Saturday, May 28, 2011

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Pete Wentz Biography
Peter Lewis Kingston Wentz III (born on June 5, 1979) better known as Pete Wentz,[1] is an American musician, best known for being the bassist and primary lyricist for the American rock band Fall Out Boy. Since the announcement of Fall Out Boy's indefinite hiatus, Wentz has formed the experimental electropop group Black Cards. He owns a record label, Decaydance Records, which has signed bands such as Panic! at the Disco and Gym Class Heroes.

Wentz has also ventured into other non-musical projects, including writing, acting, and fashion; in 2005 he founded a clothing company called Clandestine Industries. He also runs a film production company called Bartskull Films, as well as a bar called Angels & Kings. His philanthropic activities include collaborations with Invisible Children and UNICEF's Tap Project, a fundraising project that helps bring clean drinking water to people worldwide.[2] On May 17, 2008, Wentz married Ashlee Simpson. On February 8, 2011, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences.

Early life

Wentz was born Peter Lewis Kingston Wentz III, in Wilmette, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois.[1] He is the son of Dale, a high school admissions counselor, and Pete Wentz II, an attorney.[6][7][8] His parents met while campaigning for now-Vice President Joe Biden in the 1970s.[9][10] Wentz attended New Trier High School and North Shore Country Day School, where he was an all-state soccer player.[10][11] He considered pursuing a professional career in the sport, but decided that music was a more fulfilling choice; he says that he "always had a magical connection to the ball. But it didn't feel like an adventure. Music was more of a challenge and, in the end, felt more interesting."[12]

During his freshman year of high school, he began skipping school regularly and a school counselor convinced his parents to send him to boot camp to straighten him out. During this time, Wentz began writing songs as a way to vent out his frustrations.[1] He began taking piano lessons afterwards, and adopted a straight edge lifestyle.[13] However, he now drinks occasionally.[14] After graduating from high school in 1997, he attended DePaul University where he studied political science, dropping out one quarter shy of graduation to focus on his music career.[15] Wentz recalled in a Rolling Stone interview that his earliest musical memory was listening to The Foundations' song "Build Me Up Buttercup" in the back of his dad's car.[16]
Arma Angelus

Wentz was primarily involved in the Chicago hardcore punk scene and was in several bands in the late 1990s. These included First Born, Extinction, Arma Angelus (alongside Tim McIlrath, frontman of Rise Against), Yellow Road Priest, and Racetraitor. He and Arma Angelus' bassist Joe Trohman founded the pop-punk band Fall Out Boy after Trohman introduced Pete to a musical acquaintance, Patrick Stump. Andy Hurley agreed to drum part-time, but only joined the band full-time later. In 2004, Arma Angelus, the band in which Wentz was the vocalist/screamer, played its last show.[17]
Fall Out Boy in concert. From left to right: Joe Trohman, Pete Wentz, Patrick Stump.
Fall Out Boy

In 2002, Fall Out Boy released an EP called Fall Out Boy/Project Rocket Split EP. Soon after, in 2003, the band released their mini-LP Fall Out Boy's Evening Out with Your Girlfriend on Uprising Records.[18] This album would later be digitally remastered and reissued after the band's third, successful full-album release From Under the Cork Tree, on the major label Island/Def Jam. In 2003 the band released their first full-length album, Take This to Your Grave though Fueled By Ramen. Later in 2003, his bandmates signed with Island Records and in 2004 released an acoustic EP and DVD entitled, My Heart Will Always Be the B-Side to My Tongue through the new label.

After Fall Out Boy released the My Heart EP, they released their third album, From Under the Cork Tree, in 2005. Wentz wrote the lyrics to the first single, "Sugar, We're Goin Down" with his dad in Chicago; the song peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100).[19] The album has been since been certified 2x Platinum by RIAA. February 6, 2007, was the release date for Fall Out Boy's fourth album, Infinity On High. The album received major charting success, debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200 with a sales total 260,000, spurred by the #2 charting lead single, "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race". Folie à Deux was released on December 13 2008, and debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200.

On November 20, 2009, the four band members announced they will be taking an indefinite hiatus, saying they were unsure of the future of the band. Wentz has said that his personal reason for taking a break is that he feels that his name and marriage to pop singer Ashlee Simpson had become a hindrance for the band. He added: "I think the world needs a little less Pete Wentz".[20]
Black Cards

Pete Wentz currently has a new musical project called Black Cards. In July 2010 he released two snippets of songs, "Club Called Heaven" and "Beating in my Chest", on along with a message about the project. It has been revealed that Sam Hollander is producing.

Wentz has said that during the time he took off to spend with his family, he began to be inspired again by Jamaican reggae songs such as Culture's "Two Sevens Clash" and The Gladiators's "Warriors".[21][22] Wentz then contacted producer Sam Hollander (Gym Class Heroes, Cobra Starship, Hey Monday) and discussed the idea with him to mash up ska, dance and reggae with 80s British rock and pop to create a new experimental sound. Wentz did not want to attempt to replace Patrick Stump (his bandmate in Fall Out Boy), and decided to go in a new direction taking a female vocalist instead - amateur singer Bebe Rexha.[22][23]

In an interview with on July 20, 2010, Wentz denied rumors that either ex-Chiodos member Craig Owens or Panic! at the Disco's Brendon Urie are part of the new project.[24] Wentz later revealed the identity of the band's drummer as Spencer Peterson (of Saves the Day and formerly of Hidden in Plain View) and the band's guitarist as Nate Patterson (of The Receiving End of Sirens) through his blog.[25]
Non-musical projects
Pete Wentz at the Yahoo! Yodel Studio on October 13, 2009.

Apart from his musical career, Wentz has been involved in various entrepreneurial ventures. Fall Out Boy bandmate Patrick Stump says of Wentz' endeavors: "It scares me sometimes, watching him. The two seconds you're not with that dude he's made 30 decisions that are going to affect [our band] for the rest of the year."[6] Wentz's company, Clandestine Industries, distributes books, clothing, and other merchandise. On August 2, 2007, fashion company DKNY joined a partnership with Clandestine Industries.[26] Wentz himself has served as a model on the DKNY/Clandestine promo website.[27]

In April 2007, Pete came out with his own signature Squier Precision Bass. It has a black body with a red shell pickguard and special graphics that include Wentz’s own red bat/heart design on the body, plus a black bat/diamond fingerboard inlay at the 12th fret. It also features Wentz’s signature on the back of the headstock.[28] Wentz also owns a very similar custom Fender bass with a purple pickguard and bat/heart. In 2008 Fender gifted his son, Bronx Wentz, with a three quarter sized modified version of his guitar.[29]

Wentz opened a nightclub in New York with his bandmates as well as members of Gym Class Heroes, The Academy Is..., and Cobra Starship; the bands' managers are also involved in the enterprise. Called Angels & Kings, the club occupies the former space on 11th Street near Avenue A that housed the Orchid Lounge. Notable guests, including Tommy Hilfiger, arrived for the grand opening on April 20, 2007.[30] In June 2007, Wentz celebrated the opening of Angels & Kings' second location, in Chicago.[31]

On December 13, 2008, Wentz, along with Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes, created several pieces for an art exhibit at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles, CA called "Without You, I'm Just Me." The exhibit closed on December 24, 2008. Wentz appeared in the season 5 episode of CSI: NY, "Point Of No Return", along with wife Ashlee. Wentz also hosted the Australia MTV VMAs on March 27, 2009.

Wentz collaborated with Mark Hoppus on the track "In Transit" on the Almost Alice soundtrack for the 2010 movie, Alice in Wonderland. He was also a judge for the 10th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.
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Pete Wentz