My Chemical Romance

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My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance at Paris, 2011.jpg
My Chemical Romance performing in 2011; from left to right: Frank Iero, Mikey Way, Gerard Way, Michael Pedicone, Ray Toro
Background information
Also known asMCR
Origin Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Years active2001–2013
Associated acts
Past members

My Chemical Romance (commonly abbreviated MCR) was an American rock band from Newark, New Jersey, active from 2001 to 2013. The band's best-known lineup consisted of lead vocalist Gerard Way, guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero, bassist Mikey Way, and drummer Bob Bryar, accompanied by keyboardist James Dewees. Founded by Gerard, Mikey, Toro, and Matt Pelissier (and later joined by Iero), the band signed to Eyeball Records and released their debut album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love , in 2002. They signed with Reprise Records the next year and released their major label debut, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge , in 2004. Shortly after the album's release, Pelissier was replaced by Bob Bryar. A commercial success, the album was awarded platinum status over a year later.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Newark, New Jersey City in Essex County, New Jersey, U.S.

Newark is the most populous city in the U.S. state of New Jersey and the seat of Essex County. As one of the nation's major air, shipping, and rail hubs, the city had a population of 285,154 in 2017, making it the nation's 70th-most populous municipality, after being ranked 63rd in the nation in 2000.

Gerard Way American musician and comic book writer

Gerard Arthur Way is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and comic book writer who was the lead vocalist and co-founder of the rock band My Chemical Romance from its formation in September 2001 until its split in March 2013. His debut solo album Hesitant Alien was released on September 30, 2014. Way is also the co-founder of DC Comics' Young Animal imprint. He wrote the comic mini-series The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys and the Eisner Award-winning comic book series The Umbrella Academy.


The band eclipsed their previous success with their 2006 concept album, The Black Parade , which gained generally favorable reviews among music critics and was certified double platinum in the United States and the United Kingdom, the band's only double platinum. After the departure of long-time drummer Bob Bryar in March 2010, the band released their fourth studio album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys , in November that same year, to positive reviews. After the addition of touring keyboardist James Dewees in 2012 and the release of Conventional Weapons , a series of singles recorded in 2009, released over the course of five months, the band announced its break-up on March 22, 2013, one month after the final release in the Conventional Weapons series. [1] After the band's split, a greatest hits album entitled May Death Never Stop You was released in March 2014. [2] A tenth anniversary reissue of The Black Parade was released in September 2016 titled The Black Parade/Living with Ghosts .

Concept album album with a theme

A concept album is an album in which its tracks hold a larger purpose or meaning collectively than they do individually. This is typically achieved through a single central narrative or theme, which can be instrumental, compositional, or lyrical. Sometimes the term is applied to albums considered to be of "uniform excellence" rather than an LP with an explicit musical or lyrical motif. There is no consensus among music critics as to the specific criteria for what a "concept album" is.

<i>The Black Parade</i> 2006 studio album by My Chemical Romance

The Black Parade is the third studio album by American rock band My Chemical Romance. Released on October 23, 2006, through Reprise Records, it was produced by Rob Cavallo, known for having produced multiple albums for Goo Goo Dolls and Green Day. It is a rock opera centering on a dying character with cancer known as "The Patient". The album tells the story of his apparent death, experiences in the afterlife, and subsequent reflections on his life.

<i>Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys</i> 2010 studio album by My Chemical Romance

Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys is the fourth and final studio album by American rock band My Chemical Romance. Released on November 22, 2010 by Reprise Records, its songs are associated with the band's well known sound of alternative rock, pop punk, and punk rock as well as new elements, including power pop, pop rock, and electronic rock. The inspiration for the album comes from contemporary rock, psychedelic rock, and protopunk bands of the sixties and seventies. In addition, the group has stated that there is a strong influence of cinema on the record. Like its predecessor, The Black Parade (2006), it was produced by Rob Cavallo.


