Black Cards Pete Wentz and the very lovely Bebe Rexha stopped by the Fender/Filter Magazine Artist Lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel, just prior to their late-afternoon set on Friday at Lollapalooza’s BMI stage.
“It is awesome to be back in Chicago, especially with a new band,” said Wentz, who shot to fame with his Windy City-formed band Fall Out Boy. “I’ve been many times to the festival and it’s become a staple of Chicago summer, and so to play it for the first time is really cool and exciting. And to do it with a new band is extra exciting.”
The electro-pop duo marks a whole new genre for the Fender and Squier signature bassist.
“It’s a misnomer that when people are in bands that they listen to only music that sounds like the band they are in,” Wentz pointed out. “In Fall Out Boy each of us brought a different direction, a different perspective. One of the things I was most into was intelligent pop music. There were some things that were outside of what was Fall Out Boy that we all wanted to do and when given the chance, I was like, ‘Why don’t I explore this and see where this can go and what can become of it?’”
Wentz even surprised his new bandmate with his varied musical palette.
“We were going to a recording session and I was driving and Bebe was like, ‘Whose iPod is this?’” recalled Wentz. “I was like, ‘It’s my iPod,’ and she was just shocked that I listened to hip-hop and pop music.”
“It was awesome,” admitted Rexha. “It was stuff that I like, which was stuff I didn’t think he would like.”
The pair has certainly kept people guessing as to what to expect from their finished, but unreleased album which features collaborations with reggae artist Shaggy, Travie McCoy and Neon Trees singer Tyler Glenn.
On the eve of their Lollapalooza set, Black Cards posted new techno-pop single “Take Me Down (Higher)” to their facebook page.
“We’ve been putting up new songs, new ideas and new remixes and people are like, ‘Oh, that’s the new direction of the band,’” said Wentz. “And then they hear a different mix and it’s like, ‘No this must be the direction of the band.’”
Wentz hopes the Lollapalooza appearance helps settle the matter, telling MTV that he was focused on giving fans Black Cards 2.0.
“In forming this band and doing what we are doing, my life has gone through a vortex,” reflected Wentz. “I think that coming out on the other side, I want to play music that is escapist and fun, and that everyone can have a good time. I’ve always made music that is cathartic —music that people can emote to. To me Black Cards is just the opposite; just smile, everything is okay.”
Everything is okay with Fall Out Boy, too, despite their “indefinite hiatus.” Asked if there were other bands that he planned to see, Wentz immediately responded with “I want to see Patrick Stump, obviously.”