Despite the fact that it's coming out on Election Day, they're talking about it before a Rock the Vote concert at the Democratic National Convention, and they've promoted its release with a mysterious Big Brother-esque viral campaign, Fall Out Boy are insisting that their new album, Folie à Deux, isn't going to be a politically charged affair.
Then again, they're not exactly denying it either.
"The title of the new album is Folie à Deux. It means 'the shared madness of two' — thank you, Dictionary.com," FOB bassist Pete Wentz laughed. "It's not an overtly political record, but I'm not gonna say what it is."
"And I also wouldn't say it's not a political record, it's just one of those things," frontman Patrick Stump added. "We'll just let the record speak for itself, but it is coming out on Election Day."
So while Folie probably isn't going to be, say, American Idiot, Part II, it's also probably not going to be another From Under the Cork Tree. There's no denying the fact that things have taken a decidedly political turn in the FOB camp these days. From the viral campaign for the upcoming album to their just-released Welcome to the New Administration mixtape (which you can grab for free here), Wentz and company are sounding like a bunch of really fired-up poly-sci students lately. However, it could just be a happy accident — after all, ever since the viral campaign they launched was hijacked by Florida rock act Copeland, they've sort of been forced to make things up on the fly.
"We've done a little bit of the campaign for this record already, where we came up with this idea, because we've liked a couple of [viral] campaigns that had happened in the past, but then we realized we didn't have the money or the time to hire those publicity firms to do it for us," Wentz said. "So we came up with this idea to create an autocratic, overbearing, Big Brother organization that had these sort of vague messages, like, 'Change is here! We all must believe in it!' And we came up with the beginning and the end of the story, and ... "
"The middle just kind of came up with itself," Stump interjected. "That was the amazing thing, was watching it happen. I kind of felt like it was a [Robert] Altman movie, where you go in and there's kind of a script, but everyone's just improvising their own lines and changing it, and then at the end of it, you're like, 'Oh, that's what it meant.' And that was a huge part of it for me. We had the beginning and the end, and then it was kind of like, 'Go nuts from there.' "
And while things might have gotten a bit jumbled, Wentz still insists that releasing the New Administration mixtape (or, excuse me, "mixtape and manifesto") — which features not only demos of songs presumed to be on Folie, but also new music from a host of Decaydance acts like Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heroes and the Academy Is ... — was part of the plan all along. And he's urging FOB fans to stay tuned, because there's still plenty more to be revealed before the album hits stores on November 4.
"Especially today — since everyone wonders whether people care about music at all anymore — engaging people and letting them tell the story and letting them become encapsulated in it, I think,is an important thing. It's a way to attach your art to something else," Wentz explained. "The whole campaign is part of the record and people can call it whatever they want, but the mixtape was part of that campaign, and we'll see what happens from here. I know people have been talking about it being a viral campaign, but the thing is, we're calling audibles every day — we're changing what we're doing every day. And in creating this autocratic organization, we created a democratic campaign, because people have made it go the direction they wanted it to go."Street Team '08 will be on the ground at both conventions to sort through all the speeches, streamers and ceremony to find the information you need to choose our next president. And head to Choose or Lose for nonstop coverage of the 2008 presidential election. And after history is made in Denver, MTV News will help you make sense of it all in "Obama Decoded," premiering Friday, August 29 at 7:30.