Early career (2001–2002)

The band was formed by frontman Gerard Way and drummer Matt Pelissier in Newark, New Jersey, soon after the September 11 attacks. [3] Witnessing the World Trade Center towers fall influenced Way's life to the extent that he decided to start a band. [4] Way wrote the song "Skylines and Turnstiles" to express his feelings about September 11 and shortly thereafter, Ray Toro was recruited as the band's guitarist because at the time Way could not sing and play the guitar simultaneously. [5] The name of the band was suggested by bass guitarist Mikey Way, younger brother of Gerard, who was working in a Barnes & Noble when he was struck by the title of a book by Irvine Welsh named Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance . [6] The first recording sessions were undertaken in Pelissier's attic, where the songs "Our Lady of Sorrows" and "Cubicles" were recorded. The band refers to those sessions as "The Attic Demos." [7] After hearing the demo and dropping out of college, Mikey Way decided to join the band. While with Eyeball Records, the band met Frank Iero, the lead vocalist and guitarist for Pencey Prep. Following Pencey Prep's split in 2002, Iero became a member of My Chemical Romance, just days prior to the recording of the band's debut album. [5] They recorded their debut album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love , just three months after the formation of the band and released it in 2002 through Eyeball Records. [3] The album was produced by Thursday frontman Geoff Rickley after the band became friends with him while playing shows in New Jersey. [8] Iero played guitar on two of the tracks, one of which was "Early Sunsets Over Monroeville." During this time, the band was booked at the infamous venue, Big Daddy's, where they began to receive more attention. [9]

September 11 attacks Attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001

The September 11 attacks were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The attacks killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000 others, and caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. Additional people died of 9/11-related cancer and respiratory diseases in the months and years following the attacks.

World Trade Center (1973–2001) complex of buildings in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States

The original World Trade Center was a large complex of seven buildings in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. It opened on April 4, 1973 and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. At the time of their completion, the Twin Towers — the original 1 World Trade Center, at 1,368 feet (417 m); and 2 World Trade Center, at 1,362 feet (415.1 m) — were the tallest buildings in the world. Other buildings in the complex included the Marriott World Trade Center, 4 WTC, 5 WTC, 6 WTC, and 7 WTC. The complex was located in New York City's Financial District and contained 13,400,000 square feet (1,240,000 m2) of office space.

Ray Toro American musician

Raymond Manuel Toro-Ortiz is an American musician who served as lead guitarist and backing vocalist of the band My Chemical Romance until their break-up in 2013.

My Chemical Romance offered free downloads through PureVolume and the social networking website MySpace, where they gained an initial fan base. [10] [11]

PureVolume was a website for uploading and streaming of music files, the first independently run of its type. PureVolume was created by Unborn Media, Inc; Mitchell Pavao; Brett Woitunski; and Nate Hudson, all from the University of Massachusetts.

Major label signing and Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge (2003–2006)

In 2003, the band signed a deal with Reprise Records. [3] Following a tour with Avenged Sevenfold, the band began working on their second album, which was entitled Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge , which was released on June 8, 2004. A month after the album's release, the band replaced Matt Pelissier with Bob Bryar. [3] The band released four singles from the album: "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)", "Thank You for the Venom", "Helena", and "The Ghost of You". [12] The album went platinum in just over a year of its release. [9] [13] [14]

Reprise Records American record label

Reprise Records is an American record label founded in 1960 by Frank Sinatra. It is owned by Warner Music Group, and operates through Warner Bros. Records, one of its flagship labels.

Avenged Sevenfold American metal band

Avenged Sevenfold is an American heavy metal band from Huntington Beach, California, formed in 1999. The band's current lineup consists of lead vocalist M. Shadows, rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Zacky Vengeance, lead guitarist and backing vocalist Synyster Gates, bassist and backing vocalist Johnny Christ, and drummer Brooks Wackerman.

<i>Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge</i> 2004 studio album by My Chemical Romance

Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge is the second studio album by American rock band My Chemical Romance, released on June 8, 2004 by Reprise Records. With this album, the band produced a cleaner sound than that of their 2002 debut I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. It was the band's final release to feature drummer Matt Pelissier, who would later be replaced by Bob Bryar.

