It's hard to believe amid all the Fall Out Boy radio hits, award-winning Panic! at the Disco videos and female-fronted bands that came about because they were inspired by Paramore (who perform tonight at the Dodge Theatre), one of record label Fueled by Ramen's biggest breakthrough successes came way of the godfathers of emo themselves, the Valley's own Jimmy Eat World. Fueled by Ramen released Jimmy Eat World's self-titled EP back in 1998, which spurned a whole wave of heart-on-their-sleeves artists. And back in the mid-2000's, Fueled by Ramen seemingly dominated the pop market, with newcomers The Cab, Gym Class Heroes and Cobra Starship touring with the "vets" in what seemed to be a musical fraternity dominated by flat irons and eyeliner.
While some artists on the label have pretty much remained true to their original line-ups and sounds, others have seemingly fallen off the radar. Here's a look at some current Fueled by Ramen artists and alumni and what they've been up to.
Fall Out Boy
Since releasing their fifth studio album, Folie à Deux, in 2008, and a greatest hits album, Believers Never Die - Greatest Hits, the band has announced an indefinite hiatus, guaranteeing many tear-filled nights by their rabid teenage girl fan base. Singer/guitarist Patrick Stump declared, "I'm not in Fall Out Boy right now," to Spin magazine, while bassist and outspoken leader Pete Wentz Tweeted, "I can't imagine playing in FOB again." Meanwhile, drummer Andy Hurley and guitarist Joe Trohman formed a new heavy metal band, The Damned Things. Stump is currently working on a solo album...and his body, as he showed off a svelte, thinner frame at the Climate Rally/Earth Day Celebration in Washington, D.C. in April. Wentz formed an electropop band called Black Cards, which is set to release an album in 2011.
Gym Class Heroes
After scoring a video hit for "Cupid's Chokehold" in 2006, playing the Vans Warped Tour and performing at arenas with the likes of Panic! at the Disco and Fall Out Boy, Gym Class Heroes released their latest album, The Quilt, in 2008. Rapper Travis McCoy's relationship with Katy Perry was just as buzzed about as the band, and the since-Perry-less McCoy now goes by Travie and released a solo album, Lazarus, this summer. It spawned the hit "Billionaire," and McCoy performed this past weekend at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. He's not forgetting the band which gave him his roots, though, as Gym Class Heroes are scheduled to release a new album, Papercut Chronicles II, later this year.
Panic! at the Disco
Panic! at the Disco has had its share of ups-and-downs since it was signed by Pete Wentz to his Fueled by Ramen imprint, Decaydance, before the band had ever even played a live show. The group, often criticized for long song titles and that dang exclamation point, completely changed their experimental emo/pop sound for their sophomore album, Pretty. Odd. The band also dropped the exclamation point, and that's where the problems began. While the band stood behind the decision to creatively shake up their music, the group went from playing arenas and having massive video and radio airplay to downsizing to amphitheatres and barely making a dent on radio and television with the single, "Nine in the Afternoon." Then guitarist Ryan Ross and bassist Jon Walker left the band, forming a new group, The Young Veins. Their album, Take a Vacation!, was released this summer. Since the duo's departure, singer Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith put the exclamation point back in and have said they've already recorded a new album for a 2011 release--though no new members have yet been added to the band.
The Hush Sound
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The Hush Sound received a magical touch when Stump co-produced their 2006 album, Like Vines. The band played the rounds with the likes of Panic! at the Disco and stood out from their emo labelmates with a poppier, honky tonk, piano-driven sound. Since releasing their last album, Goodbye Blues, in 2008, bassist Chris Faller left, while singer/pianist Greta Salpeter formed an indie pop project, Gold Motel, which has released and EP and a full-length album, Summer House, this summer. Singer/guitarist Bob Morris is currently performing with band Debate Team and is working on a solo album. The Hush Sound is only on hiatus, though, not broken up.
One of the newest bands on the Fueled by Ramen line-up is fun., fronted by none-other than former local boy Nate Ruess of The Format. The group, based in New York City, released their debut album, Aim and Ignite, in 2009 and has toured with Paramore and Never Shout Never. They're set to go on the road with Paramore again this fall in the UK.