By Joe Trohman
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Lead guitarist and cofounder of Fall Out Boy shares personal stories from his youth and his experiences of modern rock and roll stardom in this memoir filled with wit and wisdom.Trohman cofounded Fall Out Boy with Pete Wentz in the early aughts, and he’s been the sticky element of the metaphorical glue-like substance holding the band together ever since, over the course of a couple decades that have included massive success, occasional backlashes, and one infamous four-year hiatus. Trohman was, and remains, the emotive communicator of the group: the one who made sure they practiced, who copied and distributed the flyers, and who took the wheel throughout many of the early tours. As soon as he was old enough to drive, that is—because he was all of 15 years old when they started out. That’s part of the story Trohman tells in this memoir, which provides an indispensable inside perspective on the history of Fall Out Boy for their legions of fans. But Trohman has a great deal more to convey, thanks to his storytelling chops, his unmistakable voice, and his unmitigated sense of humor in the face of the tragic and the absurd.
None of This Rocks chronicles a turbulent life that has informed Trohman’s music and his worldview. His mother suffered from mental illness and multiple brain tumors that eventually killed her. His father struggled with that tragedy, but was ultimately a supportive force in Trohman’s life who fostered his thirst for knowledge. Trohman faced antisemitism in small-town Ohio, and he witnessed all levels of misogyny, racism, and violence amid the straight edge hardcore punk scene in Chicago. Then came Fall Out Boy. From the guitarist’s very first glimpses of their popular ascension, to working with his heroes like Anthrax’s Scott Ian, to writing for television with comedian Brian Posehn, Trohman takes readers backstage, into the studio, and onto his couch. He shares his struggles with depression and substance abuse in a brutally honest and personal tone that readers will appreciate. Not much of this rocks, perhaps, but it all adds up to a fascinating music memoir unlike any you’ve ever read.
Bygone Baby Bygone
I have one distinct memory from when I was two years old. It was the summer of 1986, and the humidity in South Florida was between one hundred and two hundred billion percent. So my parents decided this was the optimum climate in which to venture to Walt Disney World with a young child. It was a mere three-hour drive from Hollywood, Florida (unfortunately), to Orlando. I imagine that the circulating air within the two-door Volkswagen Rabbit wasn’t very conditioned, probably akin to what your run-of-the-mill jalopy would dispassionately waft toward your sopping forehead while your armpits fused together with muck sweat. And now here you are, a mere babe, wondering to yourself, on the verge of sobbing, “Are these tears? Or are my eyes actually perspiring?”
And of course, everything was very, very Florida, which is not just a state or a state of mind. It’s also a term we ex-Floridians and non-Floridians alike use to refer to things that are unpleasant. And thus I likely arrived at “the Most Magical Place on Earth” a tiny, angry, wet, droopy piece of baby shit. We’ve yet to get to the actual memory, so I’m only basing this off my now vast knowledge of toddlers and their relationships to long, hot car rides. With two of my own in the bag, I consider myself an expert. And I don’t mean that my kids are in some sort of murder bag; it’s a figure of speech, man. Please, put down the phone. Do not call Child Protective Services!
Now, if you don’t have a toddler, first off, congratulations! Because, under all that adorable baby fat, behind their priceless mispronunciations such as “rest or not” instead of “restaurant,” lie authentic terrors: screaming, writhing, imp-like tormentors from the depths of hell. I have wondered, at times, if Satan had fucked my wife because my toddlers were ready and willing to bite and kick at the drop of one of their chocolate-covered bananas—which always was their fault. And I’m a giant wuss, so I would respond with stuff like, “Ow, that hurts!” and “C’mon, stop it!” And sure, at the peak of my frustration, I contemplated things like depositing them at the city dump. But do not fear, citizens of Earth! They are very much alive and well. Put down that phone!