At the beginning of 2005, the band was featured on the first Taste of Chaos tour along with The Used and Killswitch Engage. [15] The band also was the opening act for Green Day on their American Idiot tour. [16] They then co-headlined Warped Tour 2005 with Fall Out Boy and co-headlined a tour with Alkaline Trio and Reggie and the Full Effect around the US. [17] That same year, My Chemical Romance collaborated with The Used for a cover of the Queen and David Bowie classic, "Under Pressure", which was released as a benefit single for tsunami relief on iTunes and other Internet outlets. [18]

Taste of Chaos live music festival

Taste of Chaos was a live music tour that was started in the winter of 2005 by Kevin Lyman, the creator of the successful Warped Tour along with his friend and business partner, John Reese. The Taste Of Chaos tour catered to fans of the post-hardcore, emo, pop punk and metalcore genres, while offering the same low ticket price and festival-style format as the Warped Tour. In 2007, each of the seven bands playing the entire tour was a Warped Tour veteran: five had played the 2006 Warped Tour and two had played TOC previously.

The Used American rock band formed in Orem, Utah

The Used is an American rock band formed in Orem, Utah, in 2001. The group consists of vocalist Bert McCracken, bassist Jeph Howard, drummer Dan Whitesides, and guitarist Joey Bradford.

Killswitch Engage American metalcore band

Killswitch Engage is an American metalcore band from Westfield, Massachusetts, formed in 1999 after the disbanding of Overcast and Aftershock. Killswitch Engage's current lineup consists of vocalist Jesse Leach, guitarists Joel Stroetzel and Adam Dutkiewicz, bassist Mike D'Antonio, and drummer Justin Foley. The band has released seven studio albums and two live performance albums. Their latest album, Incarnate, was released on March 11, 2016.

In March 2006, the album Life on the Murder Scene was released, incorporating a CD and two DVDs. It included one documentary DVD chronicling the band's history, and a second DVD with music videos, the making of their videos and live performances. An unauthorized biography DVD Things That Make You Go MMM! was also released in June 2006. The DVD does not actually feature any My Chemical Romance music clips or performances but contains interviews with those who knew the band before much of their fame. [19] [20] [21] A biography titled Something Incredible This Way Comes was also released, written by Paul Stenning and published in 2006. It features information on their beginnings right through to their third album, The Black Parade.

The Black Parade (2006–2009)

Announcement of The Black Parade at London Hammersmith Palais Mcr hammersmith album announcement.jpg
Announcement of The Black Parade at London Hammersmith Palais

My Chemical Romance started recording their third studio album on April 10, 2006 with Rob Cavallo, producer of many of Green Day's albums. [22] [23] It was originally thought to be titled The Rise and Fall of My Chemical Romance (in reference to The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars by David Bowie), but in an interview with Kerrang! magazine, Gerard Way suggested this was just the album's working title, stating "It was never the title of the album, more a spoof, or joke." [24]

On August 3, 2006, the band completed shooting the videos for their first two singles from the album, "Welcome to the Black Parade" and although not released until January 2007, "Famous Last Words". [25] [26] Both videos were directed by Samuel Bayer, director of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Green Day's American Idiot videos. [27] During filming for the second video, band members Gerard Way and Bob Bryar were injured. Way suffered torn ligaments in his ankle, and Bryar a burn to the leg which caused a severe staph infection that needed constant monitoring in the hospital. Consequently, the band was forced to cancel a few tour dates. While these injuries were reported by several news agencies to have been the result of a car accident, a statement released by the band on their website and MySpace page confirmed that these injuries occurred on the set of the video. [28]

On August 22, 2006, the band played a special one-off show at the 1800-capacity London Hammersmith Palais. The show sold out in 15 minutes, prompting tickets to be re-sold on eBay well over the tickets' face value. The name of the album was announced and 20 people dressed in black capes with their faces obscured paraded around the Hammersmith, followed by a large group of fans and street team members with signs saying "The Black Parade". Later during the show, the album title and the UK release date were confirmed. Before the band took the stage, it was announced that My Chemical Romance was unable to play, but they would be replaced by The Black Parade. After initial crowd hostility, it became clear the band was simply performing under a pseudonym in keeping with the theme of the album. Since then, the band would often perform under the alias "The Black Parade", wearing the costumes seen in the album's music videos. Gerard Way would adopt the persona of the leader of the marching band, The Black Parade, and vary his behavior and performance accordingly. [29]

My Chemical Romance on tour, wearing the clothes of The Black Parade. The Black Parade escenario.jpg
My Chemical Romance on tour, wearing the clothes of The Black Parade.

