INDIANAPOLIS — What is the status of Black Cards — Pete Wentz's first band since Fall Out Boy split up — now that the group and lead singer Bebe Rexha parted ways last month?
“We just put out a mixtape and have a couple remixes on the way,” said Wentz, taking a break from deejaying Rolling Stone's Volkswagen Rock and Roll pre-Super Bowl tailgate Sunday. “And we've been in the studio working on original stuff. This all has been building. Its been like a 10-month gestation of figuring out what this is. I think we've figured out where we fit in.”
Black Cards performed at the opening of Wentz's club, Angels & Kings, in the Hard Rock Hotel a little more than a year ago, and at Lollapalooza in August. Wentz said he doesn't plan on replacing Rexha — at least not right now. He'd prefer to write lyrics and music and use different vocalists on the band's songs, which is how he originally envisioned the band.
As for Rexha, Wentz isn't sure if she will pursue a solo career but did reiterate that the breakup was a “mutual decision.”
“Everybody always says that, but it was a mutual thing,” Wentz said. “There's no bad blood. We're homies still.”
In addition to the break-up of the successful Fall Out Boy in 2010, Wentz also went through a public divorce last February with pop star Ashlee Simpson. The couple has a three-year old son together.
“I feel like it's been 10 months or a year that I haven't really reacted to the stuff happening in my life,” Wentz said. “So I think the stuff I've been writing lately will be my first chance to be vocal about it.
“I feel like I'm at a point in life where I'm genuinely happy. I think before there was a lot of turmoil. I was trying to figure myself out. I think ‘Pete Wentz,’ as an idea at the time, was pretty toxic. It was hard for my friends to be around me. It was hard for me to be creative with people. But now I'm excited to be in the studio again with people. I'm no longer in a dark place, which is great.”
Congratulating Cutler: Matt Forte hasn’t spoken to teammate Jay Cutler since it was revealed last month that Cutler and fiancee Kristin Cavallari are expecting, but Forte said he did make sure to congratulate the Bears quarterback and father-to-be. “I sent him a text congratulating him and all that stuff,” Forte told me at EA Sports' Madden Bowl XVIII in Indianapolis Thursday. How will fatherhood change Cutler? “It’ll mature him a little more,” Forte said. “He’s already a mature guy, but I think it’ll mature him a little more. It matures everybody.”
Heads up: Billy Eichner is currently in his first season of hosting Funny or Die’s “Billy on the Street” on Fuse, but the Northwestern alum and a camera crew were on a separate piece of business when they interviewed celebs at DirecTV’s Celebrity Beach Bowl and guests at Rolling Stone’s Bacardi Bash Saturday. “I’m actually here at the Super Bowl for ‘Conan,’” Eichner said of Conan O’Brien’s TBS talk show. “I did segments on his show before and now they sent me to cover the Super Bowl in my own weird way.” Eichner said he will be in Chicago in the near future to tape an episode of “The Rosie Show.”
Fallen hero: “Stereo Hearts” band Gym Class Heroes said it canceled several of its tour dates last November, including a stop at the House of Blues, because frontman Travie McCoy was sick, but didn’t elaborate at the time. Asked about the cancelation before Gym Class performed at Rolling Stone’s Bacardi Bash, McCoy told me he came down with Duodenitis, a swelling in the duodenum (the upper segment of the small intestine). “I never heard of it until it actually happened,” McCoy said. Gym Class has yet to reschedule the Chicago date but will perform at the NIU Convocation Center in DeKalb Friday.
Sweet memories: Former Detroit Lions great Barry Sanders has fond memories of playing at Soldier Field during his career — and not just because he gave the Bears’ defense and fans nightmares. Sanders said he enjoyed the “crazy passionate” crowd and was especially excited when one Chicagoan in particular was in attendance. “It was made more special when Walter (Payton) would be at the game watching,” Sanders said at DirecTV’s Celebrity Beach Bowl. “I know he was rooting for the Bears, but just the fact that he was there watching … he’s a guy I admire a lot.”
Super Bowl sightings: The Bears’ Devin Hester and Charles Tillman hung out separately at ESPN The Magazine’s “Next” party Friday. Also in attendance was “The View” co-host and Hoffman Estates High School alum Sherri Shepherd … Lupe Fiasco performed a high-energy show at Rolling Stone’s Bacardi Bash. The Chicago rapper refused to do any interviews at the event (which is often the case when he isn’t promoting an album). “I’m on a press blackout — publicist’s orders,” Fiasco told me. … Former NFL Pro Bowler and Mount Carmel High School alum Donovan McNabb had a hard time dodging photo requests from guests at EA Sports’ Madden Bowl. I also spotted former Bear and current Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera at the party wearing a button-down with what looked like the Panthers’ team colors. … Former Bear Jim McMahon hosted his fourth annual Swang 'N' Super Bowl Bash in Indianapolis Thursday. The $260-per-ticket event benefitted Hope For The Warriors and the Lynda McMahon Ferguson Foundation for Literacy. … Chicago area native April Rose co-hosted the Maxim Tailgate: Salute to Heroes outside of Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday.