Once you get past a certain age, it seems like all your favorite bands start breaking up. Or worse: they announce they're going on "indefinite hiatus," that amorphous cloud of time to be that basically says "It's all over, but we're maliciously allowing you to continue to hope for a reunion." In the mid-late 2000s, going on hiatus was the thing to do, with Blink-182, the Starting Line, and Fall Out Boy all calling it quits (for the time being). All three of these bands have since come back from the dead, but it was Fall Out Boy, who play Mohegan Sun Arena on Thursday night, who re-emerged from their time off the most prepared. (Blink-182 coincidentally also play Mohegan Sun this week, on Sunday.)
In February of this year, Fall Out Boy announced that, after a bit over three years apart, not only were they back in the game, but they'd already secretly recorded much of their next album, had a new single to show for it and intended to go on an actual tour. Guitarist Joe Trohman says the decision to get the band back together came after singer Patrick Stump and bassist Pete Wentz came up with a song idea over the hiatus that they thought would work as a Fall Out Boy song. "Andy [Hurley, drummer] was pretty game like immediately," Trohman says. "I had a lot of other projects going on, but after talking to Patrick for a while, I was pretty into it," he says. Thus started the writing process for what would become Save Rock and Roll, the band's first release of new material in almost five years, nearly coinciding with the 10th anniversary of their first record Take This to Your Grave.
Save Rock and Roll's first single "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light 'Em Up)" and the album's opener "The Phoenix" charge straight out of the gate, trampling over any notion that the guys had lost their touch. "We've often said that Fall Out Boy now is like Fall Out Boy 2.0, that like making Save Rock and Roll was a second chance at making a first record again," Trohman says. They kept the album's recording and their intentions secret, not only because they wanted to be the ones to announce their reunion (an opportunity taken from them when someone not in the band let the cat out of the bag), but also because up until Save Rock and Roll was nearly complete, they still weren't sure anything would actually come of it. "I think because we kept it under wraps, it really feels like out of nowhere, because no one knew what to expect," Trohman says. "Everybody was speculating exactly what we were gonna do, and everyone had it so wrong that it actually made it even better for us," he says, noting that they were bummed they couldn't be the bearers of good news themselves. "Everyone was like 'They're gonna release one new song and do a Take This to Your Grave reunion tour and that's it!' And no one expected that we'd put out a record and go back out on tour," Trohman says.
Now that the guys are all in their late 20s and early 30s, Trohman and his bandmates are taking their increased control over their professional lives to ensure a good work-life balance. "I think now that we communicate better with each other and with our management, we can kinda set some parameters this time around," Trohman says. "We don't wanna over-tour, and that's kinda what happened before, why we had to go on a little break. We just burnt ourselves out," he says. Trohman asserts that Fall Out Boy never really intended on staying apart forever. "There was a general idea that we would be able to regroup and then be able to do Fall Out Boy again under a better light," he says. "It's so easy to be so deep in that you can't see the forest for the trees."
Now that they're back, Trohman says Fall Out Boy are only looking ahead short term, to prevent getting ahead of themselves, but they plan to "squeeze all of the juice" out of Save Rock and Roll before creating something new. The Mohegan Sun Arena show is the first show of this leg of the tour, something Trohman says they're very excited about. Opening for them on this tour are Panic! at the Disco, a band that owes their success to Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz, who signed them after they sent him a link to some demos via LiveJournal in 2004. Panic! at the Disco's next record Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! comes out Oct. 8.
Fall Out Boy, with Panic! at the Disco and Twenty One Pilots
Sept. 5, 7 p.m., $39, Mohegan Sun Arena, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville, (888) 226-7711, mohegansun.com.