My Chemical Romance (MCR)
Formed in 2001 MCR were a rock band from New Jersey. The band consisted of
Gerard Way – Lead singer
Ray Toro – Lead Guitar
Frank Iero – Rhythm guitar
Mikey Way – Bass
Drums were originally by Matt Pellissier followed by Bob Bryar in 2004 and then in 2010 after Bob’s departure they band employed drummers but kept the members of My Chemical Romance to the core four.
We did our best to walk you through a researched and as documented as possible retell of the history of MCR year to year. We have done our best to source all of our research material but since it took us over four years of off and on work and a lot of research there may have been some places where we missed a source. Please let us know in the comments below if you spot anything and if we have missed any highlights you’d like to see added in as well.
From 2001 to 2003 My Chemical romance were a brand new band and signed to Eyeball Records. This is how everything all began!
Gerard Way graduated art school in 1999 and was pursuing a career in the comic book industry. He was working for Cartoon Network and had produced work for DC Comics, Image Comics and Marvel. He was designing action figures for Marvel when he decided a change in direction was needed.
“Basically I wanted to change the direction of my life. I wasn’t happy with where it was going, I wasn’t doing anything important or relevant, and I felt kind of useless wasting time in Jersey” Gerard Way (Source: Chart Attack Website)
Gerard, his brother Mikey and some of his friends had discussed starting a band. As this idea was forming events occurred which sealed their fate.
Gerard was working in Hoboken NJ when he witnessed the horrific event at the World Trade Center.
“I was in Hoboken which is right across the Hudson River. There was 400 people and me, and I was at the railing. Right in front of us it just went down. It was the biggest fucking neutron bomb of mental anguish you’re ever felt. I knew I didn’t have anybody in that building, but these were all co-workers and stuff and they were just freaking the fuck out. Crying and screaming and cursing and yelling about the devil.
Something just clicked in my head and that was when I said “Fuck art” for the first time. I thought art’s not doing anything for you. It’s just something on a wall, it’s completely disposable, and it’s not helping anyone”. (Source: Rolling Stone)
Gerard took to his parent’s basement, and with an old guitar, amp and a supply of notebooks he wrote “Skylines and Turnstiles” along with other earlier material.
His search for fellow band mates began when he ran into old friend and drummer Matt Pelissier.
“I ran into Matt at a bar and said “You know what? I’ve been writing songs. You’re not doing anything, and I’m not doing anything, so let’s get together and give it a shot.” Gerard Way (Source: This Band Will Save Your Life by Reinhardt Haydn)
Gerard played an early version of “Skylines and Turnstiles”. After hearing it Matt agreed to help Gerard by playing drums and helping him to record a proper demo.
The Attic Demos
The first issue facing the duo was that while Gerard could play guitar he found it difficult to sing and play simultaneously. He decided to approach their mutual friend Ray Toro. Ray had been in a band previously with Matt, Kearney punk band The Rodneys. He had also worked with Gerard on a faux-country song for The Breakfast Monkey (a show Gerard had previously pitched to Cartoon Network). Ray possessed the talent and technical skill on the guitar that was exactly what they were looking for.
“He was actually playing drums for a local band at the time. Ray’s that kind of guy- he was the best guitar player in Jersey, yet he was playing drums just because he wanted to be playing.” Gerard Way (Source: This Band Will Save Your Life)
Gerard talked to Ray and made him the same offer that he made Matt. “No strings attached, you don’t have to say yes or no. Just come, check it out, and bring your guitar.”
After hearing just one song Ray was convinced that they had something and agreed to join them.
Gerard, Ray and Matt recorded a demo tape in Matt’s attic, known to all as The Attic Demos.
“It was a wooden, run-down piece of crap. I had a really cheap sixteen-track board, and we had a bunch of crappy mics. I basically had the drums and guitar playing upstairs and ran mics down the stairs and had Gerard sing in the bathroom.” Matt Pelissier (Source: Alternative Press)
The Attic Demos included a new version of “Skylines and Turnstiles, and basic versions of “Cubicles”, and “Our Lady Of Sorrows” (originally called “Bring More Knives”).
After hearing the demo Gerard’s brother Mikey loved it so much he dropped out of college to learn bass guitar so he could join his brother in the band.
To support himself while learning to play, Mikey had taken a job at Barnes and Noble. One night he spotted a stack of Irvine Welsh novels and the words “Chemical Romance” caught his eye. Mikey decided that adding the prefix “My” would give the name a personal touch. The band had gone through five or six names but this one stuck as Gerard recalled, “We really just wanted a name that wouldn’t sound like any other”.
The name was accepted and My Chemical Romance was born.
Hardly a month after forming Gerard, Ray, Mikey and Matt played their first gig at the VFW hall in Ewing NJ. The Headline band that night were Pencey Prep. On Eyeball records the group’s début album Heartbreak In Stereo was due for release. Having been part of the New Jersey music scene for some time the band were very experienced and offered the opening slot to their friends MCR. With a crowd barely reaching 50 the band took to the stage for their first performance as a group, and launched into “Skylines and Turnstiles”.
“It was the best first gig we could possible have had. We played the rest of the set on this wave, we felt totally on fire.” – Gerard (Source: Kerrang! 2006)
The band then continued to establish a small fan base. They played at VFW halls where the crowds were maybe 10 or 15 people, 40 if they were lucky. Despite the small size of the shows they were already getting a reputation for their explosive performances.