"Welcome to the Black Parade" was released as a single on September 11, 2006. On September 26, 2006, the music video for "Welcome to the Black Parade" was released in the UK, and on September 27 in the US. [24] The single became the band's first number one on the UK Singles Chart in October 2006. The Black Parade was released on October 23, 2006, in the United Kingdom and on October 24, 2006, in the United States to positive reviews. [30]

Most of the concerts of The Black Parade World Tour involved use of pyrotechnics, especially during "Mama" and "Famous Last Words". My Chemical Romance fire.jpg
Most of the concerts of The Black Parade World Tour involved use of pyrotechnics, especially during "Mama" and "Famous Last Words".

The Black Parade World Tour commenced on February 22, 2007, with the eventuating 133 shows featuring Rise Against, Thursday and Muse as support acts. [31] Reggie and the Full Effect frontman James Dewees joined the band to play keyboards and synthesizer from there on. In April 2007, it was announced that Mikey Way would temporarily leave the tour to spend time with his new wife, Alicia Simmons-Way. Way's temporary replacement was Matt Cortez, a friend of the band. [32] During the third leg of the tour, as a support act for Muse, members of My Chemical Romance and their crew, along with members of Muse's crew, suffered food poisoning, and consequently had to cancel six shows. [33] The band later featured on Linkin Park's Projekt Revolution tour in 2007, [34] along with Placebo, Mindless Self Indulgence, Saosin, Taking Back Sunday and HIM. [35]

My Chemical Romance received mixed accolades for The Black Parade. Kerrang! rated The Black Parade as the fourth-greatest album of 2006. [36] In Rolling Stone magazine's ranking of the top 50 albums of 2006, The Black Parade was voted the 20th best album of the year. My Chemical Romance went on to win the award for Best International Band at the 2007 NME Awards, and Gerard Way also won the Hero of the Year award. [37] My Chemical Romance was also nominated for Best Alternative Group at the 2007 American Music Awards.

On May 8, 2008, British tabloid The Sun published an article entitled "Suicide of Hannah, the Secret Emo", which reported the death of a thirteen-year-old British girl named Hannah Bond, who had hanged herself supposedly because of her involvement with a reported "self-harming 'emo' cult", which the newspaper directly associated with My Chemical Romance, and their then-current album The Black Parade , which was said to be linked to her suicide. In the article, coroner Roger Sykes expressed concern that Bond's "emo" lifestyle glamorized suicide and suggested that her obsession with My Chemical Romance was linked to her death. [38] [39] Supporters of emo music contacted NME to defend the genre against accusations that it promotes suicide. [40]

A group of British fans eventually planned a march across London in protest against the depiction of the band in the media. The march was expected to be held on May 31, beginning at Hyde Park's West Pond and ending outside the offices of tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail , which widely criticized My Chemical Romance and had published general pieces about the dangers of "suicide cults". The march was expected to attract 500–1000 protesters, according to the organizers. [41] [42] After concerns by police, the march was called off and instead about 100 fans congregated at Marble Arch. [43] The band repeated the statement "fuck the Daily Mail" during their gigs in the United Kingdom.

The Daily Mail defended its position saying its coverage was "balanced and restrained" and "in the public interest" and that they were reporting genuine concerns raised by the coroner at the inquest. They stated that their coverage of the coroner's remarks and the parents' comments was in common with that of other newspapers and pointed to their publishing of readers' letters defending the band and positive reviews of the band's albums and tours. [44]

The band announced in a blog on their website that they would be going on a final tour in the United States before taking a break. At the same time, they announced they will be releasing a live DVD/CD collection titled The Black Parade Is Dead! , which includes two concerts from October 2007, the final Black Parade concert in Mexico, and a small show at Maxwell's in New Jersey. The DVD/CD was meant to be released on June 24 in the United States and June 30 in the UK, but was postponed to July 1 because of a technical fault with the Mexico concert. [45] In February 2009, an EP of B-side songs from singles on The Black Parade was released, titled The Black Parade: The B-Sides .

Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys (2009–2011)

In 2009, My Chemical Romance released a new single entitled "Desolation Row" (a cover of the Bob Dylan song) on February 1, 2009. It was recorded to feature as the end credit track for the 2009 film Watchmen , an adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name. [46] The band then announced that they would be releasing "a collection of nine never-before-seen live videos, straight from the encore set of the Mexico City show from October 2007", entitled ¡Venganza! . The release came on a bullet-shaped flash drive and also contained exclusive photos of the band from the show. It was released on April 29, 2009. [47]

On May 27, 2009, My Chemical Romance's web designer, Jeff Watson, announced via the band's website that the band was headed to the studio to record their fourth full-length album. The recording took place over the following few weeks with producer Brendan O'Brien, who has worked with AC/DC, Mastodon, and Pearl Jam.

In an interview with NME, Gerard Way said the band's next record would be a rock album, saying, "I think (the next album) will definitely be stripped down. I think the band misses being a rock band." [48] In a separate interview with Idiomag , Way commented that the next release would be less theatrical in scope, stating that "it's not going to be hiding behind a veil of fiction or uniforms and makeup anymore." [49] In an interview with PopEater, Way also stated that the next album will be "full of hate." He also said "over the years that we've been hearing ourselves live and hearing us on records, we kind of prefer the live. There's more of a garage feel and more energy. I'd like to capture some of that, finally. That's the goal for the next one." [50]

On July 31 and August 1, 2009, My Chemical Romance played two "secret" shows at The Roxy Theater in Los Angeles. The shows were the first concerts the band had played since Madison Square Garden in May 2008. The band also premiered several new songs said to be from their upcoming fourth album during the shows, one reportedly titled "Death Before Disco", a song that Way said he was particularly excited about. [51] The song was since renamed "Party Poison" and was included on the new album. Way explained further in a Rolling Stone interview that "it's a completely different sound for the band — it's like an anti-party song that you can party to. I can't wait for people to hear it. It brings back, lyrically, some of that wonderful fiction from the first album." [52]

Gerard Way also said in a November 2009 interview with Rock Sound that the fourth album would be their defining work. "A friend who heard the record recently said he now had no interest in listening to our older work anymore, that we had made all our old material redundant. I took it as a compliment, the next thing you should always make the last thing seem unimportant and I think that will happen when we finally release this album." [53]

On March 3, 2010, Iero announced on their official website that Bob Bryar had left the band, writing:

As of 4 weeks ago, My Chemical Romance and Bob Bryar parted ways. This was a painful decision for all of us to make and was not taken lightly. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors and expect you all to do the same.

Frank Iero [54] [55]

In a March 2010 MTV interview about the new album, Way explained, "There's no title yet ... I'm actually kind of excited about that. It's kind of 'anything goes' at this point, but I'm so happy with the songs." Though the band since decided on the title of their fourth album, it continued to go unannounced, with various rumors circulating and the band stating on their website that it will be revealed "all in due time" [56] and in Way's words, "a special way this time. Maybe some sort of event, something fun, something soon."

During the San Diego Comic-Con 2010, Way announced that the band had finished recording the fourth studio album. [57] This was later confirmed by Iero on the band's website, announcing that the album was "done, finished, kaput, in the proverbial can, and being played loudly as we drive way too fast in our respective cars." [56]

In September, a trailer video was uploaded to My Chemical Romance's official YouTube page entitled Art is a Weapon, which announced the title of the album: Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys . The video featured the band wearing strangely coloured outfits and battling unusual characters in a desert surrounding, and featuring a sample of music from the song "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)". Notable comic book author and the band's personal friend, Grant Morrison, makes a special appearance, in the role of an enemy and leader of a band of masked characters. On September 22, 2010, the band premiered their song "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)" on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show, and Los Angeles-based radio station KROQ-FM. [58] [59] The album was released on November 22, 2010. [60]

