My Chemical Romance ten years on
After ten years of touring themselves to the brink, My Chemical Romance knew they had to make a change.
It had been a decade of world tours, losing and finding drummers and a trio of albums, but something had to be different for the band’s fourth release.
“We learnt our lesson. We toured into infinity on those last two albums and it really got to us. It took its toll on everybody’s mental and physical sanity,” says bass player Mikey Way.
These days, in the wake of 2010’s Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, the four-piece have cut their tour length down by half, which Way thinks makes things better for both the band and the fans.
“It helps us to tour more intelligently. We used to just get in the cannon, direct us at where we were supposed to go and just go, go, go and do, do, do.
“And now we are able to pause for a moment and tour the right amount. It makes it cooler for us and cooler for the fans, it makes it more special.
“And as a band we always want to make something new, that became difficult in the old touring cycle. We’d have to play these songs, but maybe at that point we’d moved on, we’d re-envisaged the songs and we wanted to play something new and we couldn’t.”
But that’s exactly what the band are offering these days, and Way promises next week’s Big Day Out appearance will be no different.
“Our set is like a rollercoaster – there’re moments where it’s really calm and there’re moments where it’s really nuts.
“When we’re making set lists it’s like we’re making a mix tape for somebody – ‘we want them to hear this, and we know they’d want to hear this one because you’ve been asking for it’.
“And we always through a curve ball in, something fun. When we were fans going to shows, we’d be bummed out if the set list sucked.”
And after playing the Big Day Out in 2007, the local festival quickly became one of the band’s favourites.
“The 2007 BDO was like, oh my God. It was an unbelievable line-up and this year is no different, solid amazing line-up.
“Some of the music is similar to us, but some of it is completely different. That’s what I respect about Big Day Out, they take different genres and put them together and I think that’s amazing – it makes it about the music and festivals aren’t always about the music.”
Since their first release, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love in 2002, the band have had to deal with an unwanted label of “emo”, accidents on video shoots and a drummer who was found to be stealing.
But through it all, Way says the fans have always been along for the ride, especially the Kiwi ones.
“The kind of fan that My Chemical Romance has, you can’t buy that kind of fan. They are so loyal and so devoted, they are in it with us. We are all on the battlefield, slugging it out together.
“And we talk about the trip to NZ all the time. We use the UK as a barometer for fans reaction and enthusiasm, and New Zealand totally rivals them with the passion of the fans.
“I’m so excited to be coming back; I’m counting down the seconds.”