Patrick Stump is at a strange place, career-wise. As the guitarist and lead singer in Fall Out Boy, he helped instill a limber tunefulness many of the bands’ pop punk peers lacked. That was one of many reasons FOB built a huge following — but even those tracking Stump’s pop proclivities couldn’t have guessed he’d make quite the leap he has in his solo work; his upcoming debut, Soul Punk, is shimmering, completely unrestrained, and most commonly compared thus far to Michael Jackson.
His first proper tour with the new material brings him to Fubar tonight — doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8. We talked to Stump about what people’s reaction to the new stuff has been like and how he wound up at Fubar, of all places.
Kiernan Maletsky: You’ve got this tour, the album’s finally got a release date… does it feel good to be getting toward the end of this part of the process?
Patrick Stump: Yeah, this long amorphous kind of wait. I’ve just been waiting around for… it’s been years now. Not waiting around for years, but I think I announced the album close to two years ago.
A lot of people have certainly watched your transformation as a musician and are not going to be totally shocked when they hear the album, but do you think there is still a large number of your fans who are going to be taken aback?
Yeah, I definitely think so. And I’ve already kind of been countering it. Because, like you said, people who have been paying attention aren’t all that surprised. It’s kind of what you’d expect from me – I’ve always been interested in Prince and Michael Jackson and David Bowie and kind of sub textual politics and light, proggy, fusiony moments and things like that. I think all those things are there.
I think a lot of people also know me as the guy that toured with bands like All Time Low and Cobra Starship and Blink-182. So if you know me from that, it will come across as a departure. Even though a lot of the things that inform this record I kind of touched on in Fall Out Boy. But this is definitely more of a distillation.
As much as this is clearly more inspired by pop, there’s still some amount of what you were doing with Fall Out Boy in this stuff. And this tour…. you’re playing in St. Louis at Fubar, which is not the kind of place you would normally hear the sort of music you’re playing these days. How did you wind up playing these particular venues on this tour?
First off: Venues are hard to book in general. I’m in such a strange position because I have a lot of younger fans but I’m a totally new artist, which is usually paradoxical. You don’t have a younger audience and be an unknown. They just don’t make smaller venues that aren’t also bars. So it was a really big challenge on this tour to find places that could accommodate the show. And there are a lot of considerations: What we wanted it to sound like, what we wanted to do instrumentally, those are major things. And also who could literally book us that night.
My booking agent was very, very adamant [Fubar] was where I needed to play. He definitely did not want to hear any argument on it.