Before I move on, I want to make it crystal clear that I adore my children; they’re two halves of my whole heart, unequivocally. Or maybe I have an enlarged heart? Either way, I’d lay down my life for them without so much as a thought. But when they were still merely wobbling, meaty powder kegs of intermittent rage, they scared me. And I preferred not to drive with them for more than an hour, fearing that they might jump out of their car seats, grab my head, and twist it to the side to expose my neck so they could sink their vampiric teeth into my flesh. From there, I conceptualize that either child would suck the life from me as I lost control of the car and drove off a cliff. Then we would cut to a wide, scenic shot of a coastal California cliffside as the car careened to its fiery destruction—boom! In this scenario, I’m dead, but of course the children survive, their bat wings expanding full width as they fly off-screen, satiated, shrieking with pure joy.
So it seems my parents were braver than I am, or maybe just oblivious. Their decision to make the multihour trek in a ramshackle, two-door banger harboring a bloodthirsty toddler, was this a feat worth commendation? I mean, the intention was to deliver, unto me, pure delight. But my instinct is to shake my head in retroactive admonishment, as this sounds like an objectively horrible plan. However, I will admit this was a different time: a time when people did things wantonly without considering the consequences. We had no YouTube to let us know if something wasn’t worth our while. We had no iPads to quell the vicious cries of our sweltering children. This was the ’80s—we went on unnecessarily long car rides, with optimistic hopes and dreams in tow, only to arrive at our destinations miserable, deflated, and hangry. For reference, I recommend any of National Lampoon’s Vacation documentaries. Terrifying stuff.
Anyway, after three “tropical” hours, we arrived at the place “where dreams come true,” and I was immediately bodily harnessed to a leash. If my gosh darn dead mother did not decide to throw out my baby photos, I would’ve happily included a picture of this incident. Alas! Anyway, from there my dad decided that the next “best” move was to take me on the now-defunct 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage ride. After extensive research (i.e., my five minutes of Googling), I discovered that the ride closed in 1994 due to flooding and has now been repurposed as the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Since I don’t have the ability to revisit the ride as an adult and see what all the scuttlebutt was about, allow me to lay out my first-ever memory, that of the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage atrocity: picture a small, overwrought me (think Shrek but a baby), with tears cascading down my bright-red face, running in an infinity loop as our faux submarine passed by a crimson mechanical crab, its pincers raised high above its body. It was as if the crab were doing a performative, empty impersonation of a crab who just couldn’t find the inspiration to crab the way Disney wanted him to crab. And this crab, he was clearly over it.
The robo-crab may have been the source of my dismay, but he’d had it up to here (above his head) with crabbing. Dare I say this robot was in a… crabby mood? No, let’s not reduce the guy to his species. He was pissed, ready to annihilate every slack-jawed, mouse-capped moron peering out of their puny prefab portholes. Thinking about this today, from my current perspective as a severe depressive with a sense of emotional awareness, I really feel for that old bionic crustacean.
But at two, I had yet to tap into my clinical despair. Maybe, prior to that moment, I was happy? I have been told I was a perceptive kid. I mean, I couldn’t see dead people or tell you the weight of a human head, but I could see angry people, and angry crabs—so I was emotionally in tune. And I’d like to believe that, in some form, not only was I reacting to the mechanical crab but I was also reacting for the crab, helping it to express its personal vexation and displeasure with its preordained lot. Nothing against Disney (huge fan, thanks for passing on all my TV pitches, by the way), but once you’re locked in with them, you’re locked in, and they don’t give you a lot of wiggle room to be yourself. Sure, it was probably a great gig on paper, but being shackled to that gargantuan brand, it was probably killing the crab’s tiny-shelled soul. Even at two, I could feel its torment. So, running in an epicycle of horror, I emoted for the crab, catching momentary glimpses of his ready-to-fuck-’em-all-up sentiment, contrasted against my darkly mustached, defeated father, sitting at the back of the submarine, eyes glazed with morning exhaustion.