About the time that MCR were beginning to make a name for themselves, Pencey Prep were in the process of disbanding. Pencey vocalist and guitarist Frank Iero was already a big fan of MCR. They had shared practise space and were good friends.
The band had decided they need to “fatten up” their sound by adding another guitarist and Frank seemed the obvious choice. He was asked to join and jumped at the chance.
“I felt like the kid in the crowd who had been pulled up to play a song. I just loved the band.” – Frank Iero (Source: Kerrang!)
Frank’s concert experience and technical expertise added to the group considerably. They rehearsed and played as many live shows as they could.
They also made use of the internet by setting up their own website and MySpace page where they could showcase their songs. This soon brought them to the attention of record companies.
“When we put our first song up on the internet, within weeks we had record company A&R men knocking on our door and wanting us to sign record contracts and reign us in for life. We said “no” because we just wanted to let the band be a band and see how we could evolve without other people telling us what to do.” – Mikey Way (Source: Fasterlouder.com)
Instead MCR opted for Eyeball records, whom Frank already had experience with through Pencey Prep. They recorded a demo with Ray’s computer. Alex Saavedra of Eyeball records liked the songs so he put the band in a small studio in New York. They recorded one track. It was their first experience in a proper recording studio. After hearing the finished track and already knowing the band’s reputation for their live shows Saavedra was impressed enough to offer them a contract with Eyeball records.
Within just 3 months of playing their first live show the band had a record deal.
The album was recorded at the Nada Recording Studio in New York. Owned by producer/engineer John Naclerio the band went there along with Geoff Rickly (Thursday Front man) who had offered to produce the album and Alex Saavedra. Rickly and Saavedra’s experience proved invaluable.
The band were not used to being in a proper recording studio. Gerard struggled with depression and severe headaches.
“I had all these thoughts of ending my life, but they were just thoughts. For a while I was on Wellbutrin for depression, and you can’t drink or you get an aneurysm. But I didn’t listen at first and I had some serious migraines. I thought my head was going to explode.” Gerard Way (Source: Revolver Magazine)
Gerard was so stressed that during the recording of “Vampires Will Never Hurt You” he became overwhelmed and started to shut down. This is where Saavedra punched him in the face giving Gerard the added incentive to pick up the mic and go for it.
“I remember singing and something clicked. I remember Alex’s face was just amazed that the song was finally coming together. I think it was the second take that we ended up using.” Gerard Way (Source: This Band Will Save Your Life)
The remaining ten tracks were recorded in nine days!
John Naclerio mixed the album at Nada studios in May 2002.
The album I Brought You My Bullets You Brought Me Your Love was released on July 23rd 2002. A record release party was held at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey.
The single “Honey, This Mirror Isn’t Big Enough For The Two Of Us” was released at the same time as the album. There were only a limited number of the original singles pressed. Eyeball’s record manager Marc Debiak directed the video for the single. The video was a homage to Japanese film maker Takeshi Miike’s 1999 thriller Audition.
The second single from the album was “Vampires Will Never Hurt You”. The video again directed by Marc Debiak saw the band performing in suits, white-faced in a darkened room. The set had been painted by Gerard and Frank who both got high and eventually sick on the paint fumes.
Within a month or so of the record being finished, the band began extensively touring.
“Their lifestyle changed as soon as that record dropped – they were gone.” Alex Saavedra (Source: This Band Will Save Your Life)
Barely nine months after forming, their début album was in stores across the US. The band were on the road touring. Alex Saavedra had mailed pre-release copies of the album to major record labels, DJ’s and bands that might give MCR support slots.
Due to his mailing campaign “Vampires Will Never Hurt You” became a surprise hit on college radio in Orange County, New Jersey. Seton Hall University’s radio station (WSOU) DJ Mario Comesanas became the first broadcaster to play “Vampires”, giving the band their first radio airtime.
“The reaction was ridiculous, I knew there was something special here. When we counted the requests there was so much more for them than there was for any other band at that time.” – Mario Comesanas (Source: This Band Will Save Your Life)
“I heard “Vampires Will Never Hurt You”, on a college radio station and it was probably the biggest thing to me in the world. To this day, even hearing Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge songs on commercial radio isn’t as big a deal as that first time hearing it on just a college radio station.” Gerard Way (Source: Florida Entertainment Scene 2005)
With the band’s popularity growing Eyeball records realised that their small label would not be able to provide the band with the support and promotion that they would need.
In August 2003 My Chemical Romance signed with Warner/Reprise records.
“The first record is a band discovering who it is” Gerard Way
“This is an evolution and you can be part of the change or stuck eating your own shit on a quest for fire. Things are about to change for us….for all of us. From the kids who supported us at the start to those that are here now. We will always be an Eyeball Records band. The support, dedication, and love from that label got us where we are right now – and we did it as a family. I wanted to be the first to tell you before the gossip and the hearsay, I want to shout it from the street-lamps to the coils, in every fucked up slum, where every seedy club lives and breathes. We are coming to your town. We are taking back what’s ours. We’re all in this together….and by the way…we’ve signed to Reprise and we are fucking ready for the world to hear us scream.” Gerard Way via MCR website 2003.
In August 2003 the band signed to major record label Reprise Records. With a bigger budget, artistic control and major backing the band’s first album for Reprise was planned for release in 2004. The band continued touring in September 2003 across the northern United States, most of the shows were sold out and it proved to be a very successful tour.
Tragedy struck though in November 2003. The band had just returned home from touring and were in the process of writing material for the new album when Gerard and Mikey’s grandmother Elena Lee Rush sadly passed away. Gerard often cited her as his major creative influence and her death was a heavy blow to them all.
