Monthly Archives: November 2011
Meet lead singer and guitarist Steven Battelle, Drummer Mark Gibson and bassist Alan Williamson also known as LostAlone, a band My Chemical Romances’ bassist Mikey Way describes as “a little secret; an awesome thing who are starting to connect with people.”
The Derby trio have already proved their salt in their home town after selling out their homecoming Christmas show which is landing on the 22nd December.
They are currently recording their second album ‘I’m A UFO in This City’ the follow up to 2007’s ‘Say No to the World‘, which is due to be released early next year .
With a little help from My Chemical Romances’ Gerard Way – executive producer for their second album, they are sure to make a mark in the rock and punk-pop scene.
The band name is a slight contradiction because they are anything but “Lost” or “Alone”.
Helping them find their way are producers Jacknife Lee and Greg Wells who between them have worked with Katy Perry, Deftones, Weezer and U2.
Lost Alone are definitely not lonely after playing to huge crowds when supporting 30 Seconds to Mars, Paramore, Enter Shikari and My Chemical Romance.
They have also graced several different stages playing the festival circuit and can put T in the Park, Download and Reading and Leeds festival on the CV.
The band marry together a wall of sound with a distinctive accent driven vocal, they know where they are going and will probably take more than a few people with them.
LostAlone are bringing something a little bit different to the table pinching influences from all over the shop they have forming quite an interesting hybrid sound of punk-pop, classic rock and emo style progressive rock.
They seem as if they have settled more on a style, their earlier music was a little confused making flippant switches from indie to emo punk-pop complete with videos showing Papa Roach style shots of eyeliner wearing solemm looking teens.
LostAlone’s new single ‘Paradox on Earth’, has a seasoning of Queen and seems to flow better and follow a narrative with less erratic genre changes in the song, taking the audience with them rather than confusing them.
It is very clear that they have been influenced by My Chemical Romance as their track off their new album could have easily been a B-Side to a song off of Welcome to the Black Parade.
However, this isn’t a bad thing, Gerard must have had a say in their music and has welcomed their slight emulation of the band. The vocals are strong, harmonising is frequent but not tedious. The Derby accents have worked perfectly as they make the vocals stand out and the music more memorable.
Plugging away for over six years, supporting some heavy weights and having some friends in high places they aren’t doing too bad for themselves. And with Iron Maidens’ Bruce Dickinson supporting them it’s sure to win them a few bonus points.
2011 marks 10 years since My Chemical Romance formed. People first started tan for a chat with Kill Your Stereo to discuss picking set lists, their next album and exploding sinuses.king notice when the band released their 2004 major label debut, Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge but their 2006 concept album The Black Parade really put them on the map. 2010 saw the band release their fourth studio album, Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys, taking their sound in a new direction. Next year My Chemical Romance will be hitting our shores as a part of the Big Day Out as well as playing a string of headlining sideshows. Before the band begin preparing for the tour, guitarist Frank Iero sat down for a chat with Kill Your Stereo to discuss picking set lists, their next album and exploding sinuses.
Frank: Hey Gloria, how you doing?
Good thanks, how are you Frank?
Frank: I am alright, it is a pleasure to talk to you.
Well thanks for taking the time to chat with Kill Your Stereo, you have probably had a nice long day of interviews?
Frank: Actually we only started, maybe a half hour ago, so I think I am still fresh (laughs).
In a few months My Chemical Romance will be heading back to Australia as a part of Big Day Out. What is preparation for the festival like?
Frank: Yeah, well I am really excited I must say because this is the second one for the band but it is actually my first one. So I am really looking forward to getting on it because when the guys did it last time they only had amazing things to say about it and I love the country. We came once before they did the Big Day Out, and I was actually on that one (laughs), and it was great. I loved seeing the countryside and the people were amazing so I am looking forward to doing this tour, especially now I heard it’s the 20th anniversary so I imagine it is going to be absolutely amazing.
