As an avid fan of Fall Out Boy (read: an avid fan of Patrick Stump, Joe Trohman, Andy Hurley and 5 percent of Pete Wentz), I am pretty damn stoked to watch Stump perform his solo act at the Martini Ranch later this month.
I am even more excited to hear how his punk soul fusion translates to a live performance--where an excellent backing band could replace the computers, synth beats and guest vocals that permeate his Truant Wave EP.
While I like some of the new songs, I just want to break it all down and hear Stump's soulful voice live, accompanied by the band to create a more organic sound.
Stump is still developing as a solo artist, that much is for sure. Here a few "band-dudes gone solo" Stump can turn to for advice as he searches for his own sound.
This is not to say I am not a fan of the Chicago crooner's fledgling solo catalog. I just can't wait to hear more. To me, the EP (along with "This City," the first single off of the forthcoming Soul Punk) still sound like the work of an artist searching for his footing. The voice and the music are the there, but sometimes the beats seem a little too repetitive and the lyrics a bit stiff.
Not that I blame the guy. His voice and musical style gave me some of my favorite albums from the past ten years, so I am confident that, given time, he won't disappoint me. I am ready for the transition and kind of excited to watch it happen.
That said, Stump does not have to go through the transition alone. The musical landscape is marked with many an artist who, after a successful band career, took the solo route. Not all of the artists who chose this path had the chops to succeed, but Stump's vocal chords are too money not to make him a success.
Here are a few artists I hope Stump thinks of as he grows as a solo artist. And maybe, one day, we'll find his name amongst theirs in the annals of solo history.
Phil Collins Collins seems to represent a lot of things that Stump plans to do. He plays multiple instruments, sings and was all over the music industry. The guy definitely forged his own path with Face Value and his later solo recordings, but also managed to find time to contribute to other artists' albums and even produce. He plays multiple instruments, sings and was all over the music industry. Not to mention the fact that he created one of the most epic animated film soundtracks of all time. Hell, if the Evil Mouse gives Stump the freedom to create an entire soundtrack, I might even ignore most of my moral conundrums and actually see a Disney movie.
Sting Here is another guy who, after leaving an extremely successful band, looked at the chance to go solo as the chance to just enjoy himself musically. He worked with an incredibly wide range of musicians, organized benefit concerts, and put out a pretty eclectic catalogue of music. I don't know how many causes Mr. Stump believes in, but he sure loves himself some collaborations. Just don't follow in Sting's music video footsteps, Pat.
Michael Jackson From a purely professional standpoint, how could an artist not want to follow in the footsteps of the King of Pop? The guy had a once in a lifetime talent that could only be besmirched by his personal demons. However, Stump seems to have his head on fairly straight and I think he has the talent to, at the very least, become a stellar part of Jackson's musical legacy (an opinion which is affirmed by Fall Out Boy's excellent "Beat It" cover from a few years back).
Sam Cooke Alright, I know I am kind of cheating on this one, but can you blame me? Sure, the majority of Cooke's notable work occurred during his solo career, but he started out as a gospel singer in bands like The Highway OC's, so he counts. If Jackson is the King of Pop, then Cooke is the King of Soul. And I think Stump has the pipes to build on the genre that Cooke started, with a little added pop-punk flair.
Elvis Costello Once again, I know. Cheating. Costello was always the focal point of every band he was in and, in many ways, always a solo artist. But his career offers too much to Stump for me to leave him off the list. This guy was the originator of punk fusion. He took the tenets of punk and mixed them with everything from rock n' roll to soul and everything in between. The guy even played with Burt Bacharach. I think Stump has the chance to become the Costello of our generation, shunning genre labels in favor of simply making kickass music.