“It was really sad because I had just gotten off tour and she died the next day. If you combined all the tours together and called it “the tour”, I missed the last year and a half, practically of this woman’s life. And I get home, she dies the next day and I didn’t get to see her. I was pretty devastated because she taught me how to sing and paint, basically everything I apply to this band, I got from her.” – Gerard Way (Source: Alternative Press)
Elena’s death proved to be a major influence over the content of the upcoming album. The first track Helena being a tribute to her.
On Dec 20th MCR opened for Mindless Self Indulgence at the Cricket Club in Irvington, New Jersey.
After returning from a brief club tour of the UK in early 2004 the band withdrew from touring to concentrate on writing and recording their first album for Reprise. They relocated to Los Angeles to be at the heart of the music industry.
“I knew there would be a flavour to the record as a result of living in Los Angeles for two and a half months. The phoniness and the sleaziness made a huge impact on me and the songs.” – Gerard Way (source: Straight.com)
The band hired Howard Benson to produce the album. A Drexel University engineering graduate he had the experience the band were looking for.
“He had made four Motorhead records, and that’s what got us interested about him and what also got us interested about him was the fact that he contacted us and that’s how we like to work. I think a project is ultimately going to be better when you have people that mutually want to work together as opposed to having to convince a big shot producer to work for you. That was the case with him.” – Gerard Way (Source: The Punk Site)
With Benson’s help they recorded the 13 songs for the album in about two months.
On June 8th 2004 Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge was released.
The artwork for the album was done by Gerard. He stated “When I draw something, I’d rather have somebody else do it, but with this one the people at Warner loved it so much they convinced me to use it.”
Three songs from the album were released as singles (Thank You For The Venom was also released as a single in Europe).
“I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” saw the band make their first major video directed by Marc Webb. The video’s concept was based on a trailer for a movie that didn’t exist and featured the guys as outcasts at a high school. The video was filmed in August 2004 and the single was released on September 13th 2004. The single made the top twenty in the UK and the top 100 on the Billboard Hot 100. The video is still a favourite with the fans to this day. In September 2013 it came 2nd in Kerrang’s Rock’s Greatest Videos Ever.
“Thank You For The Venom” was released as a single in Europe on December 13th 2004. It made number 71 on the British charts. The B-side of the single was a live cover version of Morrissey’s “Jack The Ripper”.
For Christmas 2004 the band recorded a cover version of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You”. The song was featured on the album Kevin & Bean’s Christmastime In The 909, for the Kevin and Bean morning radio show on KROQ-FM.
With the album released and entering the Billboard chart at number 28 the band made their début on the Vans Warped Tour from June 25th to July 24th 2004. Taking it’s name from the former Warp Magazine, the high profile tour involves live music and extreme sports. The tour was renowned for low ticket prices and high excitement. The record also achieved moderate chart success in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
After a successful stint on the Warped Tour the band set off round the world, touring the US, UK, Europe and Japan for 18 months of almost non-stop gigging.
“We are set up to tour so much in the next year, I forget what my house looks like already.” – Frank Iero (Source: This Band Will Save Your Life)
In August 2004 the band travelled to Japan for a short stint of festival performances. At this time Gerard’s drinking had reached crisis point. A mixture of alcohol and cocaine left him more depressed than ever and contemplating suicide. A five am phone call to then manager Brian Schechter lasted nearly three hours as he talked him down.
After falling ill in Japan through drinking Gerard admitted he needed help. On their return he joined AA and got sober.
When they returned from Japan MCR had the unpleasant task of asking original member and drummer Matt Pelissier to leave the band. It was alleged he was asked to leave because of his lack of technical ability and becoming increasingly distant from his band mates.
According to a conversation we here at FUN had with Matt, he has stated the last time he saw the band was at an airport where they said they’d see him again soon. After that Brian and Ray Toro came to his house and told him he was out of the band with no explanation given.
Experienced front of house sound technician Bob Bryar was asked to fill the vacant spot. Even though the band had never actually heard him play the drums they had enough faith in him to ask him to leave the Projekt Revolution Tour he was working on and go to New Jersey for a practice session. After one session the band were so impressed that Bob flew out with them the next day to shoot the second video for I’m Not Okay (I Promise), even though he wasn’t actually an official member of the band yet.
After appearing at the Warped Tour tenth Anniversary concert MCR were offered a run of 30 shows on the Nintendo Fusion Tour with fellow Reprise label band Story Of The Year among others.
With a brief break for the holiday season the band continued their relentless schedule in 2005. This included some mainstream television appearances such as Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
With further visits to the UK, Japan and Hawaii the band returned to the US to begin a run on the A Taste Of Chaos Tour in February. The tour crammed 37 dates into 6 weeks and saw the band performing before audiences of 10,000 and more! On the same tour the band were re-united with old friends The Used.
At the end of each show the two bands would team up to perform a cover version of Queen/David Bowie’s song “Under Pressure”. They recorded their version of the song to raise funds for the relief effort helping those affected by the December 2004 Tsunami in Sumatra, Indonesia. The bands schedules were so hectic that their individual parts were recorded separately in London and Los Angeles and pasted together.
After another short tour of the UK the band were given the opportunity to support Green Day on the North American leg of the American Idiot tour during April and May 2005.