As far as the preparation, well it’s kind of cool I think, this tour for us is going to be exciting because Danger Days came out a year ago yesterday so we have already been doing a years worth of touring on the record and I think we have gotten pretty good at the Danger Days tour. So right now we are trying to think about the next stuff so it is really going to be smack dab in the pre-creative headspace of what the next record is going to be, so not it is going to be Danger Days fuelled but also possibly fuelled by whatever the new thing is. So we are going to get together, actually in two weeks, and start kind of brain storming about stuff and start playing together and I don’t know even know what the set is going to be like. I have been thinking a lot about it and I know how much time we have but I don’t want to pigeonhole us into “Well we are only going to play this stuff, we are only going to play that stuff” I kind of want to keep it open and if some new stuff makes its way in that would be really great, as for the vibe I have no idea what it is going to be. I definitely want to play some songs that I think the Australian fans haven’t gotten to hear live because we haven’t been there on this tour. There is going to be some Danger Days stuff, I think we should play some older stuff, and hopefully some of the new vibe will work its way in.
Frank: Well, unfortunately I can only speak for the first first time we came over to Australia. The last time I was all ready to go, we had a Japanese tour, I think it was a week long Japanese tour and then we were going to Australia and New Zealand and a couple of weeks before we left for Japan I had gotten my wisdom teeth taken out. So it was supposed to be healed, I got on the plane and as soon as I woke up in Japan we touched down and I had this fever and I was bleeding from nose, it was horrible. So apparently what happened was my sinuses exploded in my face (laughs), so they took me straight to the hospital from the airport, or I might have gone to the hotel and I was like “I really need to go to the hospital” so they took me to the hospital and I was there for a couple of hours and then I was on the next flight back home (laughs). So yeah, it was horrible, but a friend of ours came and filled in and unfortunately I missed the entire Japanese tour and the entire Australian tour on the Big Day Out that we had done last time, so I missed all of it. But I only heard great things from the rest of the guys, they were like “Oh man, it was so much fun, The Killers played and it was awesome because we got to watch them play every night” and I was just like “Ah, what the fuck?!” So I missed all this fun shit. But anyway, so I am really excited, really really excited about this one because, I don’t know, the first time that we went over to Australia we had so much fun and I thought it was beautiful. We got to hang out with kangaroos, that was great, it was amazing to me and I’d never got to do that before so I am really excited to just see a lot more of your country side because the first time we only did a small amount of dates but with the Big Day Out you get to travel a lot more and you travel with the tour so I’m looking forward to that and then you have your off days and the days you get to do your own headlining shows, so it is going to be amazing.
Well hopefully we can make up for you not being able to come here last time.
Frank: Oh yeah, as long as I can make it there this time and I can play (laughs), then we are already one up on the last time.
Frank: They will be absolutely different. The last shows were a part of The Black Parade tour so it is going to be 100 percent different from that in every way. Danger Days stuff has been a lot more colour driven and throughout the year we have added more and more stuff to it. But now I think, that’s the great thing about it, is that you are going to get a show that is smack dab in the middle of what Danger Days was and what it has now become and also what the new stuff is going to become. So it is going to be unique to any of the shows that has come before it and hopefully any of the shows that come after it. The set will be completely different but hopefully we are probably going to do a bunch of stuff of the new record that people haven’t gotten to hear but hopefully we will also do some older stuff that we didn’t get to do on Black Parade because we were mostly playing Black Parade stuff. So we will play some Danger Days stuff, some older stuff, and if everything goes according to plan, which it never does, but if it does there will possibly be some of the new vibe, whatever that may be that we are working on right now. What’s exciting to me is that Australia is going to get a really excited band, a band that is really creative, that feels like they are in a really creative moment and I don’t know what that is going to be, but that is the fun part for us. I am really excited.
You guys have a pretty massive catalogue of songs, how do you decide which songs you will actually play?
