Fall Out Boy On Life After Nirvana: Musical Influence Or Stolen Lyrics?

Fall Out Boy’s frontman Patrick Stump wasn’t a fan of Nirvana the first time he listened to them.

In an interview with MTV in early May, 2015, members from Fall Out Boy spoke about the influence that Kurt Cobain and Nirvana had on them personally, as well as on the entire music scene. And as Audio Ink Radio explained, Patrick Stump was quick to add that even though he didn’t immediately take to Nirvana the first time, he quickly became a fan.

“In the era, I remember being like, ‘Eh, I don’t like Nirvana. I don’t like this. This isn’t for me.’ Right up towards the end, I started to realize, ‘Wait, this is kind of awesome.’ I was one of those jerk-little kids that was like, ‘Eh. Whatever is popular, I don’t like that.’ I realized kind of almost too late that that was exactly what Kurt was into.”

Patrick Stump went on to explain that as he matured and his appreciation for music deepened, he realized that Kurt Cobain was, as he put it, the “ultimate anti-rock star.” The Fall Out Boy frontman elaborated that it took him quite some time before he realized Kurt Cobain wasn’t trying to be popular.

“He was like, “No, I don’t want us to be this big popular band… That related to me a lot, and kind of informed a lot. It’s hard to relate to musicians who act like gods. It’s way different when they’re real people and you know that and that kind of comes through. And then, they’re kind of amazing in their own way. [Kurt Cobain was] like the ultimate of that.”

Fall Out Boy’s bass player Pete Wentz then went on to talk about his memories of Kurt Cobain’s passing.

“I remember going to school in high school the day after he passed away. There were kids who had Ks written on their hands. I remember where I was. Kurt and Nirvana was one of those few moments in music that we got live through where everything was different after Nirvana.”

The comments from Fall Out Boy’s members came in advance of the release of HBO’s fully authorized documentary based on the life of Kurt Cobain, entitled Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck.

But it’s not just Nirvana that has influenced Fall Out Boy’s members over the years. In an earlier interview with MTV News on April 11, 2015, Fall Out Boy spoke of the influence hip-hop has had on their style of music overall, but it’s not in the way you may expect. Fall Out Boy were not influenced by hip-hop’s rhymes as much as they were by its beats.

As Andres Tardio commented in MTV News, the influence of hip-hop beats is particularly evident in Fall Out Boy’s most recent album, American Beauty/American Psycho. Patrick Stump has spoken about the way Fall Out Boy experimented with sampling in several tracks on their latest album.

On this record especially, we really focused on the idea of sampling. It’s still this thing that’s so taboo in rock music. It’s an art form. You can do such amazing things with it. Those things are very obviously influenced by hip-hop.

Recent Twitter conversations have brought attention to similarities between Fall Out Boy lyrics and Nirvana lyrics, with fans questioning whether Fall Out Boy may have taken their love of Nirvana a little too far.

[Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]