“The band couldn’t believe it when we heard the news. I got the call and I was in the street in New York City and it was pouring rain, but I was just yelling and people were staring at me. And that was everybody’s response. I think Bob fell down a flight of stairs when he heard the news.” – Gerard Way (Source: This Band Will Save Your Life)
The release of “Helena” as a single on May 23rd 2005 saw more chart success. The song made the Top 40 in the US and Top 20 in the UK. The video directed by Marc Webb featured the band and dancers at a funeral service. The video was shot on-location in the Immanuel Presbyterian church on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. The role of Helena was performed by dancer Tracy Phillips. The video was nominated for five MTV Video Music Awards. In September 2013 it came 5th in Kerrang’s Rock’s Greatest Videos Ever.
In June 2005 the band returned to the Warped Tour. In 2004 the band had been the new boys on the tour. Now because of the success of the Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge album, they were one of the main draws and even closed the show on a few occasions. The band used their hard earned fame to get their anti-suicide message across. They also made a stand against the homophobia, sexism and racism they had seen at events around the world.
“We encouraged people to throw loose change at anyone alienating people and, in turn, tried to get ignorant bands to stop calling kids “faggots” and call us that instead.” – Gerard Way (Source: Spin Warped Tour diary)
The tour finished in mid-August and the band set out for Europe again. They were due make their début on the second stage at the Reading and Leeds festivals but were bumped up to the main stage by the organisers!
The fourth single taken from the Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge album was “The Ghost Of You”. Released on August 29th 2005 it made the Top 30 in the UK and became the band’s first Top Ten hit in China reaching number 2 in the chart. The video was their most expensive yet with a budget of $500,000 and was directed by Marc Webb.
Filmed in Malibu the video featured the band as Second World War G.I.’s storming the beach. With a Saving Private Ryan feel to it Mikey is gunned down, Ray tries to save him but is unsuccessful and Mikey dies. The video features footage from the beach and scenes from a United Services Organisations dance, with the band performing on stage. Gerard cut his hair for the video and styled it in a quiff. Ray’s famous afro was slicked down and Bob even shaved his beloved beard for the video.
When they returned from Europe MCR travelled the US on their biggest headline tour yet. They performed a five week run of shows at venues and arenas finishing up in Maryland on October 21st.
The band’s costumes in the summer/fall of 2005 included a black bulletproof vest.
“It symbolises the fact that this band feels indestructible.” – Gerard Way (Source: Rock Sound)
This was the start of MCR wearing matching clothing on stage and what would lead to their more conceptual styles later on.
Will further sell out shows in the UK, Ireland and Canada the band wrapped up a hectic 2005 back in the US with a show at the Premier in Seattle.
Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge has sold over one million copies to date in the United States and has been certified platinum. It has also been certified Double Platinum in Canada, Platinum in the UK and Gold in Ireland, Chile and Argentina.
2006 began relatively quietly for MCR. With almost eighteen months of touring completed the band took a well earned break.
In March a CD/DVD box set titled Life On The Murder Scene was released. The set included a CD featuring live performances and unreleased demos. A DVD documentary of life on the road and the story of the band’s beginning. The second DVD featured live footage from TV appearances, the videos for “I’m Not Okay”, “Helena” and “The Ghost Of You” and the making of the videos.
SEG Toys also released a series of My Chemical Romance action figures. They were available individually and as a set.
After their break MCR reconvened in New York to begin pre-production on their third album.
“The intention was to make something that was classic, something timeless. Something that 20 or 30 years from now, parents could play for their kids and say, “This is what I was listening to when I was your age. Check it out- it’s still fucking cool”. We wanted to make a record you could pass down.” – Ray Toro (Source: Alternative Press)
“I always wanted to make a very theatrical, almost Broadway record, with grand themes and epic sounds, extra sound effects, marching bands, bells and whistles.” – Gerard Way (Source: This Band Will Save Your Life)
The band hired producer Rob Cavallo to work with them. Cavallo had produced 5 albums for Green Day including American Idiot. They began laying down tracks with him in mid April 2006.
In order to avoid outside distractions the band decided not to use a regular studio complex. Instead they booked themselves into the Canfield-Moreno estate in Los Angeles. The estate is also known as the Paramour Mansion. Built in 1923 for silent movie star Antonio Moreno and his wife Daisy Canfield-Danziger the mansion had a reputation for being haunted.
“The place is definitely haunted. Doors would slam, and the faucets would turn on. You’d get a bath drawn for you of freezing cold water in your room and you wouldn’t know why.” – Gerard Way (Source: Revolver)
Used for film locations and as a recording studio the mansion had hosted concerts by Elton John and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Filmmakers David Lynch and the Coen brothers had also used the famous estate.
The band spent two months at the mansion. During this time Gerard developed his ideas for the album which revolved around a central character called The Patient. The character is terminally ill with cancer and reflects upon his life as he prepares to die. During his dying moments The Patient remembers some of his happiest times which include being taken to a parade by his father as a young boy.
“There’s something really cultural about a parade, which is why it became the perfect vehicle. It could represent a funeral procession, or the Day of the Dead or a celebration. For the album’s character, it’s what he wants death to be.” – Gerard Way (Source: Rolling Stone)
Unfortunately the oppressive atmosphere at the mansion became too much for Mikey who temporarily moved out and stayed with a friend who arranged for him to get help with his depression, which was diagnosed as a bi-polar disorder.
With Mikey gone the band struggled on with the album.
“I became extremely edgy and angry. We had something we wanted to bring to the world and we were basically forced to stop creating it. It was as if a plug had been pulled. It was a really dark period.” – Gerard Way (Source: This Band Will Save Your Life)
Gerard poured his anger and frustration into the songwriting process resulting in the song “Famous Last Words”.
