Peter Lewis Kingston Wentz III (born June 5, 1979) is the bassist, back-up vocalist, and primary lyricist of Chicago-based band Fall Out Boy.
Wentz was born in Wilmette, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. He attended New Trier High School and North Shore Country Day School where he was an all-state soccer player. After graduating from high school in 1997, he attended DePaul University where he studied political science, dropping out one semester shy of graduation to focus more on music.
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.
Wentz was primarily involved in the Chicago hardcore punk scene and was in several bands in the late 1990s. This including First Born, Arma Angelus (alongside Tim McIlrath, frontman of Rise Against), Yellow Road Priest, Racetraitor and many other relatively unknown bands. He claims to have co-founded the pop-punk band Fall Out Boy with Joe Trohman and Patrick Stump, with Andy Hurley later joining the band; but it was later said that he did this for the attention. He told his fans that it was actually Joe Trohman that founded the band. In 2004, Arma Angelus, the band in which Wentz was the vocalist, played its last show.
In 2002, Fall Out Boy released a EP called Fall Out Boy/Project Rocket Split EP. Soon after, in 2003, the band released Fall Out Boy's Evening Out With Your Girlfriend on Uprising Records. This album would later be digitally remastered and reissued after the bands second successful full album release (Take This To Your Grave). Drummer Andy Hurley soon became a part of the band, playing along side Wentz, bassist. Later in 2003, Wentz and the rest of his band mates signed with Island Records, also releasing an acoustic EP called My Heart Will Always Be the B-Side to My Tongue and DVD, in 2004.
After Fall Out Boy released the My Heart... EP, they came out with their third album, entitled From Under the Cork Tree, in 2005. The album peaked at #9 on the Billboard 200 charts. Wentz wrote the first single, "Sugar, We're Goin Down" (peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100), with his dad in Chicago.
On February 6, 2007 was the release date for Fall Out Boy's fourth full-length album, Infinity On High. The album leaked on the internet before the official release date. The album has spawned three single so far, including This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race, which peaked at #2 in the U.S. Hot 100.
Wentz has reportedly been helping Panic! at the Disco, the band he signed to his Decaydance Records label in 2005, with their second album in the summer of 2007.
Wentz has written a book entitled The Boy With the Thorn In His Side, which is a story based on nightmares he had as a child. The title is a reference to a track on The Smiths' critically-acclaimed record The Queen Is Dead. He has another book titled "Rainy Day Kids," which was scheduled to be released February 14, 2006, but has been postponed. It is said to be published in summer 2007. In addition, Wentz is currently co-writing another book with William Beckett of The Academy Is....
Wentz has a company called Clandestine Industries, which distributes books and, more notably, clothing, among other things. Additionally, he owns his own imprint of Fueled by Ramen, Decaydance Records, which has signed several bands, including: Panic! at the Disco, October Fall, Gym Class Heroes, The Hush Sound, Cobra Starship, Lifetime and The Cab. Wentz's tattoo on his pelvis, the Bartskull, is the logo for Decaydance Records, Clandestine Industries and Bartskull Films.
He also has a film production company called Bartskull Films, which has released the DVD Release the Bats which stars Wentz, his fellow bandmates, and several of his personal friends. The sequel is currently in the works.
Wentz recently served as music supervisor on an episode of the MTV series The Hills.
In April 2007, Pete came out with his own signature Squier Precision Bass. It has a black body with a red shell pickquard and special graphics that include Pete’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.
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 that housed the Orchard Bar, on 11th Street near Avenue A. Notable guests arrived for the grand opening on Monday, April 30, such as Tommy Hilfiger.
In February 2005, in what appeared to be a suicide attempt, Wentz took an overdose of the anxiety medication Ativan, and as a result, spent a week in the hospital. Commenting on the event to a magazine, he said, "I was isolating myself further and further, and the more I isolated myself, the more isolated I'd feel. I wasn't sleeping. I just wanted my head to shut off, like, I just wanted to completely stop thinking about anything at all." The suicide attempt was soon put into song form, entitled "7 Minutes in Heaven (Atavan Halen)" and was released on their album From Under The Cork Tree. After this event, Wentz moved back in with his parents.
In March of 2006, nude photos of Wentz were posted on the Internet to the LiveJournal celebrity gossip community Oh No They Didn't. The LiveJournal poster reported that she received the photos third-hand, and that Wentz originally sent the pictures to a woman to whom he allegedly had romantic interest, although some say that he was advertising for a CD. After the pictures spread across the Internet, Wentz posted a response on Fall Out Boy's website and blog asserting that the pictures were stolen from his T-Mobile Sidekick, and that after "feeling badly about this for about 24 hours, I am now ready to get back to laughing." The video for the single "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" contains a scene that makes reference to the incident.