Frank: Normally it is one of those things, I will look through, like I have this master list of all the songs on every record and we just kind of pick our favourites sometimes. Other times it is like, you have too many songs within your allotted time slot so you kind of change it up a little bit from tour to tour, from week to week kind of thing. I don’t know, I think it’s just a vibe when you go into tour. I see things in colours so I am looking at art right now, so I am going through the songs, but I don’t want to put us in a box I don’t want to be like “Oh, we can only play this stuff” because if things come up and new songs come up it will be able to make the set one hundred percent unique. I think that was one of the biggest things that we had done, we had played a few shows in LA then we had gone and done Summersonic in Japan and we were right in the middle of recording the first time around recording Danger Days and we got to play three or four new songs that we have never played ever again because then they didn’t make it onto Danger Days, it was like a moment in time, it was a band that you will never see again but it was just us doing what we were doing in that moment and it kind of felt like if you were there you saw it, you got into it, and then it was gone. I kind of like things like that so I’m hoping, I kind of think that’s what Australia is going to be, I don’t know yet because nothing is set in stone but it is the same kind of feeling where we are in this moment in time and these shows on this tour are going to be unique to anything else we have ever done.
What is your personal favourite song to play live? Do you have one that you always like to see in the set?
Frank: Well (laughs), it is very cliché when you say, “Oh, well every song I have ever written has a special place in my heart” but it is true and they do, but I think there are certain songs that we have never played where these songs didn’t appear in the set, songs like ‘I’m Not Okay’ and ‘Helena’ never get old for us, I don’t know why that is but they are just the kind of songs that you can play with your eyes closed but at the same time there is a certain gravity and time for the songs, it just works and the reaction from the crowd is always different each time so that is always fun. So those songs always appear on our set list, I think it would be a jinx to take them off but some of the new stuff too has been more than fun to play, songs like ‘Destroyer’ and ‘Scarecrow’ have made it into the staple set list songs and have become some of our favourite songs to play.
With every record the My Chemical Romance sound has evolved substantially, how do you incorporate all those different sounds into one live set? Does that make it harder to choose what to play?
Frank: Well, I think that you are write, the sound has changed for every record but that’s definitely a conscious decision but I think that is part of the fun of our lives shows, is that you get to see songs that were written earlier in our career, but music is an amazing thing because it evolves and it grows, the songs become living and breathing things and they change from tour to tour because the band changes and grows. We could play a set list that we had played maybe two years before but the entire set list will be completely different, it sounds different, it feels different because it is a different band up there playing it. That is the beauty of music in general and also the beauty of the band, it is fun to see these songs take on a different light and a different shape, so it’s not hard to make a set list I think it’s harder to figure out what songs grow into and what story you want to tell every show but as far as picking the songs that is the fun part because the beauty is the outcome, to see what works and what you can do with your sound.
You mentioned possibly having some new songs to play, has any work gone into full-length number five yet?
and other weeks things were fresh but that’s the fun part about creating music is weeding out the good from the bad and see what will work, but I definitely think we are on our way.
Frank: I am looking forward to it. Thank you very much for taking my time Gloria, I appreciate it.
Frank: See you soon, bye.
MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE
Emo Kings turned rock gods (with hair dye) My Chemical Romance are heading to Australia for the Big Day Out in 2012, including Perth on Sunday, February 5, at the festival’s new home Brownes Stadium. CHLOE PAPAS speaks to bassist Mikey Way about their recent album, Twilight and the perils of fame.
In November 2010, My Chemical Romance released their fourth album, Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys. Each album prior was dark and emotional, and whether you buy into it or not, the band were one of the pioneers of ‘emo’ for their generation. When Danger Days was released, the music world received a shock; the foursome ditched the eyeliner and songs about death for an upbeat rock album that, though it could never live up to 2006’s The Black Parade, could hold its own. Way explains that over the past year of touring, fans have eagerly received the album.
“It was a more challenging album for us, and I think the fans appreciated that more,” he begins. “They didn’t want to hear the same thing, they expected something greater from us, and so it took us a long to make the album. We had a first attempt with Brendan O’Brien, and that album was incredible, but we wanted to get this other, new flavour into it. We wanted to trigger what we hadn’t touched before, so we each went out of our comfort zone and played in genres that we’d never played before, and wrote on genres that we’d never written in before, and I think the outcome was incredible. I think we surprised a lot of people.’
