Almost anyone who's visited a pop-punk chatroom or blog over the past few months knows that Fall Out Boy hate pop-punk chatrooms and blogs. And those who didn't were made acutely aware of that fact when the band started circulating demos of a quaint little tune they wrote called "I Liked You a Whole Lot Better Before You Became a F----t MySpace Whore."
A subtle dig at the soft underbelly of gossip-mongering Internet communities this was not.
"It's about the idea that of all these online communities have become like collecting baseball cards — my friend will say, 'Yeah, I got 89 million friends' on the Internet," Fall Out bassist Pete Wentz laughed. "And it's a bit of a meat market. A lot of people use the term 'MySpace hot,' like, 'Oh, she's hot in her picture, but she's only MySpace hot.'
"And all these people are always talking to me, like, 'Why didn't you add me as a friend?' And I'm like, 'I don't have one of those things,' " he continued. "And it's cool, but at some point it becomes a parody of itself, and so you've got to be able to stick a needle in there and pop it."
And though "MySpace Whore" has yet to see a proper release (Wentz swears it'll happen one of these days), it perfectly sums up the band's feelings about the whole Internet thing. And it's taken on an even greater meaning since Fall Out wrote it last year — before they became one of 2005's biggest breakout successes, before they were "TRL" sensations (see "Fall Out Boy Making Their Own Magic On Fall Headlining Tour"), and before people started impersonating them on MySpace.
On Sunday, Fall Out Boy posted an announcement in the "Journal" section of their official site — which in itself is a little ironic, considering their whole Internet-hateration thing — blasting all those wannabe Fall Out Boys out there.
"We have noticed a crazy amount of fake MySpace accounts for each of us. NONE of us have a personal MySpace account," the statement read. "We have also noticed a lot of people selling our autographs online. Don't support this. We promise that you can get our autographs at shows. Don't waste your money online."
Their beef is a common one among bands with, shall we say, rather Internet-savvy fans. Acts like the All-American Rejects and Weezer frequently deal with online imposters, and online communities like MySpace — with more than 19 million members — often have a difficult time monitoring profiles and weeding out imposters, though they do try.
"When MySpace is alerted to any infringement on the site — whether it is fans posting 'fake' artist profiles, or members publishing 'fake' profiles of people within the general public — the Company takes immediate steps to either remove the page in question, or switch the control of the profile to artist management," a spokesperson for the site (who requested anonymity) said in a statement. "Artists always have the choice to remove fan-posted profiles."
MySpace makes it clear that "impersonat[ing] another user or person who is not a member of MySpace.com" is a violation of their terms and conditions, and the site reserves the right to "reject, refuse to post or remove any posting (including e-mail) by you, or to restrict, suspend, or terminate your access to all or any part of the Web site."
And it's not like the two sides can't be beneficial to one other. Earlier this year, MySpace streamed Weezer's Make Believe album for free in the week leading up to its release (see "Weezer Album — And Rivers Cuomo's Mind — Being Offered Up For Inspection"), and the album went on to debut at #2 on the Billboard albums chart. And even Fall Out Boy are willing to use the Internet — for a good cause.
In the near future, the band says it'll be auctioning off items on eBay to raise money for its friend, Something Corporate frontman Andrew McMahon, who was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this month (see "Something Corporate Singer Andrew McMahon Has Leukemia").
"The Internet has made it easier to interact with fans and easier to spread messages and get people out to shows," Wentz said. "But it works in reverse too, it's very easy to spread messages the other way."