My Chemical Romance Going separate ways #3
As yet, there are no reasons for the band’s break-up. They will, presumably, leak out over time. The band’s guitarist, Frank Iero, posted online, “Things that should be simple and easy rarely ever are.” Gerard Way, the band’s iconic singer, penned a lengthy tweet, stating that he felt a change in the way he felt about the band onstage at Asbury Park, New Jersey, on May 19 last year, at The Bamboozle Festival.
“Something is wrong,” he recalled. “I am acting. I never act onstage, even when it appears that I am, even when I’m hamming it up or delivering a soliloquy. Suddenly, I have become highly self-aware, almost as if waking from a dream. I began to move faster, more frantic, reckless – trying to shake it off – but all it began to create was silence. The amps, the cheers, all began to fade“
There are, of course, rumours. None are rooted in fact. Could it be that the band were at war with their label? Could it be a cryptic message? Or could it just nod to the image that adorned album number one…Then there’s a tweet from Mrs Way, Lyn-Z of Mindless Self Indulgence: “A new adventure is about to take place and I for one will be on that ride! Who’s coming with me?” another Clue? There are those who work with My Chemical Romance who see it as something simpler still. Insiders in their record company have pointed out that Frank and Gerard have young families. But then those same record company insiders previously talked of the band’s Hollywood space i which they were recording over Christmas. There, in a hang-out-pad-cum-studio, they had been laying down tentative tracks, for a new album.
The Kill Hannah frontman, Mat Devine – a friend of the band, on whose solo album Gerard has sung, who obliquely tweeted “When one door opens another closes” on the weekend of the split – has heard the fruits of those sessions, saying the band have evolved, and adding that it was a new phase for My Chemical Romance. With six songs laid roughly down, now seems an odd time to bring things to an end. But then there were no release dates chalked down; no plans to unveil another grand album to the world. Perhaps, it was simply time.
My Chemical Romance have been here before. When they walked offstage at Madison Square Garden on May 9 2008, the lights not only went off in the venue, they nearly went down on the band too. They were exhausted- burned-out from touring The Black Parade. That night was a culmination, a triumph, and the end of an album cycle in which they’d gone from underdogs to world-conquering heroes. But as Helena’s last notes were drowned out by Cheers, backstage, Gerard and guitarist Ray Toro knew it was all over. “Ray said to me, maybe you need a break, maybe you need to go and get stuff out of your system,” said Gerard later. “I remember saying that night, if we never do this again, thank you. What’s scary is that it felt like it was okay to say that. It felt accurate.”
“We had an energy – we were a gang…” –Gerard Way
Then, though, the circumstances were different. The Black Parade tour had become a monster – something that picked them up and whipped them along the road to burn out. “There was injury upon death upon illness [during the Black Parade tour],” said Frank. “It felt like we were being run along a cheese grater. We were leaving bits of ourselves all over the world. When something drains you as much as it did after Black Parade, you end up not knowing if you want to do it any more. Tou still have the love, but maybe not the want. There was something in the back of my head asking, ‘Is this going to happen again? Are we done?'”
“That Madison Square Garden show really felt like it was the closing credits,” Said the band’s bassist Mikey Way. “It was weird. It felt like it might have been the end.”
It was a record that had always taken its toll on the band. Its birth was torturous: in a lonely, creaking LA mansion, the band turned in on themselves as Ray became such a taskmaster that he later publicly apologised to Mikey in the pages of Kerrang!. The bassist had other issues, thought; he hat to leave the recording, suffering from anxiety and problems with drugs and alcohol. Gerard, too, felt he was under incredible pressure. He took a moment out from the studio, high up in the Hollywood Hills, to gaze at glittering LA below him.
“I was wondering what the hell I was going with my life,” he said shortly after the record was released. “I went through a crisis. I was examining every awful thing about myself. I was cutting myself open and taking all the parts out and examining them. ‘Wow’, I’m not a likeable person,’ I found I was a coward. I became very susceptible to depression. “It wasn’t the happiest time. I was extremely intense. I was living inside the record. It really did felt Like Something Was coming after us. We couldn’t escape it. It was there every time we turned a corner. It was just staring at us. It was a dark Time.”
And this was before My Chemical Romance went out on the road for two years. There, life got darker still. The response to the record was, rightly, phenomenal. But inside the band, that was harder to accept than it might sound to an outsider. In the course of their time on the road, they became as hated as they were adored, dividing opinion across the world. They became the figureheads of a genre they wished to have no part of – emo – and sensationalist journalist blamed them for the suicide of a teenager.
They were held responsible for the beatings of black-clad teenagers in Mexico, and were prodded and poked at by the world’s media. Their music seemed to have been forgotten in the whirlwind, while they themselves felt lost inside the thing they had created. “We created something and unleashed it onto the world and then, a year later, it had taken on a new life,” said Frank afterwards. “It was like a bastardised version of what we had done. It got weird.”
“It was a record that was so misconstrued on so many levels,” agreed Gerard. “It was really difficult and it took a toll on me. People in Mexico were getting hate-crimed on because they wore black and so anywhere we went that’s what people would talk music. That upset me. They were just talking about mascara and bullshit like that. I felt so small.” And so that’s why they wanted to bring it all to an end in Madison Square Garden. And it would have been a fitting finale, too; for that watching the Smashing Pumpkins in 1992. It was there that one brother turned to the other and said. ‘ This os what we’ve got to do.’ For them to have pulled the plug after that show, in the same room in which the after that show, in the same room in which the nascent band first began, would have been the sort of fitting farewell you might expect from My Chem.
This now? This feels like something else. This is not a band tired from the road, nor one rattled by media, fans or exhaustion. This is a rested band who quite deliberately retreated from The Black Parade hoopla with the stripped back Danger Days… and who had crafted a new space in which to exist. Somehow, this doesn’t feel right – this doesn’t feel like how it should end.
Rock Reacts! The stars took to Twitter to joig you in mourning MCR…Click Here
Posted on 04/05/2013, in Frank Iero, Gerard Way, K!, Kerrang Magazine, Mikey Way, My Chemical Romance, Ray Toro, Scans and tagged Frank Iero, Gerard Way, Kerrang Magazine, MCR, mikey way, my chemical romance, Ray Toro, Scans. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.