The band have just finished up the US Honda Civic Tour with Blink 182, and Way says it was an amazing few months. However, halfway through the tour the internet blew up with rumours when the band announced that recently recruited drummer Michael Pedicone was being kicked out after a discovery that he had been stealing money from them. Though the band declines to discuss the incident, Way confirms that Pedicone’s replacement, Jarrod Alexander, is likely to be around for a while – but they won’t be making a permanent commitment.
“For the foreseeable future, we’re going to be playing with Jarrod,” Way explains. “He’s coming with us to Big Day Out. But we never want to get married again to a drummer. We like playing with Jarrod, he likes playing with us so we’ll do it for as long as each party is happy. But we’ll never add another member to the band again.”
My Chemical Romance have always been a very artistic band in terms of lyricism and subject matter, andDanger Days is no different. Each of the four members has an associated comic-book like character created to suit the storyline of the album, and Way explains how they were created, and states that this creativity won’t be stopping with their next album.
“Gerard [Way, frontman] actually came up with the theme and he’d ask us questions; ’what’s your favourite colour, favourite animal’ and he was creating these personas for us. He just had this vision of this in the future pirate radio station and a corporation’s gang of rebels. And it was this giant art project for everybody in the band, it was just a really rewarding experience and really got our creative juices flowing. We were creating our own world to live in. For each album we kind of make a universe, and that universe fit perfectly with the songs we were writing.”
A track on Danger Days, entitled Vampire Money, seems to be a direct ‘fuck you’ to tween phenomenonTwilight, with sarcastically yelled lyrics: ’Sparkle like Bowie in the morning sun’ and ’Hair back, collar up, jet black, so cool.’ With the timeliness of the new movie’s release, the song gets a mention and Way explains that the band didn’t mean to offend anyone.
“It’s not a dig at Twilight per say,” he hesitates. “It’s just that we had been approached numerous times by different parties to possibly make a song for Twilight. And we said ’no,’ countless times. And then eventually it became this sore subject where we were like ’no we’re not doing it’. Nothing against Stephanie Meyer or any of the actors, but I think it would be a disservice to our fans if we did take part in it. Basically the song [Vampire Money] is talking about when someone will just ask you over and over to do something you don’t want to do, and you’re telling them the reason and they’re not seeing why you feel that way. We have no ill will towards anyone. Far be it for us to knock anyone in their interests – we all have our geeky interests, we all have guilty pleasures.’
My Chemical Romance have a huge fan-base, predominantly in their teens. Way explains that there is a certain level of responsibility that comes with having millions of teenagers following your every move, and that fame is a very fragile power to have.
“The best thing about fame is being able to create on a grand scale with your best friends, and knowing that a lot of people pay attention to what you have to say, and a lot of people think you have something important to say,” Way explains. “The worst part about fame is that it’s a very volatile thing. Some people get it and use it proactively, and some people get it and it starts to eat away at their being. That’s the bad part of fame, where you have people getting drunk on their own fame. They’re believing in this fictitious hype that somebody else has set up for them. The other negative part is that people expect, the way the internet and the world is today, that there’s this self-entitlement now where kids have to be famous now at some point in their life. And some of them will be famous and hey, more power to them, but some of them don’t even know why they’re saying it, they’ve just been taught to expect it.”
When asked what the band’s plans are post- Big Day Out, Way confirms that they are beginning work on a new album, and hope to head back to Australia as soon as it’s released.
“Usually with records we tour so long that we’re fried and need to take a year off before we can do it all again,” he concludes. “But this time we only toured for a year. So sooner or later we’re going to get together and begin the process of putting together a follow-up album. Everyone in the band is consistently writing something – a riff, a melody, a song title, some kind of idea. So, you can expect us back sooner rather than later!”
The tracklist for the upcoming massive four-disc, 75-track Bob Dylan tribute album Chimes of Freedom has been revealed, and among some reasonable contributions from the likes of Patti Smith, K’NAAN, Lucinda Williams, Billy Bragg, My Morning Jacket, and yeah, even the Dave Matthews Band, there are a few surprises that are sure to remind you this is 2011, afterall, and we live in a strange time.
