Monthly Archives: February 2012

Interview: My Chemical Romance is for f***ing life!

MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE guitarist FRANK IERO is standing side-of-stage watching Best Coast’s set at the Auckland Big Day Out. He applauds at the end of every single song, squinting thoughtfully in appreciation of the band, with frontman GERARD WAY joining him for a few minutes before it’s time for the pair to prepare for their own set on the festival’s main stage. Likewise, their band-mate RAY TORO has also been taking advantage of the day’s sights and sounds, being quick to tweet his appreciation of a fellow band on the tour:”Vaccines on at BDO. Sound great!”
 
Earlier that day, Iero, Toro, the elder Way and his younger brother bassist MIKEY WAY, have assembled backstage to meet, greet, and fulfil the dreams of competition winners. The four-piece are in every way accommodating of their fans’ nervousness, happily dishing out guitar-playing advice and discussing everything from New York basketball team The New York Knicks, to confirming that Volume 3 of ‘The Umbrella Academy’ is in the works, and the difference between coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts in America and New Zealand. Which, for the record: Gerard doesn’t care much for, but still buys because he likes their cups.
That’s just the kind of band they are. The kind of band that inspires their fans to create original comics that boggle the mind of un-creatives [click HERE for comic marvels], that gives their fans hope during the dangerous of days… and if you went to any Big Day Out festival date this Summer past, it’s more than likely that one out every few t-shirts that walked past you belonged to a fan of the band wearing their heart on their [shirt-]sleeve. 
It’s been four years since the band last toured this continent and over a year since the release of their 2010 album, ‘DANGER DAYS: THE TRUE LIVES OF THE FABULOUS KILLJOYS’ – a triumphant resurfacing of next-level reinvention from a band who had clearly re-honed their raison d’être ray-guns a-blazing – but their local fan-base is living proof that absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
Over the course of the current album cycle, I’ve witnessed a draculoid running rampant at a local shopping mall, personally witnessed Killjoys take to a CBD park for an ‘Art Is The Weapon’ paint-fight… and of course, there’s never been a fan-base quite so unafraid to scold any music journalist who fails to do their research prior to an interview.
It’s like a gang. My Chemical Romance and their fans… and their fans who be-friend each other.
Gerard reiterates these sentiments later that day while on-stage:
 “Man, this is going to sound weird at first, but you know what I’m talking about. This band is for fucking life… I couldn’t get out if I tried. It’s like a life sentence, and a life sentence isn’t always a bad fucking thing. Because we all get to be in this fucking cell together. You know what I’m saying? For fucking life. Ain’t no way out of this shit now. Ain’t no way fucking back.”

CDM: Ray, you’ve said that the ‘Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys’ album is “more thematic than story-based” – what do you consider to be the main themes of the record?
RAY: For me, one of the main themes is just about freedom and being free, just being that person that you’ve always wanted to be.

CDM: At the beginning of ‘Vampire Money’, you break the ‘fourth wall’ of the Killjoys world by referring to each other with your real names – did you feel like this was an important progression/differentiation from ‘The Black Parade’ where you all completely immersed yourself within the story?
FRANK: Very astute.
GERARD: Yeah, actually. It felt nice to do that. It felt really nice to be able to break that wall and have a song that was almost like the end-credits for us, so you do realise that there are regular people that don’t call themselves by their good names when they’re hanging out. That’s what it was, yeah.

CDM: More than ten years on now from writing the first My Chemical Romance song ‘Skylines and Turnstiles’, which song do you feel best represents this current decade-old incarnation of the band now?
GERARD: What do you guys think?
FRANK: I guess again, going back to ‘The Kids From Yesterday’, I think that does. It’s weird because that song was written at such a cross-roads, not only in our lives as the band, but also our actual private lives, and it ended up being extremely personal. It means a lot of different things to all of us, and it meant something different to me when it was first written, to like a week after it was written. So I think I’d have to say ‘Kids’.
MIKEY WAY: Absolutely, it feels like a time capsule.