Throughout my life, my dad has been my faithful caretaker and emotional safety net. But at that moment, he took no action whatsoever. He just sat there, looked past me, zoning out, searching for some center within the chaos. But I don’t blame him for his inaction; I’ve now been there. Because admitting defeat to a toddler is what a wise man would, and should, do. And so my dad did the right thing, to let me spin around in my own madness until I most likely conked out in a pool of my own drool, sweat, and piss. While writing this, I called my dad to confirm everything. He said I had most of this correct, aside from the ending: he carried me out of the pseudo-sub as I screamed and kicked him in the chest.
Not long after that nautical adventure, back in Hollywood (again, the Florida one, not the Tinselly Town one), I cracked my head open bouncing underneath a metal table. I don’t have a memory of this, just a scar on the back of my scalp and the many times my mom relished reminding me of this incident, her evidence of my clumsiness. To my mom, this incident was always my fault. Sure, I suppose an underdeveloped, diapered chunklet without the ability to judge anything, let alone sharp from not sharp, should have judged his surroundings better. My mom told me this injury occurred due to my lack of peripheral vision—something I believed to be true well into adulthood. I once told an optometrist that “fact,” and she looked at me as if I had just arrived on planet Earth. To be clear, I literally believed I had some sort of medical condition stopping me from accessing my peripheral vision. Slow on the uptake, as I tend to be, it took me far too long to realize Mom was calling me a klutz. Maybe I am (I do bump into a lot of stuff), but reflecting upon this insult, I think this was just my mom’s way of absconding from having to come to terms with her own shortcomings—her inability to keep an eye on her own baby and an unwillingness to take responsibility for any and all neglect.
Around this point, the point in time when the point of the metal table pointed itself into my head, Mom was less than a decade away from forfeiting a promising career in medicine due to her own medical malady—an immense, benign brain tumor that had to be removed. Lucky to be alive after the procedure, but forever resentful of what “had been done to her” (residual brain damage from the radiation procedure), Mom had issues. I can only posit what it must have been like for my mom, still in the midst of mourning her life’s calling. Come to think of it, I don’t think she ever stopped mourning. I don’t know how I would handle having to give up my dreams and desires due to my body’s self-sabotage. I don’t know how I would handle the inability to think, to use my mind and all of its comprehensive and cognitive functions. I can’t begin to fathom how one comes to terms with a newly mangled think box. There’s a paradoxical element to this, trying to wrap one’s head around the fact that one’s head can’t wrap one’s head around anything anymore. And on top of all of this heaviness, my mom had this young child to take care of, day in, day out. It’s complicated.
Considering the facts, I wonder if it was easier for Mom to view me as what “had been done to her.” The more obvious causes of her pain were either obfuscated by skin and bone or just plainly abstract. But I was physically there, smashing my head open, doing what toddlers do best—keeping things nice and exciting when all you want to do is catch a breath.
Even though my dad ended up fulfilling dual parenting roles throughout my childhood, becoming both the loving, doting mother and the providing, protective father, he was unable to be as present early on in our embryonic family as he wanted to be. Dad was still a fresh-faced physician, working fifteen hours a day in the ER at Memorial Hospital, grinding toward a career in cardiology.
So that left Mom and me with a lot of time to “bond.” And on one such bonding occasion, we went on an evening stroll from our sun-worn condominium building, set within a middle-class neighborhood, and came upon a park. On that particular evening, in the midst of that park, there stood a colossal, lit-up Star of David. My mom described it as the size of a Ferris wheel. And being a sucker for anything and everything Jewishy, she was instantly drawn to this beacon, a moth to the flame.
Seeing this humongous Star as a big fat welcome mat, Mom dragged us right to this ruling illumination, and upon reaching the destination, we witnessed a good hundred or so Jews dancing the hora around the Star—a tremendous circle of bodies, linked arm in arm in celebration. And I suppose it looked like a blast, because my mom desperately wanted us to join in the party.
