For nearly as long as Fall Out Boy have been working on their new album, bassist Pete Wentz has been touting the greatness of its title, declining to reveal it but promising that it would "blow people's minds."
And now, after months of hints, he's finally let the cat out of the bag.
"The new album is called Infinity on High," Wentz told MTV News late Monday night. "It's taken from a quote by Vincent van Gogh. And as for what that means in relation to the record, we'll just let it will unfold when people hear it."
The title is taken from a letter written by van Gogh to his brother Theo in 1888, in which he describes his renewed health and the vigor it has instilled in his painting. Van Gogh's exact phrasing has been translated as both "Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. Then life seems almost enchanted after all," and "And all the same to feel the stars and the infinite high and clear above you. Then life is almost enchanted after all."
While Wentz declined to explain the title's significance to the songs the band has written for the album — which is due February 6 — it's not difficult to see it as a statement about the band rising above detractors and finding strength within themselves. Or at least that's what we infer from the first two songs we've heard about from the record, the just-leaked "Carpal Tunnel of Love" (see "Fall Out Boy Leak New Track"), and the first single, "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race," a tune that Wentz referred to as "a call to arms."
"It's just kind of a tongue-in-cheek look at the way we are so addicted and obsessed with new arts, cultures and loves — to the point where it just becomes oversaturated," he said. "I think people are gonna read into it what they will. In the back of my head it's a call to arms, but not [in the traditional sense] — more in the way that you sometimes need to just talk to yourself in the mirror."
Wentz further described "Arms Race" as "a bit of '70s funk mixed with [the band's 2003 LP] Take This to Your Grave, with tight verses and big, fat choruses," and admitted that he and the rest of the band were a bit nervous about debuting the song on next week's American Music Awards.
But again, he welcomes any detractors.
"I guess it's gonna go how it'll go," he said. "We've never been the greatest live band but we love the songs we play and sometimes that seems to transfer to crowd, sincerely. No one really sounds great on TV, but we'll give it a shot and see what happens."
So with an album title and a pair of songs revealed, does that mean Fall Out Boy are gearing up to take Infinity on the road? Well, not just yet. But Wentz did say that there are big — and small — plans in the works.
"We do have some surprise shows coming up this winter, and of course, we'll tour for the record," he said. "This is how our band will always be. People should keep their eyes open. We feel indebted to our fans and will always try to pay them back."
Find out where Fall Out Boy's dramatic titles come from and what inspires their songs in "Pete Wentz: The Boy With The Thorn In His Side."