Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy Addresses ‘The Act of Hating’ and Nickelback
“How many people reading this are fans of Nickelback?,” Patrick Stump asks at the beginning of a new blog post on his website. The thoughtful Fall Out Boy frontman proceeds to question why people pour so much energy into hating certain bands and other pop culture figures.
Stump argues that as consumers of pop culture, we should spend more time appreciating what we like instead of complaining about what we don’t. He writes, “We’re so busy broadcasting our latest cultural disdain that we scantly notice anything we enjoy. ‘Oh man, this Rebecca Black kid is terrible! Let’s laugh at her!,’ has become more culturally relevant than, ‘I really love this new Bilal record.’”
He continues, “And yet we derive our own identities from the act of hating. We connect on the things we are disappointed in. Some may argue that nothing in history gathers a crowd like complaining about Lady Gaga’s meat dress. Near-masturbatory complaining has brought together more people than cheap liquor. ‘Who hates the government?’ ‘Cheeer!!!!’ ‘Don’t you just hate Justin Bieber?’ ‘Huzaaaaah!’”
Stump uses a grocery store metaphor to drive home his point. He asks why, when people encounter an artist they don’t like, don’t they keep quiet and move on to the next band, in much the same way a shopper who doesn’t like barbecue sauce would simply walk past it in the aisle?
Stump knows all about the hating after spending many years with critically-scorned Fall Out Boy and seeing his genre-mashing solo record ‘Soul Punk’ fail to achieve commercial success. Nickelback, of course, become punching bags for rock critics and huge segments of music fans, even though they still manage to sell tons of records, and Stump can relate to their apparent dedication to their craft in the face of criticism.
“I study other musicians,” he says. “I’m always working to improve my abilities as a songwriter or a guitarist or a producer or a programmer or a lyricist, etc. I’m sure Nickelback, at least somewhere in their career, are or were no different. They worked (and potentially still are working) to be the best damned Nickelback they can be. All of the agreed upon pariahs throughout pop-culture history put their identities into the thing we decry.”
After a lengthy hiatus, Stump is back recording and touring with Fall Out Boy, whose new album ‘Save Rock and Roll,’ drops in April.
Watch the Fall Out Boy ‘My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)’ Video