“When it was first written, I know Gerard was very, very angry and desperate. Mikey had been out of the house for a while and hadn’t been writing and it was a tough time. And the first lyrics he came up with “But where’s your heart/ But where’s your heart?” were his expression of the anger and confusion he was feeling about the whole situation.” – Ray Toro (Source: This Band Will Save Your Life)
Mikey returned to the mansion as a non-resident to continue work on the album.
The album took up the first half of 2006 for the band.
A surprise for the fans included a guest vocal appearance by Academy Award Winning Actress and Singer Liza Minnelli on the track Mama, playing the role of The Patient’s mother.
“There’s this part in the song Gerard did in a female voice and we weren’t happy with it. Rob asked “Who would you want to sing that part?” Gerard said “I don’t know someone like Liza Minnelli maybe?” A couple of days later we got the word she’d sing on the record.” – Ray Toro (Source: This Band Will Save Your Life)
Unable to meet at the same studio Liza Minnelli recorded her part in New York.
The album was due for release in at the end of October 2006. In August the band filmed the videos for “Welcome To The Black Parade” and “Famous Last Words”. “Welcome To The Black Parade” was to be the first single taken from the album. Although “Famous Last Words” was to be released in Jan 2007 the two videos were shot at the same time.
The video for “Welcome To The Black Parade” was directed by Samuel Bayer who had previously worked with Green Day, Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith and The Ramones. The video was filmed in “early 20th century French impressionist cinema style” and introduced the band as their alter egos The Black Parade. The band’s new look incorporated Marching Band Uniforms designed by Academy Award Winning designer Colleen Atwood. Gerard cut his hair short and dyed it blonde, whilst Mikey’s famous glasses were now gone after having successful laser eye surgery.
The video featured former child actor Lucas Haas as the central character The Patient. During the Black Parade tour Gerard would take on the character of The Patient at concerts being wheeled onto stage on a hospital gurney. The story for the video features The Patient’s final moments as he waits for death to come for him in the form of a parade. The band in their uniforms perform on a float with a procession of characters including Mother War, Fear and Regret.
When the band arrived in the UK the tabloid paper the Daily Mail was preparing to run an article called “Emo Cult Warning For Parents”. The article accused bands such as MCR and Green Day of being part of the “Emo Cult” and “celebrating self-harm”. The article was published on 16th August 2006 and sparked a debate on the British Media’s “demonising of youth and youth culture”.
On August 22nd the band played a one-off show at the London Hammersmith Palais. The show sold out in 15 minutes. 20 people dressed in black capes and obscured faces paraded around Hammersmith followed by fans with signs saying “The Black Parade”. The album title and release date were confirmed during the show.
Before the show was due to start it was announced that My Chemical Romance were unable to play and would be replaced by The Black Parade. The crowd became hostile until they realised that the band were performing under their new identity. The band performed under The Black Parade wearing their uniforms with Gerard adopting the persona of The Patient for the Black Parade tour.
After Hammersmith, MCR returned to the Reading Festival. But, as a result of the “Emo” controversy the band were attacked with urine-filled bottles and golf balls.
“That was our greatest victory as a show. This band was always about facing adversity. We got bottled for being dangerous.” – Gerard Way (Source: This Band Will Save Your Life)
“The ironic thing about the Daily Mail and Reading is that they both involved people who wanted to silence the band but what happened was the direct opposite. It actually made us explode in the UK to a much bigger level than before, it gave us such a voice. That’s what happens when people try to shut you up, you just get a lot louder.” – Gerard Way (Source: Kerrang!)
Whilst in the UK MCR were received the Kerrang! Award for Best Band On The Planet.
The band returned to the US at the end of August. They opened the MTV Music Video Awards by performing “Welcome To The Black Parade” from the top of the 872 foot General Electric Building in New York.
Originally titled “The Five Of Us Are Dying” the single “Welcome To The Black Parade” was released on 11th September as a download. It was released on CD on October 2nd.
The song topped the Billboard Modern Rock Chart. It also became the band’s first number 1 single in the UK, (where to date it has sold nearly 400,000 copies), New Zealand, Israel and the Philippines. The song is certified platinum after selling more than 1,000,000 copies.
The Black Parade was released in the US on Octpber 24th, 2006 and exceeded the record companies expectations. The album debuted at number 2 in the US and UK charts, with sales of just under 250,000 copies in the first week in the US alone. The album also made the Top Ten in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Sweden, Canada, Austria and Greece. It also made the Top Twenty in other places such as Italy, Switzerland and Norway.
The album has been certified double platinum in the UK, platinum in the US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan and New Zealand.
The band resumed going on tour on October 25th, 2006 with an album-launch show at Webster Hall nightclub in New York.
Several special editions of The Black Parade were released, including one sold in a box wrapped in velveteen material. It contained a 64 page book including art by Gerard and making of the album notes by the band.
In November MCR travelled to Europe for a 3 week run of shows, including Brixton Academy in London, Glasgow and Milan.
They returned to the US to begin a run of shows on November 29th starting in Rhode Island and taking them through to mid-December.
On December 16th MCR dominated Kerrang! Magazines end of year poll. Winning Best and Worst Band, Best and Worst album for The Black Parade among other awards. Gerard was voted Hero and Villain of 2006. He was also voted Sexiest male and came fourth in the Sexiest Female category! (Although he was later disqualified for not being a woman!)
