Former Fall Out Boy Frontman Patrick Stump Hits His Stride Going Solo

Patrick Stump, who will perform at Lollapalooza on Aug. 6, never dreamt of pop stardom, but passion and talent landed him there nonetheless.

As his band, Fall Out Boy, rose out of the Chicago hardcore and punk scenes to success on a national scale, the spotlight landed square on Stump’s soulful voice. The Grammy-nominated group may be on hiatus, but the Glenview native that was at its helm is far from laying low.

This summer marks the release of Stump’s first solo album, “Soul Punk,” which Spin magazine deemed one of the “24 summer albums that matter most.”

Make It Better chatted up Stump about Fall Out Boy, growing up outside Chicago and the artistry behind his pop music.

How did you conceptualize your new album? It’s quite a departure from your work with Fall Out Boy.
I wanted to do a solo record because even though I was writing music for Fall Out Boy, it wasn’t really my music, it was our music; I was writing it for and in conversation with the band. I have so many musical interests and I felt that if I really wanted to do my fusion ‘80s/R&B/political punk record it would only work now. Context and perspective make a big difference, so I wanted to get my pop stuff out while I’m still young.

What advantages do you think growing up outside Chicago afforded you and Fall Out Boy?
Anonymity. It’s a place where you can make all your mistakes in private, unlike New York or L.A. It’s really weird the way Fall Out Boy ended up, because none of us were really big pop rocker guys, we were punk kids and we were playing pop punk. I realize now there was a parallel evolution between where music was going and where we were going—somehow we landed at the right place at the right time to be on the radio, but we never really thought that was what we were doing.

Are you excited or nervous about playing Lollapalooza this year?
I’m not sure what to expect from the audience because I’ve never played anything this big or ornate before, but I’m excited. I never really get nervous.

What can your fans expect from the Patrick Stump live performance?
I’ve got a really good band. It’s important to me to make pop music with an eye toward quality musicianship. I see a lot of pop shows and the bands are up there miming to a track. We’re really playing and playing hard. People should expect the concert to be pretty blowout with everyone on all cylinders.

What advice do you have for young artists growing up on the North Shore?
Like making music and don’t want anything from it. The happiest times in my life have been when I haven’t been worried about playing successful songs, but simply playing what I love.