Rock Sound had a preview of the album and gave a positive review, commenting "the way they've used everything they learned on The Black Parade and tightened up in certain places feels natural and confident" and that it sees "the creativity of the band taking flight musically, graphically and literally." [61]

Michael Pedicone joined the band as a touring drummer late in 2010, replacing Bryar. [62]

My Chemical Romance performing at a concert in 2011 Wikimcrnotts.jpg
My Chemical Romance performing at a concert in 2011

During a performance at Wembley Arena on February 12, 2011, Way announced that the band would be appearing at a UK festival later in the year, [63] later confirmed as the Reading and Leeds Festivals, which they headlined. They also performed at Radio 1's Big Weekend in Carlisle, England on May 15, 2011.

On September 2, 2011, Frank Iero posted a blog on the band's site stating, "The relationship between My Chemical Romance and Michael Pedicone is over" and explaining Pedicone was sacked because "he was caught red-handed stealing from the band and confessed to police after our show last night in Auburn, Washington." He also mentioned his hope of getting a new drummer in time for their next show and avoiding having to cancel any performances in the process. [64] [65]

On September 4, 2011, it was revealed through various sources that Jarrod Alexander will be the new touring drummer for the remainder of the Honda Civic tour. He also performed with them in late October at Voodoo Experience and at their Australian + New Zealand shows at Big Day Out in early 2012.

Conventional Weapons and break-up (2011–2013)

In an interview with Rolling Stone in October 2011, guitarist Frank Iero revealed that new music could be out "by summer". [66]

On April 28, 2011, US broadcaster Glenn Beck labelled the My Chemical Romance song "Sing" as "propaganda" after it was featured and covered on the US musical drama TV series Glee in February 2011. Beck stated "It's an anthem saying 'Join us'. How can you and I possibly win against that?" The lyrics that Beck pointed out were: "Cleaned up corporation progress, dying in the process / Children that can talk about it living on the railways [ sic ] / People moving sideways / Sell it till your last days / Buy yourself the motivation / Generation nothing / Nothing but a dead scene / Product of a white dream". Gerard Way responded to the accusation on the band's official website, writing, "I think the word Glenn Beck was looking for was 'subversion' not 'propaganda', because I don't know what it would be considered propaganda for—truth? Sentiment?" He also said that he was "shocked that no actual fact-checking was done on the lyrics". [67] [68] [69] Bassist Mikey Way told the BBC, "If we're getting reaction from people like that we're doing something right." [70]

On December 18, 2011, the band appeared on Nick Jr.'s Yo Gabba Gabba! , and performed a song called "Every Snowflake Is Different (Just Like You)". This was part of a Christmas special for the show. The special included other famous guests such as Tony Hawk and Tori Spelling. [71] [72]

Gerard Way at the festival Big Day Out in February 2012 in Australia Gerard Way Big Day Out 2012 2.jpg
Gerard Way at the festival Big Day Out in February 2012 in Australia

In February 2012, members of My Chemical Romance revealed that they had been building a studio in Los Angeles to record music for the band's fifth album under the working title MCR5, now with touring keyboardist James Dewees as an official member. The band worked with engineer Doug McKean, who previously worked on The Black Parade and Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys . [73] On September 14, 2012, Frank Iero announced through the band's official website a new project entitled Conventional Weapons. [74] The project revolved around 10 unreleased songs that were recorded in 2009, prior to the making of Danger Days. The band released two songs each month for five months from the Conventional Weapons sessions, starting in October 2012 and finishing in February 2013. According to the October 2012 issue of Q magazine , Frank Iero reported early sessions for MCR's next album with the new drummer Jarrod Alexander were progressing well. "Jarrod is a rad guy and a fantastic player. It's been really fun making music with him these past few months," Iero commented. [75]

On March 22, 2013, the band announced their break-up on their official website, [76] [77] [78] issuing this statement:

Being in this band for the past 12 years has been a true blessing. We've gotten to go places we never knew we would. We've been able to see and experience things we never imagined possible. We've shared the stage with people we admire, people we look up to, and best of all, our friends. And now, like all great things, it has come time for it to end. Thanks for all of your support, and for being part of the adventure.

