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Last week was bittersweet for Fall Out Boy fans. Nearly five years to the day of their last studio album release, the band dropped a new single and announced their next album, So Much (For) Stardust, after weeks of hints on social media. This was exciting news for the die-hards, but they definitely decided to give us the good news first. Later that same day, guitarist Joe Trohman released a statement that he would be taking a break from the band. He’s burned out and prioritizing his mental health.
Joe Trohman is prioritizing his mental health.
On Wednesday, the Fall Out Boy co-founder and guitarist told fans he would be taking a break from the group.
“Neil Young once howled that it’s better to burn out than to fade away,” Trohman began in a statement shared on the group’s official Twitter page. “But I can tell you unequivocally that burning out is dreadful.”
He added, “Without divulging all the details, I must disclose that my mental health has rapidly deteriorated over the past several years. So, to avoid fading away and never returning, I will be taking a break from work which regrettably includes stepping away from Fall Out Boy for a spell.”
Hours before his message, Fall Out Boy announced that they would be releasing a new album, So Much (For) Stardust, under Fueled by Ramen, a subsidiary of Elektra Music Group. The March 24 release marks the band’s first studio album since 2018.
Referencing the highly-anticipated project, Trohman said in Wednesday’s statement, “It pains me to make this decision, especially when we are releasing a new album that fills me with great pride (the sin I’m most proud of).”
He then reassured fans that his departure is temporary and that he will be back.
“So, the question remains: Will I return to the fold? Absolutely, one-hundred percent. In the meantime, I must recover which means putting myself and my mental health first. Thank you to everyone including my bandmates and family, for understanding and respecting this difficult, but necessary, decision.”
He concluded, “Smell you sooner than later, Joe Trohman”
Aw, Joe. I saw him in the Union Square Walgreens once 15 years ago because I’ve been a fan that long. I guess this was why he wasn’t in the video for the new single, “Love From the Other Side.” Joe also has the support of his bandmates, with lead singer Patrick Stump saying as much in an interview:
Stump told NME that he’s “really proud” of the guitarist and FOB co-founder.
“It was his decision to [put out that statement] and I’m really proud of him,” Stump, 38, said. “It’s really brave [to be so open]. I’m so impressed with the way he’s able to just share, because I’m a very reserved person. I admire him.”
In an interview surrounding FOB’s new single “Love From the Other Side” and upcoming LP So Much (For) Stardust, Stump explained that despite his temporary break from the band, Trohman is featured “hugely” on the March release.
“He’s 100% in the band and on that record,” Stump shared. “He has this work ethic where he really has to be there, but he called us up and said that his doctor told him he needed a break. We told him, ‘Take the break, your seat’s warm, you’re not any less a part of it.’ He’s all over the record. It’s as much his as it is any of ours.”
So that answers my question about how long they were sitting on this and whether he was on the album. The band performed on Jimmy Kimmel the other night with just the remaining three members and it would be nice if they keep it that way for touring, etc, since Joe did say “for a spell” and that he would “absolutely, one-hundred percent” be back. And I totally believe him because FOB is pretty honest with their fans and sticks to their word about that stuff. In 2009, they said they were taking an “indefinite hiatus,” released a greatest hits album, and started working on separate projects, which many took to mean they were slow-rolling a break-up. But they reconvened in 2013 so it really was a hiatus. So Joe will be back! The timing of this news was surprising, but the fact of it wasn’t. Joe released a memoir in the fall called None of this Rocks, in which he described his early familial and mental health struggles over the years. And I can think of a couple of points throughout FOB history where he’d talked about being unhappy and they made some visible changes. Hopefully Joe can get what he needs from this break and come back to the band when he’s ready. All the fans will be missing him and wishing him the best.