
I'd say the songs we play the most. I still like "Sugar, We're Goin' Down," but I'd say it's "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" that I'm the most sick of.
Is it a challenge being vegan on the road?
It was really hard when we were touring on a van, and we had to pay our own way. We didn't have any money. Now I have a lot of stuff from Whole Foods stocked on the bus, so if there's nowhere to eat, I have my own food to make. I think the hardest places to eat are overseas. It's usually French fries, and that's it.
Do you ever try to convert your band members?
No. At one point, everyone was vegan or vegetarian, but they went their own ways. I'm vegan because I think factory farming is horrible. I don't personally think eating meat is wrong. I'm an anarcho-primitivist politically, which means I think humans are supposed to live the way we lived prior to 10,000 years ago. I think our relationship to what we eat is different than it was a long time ago.
You're also the only straight-edge member of the band. As a rock star, drugs and alcohol probably surround you. How do you maintain such convictions?
At one point, everyone [in the band] was straight edge, and we all had each other to fall back on, but I've always had friends at home who drank or smoked pot or whatever. For me, it's a political conviction where I'm just against what drugs and alcohol represent to the greater culture, so I never really find myself wanting to do them.
Fall Out Boy recently filmed the video for "I'm Like a Lawyer with the Way I'm Always Trying To Get You Off" in Uganda to raise awareness about the Invisible Children organization, which attempts to prevent children from being abducted to fight in the Lord's Resistance Army. What inspired that?
That was Pete's idea. Even though some of us stopped being vegetarian, we still have our same political ideals. He looked for an organization that he really believed in. A lot of charities don't really help. But [Invisible Children] really puts money into the hands of the local communities.
The video shows a young Ugandan couple in love. But the guy is torn from his lover when he's abducted for the army. It's almost like a documentary.
Going there was one of the most life-changing things I've ever done. They're not these separate people who aren't humans. Seeing the kids on TV with the bloated stomachs makes them seem so distant. But when you know they still love and watch movies, hang out and play sports, it changes that. That's why we did the video we did. I'm really, really proud of it.
After all this touring and video shooting, what's next?
This is the last tour on this record. Then we might do some international stuff. But I think we're going to take our first real break since we started. Then again, I know we already have a lot of new songs, and we always end up going in to record sooner than we think.