Stump was born in Evanston, Illinois to David, a folk singer, and Patricia (née Vaughn) Stumph, an accountant. He is the youngest of three children. He grew up in Glenview, Illinois and attended Glenbrook South High School. His parents divorced when he was eight years old. He grew up with a passion for music, later stating, "I was always playing music. . . it was always kind of present. " He originally played the drums in various local Chicago power violence and hardcore punk bands, including Public Display Of Infection, Xgrinding processX, Patterson, and, for two shows, Arma Angelus. His musical idols growing up included Michael Jackson, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, and Nat King Cole.
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