Now, if I had been walking with either of my children and come upon a group of one hundred people dancing in a circle, my ingrained response would be to steer clear of these one hundred dancing strangers. This is partially because I hate dancing and am not super into strangers but also because it just seems unsafe to push your small children toward an army of gyrating adults. But my mom’s intuition was the polar opposite; without a moment’s thought, she tried to jump us in. However, like an entrance to a haute club, only one of us was allowed in, and the other was bounced. And thus, the strong tide of bodies, this oceanic hora, sucked my tiny torso into the wave of humans as my mother was left ashore. You see, what she failed to notice, which is mind-blowing, is that these were not just regular Jews; these were Hasidic Jews—wearing black suits, sporting large black hats, donning long beards and curly Payot with tallit over their shoulders. Oh, and all these Hasids, they were men—no women in this festive circle.
Now, if you’re not Jewish and are unaware of Hasidic culture, Hasids are part of an extremely conservative sect of Judaism who adhere to strict guidelines about gender mixing—the men and women are not allowed to fraternize, at least not before marriage. But even then, the men won’t look at most women in the eyes or talk to them. Case in point, I once rented an apartment in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, around 2010, from a Hasidic man named Moshe. While closing the lease, Moshe wouldn’t even look in my shiksa wife’s direction, and any questions she asked him, he would deliver his answers back to me, fully ignoring her existence. This obviously made her feel small and insignificant. But my wife did not grow up aware of Hasidic culture, and so she was not fully prepared for what I knew was going to be a horribly reductive interaction.
I wonder how my mom felt when a hundred Hasidic men more or less stole her son from her arms. Did she feel foolish? Because we Jews, we’re raised with an understanding when it comes to the wide-ranging elements of Jewish culture, including Hasids. Either my mom had temporary blindness, unable to see the obviously Orthodox ritual directly in front of her, or her judgment was as impaired as it ever was.
Imagine losing your two-year-old child to a sea of strange men. You’d freak the fuck out and call the police, right? Well, not my mom. She waited for the dance to be done and for me to find her. And about an hour or so later, I toddled back to my mom, physically unscathed, ready for the next careless misadventure.
Being the young, hot cardiologist on the scene, my dad was ready to burst out of the seams of his Memorial Hospital pants and hop into a newer, bigger pair of doctor pants (i.e., apply to a new hospital, not get larger scrubs). And speaking of bursting seams, my mom was getting too big for her own britches, growing quite pregnant with my brother-to-be. On top of that, our two-bedroom chameleon terrarium of a condominium was not fitting the family-of-four paradigm my father had envisioned. And so, with Disney World horrors and oversized ethnoreligious symbols in the rearview, we left Florida, landing in another swing state, Pennsylvania—settling in bustling Philadelphia, home of that oh-so-famous creamed cheese.
We were only in Philadelphia for about two years, from 1987 to 1988. And our time spent in the City of Brotherly Love was neither miraculous nor horrible—it was just this necessary transitional moment, like a rebound relationship, not to last for more than a blip in time. We lived in a rental home next to a parkway. It was a far bigger home than what we had in Florida, but it wasn’t ours. My dad was still working to the bone, nowhere close to where he strove to be as a physician. And my mom was toiling through pregnancy, something she always spoke about with vitriol. And then there was me, spending my time playing in a mud-caked backyard, listening to the supersonic zooms of constant speeding traffic.
Outside of the experiential blandness, I actually reflect upon our tenure in Philly as a weirdly positive time, as that was when I became a big brother. I can still remember my childlike fervor and the barrage of questions: “What will my new brother look like? Will he talk? Will he do Transformers with me? Will we be best friends? Will he like chocolate? AHHH!”
I was a hyperactive, social kid, deeply wanting for a friend. Or two. Or ten. My parents told me that in preschool I once got ahold of the school’s phone directory and discovered how to call my classmates, on a rotary phone, asking if I could come over to play “Elmo.” I don’t know what this Elmo game entailed, but my dad tightly holds on to this story as truth. Regardless, whether the story is truth or an amalgamated, semicontrived memory, my desperation for companionship was real and palpable. I needed Mom to push this kid out, like, yesterday.