“If we weren’t polarising people our lives would be so boring, we wouldn’t be affecting anything. If you look at a lot of great bands through rock history they’ve affected people in both ways, no band that has taken a risk or spoken their minds or that has challenged anything has done it without inspiring love and hate.” – Gerard Way (Source: This Band Will Save Your Life)
MCR rounded out 2006 with a performance on the New Year’s Eve edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live. Unfortunately an error was made which resulted in rehearsal footage on Feb 22 being broadcast. The actual performance was later aired on Monday January 15th, 2007.
After a break for the holidays MCR started 2007 with shows in Japan, New Zealand and Australia, performing at the the Big Day Out Festival with Muse, Tool and Trivium. A week before flying out to Japan Frank had to have some impacted wisdom teeth removed. On the plane from New York to Japan his sinus cavities burst due to the pressure and became infected.
“I started to leak blood and pus from my nose. From the airport they had to take me to a Japanese hospital, where they pumped me full of antibiotics. Then they put me on a flight back to the United States where I had to pretend I wasn’t sick for fear of quarantine” – Frank Iero (Source: Kerrang!)
Todd Price of Drive By filled in for Frank for the rest of the southern hemisphere shows.
On January 22nd the single “Famous Last Words was released. The song went to Number 1 on the US Rock Chart, Number 88 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 8 in the UK Singles Chart. The video (shot the day after “Welcome To The Black Parade”) premièred in the US on Jan 11th on Total Request Live.
The video features the band as weary soldiers in a bleak landscape. The float from “Welcome To The Black Parade” can be seen behind Bob’s drums and is set on fire during the video. At the end of the video Bob can be seen saying “I can’t take this fucking heat anymore”. Bob is then seen limping away from his drums examining his leg.
Although every safety precaution had been taken unfortunately Bob sustained a nasty burn on the back of his left calf.
“I got a third degree burn on my leg that got infected, which then infected my blood and gave me a staph (bacterial) infection. I had an abscess on the side of my face that put pressure on my brain and it got out of hand. I was admitted to the hospital for a while, but it’s all cleared up now though I think. I got a sweet scar out of it though.” – Bob Bryar (Source: Rip it Up)
Bob’s injury was not deemed serious at first and although the band had to cancel a show in San Diego they all flew out to the UK for a short run of shows. By the time they returned to the US at the end of the month Bob’s leg “looked like guacamole”. The burn was badly infected and he was rushed to hospital.
“I thought I’d be there for ten minutes, but as soon as they saw me, they got all serious and gave me an IV and said they’d have to do a CAT scan. They did all these blood tests and kept me there for fourteen hours. The whole thing was such a nightmare. This doctor stuck my cheek with a needle about six inches long and the width of an IV tube. Then he went in and out of my mouth with the needle about ten times.” – Bob Bryar (Source: Revolver)
If the infection had spread it could have been life threatening. He was kept in for observation and the band had to cancel shows in New York and Pennsylvania.
Bob wasn’t the only casualty in the “Famous Last Words” video. Gerard suffered torn ligaments in his ankle and had to walk with a cane.
The Black Parade World Tour began officially on Feb 22nd 2007 in Manchester, New Hampshire’s Verizon Wireless Arena. The show featured 138 performances worldwide including support from Muse, Thursday and Rise Against. At this point Reggie And The Full Effect frontman James Dewees was brought into the fold as touring keyboard player.
For these shows the band played as The Black Parade with Gerard taking on the role of The Patient and being wheeled onto the stage on a hospital bed. With pyrotechnics, cannon fire, gunshots and confetti the shows were divided into two halves. The first half featuring the band in full Black Parade uniforms performing songs from The Black Parade. For the second half of the show they would return as MCR and perform pre-Black Parade hits.
The first leg of the US tour finished on 16th March where upon the band travelled to the UK to begin the European leg of the Black Parade Tour.
On the 2nd of April the band performed for a live national broadcast from London’s Koko concert hall. They then departed for mainland Europe to play shows in Germany, France, Sweden and Denmark. They then returned to the US for a run of shows with Muse as supporting act. From April 29th to May 4th six shows were cancelled after a food poisoning outbreak affected both bands and other tour members. A café owner received death threats when his premises were mistakenly blamed as the source of the outbreak.
On April 3rd the 3rd single “I Don’t Love You” was released in the UK and Europe (Teenagers was used as the 3rd single in the US instead). The song was one of the only ones to be used from the tour bus jam sessions. Ray and Gerard can be seen playing an early version of the song on the DVD Life on the Murder Scene.
“I Don’t Love You” peaked at number 13 in the UK charts and number 35 on the European Hot 100 Singles.
The video was directed by Marc Webb and depicts two lovers in an abstract world as well as the band performing the song. Gerard had reverted to his black hair and can be seen wearing his wedding ring. Towards the end of the video one of the amplifiers and two guitars explode.
After his marriage in March 2007 Mikey left the band temporarily on the 5th of May to spend time with his new wife. He was temporarily replaced by guitar technician Matt Cortez. The band’s first show without Mikey was the Bamboozle Festival in New Jersey.
After Bamboozle the band played a show in Massachusetts. They then went to Canada for a run of eight shows. The second leg of the North American tour was completed at the Rose Quarter Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon. The band then had a few days off before travelling to Tokyo for a show on May 29th.
The band travelled to Europe for the festival season as headline performers. On the 8th of June they headlined the Download Metalfest at Donnington Park. The festival included Iron Maiden, Linkin Park, Megadeth and Velvet Revolver.
After playing the European festival season the band played in Moscow and Venice before returning to the UK to play at the recently rebuilt Wembley Stadium, to a crowd of 70,000!!
