In the Best Buy parking lot in Chicago, full of pain - "my head was racing with self doubt and negative thoughts" - he swallowed a handful of Ativan anxiety pills in an act that he calls "hypermedicating".He recalls: "I just wanted to have my head shut up.He has admitted to a fascination with the suicides of Elliott Smith and Joy Division's Ian Curtis.But there is nothing fake about this dark period of his life, just stark honesty. The problem is I can get addicted to that feeling that you get from writing a song that can get unhealthy because you are relying on it." He does therapy even when he is on tour.At The Disco and The Academy Is...), a clothing line, Clandestine Clothing, and a film production company, Bartskull Films - "We write our own video treatments and partially direct them." Wentz has even self-published a graphic novel, a dark, twisted tale called The Boy With the Thorn In His Side (named after a Smiths song) and another 200-page book, Rainy Day Kids, is on its way.
"I think - especially in America - that people don't realise it's OK to feel down and sad sometimes. If you never feel sad, how do you know if you are OK? "There is an honesty in our music and I think people appreciate it.We have never dumbed down to teenagers by writing songs about being in high school and having your locker jammed.We have been thoroughly honest about what out intentions are. We have always had the respect that they are going to figure out these songs for themselves and come up with their own interpretations." Wentz's online journal reads: "Sometimes it's hard to look in the mirror and feel OK with the person looking back." (Wentz has been in therapy for a while.) He even offers help to fans with issues such as bereavement and getting dumped via the band's website."We are just ordinary boys in an extraordinary position," says Wentz. If there is any revolution we are inspiring it is that we have taken our own fate into our own hands.We are total control freaks." So much so that Wentz has created a record label, Decaydance Records (notable signings are Panic!Suffering from depression - "black clouds" - he has described his moods as "oil and water and they never mix together right".In February last year, just as the band were recording their breakthrough album, Wentz went into emotional meltdown."My inspiration and my ideas don't begin and end at the beginning and the ending of a song.It is too limiting." It is no wonder that the singer, Stump, said of Wentz: "It scares me sometimes, watching him.But the multi-tasking Wentz is so much more than an agony aunt.He is also a pop-punk entrepreneur, pushing Fall Out Boy unashamedly towards media brand, rather than pop band.