Becoming a brother is one of the few things I look back upon with immense fondness. I was approaching four years old, which I think is a great time to thrust a new sibling onto a young’un. A four-year-old can grasp the concept that there’s a new human on the cusp of entering their life, the exciting notion of a built-in playmate. Four-year-olds also lack the understanding that, inevitability, this new person, this seemingly harmless baby, will ultimately usurp their serene, only-child existence, ushering in a new era of bickering and brawling. But until then, I had only unparalleled, expectant joy.
The morning my brother, Samuel David Trohman, was born, I was elated. I eagerly trotted in the hallway of the birthing center, playing another made-up game, Dinosaurus Rex, with my grandparents; I think the rules of the game were that I was a dinosaur. Then, from seemingly out of left field, my mom, in a wheelchair, gradually rolled toward me. This was one of the few moments in my life I can remember Mom smiling, though I now wonder if her glee had more to do with being done with the labor than with the fruits themselves. I understand, to the best of my ability, that labor is beyond painful, a pain we men could never handle. I’ve watched it happen. I don’t want to do it. I’m very glad I can’t do it. And I am eternally grateful to my wife, and all women, who have given us lucky dads beautiful kids.
But what I mean here, regarding my mom and her second time through the labor loop, is that I don’t think her elation was tied to having a new baby. She loved us, my brother and me, just not in the way you’d expect a mother to love her kids. It certainly was never with the words “I love you,” and it never involved hugging, accolades, or a great deal of emotional support. She wanted us to succeed and not die—and I think there’s some love built in there… somewhere. So it’s not that she wasn’t glad to have another child, but knowing my mother, she probably was happier that she was done pushing said child out of her child hole, which… I guess I can’t blame her.
But regardless of her feelings at the time, mine were huge and full of outward love. The metallic crib moving in tow behind my mom slowed to a halt in front of me. I vividly recollect everything: propping myself up on the crib and looking into the bassinet. Most of all, I remember Sam, tiny, shriveled, in a white hospital-issue onesie. I smiled, ear to ear. I’m smiling thinking about it right now. Few things have made such an impression on me, let alone an impression during our grayscale occupancy in “the Birthplace of America.”
It wasn’t until the early 2000s that another impression was made in Philadelphia—one where I more or less “impressed” Fall Out Boy’s old cargo trailer into multiple parked cars while careening our van down a narrow side street. The band was en route to the now-defunct Trocadero Theatre and running very late for sound check. We were not at a point in our career where late looked good on us, and considering that overreacting is one of my go-to reactions, I was hauling it. I distinctly recall the narrow brick-lined street we had to pass through, the second-to-last turn before making it to the venue. This tiny throughway was sandwiched claustrophobically between industrial buildings—a pathway more appropriate for a whimsical horse-drawn carriage ride, or an even more whimsical hipster-drawn fixed-gear bike rickshaw taxi.
Due to my speed, my naturally bad driving, and the bumpy terrain, the van’s trailer—containing the band’s most salient possessions, our instruments and merchandise—began to violently ricochet from car to car, smashing and crunching away people’s hard-earned lease payments. It was as if I were role-playing as a blond-haired bully from an ’80s comedy, trying to smash nerds at a county fair bumper car ride. My coup de grâce was upon our arrival at the venue, when I made one final crash into an Oldsmobile driven by a middle-aged metal-head who did not yell at me and who regaled me with stories about seeing Metallica perform with Cliff Burton. Furthermore, this car I hit—it was not his. It was his elderly mother’s. And yes, we also did not have insurance. Assholes.
