Fall Out Boy, from left, Pete Wentz, Andrew Hurley, Patrick Stump and Joe Trohman, play the PNE tonight.


Fall Out Boy live in the middle of the pop-culture vortex.

Their faces are plastered over supermarket tabloids and talk shows. When playing stadiums, singer/guitarist Patrick Stump admitted it’s tempting to write epic songs to fit the venue, and said the whole experience is surreal.

“It’s really strange what kind of stuff gets attention,” he said. “We’ve been on a number of TV shows and gossip magazines, and I don’t really see why, but a lot of people are interested I guess.”

Fall Out Boy — a boy band take on pop-punk — draw from hardcore to R&B (Babyface produced their latest, Infinity On High). Asked to compare this constantly shifting sound with the comparatively solid work of groups like Sonic Youth or the Wu Tang Clan, Patrick said it comes down to the nature of a band.

“RZA has such a signature sound — it’s like David Bowie — no matter what changes (in Bowie’s music), his voice is a defining feature that stays the same,” he said. “In our case — I’m thinking of the Take This To The Grave, that record — we did it, it’s done, but I don’t want to do it again. It was time to grow.”

Patrick said a lot of bands push to change for the wrong reasons: as a selling point on a new record or because they are self-conscious. He said artists tend to worry too much about what other bands think.

“(It’s like when you) go into a guitar place, and there’s a young guy whaling away on a guitar waiting for someone to walk by and be impressed,” he said. “That’s the problem with bands — they’re spending too much time worrying about impressing other bands, not making music, which is what it’s about.”