There's an old adage that says, "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry."
Or, as Pete Wentz puts it, "We tried, but there was just too much sh-- going on."
He failed to mention anything about a mouse, but his meaning is clear: Despite his band's promises to the contrary, there will not be a new album from Fall Out Boy in stores this year. And believe us: You're not half as bummed out by that news as Wentz is.
"We're still definitely pushing for it, but I don't know if we're going to be able to get the album out by the end of the year," he sighed. "We'd really love to do it, but in order for us to, things would be absolutely insane. The turnaround time would be insane. There will definitely be a single out by year's end though."
So what's the reason for the delay? Well, it's certainly not a lack of preparation on Fall Out's end. They've been talking about From Under the Cork Tree's follow-up since May 2005 (see "Fall Out Boy Nearly Done Writing 'Way Different' Next LP") and started dropping Babyface's name as potential producer in November (see "Fall Out Boy Want Babyface To Produce Their Next Album").
As it turns out, it had nothing to do with the band and everything to do with shakeups at its label, Island/Def Jam.
"We've been ready to record for about the last three weeks, but there's been, um, if I go into specifics, I'll get into trouble," he said. "There have been some changes at our label, a little bit of strangeness there. Half the phone numbers I have for people at the label don't have people on the other end of them anymore. It slowed us slightly, but we're getting back up to speed."
And while things were shaking down at his label, Wentz tried to keep his mind off things by spending serious loot: on a house in Los Angeles and an English bulldog named Hemingway.
"He's pretty much the raddest thing ever," Wentz laughed about the dog. "Except all he does is eat, poop and ruin things."
He has also continued writing songs with FOB frontman Patrick Stump, and Wentz said the tracks reflect the frustrations he's been feeling as a result of the delay.
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"And in a way, it's liberating," he continued. "Because we need to go out and remember the reasons we're doing this in the first place. And we're not going to go out and grow hippie beards. We need to make music for all the right reasons."
Despite all his frustrations, Wentz said everything appears to be pointing toward FOB hitting the studio with producer Neal Avron by the end of the week, with 20 songs in tow. He said the album is shaping up to be less of a kiss-off to the whole message-board scene — regardless of what he may have said back in April (see "Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz Asks Killers Singer On Dinner Date") — and more a reflection of how he and the rest of the band are progressing as musicians.
He singled out one track in particular as a particular favorite — but not for the reasons you'd think.
"There's a song we're calling 'Me and You,' and in it, Patrick is doing things that are straight-up Motown," Wentz said. "If there wasn't a rock band playing, it'd be straight R&B, and he'd go on tour with just an upright bass and a drum and open up for R. Kelly. And as far as lyrics go, I've been taking a lot of influence from the best lyricist of the past year: Lil Wayne. He's insane. There's this one song ['Hit 'Em Up'] where he goes, 'I eat up catastrophe/ Swallow the truth/ And belch reality,' and I'm like 'Wow.' "
For more on Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, check out the feature "The Boy With the Thorn in His Side."