Fall Out Boy may not know what form their next album is going to take just yet, but they can tell you this: It's not folk.
"There was something that got misconstrued," lead singer Patrick Stump said Tuesday at CosmoGirl!'s Born to Lead Awards, where the band was honored for its humanitarian work for Invisible Children. " ... [FOB bassist] Pete [Wentz] was saying something about folk music, and I was saying something about folk music ..."
So is this like the time FOB were going to collaborate with Victoria Asher, the keytar player from Cobra Starship? Wait, no — that was another Internet rumor gone wrong. Fall Out Boy laughed this one off on their Web site, when Wentz blogged, "Contrary to the heavy blogging, the new record is not gonna be a folk record. It's gonna be rap-rock." Considering the band's work with Kanye West and Stump's near-perfect rendition of R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" the previous night at a karaoke contest at Wentz's bar, Angels & Kings, "rap-rock" could be the next leap. But no.
"I don't know if that's really going to be an influence," Stump laughed.
"R. Kelly plays more basketball than he plays influence," guitarist Joe Trohman joked.
So what's up with the folk thing then? "We were kind of thinking about folk music lyrically," Stump said, "and I think a lot of people assumed that meant acoustic guitars, which it doesn't."
So Fall Out Boy want to step up their game and write something meaningful. Since they were being honored by CosmoGirl! for shooting the video for "I'm Like a Lawyer With the Way I'm Always Trying to Get You Off (Me + You)" in Uganda, they were starting to wonder: How much more powerful would the song have been if it had addressed the problems of the war-torn country in words as well? Not that every song needs to be politically or socially conscious, but Fall Out Boy want to have something more to say than just about what they're going through.
"The last record was definitely about our first interactions with fame," Wentz said, "and I think it would be boring to write about it anymore."
Stump said they're "toying" with having some of the songs just be stories, using narrative techniques to give the songs "relatability."
"Maybe it's more ambiguous," Wentz said of their new stuff. "Maybe it could be more relatable to other people."
Though some of the new songs are already completed, the guys don't feel even close to actually recording their fifth album, considering they're still touring around Infinity on High, which came out earlier this year.
"We need a next breath in before we take the next breath out," Stump said. "I always think of that total cliché that a record is like a child or a pregnancy even. There is a point where you're just going to have a record, like, 'Oh! It's coming!' And we're not there yet. I don't even know how far along it is. First trimester, maybe."