We Talked To The Kid On The Cover Of Fall Out Boy’s Album, And He’s The Coolest Eighth Grader Ever
"My friends are all jealous," model Jake Karlen explains of the look created by a "Walking Dead" makeup artist.
Some album covers become instantly iconic. Think Nirvana’s
Just days after its release, the face-painted image of 13-year-old cover model Jake Karlen has already spawned dozens of copycatters.
MTV News caught up with the California kid after school on the day after the album’s release to find out being the new face of Fall Out Boy has changed his life.
Jake Karlen: I auditioned for it. They looked at the photo I sent in [and chose me]. I was excited when I heard it was an album cover because I love music.
Karlen: I’ve played piano for seven years. I also play percussion, and I’m in jazz band for piano… I also do tennis, track and field and cross country.
Karlen: I didn’t know the band at first, and then the photographer told me [the shoot was for] Fall Out Boy. I knew their name but not their music so well. After working with Pete [Wentz] and seeing how he works with the cover and all the details he wants from it I know the details are important to him, nso I went and listened to their music, and I love it.
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MTV News: Are you a model? Or is this your first modeling gig?
Karlen: I do acting. I’m not much of a model. I’ve done commercials for Microsoft DirecTV and Go-Gurt. But I’m trying to get into movies. I’ve been acting for seven years.
Karlen: In Los Angeles at a rented home and it took four or five hours. They had all these props: bows and arrows and slingshots and toy rockets. And the makeup person was from ‘The Walking Dead,’ and I love ‘The Walking Dead,’ so it was cool to meet her.
MTV News: Who came up with the face paint concept?
Karlen: I think the band came up with it. They explained it to me and said they’d put it on my hand first and then my face afterwards. They wanted to see something very dark and angry, very angry. I think I pulled it off. I think I did pretty good.
MTV News: What direction did Pete give you?
Karlen: He was giving ideas the whole time. They wanted angry, so I probably gave them a little angry, very angry, just everything I could with an angry face. Sometimes I did teeth, or just the mouth.
MTV News: How has your life changed since the artwork was released?
Karlen: People at my school, random people, come up to me and say, ‘Hey you’re on an album cover!’ I got all these people trying to get to me on social media. It’s pretty cool.
MTV News: What do your friends at school think of it?
MTV News: Do you already have your Halloween costume because of this gig?
Karlen: Maybe I could do that. I just thought of that!
MTV News: What’s your favorite concert you’ve been to?
Karlen: I’ve never been to a Fall Out Boy concert, but I just watched one on TV. I’ve actually never been to a concert before.
MTV News: Did Pete offer you tickets to one of their shows?
Karlen: They said I could come to one of their shows whenever I like.
Karlen: I listen to a lot of 80 stuff like Aerosmith or Queens of the Stone Age. I don’t really buy albums much, I just listen to the radio. I guess my favorite would probably be my album [cover].
MTV News: Do you plan to celebrate the album’s chart debut next week?
Karlen: Probably. My mom is the party planner. I bought a copy at Kohl’s yesterday. It was pretty weird.