On July 9th “Teenagers” was released as the 3rd single in the US and the 4th in the UK and other countries. It peaked at number 67 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 9 on the UK singles chart and number 6 on the New Zealand Top 40.
The video was directed by Marc Webb and features the band performing at a high school with cheerleaders in gas masks and teenagers storming the stage at the end. The video was similar to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. The video has over 76,000,000 hits on YouTube.
The 2007 Projekt Revolution tour began on July 25th and ran until September 3rd featuring 29 shows. My Chemical Romance joined the tour and performed on the main stage. Linkin Park started the festival in 2002. The 2007 tour included taking Back Sunday, HIM, Mindless Self Indulgence and Placebo among others. $1 from every ticket sold went to American Forests through the charity Music For Relief. After the final show Gerard and Lyn-Z, the bass player of Mindless Self Indulgence were married backstage.
On August 20th MCR left the tour to perform on an episode of My Super Sweet 16. Stephanie a cancer sufferer won a competition, her party was based on Rock. Gerard sang Happy Birthday and came out of a giant cake onto the stage before the other band members joined him to perform.
After Projekt Revolution the band returned to the Black Parade Tour with dates in Asia, Europe, Mexico and Australia.
On October 4th Mikey returned to the tour after his break.
The shows filmed at Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico city on October 7th and Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey on October 24th were filmed for the DVD, The Black Parade Is Dead.
On October 25th & 26th MCR opened two shows for Bon Jovi. Bob Bryar was struggling with a tendon injury to his right hand. The injury worsened during these shows causing the band to cancel the University of Maine concert scheduled for October 27th.
Bob Bryar was forced to leave the tour temporarily on the 9th of November due to his tendon issues and eventually had to have surgery to correct the problem.
On November 11th after a show in Newcastle, UK, Frank left the tour to return home when a family member became ill. He was temporarily replaced by Matt Cortez.
The Black Parade was released in 12” vinyl format. Two versions were released. The regular edition contained two records. The special edition contained two records and the hidden track “Blood”. The special edition came in a slip-case box with two 15 page books. There were only 2500 copies of the special edition made, and 3000 of the regular edition.
The final leg of the Black Parade tour included shows in Asia, North America and South America.
On May 8th and 9th respectively British tabloids The Sun and The Daily Mail published articles about the suicide of 13 year old Hannah Bond. The articles referenced the “self-harming emo cult” which they directly associated with My Chemical Romance and the album Black Parade. A group of British fans planned a march across London in protest against the media depicting MCR as part of a “suicide cult”. The march was due to take place on May 31st with 500-100 protesters expected. The march was expected to finish outside the offices of The Daily Mail. After police concerns the march was cancelled. Instead, about 100 fans congregated at Marble Arch. The band repeated the statement “Fuck the Daily Mail” at their UK concerts.
The final show on the Black Parade tour was on 9th of May 2008 at Madison Square Garden. The band were absolutely exhausted after 2 years of constant touring and announced they would be taking an extended break after the final show.
“There was injury upon death upon illness. 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 anymore. You 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”” Frank Iero
“That Madison Square Garden show really felt like it was the closing credits. It was weird. It felt like it might have been the end.” Mikey Way.
The DVD The Black Parade Is Dead was released on July 1st. It included the two live shows recorded at Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico city on October 7th and Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey on October 24th .
On February 1st the band released a cover version of the Bob Dylan song Desolation Row. The song was used as the end credit track for the 2009 film Watchmen (an adaptation of the Watchmen graphic novel). The video was directed by Zack Snyder and depicts the band as punks performing at a gig. The show sells out which causes a riot. At the end of the video the band are arrested and thrown in a police wagon. The single made number 20 on the US Billboard Alternative songs, number 1 on the UK rock chart and number 52 on the UK singles chart.
On April 29th the band released a collection of nine never before seen live videos from the encore set of the Mexico City show from October 2007. The release entitled Venganza! came on a bullet-shaped flash drive and also contained exclusive pictures of the band.
On May 27th Jeff Watson VP / Interactive Marketing at Warner Brothers announced via the band’s website that they were heading back to the studio to record their fourth full-length album, produced by Rob Cavallo.
The band had begun writing material for their fourth album during the Black Parade Tour. Their goal had been to create a more “simple and stripped” album saying they missed being a rock band. They gathered in Mates Inc. a rehearsal room in Los Angeles. They had ten to thirteen songs which they worked on with producer Brendan O’Brien
On June 11th they began recording the album with Brendan O’Brien and mixing engineer Rich Costey. The working title of the album at the time was Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back (this later became the ninth track on the Danger Days album). Later the album was titled Conventional Weapons: We’re No Match for Them.
On July 31st and August 1st the band played two shows at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles. These were the first shows the band had played since Madison Square Gardens in May 2008. One of the songs premièred was called “Death Before Disco”, this would later be re-named “Party Poison” and would appear on the Danger Days album.
The band then went to Japan to perform two shows at the Summer Sonic Festival. During the trip the band listened to the songs they had recorded. Gerard felt the material they had was not robust enough to form an album. Gerard bought a notebook and started filling it with new ideas.
On their return from Japan the band returned to Henson recording Studio in Los Angeles to record ten more songs.
The band gave a preview of the new album to the media, including songs called “Trans Am”, “Still Alive” and “The Light Behind Your Eyes”. The band now had 28 songs recorded but were still dissatisfied with the material. The songs were eventually scrapped and the band started again.