But back in the ’80s, my parents did have car insurance. They still do… well, the living one does. Back then, they used their fancy-pants car insurance to move us, once more, to yet another swing state: Ohio! South Russell, to be exact. Oh, you don’t know where that is? That’s because nobody does. To find it, I have a patented never-fail method: open up your computer and look for it. You know how to Google shit. Don’t put that on me, dick! Just kidding; don’t Google it. It doesn’t matter.
This move was my dad’s big break, so to speak. He landed a job in cardiology at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic and used the earnings from this new position to buy our first home. While it would’ve behooved him to buy something closer to Cleveland, buying something an hour away from the city afforded us a big, however cookie-cutter, dwelling. We went from a seven-hundred-square-foot rental in Philly to a three-thousand-square-foot vinyl-sided traditional all-American McMansion, sitting on three-quarters of an acre of land. All that hard work, all that persevering my dad did, it paid off.
People often say that while one shoe may stay firmly affixed to a proverbial foot, we often end up waiting, with bated breath, for the other shoe to drop from the other proverbial foot. This is when everything good goes not good. So the moment that shoe drops, normally with a thud or thud-like report, we know trouble’s a-comin’. And that other shoe, the dropping shoe, our family’s dropping shoe, well, it came in the form of the move to South Russell. Because, you see, at this point, South Russell had not known many a Jew, let alone four Jews of different sizes. And everyone from our neighbors to my classmates to the townspeople, they had strong feelings about four different-sized Jews invading their Jew-less province.
Although I never consciously considered this until right now, South Russell, Ohio, is where my personal development really began—the unpleasant yet enthralling journey toward self-discovery. I don’t mean masturbating; that was years later. To quickly sum that up: I was eleven. Skinemax. Basement. Cum.
This very nonsexual journey was the first of my many wanderings that would lead me not just to where I am today but to who I am today. I would learn what it was to be a Jew, in the ethnic sense, through being the only Jew in town and being reminded I was the only Jew in town—through both genuine curiosity and legitimate revulsion.
But, strangely, this is also where I discovered punk rock. Now, South Russell isn’t a very punk place; it’s flat and isolated, and people use the word “y’all” without being in any proximity to the Mason-Dixon Line. (Or has that been officially renamed the Florida-Georgia Line? I’m a bit behind on cartography and such. I’m also an unqualified moron, but I think it’s a good idea!) Regardless, South Russell was a very lonely place. And while living there, I became a very lonely guy. And as a lonely guy, I was hopelessly searching for something to identify with, to feel less alone. I wanted to be a part of something, something larger than myself that wasn’t so preordained, as Judaism was. And the moment I was exposed to punk, not just as a genre of music but as a full-on culture, that’s when I began to find my sense of personal identity outside of just being a Jew. But funnily enough, given my family’s history of ostracism in Europe due to being Jews, punk culture felt like a familiar and a natural thing to gravitate toward. Jews and punks have both dealt with excommunication. And we take pride in our strong sense of community. But it’s kind of ironic how I discovered the thing that molded me into who I am today, and that made me love myself, in a place that hated me more than I could ever hate myself: the open terrain of Northeast Ohio—the worst place I’ve ever lived.
That’s the Power of Hugs
I don’t care about sports. I care more about Huey Lewis and the News’s third album, Sports, than I do about the activity of sports. I’d prefer to “walk on a thin line” rather than get walked to first base. I’d be much more inclined to take a “new drug” than I would to take one for the team. And I’d sooner go “uptown to see my cousin” who “plays his guitar,” which “sounds like a chainsaw buzzin’,” than sit through nine innings of leisurely baseball. But that’s often what I did growing up: I sat through a lot of baseball. Because that’s what my dad loves. And I love my dad.
