My Chemical Romance
Members: Gerard Way, Mikey Way, Frank Iero, Ray Toro, Bob Bryar
My Chemical Romance is an American band from New Jersey. Formed in 2001, the band consists of Gerard Way (lead vocals), Mikey Way (bass), Bob Bryar (drums), Frank Iero (rhythm guitar), and Ray Toro (lead guitar).
The band has been described variously by the media as "emo", "indie", "pop punk" and "post-hardcore". The band themselves have described their music as simply "rock" or "violent, dangerous pop", as well as rejecting the term "emo" to describe their style.
My Chemical Romance cite their main influences as Queen, Thursday, Iron Maiden, The Misfits, and Morrissey/The Smiths. Growing up, they were also very influenced by horror films and comic books, and therefore their music, lyrics, and image all have overt elements of fantasy, storytelling, horror, and theatricality. The band members hail from Belleville and Kearny, New Jersey, except drummer Bob Bryar, who is from Chicago, Illinois. Bassist Mikey Way coined the band's name from a book entitled Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance, by Irvine Welsh.
EARLY CAREER 2001 - 2002
The band was formed by frontman Gerard Way and ex-drummer Matt Pelissier. The first song they wrote was Skylines and Turnstiles, which was written by Gerard about his feelings on September 11th. Shortly after, Ray Toro, and Mikey Way (Gerard's brother) joined the band. The band immediately started playing numerous local shows in basements in Montclair and New Brunswick, VFWs like Boonton Elks, and clubs such as the Loop Lounge in Passaic and the Bloomfield Ave. Cafe & Stage, in Montclair, New Jersey.
Three months after the formation of the band they recorded their debut album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, subsequently released in 2002 on Eyeball Records. Despite only joining the band a few days before the album recording sessions began, Frank Iero played guitar on two of the tracks.
MAJOR CAREER 2003 - 2005
In 2003, the band signed a deal with Reprise Records. Following a tour with Avenged Sevenfold the band began work on their second album, entitled Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. Released in 2004, the album went platinum within a year. The band released three singles from the album: "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)", "Helena" and "The Ghost of You".
It was during this time that the band replaced their drummer, Matt Pelissier with Bob Bryar, after they went to Japan in August 2004. The true nature of Pelissier's departure has never been confirmed the band, but it has been speculated it was due to an argument with band member Ray Toro or as a result of mistakes made by the drummer during live performances.
At the start of 2005, the band were direct support on the first ever Taste of Chaos tour, and were also the opening act for Green Day on their American Idiot tour. Later that year they co-headlined and finally headlined their own tour, for the first time ever with Alkaline Trio and Reggie and the Full Effect around the country.
The same year My Chemical Romance and The Used collaborated on a cover of the David Bowie and Queen classic "Under Pressure" that was released as a benefit single on iTunes and other Internet outlets.
RECENT AND FUTURE PLANS 2006-
On March 21, 2006, a 2 DVD/1 CD set entitled Life on the Murder Scene was released. It includes one DVD chronicling the band's history, and a second DVD with music videos, the making of their videos and a couple of live performances. An unauthorized biography DVD Things That Make You Go MMM! was also released, on June 27, 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.
My Chemical Romance's third album, The Black Parade, was released on October 24th, 2006 in the USA and October 23rd, 2006 in the UK. The band started recording the album on April 10, 2006 with Rob Cavallo, producer of every Green Day album since Dookie, bar Warning: The Black Parade was originally thought to be titled The Rise and Fall of My Chemical Romance, but in an interview with Kerrang! magazine Way suggested this was just the album's working title, stating "It was never the title of the album, more a spoof, or joke."