- K’NAAN – With God On Our Side
- Ximena Sariñana – I Want You
- Neil Finn with Pajama Club – She Belongs to Me
- Bryan Ferry – Bob Dylan’s Dream
- Zee Avi – Tomorrow Is A Long Time
- Carly Simon – Just Like a Woman
- Flogging Molly – The Times They Are A-Changin’
- Fistful Of Mercy – Buckets Of Rain
- Joe Perry – Man Of Peace
- Bad Religion – It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
- My Chemical Romance – Desolation Row (Live)
- RedOne featuring Nabil Khayat – Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
- Paul Rodgers & Nils Lofgren – Abandoned Love
- Darren Criss featuring Chuck Criss and Freelance Whales – New Morning
- Cage the Elephant – The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
- Band of Skulls – It Ain’t Me, Babe
- Sinéad O’Connor – Property of Jesus
- Ed Roland and The Sweet Tea Project – Shelter From The Storm
- Ke$ha – Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
- Kronos Quartet – Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
“My father and grandfather are both drummers, so music was a big part of my childhood,” says My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero. “On the weekends, I used to go to clubs to see my grandfather play Dixieland and standards, and then I’d go somewhere else to watch my dad play the blues. A lot of times these were after-hours places where I shouldn’t even be. The owners kind of looked the other way.”
According to Iero, these experiences were his introductions to the punk-rock ethos.
“It was about doing things the way you want, for sheer love of the music,” he says. “The blues was my dad’s punk rock – guys writing their own music, recording it in their basement and totally playing from the heart. People looked down at the blues at one point, but it really hit a nerve with him. When I discovered my own punk rock, I’m sure I felt the same way that he did.”
While in high school, a friend played Iero a mix tape of of local, New Jersey-based punk bands, which the guitarist recalls as a defining musical moment.
“Here were people my age putting on shows, making their own music, doing it DIY-style. It blew my mind! You didn’t need to be a virtuoso to start a band – all you needed was passion. I took that idea and ran with it.”
Following family tradition, Iero became a musician. “I fell in love with the entire thing,” he says, “Starting a band, putting up flyers, playing shows wherever I could – I loved the whole experience. It might have come from my dad and my grandfather, bit it also came from punk. The music was vital, but so was the mindset.
In Iero’s view, punk still lives today.
“It doesn’t matter what year you were born or what shows you went to,” he says. “You can be a teenager in your bedroom, making music on your laptop. It’s about self-expression, going against the grain. As long as you’re doing it for the right reasons, you’re punk rock.”
On the following pages, Frank Iero lists what he calls the 10 greatest punk records of all time – in chronological order.
“To me, that’s the only way to do it,” he says. “Saying one record is the best, as in THE BEST…I just couldn’t go there.”
New Jersey pop punk quartet My Chemical Romance have announced some Australian tour dates while their out here for the Big Day Out 2012 line up. The band will be bringing their popular World Contamination tour too our shores in January.
Now celebrating 10 years as My Chemical Romance, they broke out of the Jersey punk underground with 2002 debut I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, then 2004’s Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, before heightening the drama with 2006’s game-changing rock opera The Black Parade.
Just when fans thought they couldn’t take it any further, 2010’s Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys created a whole new world a dystopian, disco-punk
future where life is short, cars are fast, and where a raised voice is a lost soul’s best defence.
Still, no matter how much changes for singer Gerard Way, guitarists Frank Iero and Ray Toro and bassist Mikey Way, one thing remains true – The bond between them and their fans is one of those phenomena that outsiders just don’t get.
My Chemical Romance Australian Tour 2012 – Big Day Out Sideshows
“Cracker Barrel, corps paint, and my old friend Frank from My Chemical Romance.” – justinborucki
- Na Na Na
- I’m Not Okay (I Promise)
- Planetary (Go!)
- The Only Hope For Me Is You
- Our Lady Of Sorrows
- Famous Last Words
- Welcome To The Black Parade
- The Kids From Yesterday
Na Na Na
I’m Not Okay (I Promise)
The Only Hope For Me Is You
Our Lady Of Sorrows
Famous Last Words
Welcome To The Black Parade
The Kids From Yesterday
Give Em Hell Kid