CDM: With new albums tending to leak before their official release date, fans often have access to new music at the same time as journalists and can form their own opinions before reading advance reviews and/or interviews. Do you think this has affected modern-day music journalism?
FRANK: Well, I think that a lot of journalists don’t really listen to music before they review it.<laughs> But… ‘music journalism’, those two words put together? It, they, tends not to hold any much more weight anymore. I think there’s very little journalism in it…
GERARD: Yeah, there’s a time-honoured tradition of it, and that part is great, and you find… I guess it’s like anything else, it’s like music, you find the real good people out there that are fighting the good fight and they’re writing like Lester Bangs and stuff, they’re giving a shit, basically. They’re just like finding a great band, it’s rare.
MIKEY: One of the problems now, is that everyone thinks they’re a music journalist, everybody’s opinion is the most important, and everyone is super cynical… instead of just listening… and the way things kind of used to be.
FRANK: Everybody’s a ‘real’ fucking journalist.

CDM: Lastly, do you have a message for your New Zealand fans?
FRANK: Hi, again. I know it’s been a really long time, but we’re so excited to be here and to play for you guys. Your country is beautiful and I hope we get to come here a lot more often, if only you guys weren’t so far away.
MIKEY: Thank you for waiting so long for us to come back!.

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New interview with Gerard Way! [Kerrang Magazine]

Gerard Way bounds into a mobile cabin backstage at the Sydney Big Day Out like a man on a mission. Which, given that My Chemical Romance are due onstage in forty five minutes, he is. Looking lean and talking fast, dressed head-to-toe in black and with his eyes hidden behind dark sunglasses, today he deals in short, sharp answers- but then there are warm-ups to do, and the clock is ticking. This current run of Big Day Out shows represents the end of the touring cycle behind 2010’s Danger Days… album- the perfect time, then, to catch up on what’s next…
HOW’S YOUR 2012 SHAPING UP?
“Really great. We just got a new studio. We rented a building [in Los Angeles], but it wasn’t a functioning studio, so we’re making our own studio. So now we’ll have our own resources to put out a lot more music.”
HAS THE WRITING PROCESS FOR A NEW ALBUM BEGUN?
“Yeah. The cool thing is we’ve spent a lot of time writing new material on the road this time. We didn’t do that before Danger Days…”
WHAT DO YOU PUT THAT DOWN TO?
“I think just not being burnt out. Really enjoying and reconnecting with making music again, just being inspired, whereas after Black Parade we weren’t inspired to do much at all besides disappear.” 
HAVE YOU FINISHED ANY SONGS?         
 “No, we’re still working it out.”
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE SOUND?
“I don’t describe it.” 
CAN YOU COMPARE IT TO ANYTHING?
“That’s the same question! But it’s different. We’re extremely excited.” 
HAVE YOU STARTED THINKING ABOUT YOUR LYRICS?
“No. I guess it’s just going to depend on how the next six months of my life go, ‘cause that’s usually what they reflect.”
 WHEN YOU THINK BACK ON DANGER DAYS… -ITS RECEPTION, THE TOURING- DID EVERYTHING GO AS YOU’D HOPED?
“Yeah, especially once we had played Reading and Leeds. That was a big moment for that album, ‘cause we leaned heavily and intentionally on it for that set, and it made us really proud of it.” 
WOULD YOU HAVE DONE ANYTHING DIFFERENT?
“No, we’d never do anything different. It’s impossible.” 
WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR 2012?
“I hope that the construction goes well on our new studio so we can get recording as soon as possible.” 
HOW HANDS ON WILL YOU BE WITH THE CONSTRUCTION?
“We’ll hire people to deal with acoustics. Visually, I’ll handle a lot of the stuff- we’ll all have a hand in designing the way it’ll look and feel.”
HOW WOULD YOU SUM UP THE FEELING IN THE BAND?
“Fantastic. Going on ten years now, we love being in the band. It’s something you can never leave or escape or get away from, and that’s a great thing.” 
HOW’S JARROD ALEXANDER SETTLING IN ON DRUMS?
 “He’s so great, he’s the sweetest guy, great fucking player. We didn’t have a lot of time to learn each other’s intricacies, but now we have and it’s come together very well.”
IS THERE A SENSE OF PERMANENCE WITH HIM?
“We don’t talk about permanent drummers. The band is us [Gerard, his brother Mikey, and guitarists Frank Iero and Ray Toro] and there can never be permanence. It’s impossible to think about it even in the next five years. But we love playing with him. 
SO WILL THERE BE A NEW ALBUM THIS YEAR?
“It’s impossible to say. But working early is always a good sign.” 

WILL IT BE ACCOMPANIED BY A NEW IMAGE?

“I’m sure- it would be boring if it wasn’t.” 

ANY THOUGHTS ON WHAT THAT MIGHT BE?
“No, that would give away a bit of the music.”

