02/26/2007 at 01:00 AM EST
Lately, the pop-punk band Fall Out Boy—featuring drummer Andy Hurley, 26, bassist Pete Wentz, 27, singer Patrick Stump, 22, and guitarist Joe Trohman, 22—has been getting "the wrong kind of attention" due to the gals in Wentz's life (he's been romantically linked in tabloids to Ashlee Simpson
and Lindsay Lohan
). But their third album, Infinity on High
, one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year, has been putting the focus back on their music. Taking a break between tour stops, the band chatted with PEOPLE's Ryan Pienciak about their fans, influences and meeting the Boss.
• FREAKIEST FAN MOMENT
"A girl at one of our shows was up against the stage and she got her arm crushed [by the crowd] – you could see it was broken," recalls Stump. "She's like 'I'm not leaving until you play my favorite song,' so we were like, 'Let's play it as fast as we can. We have to get her to the hospital!'"
• A SPELL OF INSPIRATION
Michael Jackson's "Thriller
album was definitely a huge inspiration," says Stump. And lyrics? Watching the National Spelling Bee, says Wentz. "There's these kids on it spelling insane words and I had this extreme kind of jealousy. It's impossible not to have that kind of obsession inform your songs."
Stump recalls a memorable celeb run-in while playing a radio show at New York City's Madison Square Garden. "At the end of the night, I go back to the dressing room and there's a shadowy figure in the corner. He steps out and says, 'Can my kids take a picture with you, man?' It's Bruce Springsteen! And I'm like, 'Of course I'll take a picture with you, you're the Boss.' That was one of the coolest things ever."