Gerard Way posted an extended tweet on his Twitter account two days after the website announcement, where he confirmed the disbanding of the group but denied that altercations between band members were the reason for the split. [79]

May Death Never Stop You and post-break-up (2014–present)

On March 25, 2014, the band released a greatest hits collection, entitled May Death Never Stop You , containing material spreading their entire career, as well a single unreleased track. [2] The track "Fake Your Death" was made available digitally on February 17. [80]

Following the band's break-up, the members of the band continued to pursue music. Lead vocalist Gerard Way announced his debut solo album Hesitant Alien with the release of an advance-single, "Action Cat". [81] Hesitant Alien was released on September 29, 2014 in the UK, and a day later in the U.S. [82] Hesitant Alien was a moderate commercial success, topping the US Billboard Alternative Albums chart and reaching No. 16 on the US Billboard 200. [83] Hesitant Alien also topped the "Ten Essential Albums Of 2014" list in Alternative Press. [84]

Rhythm guitarist Frank Iero sporadically collaborated with My Chemical Romance keyboardist James Dewees, forming Death Spells and performing in Reggie and the Full Effect (alongside Ray Toro), releasing No Country for Old Musicians on November 19, 2013. Afterwards, he announced via his official website that he signed to Staple Records and would be releasing a full-length solo album entitled Stomachaches under the moniker of "frnkiero andthe cellabration". The album featured former My Chemical Romance touring drummer Jarrod Alexander. Stomachaches was released worldwide on August 25, 2014. [85]

Bassist Mikey Way formed Electric Century along with Sleep Station vocalist David Debiak in 2014 and released their debut single "I Lied" in February 2014. [86] The duo announced their debut self-titled EP on March 10, 2015 and was released on Record Store Day on April 18, 2015.

Lead guitarist Ray Toro posted a song on his SoundCloud account entitled "Isn't That Something" on May 24, 2013. On January 1, 2015, he posted a new song, titled "For the Lost and Brave", on his website, dedicating the song to Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen who committed suicide. [87]

On July 20, 2016, the band posted on their official Twitter and Facebook pages a video with the piano intro from "Welcome to the Black Parade", ending with a cryptic date, "9/23/16". [88] [89] The video was also published on the band's YouTube channel with the video titled "MCRX". [90] This led to numerous rumors and reports on the band's possible reunion until it was revealed to be a reissue of The Black Parade with unreleased demos. [91] [92] [93] The reissue, titled The Black Parade/Living with Ghosts , [94] includes 11 demos and live tracks. Two months before its release, an early version of "Welcome to the Black Parade", titled "The Five of Us Are Dying", was made available for streaming. [95]

In a discussion of his work on the comic book Doom Patrol , Gerard Way told Billboard , "I wouldn't count (a reunion) out, but at the same time everybody's doing stuff in their lives now that they're really enjoying." [96]

Musical style and influences

The band during the Big Day Out in February 2007 My Chemical Romance BDO Feb 4 07 1.jpg
The band during the Big Day Out in February 2007

My Chemical Romance's general style has been categorized as alternative rock, [97] [98] [99] [100] [101] pop punk, [3] [102] [103] [104] post-hardcore, [105] [106] [107] punk rock, [108] [109] [110] emo pop, [111] [112] [113] [114] hard rock, [115] [116] gothic rock, [3] and, most controversially, emo. [3] [117] [118] [119] The band's official website describes their music as simply "rock" or "violent, dangerous pop". [120] Gerard Way has publicly rejected the term "emo", [121] describing the genre as "fucking garbage". [122] However, Way has reportedly also described the band's style as "What-else-ya-got-emo". [5]