The great American pastime was one of the only things my dad and his late father, my grandpa Jack (or Yank, as he was Yiddishly referred to), connected over. And when my brother, Sam, started playing Little League, my dad was thrilled, taking a great deal of interest, investing in Sam’s sporty proclivities. When our family eventually moved to the suburbs of Chicago, Dad managed to finagle Sam batting lessons from ex–White Sox left fielder Carlos May. Like I said, my dad loves baseball. And he loved the fact that he had a son who loved it too. His pride swelled when, years later, Sam became a varsity pitcher, honing a ninety-plus-mile-per-hour fastball, eventually garnering multiple college scholarships. Meanwhile, I excelled in things like drawing Sonic the Hedgehog, not being good at skateboarding, and learning every guitar part throughout the first minute of Kansas’s “Carry On Wayward Son.” As a wayward son myself, I am proud to say that I’ve never played one organized sport in my whole life, and I have the basement body to show for it. It’s “a shape.”
But my dad wasn’t one of those fathers who would look to his athletic son, beam with pride, then look over to his other son—the total wussbag—and throw a punch at his little wittle baby teeth. Nor would he shake his head, click his tongue, and, with a remarkable sense of shame, sigh a big, “Perhaps it’s better this way,” then put me out of my misery, Anton Chigurh style—one clean cattle gunshot to the head. And no, afterward he and my brother would not walk into the sunset, arms draped around each other, my dad lovingly articulating, “I’m so glad that stupid little bitch is dead so we can love sports like men do.”
- One of Buzzfeed’s 35 New Books You Won’t Be Able To Put Down
- “A very different kind of rock memoir from most, offering a darkly funny, revealing, and relentlessly neurotic look at his own story and his band’s rise.”—Rolling Stone
- “With sharp wit and thoughtful examination, Trohman draws from his unique experience as he pulls back the curtain on his personal life. And while he delivers details on the formation and rise of Fall Out Boy, he also gets candid about his own history…. None of it's vague or sugar-coated. Instead, Trohman’s candor allows us to authentically glimpse into the highs and lows of his life growing up as a loner kid who loved music…. The book is fantastic.”—Buzzfeed News
- “[Joe Trohman’s] writing is infused with a sense of reflective wisdom that can only be fully realized through life experience and significant amounts of inner work, both of which serve as tentpoles to his narrative…. Despite some serious subject matter, the book is also so funny and completely in [his] own voice...“[A] can’t-put-down music memoir…[one of] the best memoirs this year…. Trohman’s distinct writing voice leans toward stream of consciousness, with vivid, absurdist commentary that trails off – almost like JD’s daydreams in Scrubs…. The memoir sheds light on how Trohman uses self-deprecating humor to shield him from anxiety, and that makes it all the more relatable….As an older and wiser human who has settled on healthier coping mechanisms, and created a family with a wife and two daughters he adores, Trohman has achieved a genuine wholesomeness through his growth (even as he continues making butthole jokes at our expense).”—SPIN
- “[A] rockin’ new memoir….really honest and open and very truthful….This is a conversation…felt like I was sitting with [Joe] and he was telling me a story…this is balls to the wall, no holds barred, good, bad, ugly, hilarious, heart-felt, everything in between, and we’re gonna take this ride together.”—“Rock N Roll Grad School” podcast
- “The charming ramble of None of This Rocks,a new memoir by Fall Out Boy co-founder Joe Trohman, [is] as blunt and dyspeptic a portrait of Chicago’s millennial punk scene (and growing up on the North Shore, and just being in a band) as I’ve come across in a while.”—Chicago Tribune
- “Trohman’s first book feels less like a traditional memoir and more like a surprising confessional from the guy sitting next to you on a cross-country flight. Even at 37, the author already has a fascinating life story. When he was 15, he went on his first punk-rock tour, following a few years of therapy prompted by his struggles with antisemitism in his elementary school and his tumultuous relationship with his mother, who was coping with brain cancer. Stunningly honest about his depression, low self-esteem, and drug addiction, Trohman also has a charming literary voice of his own, using self-deprecation and clever quips to keep things moving briskly.”—Kirkus Reviews
- On Sale
- Sep 12, 2023
- Page Count
- 256 pages
- Hachette Books