Check Your Phone

Album: Single release only (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • Cheap Cuts is a production duo comprising:

    Jonny Harris, who as the drummer of British indie/pop band Ghosts had two UK top 40 hits in 2007 with "Stay the Night" and "The World Is Outside." He later found success as a producer on tracks such as Rudimental's "Right Here" and Zedd's "Stay The Night."

    Jack Leonard, who spent five years as vocalist and bassist for the British electronic act UNKLE.
  • This song, their debut single, features a spoken word performance by Pete Wentz. It is the first ever track to be released where the Fall Out Boy bassist appears as a featured artist. His best known collaboration outside of Fall Out Boy is probably "In Transit," which he recorded in 2010 with blink-182's Mark Hoppus for the Almost Alice soundtrack.
  • The song is about Wentz's complicated relationship with his cell phone. "It's funny to have everything in the world in a device at the tip of my fingers and feel like it is swallowing me whole sometimes," he said. "Without a doubt, my phone has made touring, staying in touch and finding out random actors who voiced GI Joe characters from the '80s cartoon easier. But my addiction to it is complicated - the last thing I look to at night is its hazy blur, and it is the first text message that jolts me awake in the morning."

    "To me this song is about the anxiety [my phone] gives me, but at the same time, the way I feel a bit lighter when I watch a video on it of raccoons walking around like people or whatever," Wentz added. "It is messy and filled with complex, opposing perspectives that seem to contradict each other - just like us."
  • Pete Wentz is a lifelong fan of Baz Luhrmann's "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" and when he first heard Cheap Cuts' demo it reminded him of the Australian film director's track.

    Wentz explained to NME that he'd tried to do a version of "Sunscreen" many times, including one back in the early 2010s that "just felt angry." When he heard Cheap Cuts' demo, Wentz felt this was his chance to do a version for times like these. "It got the irreverence of the whole thing," he said. "I'm not a dad standing on a porch telling you how bad phones are, we're part of this thing. I don't know what the answer is, but it isn't to get rid of your phone and go churn butter."

Comments: 1

  • Valerie from Hellertown,paCan someone pls tell me what the game show type track is being played within song do do do do do? It’s driving me crazy! Thank Q
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Church LyricsMusic Quiz

Here is the church, here is the steeple - see if you can identify these lyrics that reference church.

Is That Song Public Domain?Fact or Fiction

Are classic songs like "Over The Rainbow" and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in the public domain?

Chad Channing (Nirvana, Before Cars)Songwriter Interviews

Chad tells tales from his time as drummer for Nirvana, and talks about his group Before Cars.

AdeleFact or Fiction

Despite her reticent personality, Adele's life and music are filled with intrigue. See if you can spot the true tales.

Donald FagenSongwriter Interviews

Fagen talks about how the Steely Dan songwriting strategy has changed over the years, and explains why you don't hear many covers of their songs.

Joe Elliott of Def LeppardSongwriter Interviews

The Def Leppard frontman talks about their "lamentable" hit he never thought of as a single, and why he's juiced by his Mott The Hoople cover band.