I know there is a very small likelihood that Patrick Stump will ever read this. I have almost no presence on the internet, only a few of my close friends ever read this blog, and lets face it, hes Patrick freaking Stump. Yet, nonetheless I feel compelled to write this blog with a desperate hope he will read it. If you know me, you have no doubt heard me rant and rave about his solo album, Soul Punk. It was my second favorite album of 2011. So, when I read his latest blog post, it bothered me. It went beyond the feelings of a hurt fan, though. There was something deep, making me empathize with Patrick as I read his reaction to the ruthlessness of his once-were fans.
See, Soul Punk was so much more than an album for me. It was hope. I know how cheesy that sounds, but in a world of over-produced, fake bullshit winning award after award, that album gave me hope for the music industry. It wasn’t the lyrics. It wasn’t the harmony. It wasn’t the song structure or the chords or the arrangement. The thing that made that album so meaningful to me was that it was Patrick Stump. He wrote the songs, played every instrument, and produced the album exactly the way he wanted it to be. Every song I heard was 100% what he wanted me to hear. Not what an army of producers told a group of studio musicians to play. No. This was his work, his art. I aspire to be like this. I spend my days in my basement with a 12 string, a set of bells, a keyboard, and a collection of eclectic music, and even though some may find my music too raw or too mixed or too poppy or too weird, there is one thing I can always say at the end of the day: It’s mine. Patrick Stump did something that very few people did. It was a risk. Without a team of experts telling you what is currently selling and which of the three settings on your Juno you should use for this years pop sound you run the risk of not being perfectly marketable. To take your own money and finance a project that first and foremost is about expressing what you want to express, that deserves some applause. That deserves recognition. Did I mention he plays every instrument on the album? Including trombone and saxophone. The bad ass drum fills on Allie? Patrick Stump. Every note, every line. Patrick Stump. We live in a world where most pop music is written by songwriters who sell their songs to producers who pick artists who have the right brand who sing through computers while studio musicians and compression cover all of the imperfection. You hear a song on the radio and afterward the DJ exclaims who performed the song, but lets all get one thing straight. That song does not belong to that person. It’s hard to figure out who the song does belong to. But Soul Punk, well that belongs to one man and he deserves some goddamn respect.
To the man who showed the world how much talent he has. To the man who put his art out there, complete and weird and funky. To the man who accomplished so many of my dreams through that album. I salute you Patrick Stump. I may be a nobody, struggling musician whose words mean very little in this world. But, I needed to put it out there. You are one of my heroes. I have nothing but respect for you. I hope to G-d you release that follow-up. I appreciate Soul Punk not just because it is catchy as fuck (I have spent days on end singing “step 1: drink. step 2: make mistakes” over and over and over.”) but because in a world full of fake, you showed me something real. Thank you for all that Soul Punk is to me. Thank you for sharing your art with the world.