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    Louisville.com recently caught up with Joe Trohman: avid Star Wars fan, collector of guitars, and co-founder of pop-punk-powerhouse, Fall Out Boy.

    The much-celebrated group is currently riding high on the success of singles, “Centuries,” “Uma Thurman,” and “Irresistible.” The latter, a re-vamped version of an album track, features vocal help from Demi Lovato, and its corresponding video is a playful spoof of ‘N Sync, replete with cameos from Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick.

    When Fall Out Boy plays the KFC YUM! Center this Thursday, March 10, you can expect to hear those tunes, as well as an assortment of favorites from their entire catalog. And be prepared for lead guitarist Joe Trohman to steal your heart away.

     

    LC: You have a distinctive style of playing. Who were your early influences when it comes to guitar?

    JT: "Most of them fall on the punk and blues spectrum. When I started taking lessons, I can remember playing stuff by MC5 and Black Flag. But I was also influenced by Billy Gibbons, Jimmy Page, and Jimi Hendrix."

     

    LC: As a collector, do you scour the local shops for guitars when you are on the road? And have you ever been to Guitar Emporium here in Louisville?

    JT: "I’ve heard of Guitar Emporium, I know it’s a cool shop. But I’ve not had the pleasure of going there yet. I am always looking, especially, right now, for old Jazzmasters. But unless it’s something I can’t pass up, I try to have more self-control these days. It’s hard once you have the addiction, though."

     

    LC: Do you think that growing up in the Midwest has informed your art in any tangible way?

    JT: "Yeah, without a doubt. I got to experience bands like the Jesus Lizard and the Pumpkin Seeds [who later morphed into Smashing Pumpkins] that had a real impact. I loved all that noise-rock stuff, for lack of better terminology. And when my family moved to Chicago, that’s what totally opened up the world of blues to me. I really got into guys like Freddie King and Otis Rush because of that experience."

     

    LC: How did Fall Out Boy’s sabbatical, that began in 2009, shape the way the band re-emerged in terms of focus?

    JT: "That’s a really good question. I can’t speak for everyone else but I think it created focus, individually. And also just confidence. For me, it was about learning how to allow space for things to occur, rather than nitpicking stuff all the time. And when we came back together, I knew how to better contribute myself to the mix."

     

    LC: What was the takeaway from having a side-project with the Anthrax guys? That must have been pretty cool.

    JT: "It was AWESOME! The big takeaway was that guys like Scott Ian, who you want to put on a pedestal, are just like all other dudes in bands. We’re all kind of like teenagers-for-life, and we all just want to have fun, regardless of age, or accomplishments, or accolades. Something about figuring that out was very comforting to me."

     

    LC: After your break, Ryan Adams came into your lives, momentarily, as a producer. How did the Pax Am Days project come about?

    JT: "We had a mutual friend in Butch Walker. And Ryan had mentioned to Butch that he really liked Fall Out Boy, and that he wanted to do something with us, which was cool because I’m a big fan of his work, especially with the Cardinals. Ryan wanted to approach it with the idea that we would act as if we were a new band with limited resources and a short amount of time to record, which would force us to come up with haphazard ideas and run with them. Obviously, we were all down with playing that game, and it turned out to be a lot of fun."

     

    LC: You guys played Global Citizen Earth Day last year with Louisville band, My Morning Jacket. Are you still political activists at heart?

    JT: "We all came from that and it’s hard not to be activists when there are so many important things to get behind. LGBT rights, climate control, you know...all that’s going on with the presidential election. We’re not an overtly political band, that’s not our ethos, but we’ll lend our collective voice if we think it can help."

     

    You can still get tickets to hear Fall Out Boy’s collective voice at the KFC Yum! Center via www.kfcyumcenter.com. Two other noteworthy bands, AWOLNATION and PVRIS, will kick off the evening.

     

    Images: Pamela Littky

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