As far as album-preview interviews go, this probably isn't the best way to start one:
"I hate hearing bands talk about their new records before I hear them. Inevitably all bands trash their old songs, which we love, and insist they have come up with an entirely new formula. Then you hear the record and it sounds basically, for all intents and purposes, exactly like the band has always sounded. We're not the kind of band that is just gonna throw you in a cold pool with all of your clothes on just to get the party started — at least we wouldn't in this particular metaphor."
That's Fall Out Boy bassist/mouthpiece Pete Wentz on his band's much-touted new record, which has been written about so much, it hardly feels like an upcoming release (see "Pete Wentz Says: Don't Expect A Fall Out Boy Album This Year" and "Fall Out Boy Say Next LP May Fix Global Warming, Feature Jay-Z"). And yet, despite the copious amount of sorta information currently floating around about it — and Wentz's reluctance to describe the songs on it — he has e-mailed MTV News a bunch of new information about the new FOB record, which the band is in the process of wrapping up as you read this.
"It never really feels like the homestretch, but I think we should be finished tracking this week. Or maybe we will do one more song, we'll see," Wentz wrote. "I think the date the label wants the record is Halloween. We're gonna deliver it dressed in costumes. Or maybe not."
He also revealed that the new disc will be heavy with guest stars, and while he wouldn't talk about everyone who appears on the record — a list that includes "a couple of our friends" from the hip-hop game making cameos, "though not rapping" — he did let the cat out of the bag regarding a pair of guests that should have the MySpace Nation vibrating with excitement: Panic! at the Disco guitarist Ryan Ross and New Found Glory axeman Chad Gilbert, both of whom contribute solos to an unnamed track.
"We tried to make it a bit different than the way we used guests on From Under the Cork Tree," Wentz wrote. "We felt like rock bands have kind of neglected the guitar solo, at least in our genre. So we had our friends Chad Gilbert and Ryan Ross both play guitar solos on a song. But it won't be what you expect."
Wentz said that FOB have already recorded 14 songs with producer Neal Avron — he claims titles include "Hum Hallelujah," "I've Got All This Ringing in My Ears and None on My Fingers" and "The Carpal Tunnel of Love" — and are currently working with Babyface on a pair of tunes, under decidedly, um, relaxed conditions.
"Working with Babyface has been cool, different. The hours are way better," Wentz reported. "We work from, like, 3 p.m. till midnight. One night we even started at midnight. Kind of amazing for us late sleepers."
When they've finished burning the midnight oil with 'Face, Fall Out Boy will whittle a list of 15 or 16 songs down to a dozen that will make up the new album — the title of which Wentz still won't reveal — and have the LP in stores in "late January or early February." The band also plans to release a new single before the end of 2006, though its not sure which song it will be.
"We have more choices for a single this time around, which is proving to be both a blessing and a curse," Wentz wrote. "I think people get sick of bands and pictures and personalities, but everyone is always craving good music — and hopefully that is what we will deliver."