The Phoenix

Album: Save Rock And Roll (2013)
Charted: 36 80

Songfacts®:

  • The lyric, "I'll raise you like a phoenix," is a reference to the mythical bird of ancient times that burned itself to death on a pyre every 500 years and rose rejuvenated from the ashes. The phoenix was subsequently adopted as a symbol of resurrection in early Christianity.
  • The video sees each band member being taken hostage by a handful of female kidnappers, while frontman Patrick Stump is seen being tortured. It serves as a prequel to the "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)" clip, explaining how the band ended up blindfolded in the back of the black van.
  • The song samples the 1941 classical work "Allegro Non Troppo," which was composed by Dmitri Shostakovich. Vocalist Patrick Stump told Kerrang! magazine he was inspired by "the creepiness" of the strings and "really wanted to build something around those."
  • Bassist Pete Wentz's lyrics were inspired by a 1979 Matt Dillon movie Over the Edge, where kids take over a Californian town. He told Kerrang!: "I wanted something of that period in the suburbs where you're just a young buck and you're into skateboarding and hanging out and nothing really seems to matter.

    "Lyrically, I'm known for being quite verbose," he continued, "and I don't simplify very well, but Butch (Walker, producer) really encouraged me to. The lyric, 'I'm gonna change you like a remix. Then 'I'll raise you like a Phoenix,' really made sense for where we were and what was about to happen."
  • This won Best Single at the 2013 Kerrang! Awards.
  • Wentz told Kerrang! how the track came about. "'The Phoenix' was one of those songs that came along later," he said. "I was talking to Patrick and wanted a song that felt like the end of summer as teenage boys in the suburbs – where you're angry and full of everything but fear... Those waning days when you can't be changed as an adult, but you don't fit in the hand-me-down clothes anymore. Basically, if Lord Of The Flies took place in Wilmette, Illinois. Like, what if one year summer just never ended?"
  • Kerrang! asked Wentz who the "You're wearing our vintage misery. No I think it looked a little better on me" lyric is aimed at? He replied: "I'd gone through a pretty toxic time in my life a few years before, and I guess the song in general is inspired by the animal-in-a-trap quality of being ready to chew off your own leg rather than spending another second with someone."
  • This is the second single from Fall Out Boy's comeback album, Save Rock And Roll, which they released five years after their previous studio album, Folie à Deux. Seeking a more modern sound, the band ditched their longtime producer Neal Avron for Butch Walker, who co-produced the Infinity On High track "Don't You Know Who I Think I Am?" Guitarist Joe Trohman weighed in on the producer swap in a MusicRadar.com interview. "Neal Avron did an awesome job with us, but that was a sound and an era, and I didn't think that it was a good idea to redo it. It's not dated in the way it exists, but it would be dated if we redid it," he explained.

    "We wanted somebody who could help us develop a different band dynamic in the studio. Butch Walker is awesome with that, among other things he's awesome at. He really gave everybody a unique voice in the studio. He took control, and that's what you need: the captain steering the ship."

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