Gerard Way: I’ll never leave MCR

Gerard Way can ‘never leave or escape’ My Chemical Romance.
The musician is the lead vocalist and co-founder of the alternative rock band from New Jersey. The group are currently in the process of writing material for a new album following the success of their fourth studio record, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.

Gerard says My Chemical Romance are more motivated than ever.

‘Fantastic,’ he exclaimed when asked to sum up the feeling in the group.

‘Going on ten years now we love being in the band. It’s something you can never leave or escape or get away from, and that’s a great thing.’
‘The cool thing is we’ve spent a lot of time writing new material on the road this time. We didn’t do that before Danger Days…’ he said.Gerard has enjoyed penning ideas for tracks while touring. The star has felt more creative as he’s learnt to cope with stress better.
‘I think [it’s down to] just not being burnt out. Really enjoying and reconnecting with making music again, just being inspired, whereas after [third album] Black Parade we weren’t inspired to do much at all besides disappear.

Interview with Frank and Ray [Video]

Frank and Ray from My Chemical Romance chat about superfans, right-wing attacks, concept albums and more.

My Chemical Romance essentially defined theatrical in 2006 with their The Black Parade album, the involved story of which rocketed them to global stardom.
Since, they delivered concept album number two in 2010 album Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys, and they talk to Noise11 about the producing of that album, steering away from more themed albums, fan loyalty, their Glenn Beck attack, and grappling with the ethics of endorsement.

My Chemical Romance Build Studio For Album Number Five

My Chemical Romance are in the process of building a studio in Los Angeles where they’re going to begin working on their fifth album.
Speaking to Noise11, the band outlined plans for their impending fifth album and how they’re going to approach it

“Back in L.A. we just got a studio so we’re kind of building that out and basically trying to make a compound where we can be creative and be there whenever we want to be,” guitarist Ray Toro told Noise11.com. “That’s the tough thing doing records in a cycle and you have three or four months where you have to write and record a record and sometimes that’s tough. You can take longer, but you always feel like there’s something over your head like a time constraint and now we’ll have our own place where we can go and make music 24 hours a day. It’s gonna be great!”
The band won’t be doing the production on their own though. They have the help of engineer Doug McKean who has worked on both Welcome to the Black Parade and Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.
“Doug McKean, we’ve done our past two records with him,” Toro continued. “He’s an awesome engineer, so he’s going to be working with us. He knows everything. He’s a genius. He definitely, while we’re in the studio with us, helps shape the sound of songs. He does funny stuff like play back stuff in a different way or change arrangements and trick our ears and 
we’ll be like “That was awesome! Look at what we did!”
With their last two records being bombastic concept albums designed to be listened to in their entirety, does that leave them room for creativity in the future? What is it about the concept album that attracts them? Will the next record be another concept album? So many questions!
“It can’t just be a collection of songs,” the band’s other guitarist Frank Iero explains. “It’s never going to be ‘Oh, we had these twelve songs so record it real quick and we’ll put them out!’. I don’t think anyone can really do that these days anymore without some sort of thought or vision behind it. I think the days of just filling the time and putting out a disc is over, and I’m glad, because those are some of my least favourite records.
“I think [iTunes] is cool. Write a song and then just put it out, I like the immediacy of that, but I’m talking about full albums, it’s no longer a mixtape mentality. There needs to be a reason why there’s twelve songs, or thirteen songs. It’s not like ‘Oh, we have a single so we need ten more fillers to put it out there,’ but for us, we’re fans of the album. We grew up listening to full records and having an A-side and a B-side. There’s something magical about taking that record and flipping it over, or a tape. Remember when you had to hit the two buttons to flip the tape? I like that. I like hearing what a band is up to when it’s not just writing a single. That’s when you get to really know what a band is all about. That’s when you love a band and not just music.
“There’s a big difference between being just a music fan or a popular music fan and you’re a fan of a band. When you’re a fan of a band you don’t have to like everything, but you have to follow them because they know better than you do what their band is supposed to be doing and when you do follow and you do give it as many listens as it needs to like it or to appreciate it, then that band has opened your mind a little bit and you’re a better person because of that band and that’s why you’re a fan of that band.”d is up to when it’s not just writing a single. That’s when you get to really know what a band is all about. That’s when you love a band and not just music.
Stay tuned to Noise11 to see the full video interview with Frank Iero and Ray Toro of My Chemical Romance, due online later this week.