Wentz grew up in Wilmette, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. He is the eldest of three children and he attended New Trier Township 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 on music.
Wentz was primarily involved in the Chicago hardcore punk scene and was in several bands in the late 1990s. This including xfirstbornx, Arma Angelus, Yellow Road Priest, Racetraitor and many other relatively unknown bands. In 2001, he co-founded the pop-punk band Fall Out Boy with Joe Trohman, and Patrick Stump, with Andy Hurley later joining the band. In 2004,Arma Angelus, the band in which Wentz was the vocalist, played its last show.
In the 2002, Fall Out Boy realeased a EP called 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. The band was quickly becoming popular among the scene subculture, Pete Wentz being Fall Out Boy's frontman.
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.
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" and was realeased in their junior album, From Under The Cork Tree. After this event, Wentz moved back in with his parents.
From Under The Cork Tree was realeased on May 3, 2005. The album debuted at #9 on Billboard 200 and sold over 70,000 copies in it's first week on retail. Soon after, it reached Double Platinum status. This album's lyrics were all written by Pete Wentz. Wentz has called this album "more awesome-er" and "a lot more better" than any of their previous albums. Adding in another interview, "We wanted to write a record that was a lot more developed,". Also, Wentz titled the album. He was inspired by his favorite childhood story,The Story of Ferdinand. .
Also notable in 2005, Wentz founded a vanity label named "Decaydence Records". It is an imprint of the Fueled By Ramen recording label and has signed such bands as Panic! At The Disco, The Hush Sound, Cobra Starship and Gym Class Heroes.
In March of 2006, nude photos of Wentz were posted and spread quickly 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.
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. "I think our band is going to sell CDs, but it's frustrating, because we want to present it in a certain way," Wentz said on the matter. The source of the leak was traced to a plant in Asia. Wentz said his favorite song lyrically on Infinity on High is "You're Crashing, But You're No Wave.".
In a late February 2007 issue of Rolling Stone, Pete Wentz and the rest of Fall Out Boy are on the cover. This was their first cover for the magazine. In the article titled "The Boys With The Car-Crashed Hearts" which was written by By Brian Hiatt, Wentz talks about an incident in the studio with fellow band mate Patrick Stump. Stump punched him during an arguement pertaining to lyrics. Wentz said, "I think he was holding back before, so I just let him put the music where his mouth is -- or the music where my mouth is, maybe."
In the March 2007 issue of Blender, he admits to being "completely deviant" and when asked about kissing boys he boasts, "Anybody above the waist is fair game."
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, and Lifetime.
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 music supervised an episode of The Hills.
- Pete was a vegan for years along with his band mate, Andy Hurley.
- Pete dropped out of college just one semester short of reaching his degree. His major was in political science.
- Pandora, Marley and Hemingway are the names of his three dogs.
- Pete was voted second runner up for "Sex God" of 2005 by Spin magazine.
- Pete is the one who answers questions and posts journal entries on the Fall Out Boy website. Surfing the net is one of his favorite past-times.
- When he was an all-state soccer player; his number was "12".
- Fall Out Boy is the fourth band that Pete Wentz and Andy Hurley have been in together.
- All the lyrics in From Under The Cork Tree were written by Wentz.
- He is the eldest of his siblings. He has one younger brother and one younger sister.
- John Norris (June 5, 2006). "MTV News Raw: Fall Out Boy". MTV.com (Podcast). Retrieved 2006-07-18. Unknown parameter
- Loftus, Johnny (2005). "Biography: Fall Out Boy" All Music Guide (accessed April 14, 2006)
- Wierdehorn, Jon (2005). "Fall Out Boy's Sound Has Changed, But The Weirdly Long Song Titles Remain" MTV (accessed March 2, 2007)
- "Biography" Fall Out Boy Website (accessed March 2, 2007)
- "Q&A: Pete Wentz" Rolling Stone Magazine (accessed March 2, 2007)
- Hiatt, B: "The Boys With The Car Crashed Hearts", Rolling Stone, 2007.
- Amazon.com Product page (accessed April 12, 2006)
- Nguyen, Jeanette (2005).. "Fall Out Boy: Pete Wentz". themusicegdge.com (accessed April 12, 2006)