On August 3, 2006, the band finished shooting the video for their first single off of The Black Parade, entitled "Welcome to the Black Parade". The song had its first radio airing on September 11th, 2006, and TV on September 26th, 2006 in the UK and the 27th in the US. The video was directed by Sam Bayer, director of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Green Day's "American Idiot" videos. During the shoot for "Welcome to the Black Parade," which also included the filming of the second, as-yet-unconfirmed single, band members Gerard Way and Bob Bryar were injured. Way suffered a burn to the leg and torn ligaments in his ankle and Bryar a staph infection that needed constant monitoring in the hospital. Consequently the band was forced to cancel a couple of shows. 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 has confirmed that these injuries occurred on the set of the video.
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 being sold on eBay well over the tickets' face value. The band is known to make an interesting creative appearance at these types of shows, such as arriving in coffins. The name of the album they promoted was announced and 20 people dressed in black capes with their faces obscured paraded around Hammersmith, followed by a large group of fans and street team members with signs saying "The Black Parade". Later during the show the album was confirmed to be called "The Black Parade" with an October 23, 2006 UK release. Posters and stickers and a very small number of Black Parade T-Shirts were also given to people in the queue by the street team members. Prior to the band taking the stage it was announced that "My Chemical Romance" were unable to play, but they would be replaced by "The Black Parade." After initial crowd hostility it became clear the band were simply performing under a pseudonym in keeping with the theme of the album. When the set began, the backdrop art displayed the words "The Black Parade". New songs played included "House of Wolves", "The End", "Dead!", and live debuts for "I Don't Love You" and "Cancer".
On September 2nd 2006, My Chemical Romance posted their new single, "Welcome to the Black Parade" on their Myspace page and their purevolume page. It can also be heard on the official website. On September 26, 2006 the "Welcome to the Black Parade" music video was released in the UK. On September 27, 2006 the video was released in the US. On October 9th, 2006, My Chemical Romance played at Spike TV's 2006 Scream Awards. Various street team members dressed up in white masks and others played drum cadences as the band was introduced. They played their new single, "Welcome to the Black Parade". It reached number one on October 15th, 2006, in the UK, giving them their first number one.
On October 12th, 2006, My Chemical Romance made a rare in-store performance to 500 fans at Virgin Megastores on London's Oxford Street. During the bands 35 minute set, they played "House of Wolves" and "Famous Last Words" from The Black Parade alongside a handful of songs from the band's back catalogue and current single "Welcome to the Black Parade". In order to get wristbands for the event, many fans slept outside the shop the previous night. British band Towers Of London caused trouble at the event when the Towers guitarist, Dirk Tourette, allegedly flicked a cigarette butt at My Chemical Romance drummer, Bob Bryar while he was performing. After the live performance, the band met fans and signed records for several hours.
My Chemical Romance have just signed on to play the world renowned Big Day Out festival in Australia and New Zealand in 2007, playing six dates from January 19 to February 4. They are billed alongside other rock bands Tool, Muse, The Killers, and Jet.
Much of My Chemical Romance's music is 'horror film' based, and their photos and art rather bloody. Due to this, MCR are often criticized for their appearance being emo.
The band Guttermouth was supposedly removed from the 2004 Warped Tour for insulting My Chemical Romance, stating that the band were more concerned about their clothing and making money, rather than the artistic merits of the music they make. This is denied by Guttermouth, who claim they left of their own accord and not due to a complaint by My Chemical Romance.
In October 2006, the British Indie Rock band Kasabian criticized My Chemical Romance, labelling them "clowns" and "emo kids" who "don't have anything positive to say" and "should get out more and try and have a good time instead."
2002 - I Brought You My Bullets You Brought Me Your ...
2004 - Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge
2005 - I'm Not Okay (I Promise), Pt. 2
2005 - Life on the Murder Scene
2006 - The Black Parade
2002 - Honey, This Mirror Isn't Big Enough for the Two of Us
2002 - Vampires Will Never Hurt You
2004 - Headfirst for Halos
2004 - Our Lady of Sorrows
2004 - Thank You for the Venom
2005 - I'm Not Okay (I Promise)
2005 - Helena
2005 - The Ghost Of You
2005 - I'm Not Okay (I Promise) (Re-Release)
2006 - Welcome to the Black Parade
2007 - Famous Last Words