Five days after announcing that Fall Out Boy were postponing the Honda Civic Tour due to "personal issues" (a nebulous explanation that put the rumor mill into overdrive with a quickness), Pete Wentz would like to make several things clear:
"No one has left the band, no one is dead, and no one is going to rehab," he told MTV News late Monday. "I need that as a big pull-quote, man, because everyone thinks that. It's the danger of language and the danger of the times we're in.
"It's a health issue, but not a health issue that anyone needs to worry about," he continued. "It's not life-threatening, it's more about being overworked and worn down. I know a lot of kids were freaking out when we said it, but I wanna say as loud as I can that it's nothing serious."
So there you have it: FOB aren't calling it quits, aren't suffering some mega meltdown, aren't going through some — as Wentz put it — "big, Metallica 'Some Kind of Monster' type sh--." They're just really, really exhausted, which is the kind of thing that tends to happen when a band has essentially had its accelerator mashed for nearly three straight years.
"Usually, our attitude is like, 'Oh yeah, book everything!' We'd fly like 50 hours in a week to go to places we'd never been before," Wentz explained. "And the time zones and the promo and all that, it just wears you down. And I think we could've done this tour, but it would've been pretty crappy.
"Sometimes you need to take into consideration how the physical and mental health of each member of this band affects the overall health of the band," he continued. "Sometimes you have to think about having this sh-- running in the right way, rather than just keeping it afloat. It's real easy to keep a machine going, but it's real difficult to keep it running the way it should."
Wentz did confirm that the health issue involves someone "within the band," but wouldn't elaborate further. He said that the decision to postpone the start of the 42-date Honda Civic Tour — which also features Paul Wall, (+44), the Academy Is ... and Cobra Starship, and was initially scheduled to kick off on April 18 but will now begin on May 11 in Denver — was a "democratic" one, but hinted that all four members of the band weren't exactly on the same page about the issue.
"It was a democratic decision, one where you add up the pluses and the minuses. [It was a choice between] bumming some people out a little bit in the short term, or having them go to shows and leave disappointed," he said. "But it was also an incredibly difficult decision, one where half of us wanted to push through, and half of us thought if we went out, we'd get halfway through and then just decide to send the troops home. And at the end of the day, it's way more worth it to have a good show and have everyone in good spirits."
So on Friday, the band issued a statement announcing the postponement of the tour — and then spent a presumably exhausting weekend dealing with copious amounts of message-board speculation about just what went wrong. And all that drama — coupled with reports on various celebrity sites that Wentz was spotted galavanting around Los Angeles with Ashlee Simpson while his band was going through turmoil — made for one seriously distressed fanbase ... one that seemed ready to put the blame squarely on Wentz's shoulders.
"It's frustrating," he sighed. "First of all, it's frustrating when you put out the statement and then everyone's like, 'Oh, someone's in rehab!' and I just wanted to tell them, 'No, that's not the issue.' And then people are like, 'Oh, it's obviously Pete!' I'm reading all this stuff, thinking, 'Not everything that happens to this band happens because of me — bad or good. Every time the car crashes, I wasn't behind the wheel.' And that was the thing that was the most frustrating to me, because yeah, I am out on the town, but I'm actually in a good place in my life right now, and I'm doing fine. Pete's doing all right. He's out and about and doing OK right now."
So, in summation, Wentz would like to ask everyone to chill out. Fall Out Boy will be fine. And when they do hit the road for the Honda Civic Tour, he's promising that the wait will be worth it. Because not only will the shows be "completely amazing," but fans will get to see a fully rested and — most importantly — healthy FOB. The band was confirmed Tuesday (April 10) as a performer at Al Gore's Live Earth Concert (see "Kanye, Fall Out Boy, Kelly Clarkson Lead Live Earth's U.S. Lineup").
"I think that this could've been a much bigger issue if we didn't address it now. It was something looming in the back of my mind, like, 'Well, if we don't take this little time here, are we gonna get halfway through this tour and just have everyone crash?' " he said. "I think we're slowly learning that sometimes, we need to be like 'No, we can't do that.' We've been trying to get everywhere and see everyone. We tried to function like a band that's playing Knights of Columbus halls, where we say yes to everything, and it's a lot harder to do that now. We're working on trying to be good to people while also trying to be good to ourselves."
For a story about Fall Out Boy's cross-country, three-gigs-in-one-day tour in February, check out "Infinity Ends: Fall Out Boy Wrap Epic Trek With L.A. Rooftop Gig."