Some disturbing news broke from Ultimate Guitar today. Patrick Stump, frontman of Fall Out Boy, and genre-bending musician behind 2011's Soul Punk [his debut, solo album], is reportedly quitting music. While musicians come and go, and fans are left to grieve with the help of past records, Stump's reasoning behind the decision is a sordid one. As UG reported, he has lost interest in writing and performing due to a constant barrage of comments and threats from "haters." While this remains true on some grounds, it was not the initial reasoning for Stump's tell-all blog post which UG based their reports on.
It all began with an essay Jacob Tender, a columnist for Under The Gun Review, wrote about his teenage love for Fallout Boy -- particularly the band's debut album. Tender sent the essay to Stump, and while it contained nothing but positive sentiments, Stump's blog post was an initial response to Tender's essay, and an eventual means for soul-searching. While he covered much ground, he ultimately realized that he's found it incredibly difficult to make music for an audience who "
will only ever care about one record he started at 18 - the Fall Out Boy debut." Stump personally stated, "Fall Out Boy's last album 'Folie A Deux' was our most critically panned and audiences openly hated it -- at no other point in my professional career was I nearly booed off stages for playing new songs,"
and, that upon losing weight and touring his solo effort, he received comments along the lines of "we liked you better fat."
Consequently, Stump has decided to work predominantly as a songwriter and producer. As he said, "It's as though I've received some big cosmic sign that says I should disappear. So I've kind of disappeared."
While he has still mentioned the possibility of completing his unfinished follow-up to Soul Punk
, and could see himself doing more work with Fallout Boy, for right now he has "no interest in performing music publicly."
Tender's essay aside, this leaves us to question -- when did "fans" become so cruel they could literally push an artist out of the spotlight? Sure, we love bands for many reasons, and sometimes disagree with artistic choices they make when releasing new albums, or solo efforts -- but to harrass? It pushes the limit. Until your own band is touring stadiums, or your songs are hitting Billboard's Top 100, who are you to judge? Have a heart, and if you need to pass judgement, do so constructively. We wish Stump all the best.
**UPDATE: While Stump has announced that he will be taking a break from performing publicly, he will still be writing music and working behind-the-scenes in the industry. As of now, it does not appear as though he has "officially quit music," and he appears to be open to the idea of writing and performing publicly again one day. This article should not be misunderstood as an announcement of Stump's definite, and total departure from music.