The band's sound usually has elements of punk rock, pop and alternative rock. [123] I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, the band's debut album, features a raw sound that has guitar riffs, very energetic vocals and sometimes screaming. The album has been described as emo, [124] [125] post-hardcore, [126] [127] [128] [129] alternative rock, [130] screamo, [131] [132] [133] punk rock, [125] gothic rock, [134] pop punk, [125] and garage punk, [128] The album also has some influences from hardcore punk and heavy metal. [135] [136] [137] The second album, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, was one of the albums that launched the emo genre into the mainstream. [138] Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge was described as alternative rock, [139] emo, [138] pop punk, [140] [141] post-hardcore, [142] and punk rock. [143] The band's third album, The Black Parade, has been described as alternative rock, [144] [145] emo, [144] [146] [147] [148] pop punk, [149] [150] post-hardcore, [151] punk rock, [152] and hard rock. [153] The album has influences from 1970s classic rock, [154] [155] [156] glam rock, [154] [157] pop, [158] and gothic rock. [157] The band's fourth album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, was described as alternative rock [159] pop punk, [102] power pop, [160] pop rock, [161] and electronic rock. [162]

Gerard Way said to Rolling Stone, "we love bands like Queen, where it's huge and majestic, but also bands like Black Flag and the Misfits, who would go absolutely crazy." Way has stated that the band is heavily influenced by Queen, Misfits, Black Flag, Iron Maiden, The Cure, Joy Division, Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and The Smiths/Morrissey. [163] Way has also said that his band patterns their career after that of The Smashing Pumpkins, another band they admire. [164] Frank Iero cites the punk band Lifetime as a big influence. [165] My Chemical Romance's other influences include The Stooges, Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Clash, Minor Threat, Nirvana, and Operation Ivy. [166]


Mikey Way, bassist, dressed in his Black Parade uniform. Mikey Way performing.jpg
Mikey Way, bassist, dressed in his Black Parade uniform.

My Chemical Romance played in many major tours of 2005. The band toured with Green Day in 2005 on the "Green Day Presents American Idiot Tour". They were also part of the Warped Tour in the same year. "For a lot of kids, it's the one thing they look forward to all year," said Gerard Way of the Warped Tour. "They save up for it. They get to see all the bands they like in one shot." [167] Their set list included mostly songs from Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge.

My Chemical Romance co-headlined the main stage with The Used on the Taste of Chaos tour, before starting their first headlining tour, simply named the "My Chemical Romance Tour". The tour launched September 15 in Ohio, stopping at 30 locations in the United States, to promote their album, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. Supporting were Alkaline Trio and Reggie and the Full Effect. This tour marked the beginning of the heavy theatrics later showcased in many of their live shows. Way expressed his plans for the tour in an interview with MTV, saying, "we'd talked about bringing out dancers for our headlining tour in the fall, but it's a big undertaking; you have to have a bus full of dancers. We've always wanted to do a big theatrical tour. But you have to do it in steps". [168] The use of theatrics was evident during The Black Parade World Tour , which supported their album of the same name. The tour featured 133 performances worldwide, featuring three legs in North America, one in Europe, Asia, and South America, and one internationally.

The band joined headliners Linkin Park on Projekt Revolution 2007, starting on July 25 and ending on September 3, 2007. [169] The band played a one-hour set on center stage, opening with "This Is How I Disappear", as flames burst behind the band. The set ended with "Cancer", occasionally with falling confetti, and fireworks. Following the Projekt Revolution tour, they opened for Bon Jovi in October and then departed for a European Tour with Mindless Self Indulgence.

On September 19, 2010, the band announced "The World Contamination Tour", which took place in parts of the UK, France, Amsterdam and Germany. [170]

Band members


My Chemical Romance


See also

Related Research Articles

<i>I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love</i> 2002 studio album by My Chemical Romance

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Frank Iero American musician

Frank Anthony Thomas Iero, Jr. is an American musician who was the rhythm guitarist and backup vocalist of the rock band My Chemical Romance and post-hardcore band Leathermouth. He has a solo punk rock project titled Frank Iero and the Future Violents. He released his debut solo album titled Stomachaches on August 26, 2014.

Mikey Way American musician

Michael James Way is an American musician and actor. He is best known as the bassist of the rock band My Chemical Romance. He is also the multi-instrumentalist and backing vocalist of rock duo Electric Century. Mikey co-wrote Collapser with Shaun Simon due to begin release July 2019 on DC Comics.

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Further reading