With the state of rock and roll being what it is today, anyone with free time, a wireless connection and a penchant for writing longwinded (and dubiously punctuated) Internet diatribes can spark up a full-fledged band-on-band conflict in a matter of hours — as is the case with the latest rock feud between scrappy punk-underdogs Fall Out Boy and double-platinum synth-rockers the Killers.
It all started last Wednesday, when FOB bassist Pete Wentz made a passing remark about the Killers in his journal on the band’s official site, FallOutBoyRock.com, writing, “It’s funny the way you talk about sharing an A&R guy like it matters,” apparently referring to a second-hand comment he’d heard about Rob Stevenson, the Island Records Artist and Repertoire executive the two bands do in fact share (neither Stevenson nor a Fall Out Boy representative would clarify the issue or comment on the matter at all). “It’s too bad you wrote a couple of good songs, otherwise it’d be that much easier to write you off.” Wentz then signed the post as “Mr. Brightsides.”
Emo-punk messageboards across the Internet nation picked up on the posting, with many speculating that the reason Wentz lashed out at the Killers was because they had complained to Stevenson that ever since Fall Out Boy had taken off, the Las Vegas quartet had been all but forgotten by their label, Island Records.
A few days later, Wentz lashed out at the Killers again, this time singling out frontman Brandon Flowers as his target. In a post on FueledByRamen.com (the Web site of the record label that released FOB’s 2003 album, Take This to Your Grave, plus their 2004 EP, My Heart Will Always Be the B-Side to My Tongue, Wentz was giving props to Panic! At the Disco, a Las Vegas dance-punk act he had recently signed to his Decaydance Records, and who will share the stage with the band on the upcoming Nintendo Fusion Tour (see “Fall Out Boy Making Their Own Magic On Fall Headlining Tour” ) when he managed to get in a few not-so-subtle, capitalized digs at Flowers.
“I hope none of THE OTHER Las Vegas BANDs get jealous that there is another gem out in the middle of the desert,” Wentz wrote. “F—ing wasting my time on FLOWERS.”
It should be noted that a spokesperson for the Killers was unaware of any burgeoning beef between the bands, and that Fall Out Boy’s spokesperson had no comment on the issue. Both bands are signed to Island, but just because they’re family doesn’t mean they can’t fight: earlier this year the Killers engaged in a lengthy war or words with New York synth band (and labelmates) the Bravery (see “The Vanilla Thrilla: The Killers vs. The Bravery”).