DETAILS: Your new album, Soul Punk, is a mix of R&B and funk. In other words, it's nothing like Fall Out Boy.
Patrick Stump: It's more distinctly me. I've been making music most of my life, and this is the first time I've heard my ideas unfiltered. It's entirely plausible this is what I might have been doing the whole time.
DETAILS: Did creative tension lead to the band's split?
Patrick Stump: It's like a whole family trying to decide where to go to dinner. In the end, you're all eating at Sizzler and no one wants to.
DETAILS: New sound, new look—a lot of emo-punk kids must be pissed at you now.
Patrick Stump: I never said, "I'm gonna wear this hat every day, and these sideburns and these glasses." I did it and people reacted, and when I didn't do it people got mad at me. Here's the defining moment: We played the Youth Inaugural Ball and got our picture taken with Obama—something awesome that I'm going to show my grandkids—but you can't see my face. I'm totally hidden, and I thought, "In 20 years, am I still going to be wearing this?"
DETAILS: You also lost a lot of weight. How many pounds did you shed?
Patrick Stump: I don't want to say, because I'm surprised by how much it was. It became a health issue. I wasn't overweight—I was obese. Pre-diabetic. This was not an aesthetic choice. I remember being in Japan and ordering a large at a fast-food restaurant, and when it came out it was like an American small. I looked down and thought, "Duh! I'm five four. What am I thinking?"
DETAILS: Are you and Pete Wentz still on good terms?
Patrick Stump: Definitely. Look, any musician is probably a little egotistical, so there's always going to be friction. But we're still good.
DETAILS: So you're confirming that Ashlee Simpson is no Yoko Ono?
Patrick Stump: I'm confirming that. Also, Yoko Ono never deserved any of the hate she got. Paul McCartney and John Lennon weren't getting along. Not that I'm drawing a parallel, because (a) we were getting along just fine, and (b) I'm not arrogant enough to compare Fall Out Boy to the Beatles.