Fall Out Boy's 27-year-old heartthrob Pete Wentz isn't from this city, and his band has few fans of drinking age, but he does have a pretty good grasp of why New York nightlife sucks — at least when you’re famous. “When I go to New York,” he says, “I always have to pick between crappy clubs and then call the promoter ahead of time and then still get hassled at the door and get stuffed into some cramped stupid VIP section and hear bad techno.” That's why, as this week's New York reports, members of Fall Out Boy and fellow TRL darlings The Academy Is …, Gym Class Heroes, and Cobra Starship, along with their two managers and Jamison Ernest of Yellow Fever Clothing, are taking over the old Orchard bar space on 11th Street near Avenue A and turning it into Angels & Kings, a dive bar clubhouse that’s tentatively set to open next week. Jada Yuan spoke to Wentz about the venture, which actually sounds borderline cool.
Why open your own bar?
I always wanted a clubhouse for me and my friends. I still get turned away from clubs. It’s really funny to me.
Even if you say, “Do you know who I am?”
I’m more of a “Do you know who I think I am?” kind of person.
How big of a posse do you roll with?
Usually like five close friends, sometimes up to twenty. But it’s not like Entourage or anything. Everybody that I roll with is into Goonies.
Do you find famous people boring?
I mean, I think people across the board are pretty boring. The problem is, I'm a very misanthropic person, but I'm also a people-pleaser, so there's this duality with me being obsessed with having conversations with people but hating having them happen. You know, I'll go through a conversation with this weird cringe look on my face and everyone is like, "Are you all right? This seems really painful for you." And I'm like, "It is."
You punched out a security guard during a show in New Mexico. Have you gotten in any fights with bouncers?
Yeah, last night, in L.A. I was going to a club, and this bouncer grabbed this girl. And I grabbed him, like, “What the fuck are you doing? You’re twice her size!” And he said, “Alright I’m kicking you out of here.” The funny thing about being a door guy is that you’re the Soup Nazi of club world. I’m not looking to have any door policy [at Angels & Kings].
You're not a New York band, and no one I know in New York listens to you. Are you worried people won't think the place is cool?
No, because I'm not trying to make it cool. It's not being designed for dudes with Rod Stewart hair and white belts to go hang out at, you know?
How much day-to-day are you doing yourself?
I’ve come up with a design for the bar, and I’m doing the T-shirts. Technically the bar goes by Angels & Kings, but me and all my friends call it AK-47. That’s what the T-shirts are going to say.
What role will the other guys in the band play?
Some are putting in capital, some have ideas. It's like Fight Club. You choose your own involvement.
Describe the décor.
We’re putting up mug shots on the wall of people we’re fans of. Like we have this awesome Sid Vicious mug shot where you can tell he’s just like a fucked-up kid, like everyone had him pegged wrong. It speaks to me.
Do you have a mug shot?
Not one that’s gonna be on the wall. I was 18 years old and into spray-painting. So I look like me minus a couple years in my eyes and smile lines. And a couple pounds.
What other changes will you make?
Dudes can use the chicks’ bathroom and vice versa, so that girls don’t have to wait in line. And we’re raising the D.J. booth because the D.J. should be like God. He shouldn’t have to deal with anyone trying to talk to him. We’re not trying to make a pile of cash and have this place that’s written up everywhere —it’s just a cool idea. This communal thing, it’s a lost narrative in pop culture. You don’t have anything like the Factory anymore, and where people can come together and talk and get wasted. I want it to be like Shredder’s hangout in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.
We have a couple of Fall Out–based ideas for drinks. There’s this song called “Where Is Your Boy Tonight,” so I was thinking we could have a “Where Is Your Beer” special night.
Will you have a karaoke night?
Yeah! The bands who are involved with the bar, we talked about doing some karaoke where you could sing each other’s songs. And I’m talking about having my birthday party there. I don’t know how many strippers and cakes we can fit in that place, but we’ll get it to capacity. I’m just kidding about the cake part. There’s too many carbs.
What about the tentative opening night, April 30. Are you planning anything special?
For sure! I’m gonna watch all my friends get wasted and puke everywhere. It’s gonna be really funny. And since I was little dude, I’ve always had a dream of sliding somebody down the bar. You know what I’m talking about? Like they did in cowboy movies? I think I might make that a reality. —Jada Yuan