In January Gerard wrote the song “Na Na Na” during a stay in the desert. He described the song as an act of honesty about his feelings for the discarded album.
The new songs were recorded at producer Rob Cavallo’s home studio. While in the studio Gerard wrote the words “Look Alive Sunshine” on a blackboard. The phrase was intended to be a “truly timeless statement” and ended up being the name for the first track on the album, which consists of a radio announcement by fictional presenter Dr Death Defying.
The last track on the album “Vampire Money” was the band’s reaction to being asked to record a song for the Twilight film series.
“There’s a lot of people chasing that fucking money. A lot of people around us were like “please, for the love of God, do this flaming movie”, But we’d moved on.” Gerard Way.
The final song recorded for the album was “The Kids From Yesterday”. This band have often been quoted as saying this was their favourite song from the album.
On February 4th Australian local news reported that MCR were forced to withdraw from the upcoming Soundwave 2010 Tour. It was reported that Gerard was suffering from “severe vocal difficulties” and had been ordered by doctors to rest his voice. The band Jimmy Eat World were brought in as last minute replacements for MCR.
On March 3rd Frank Iero announced via the official website that Bob Bryar had left the band.
“As of 4 weeks ago, My Chemical Romance and Bob Bryar parted ways. This was a painful decision for all of us to make and was not taken lightly. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours and expect you all to do the same” Frank Iero.
No official reason was given for Bob’s departure.
On September 17th the band posted a teaser trailer for the album entitled “Art Is The Weapon” on their official YouTube account. Dates for the upcoming World Contamination Tour followed soon after.
The first single “Na Na Na” was played on various radio stations for the first time on September 22nd. “Na Na Na” was not intended to be the first single originally, but after the success of the teaser trailer it was decided it would be the first single. The single was released on September 28th. The video co-directed by Roboshobo and Gerard Way and introduces us to the theme and characters for the album. The song went to number 1 on the US Rock Chart, number 77 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and made the top ten in Japan. The video featured the band in their new alter egos:
Gerard Way- Party Poison
Frank Iero- Fun Ghoul
Ray Toro- Jet Star
Mikey Way- Kobra Kid
Set in a post-apocalyptic California in the year 2019 the video introduced us to the theme for the upcoming album. The band’s alter egos, masked outlaws known as the Killjoys are fighting against the oppressive corporation Better Living Industries (BL/ind), whilst trying to protect a young girl (who would later be the main character in the comic book series written by Gerard Way titled The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys).
Comic writer Grant Morrison appears in the video as the sinister character Korse, the executive of BL/ind. The henchmen of BL/ind are known as Draculoids. Mindless Self Indulgence (MSI) guitarist Steve Righ plays the character Dr Death Defying. Other characters include Show Pony, Dr Death Defying’s roller skating ally. Originally called Lady Boy, Show Pony was to be played by MSI frontman Jimmy Urine, but was re-cast as he couldn’t skate! Grant Morrison’s wife Kristan also appears as DJ Hot Chimp, another ally of the Killjoys and Dr Death Defying. At the end of the video a Mexican stand-off takes place between Korse, the Draculoids and the Killjoys. The Killjoys are defeated and the girl is taken prisoner.
The Trans Am car the Killjoys drive in the video was adorned with artwork designed by Gerard. In April 2013 Gerard announced via Twitter that he wanted to sell the car and invited fans to bid for it in an auction. No news of the sale has been reported to date, however he did later state the car was for sale and discussed sales with a couple of interested buyers on twitter.
The video also introduced us to the band’s new colourful look. Gone were the black uniforms. Gerard now sported fiery red hair
The song was aimed as a criticism of the consumerist culture of the United States.
The single “The Only Hope For Me Is You” was released on October 11th as a free download to people who pre-ordered the album on iTunes. The download featured a remix of “The Kids From Yesterday” and the bands cover version of Pulp’s song “Common People” recorded for Live Lounge on BBC Radio 1.The song was released in August 2011 to buy and was featured on the soundtrack for the movie Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
On October 26th “Na Na Na” was sung in Simlish in the Sims 3: Late Night. It was also named as the theme song to Movie 43, the WWE PPV event and TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs.
The song “Planetary Go!” was premièred on October 23rd but was not released as a single until March 2011. The song “The Kids From Yesterday” was also premièred on the same day.
The World Contamination Tour to support the upcoming album began on October 23rd. Michael Pedicone was brought in as a touring drummer to replace Bob Bryar. The European leg of the tour began in London on the 23rd. The band then played dates in Manchester, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg and finished in Dortmund on November 5th.
The second single from the album “Sing” was released on November 3rd. The song was the first one for the band to reach adult contemporary radio stations, featuring on Chicago station WCFS-FM as well as BBC Radio 1. The song peaked at number 4 on the US Rock Chart, number 58 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number 1 on the UK Rock Chart.
The video carries on from the “Na Na Na” video. The band go to Battery City to rescue the girl from BL/ind headquarters. After storming the building a gunfight ensues and all four Killjoys are killed. The girl escapes in Dr Death Defying’s van and the bodies of the Killjoys are seen being put into body bags at the end. One of the Draculoids was played by MSI frontman Jimmy Urine.
The song was also featured in an episode of Glee (see February 2011).
On November 5th the song “Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back” was released as a free download on the band’s official website.
The album premièred on November 16th on the band’s official website.
The album Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys was released on November 19th.
The album received positive reviews and made number 1 on the US Billboard Rock Albums and Alternative Albums. It also made the Top 20 in countries such as the UK, Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and the European Top 100 Albums.
As well as the standard CD a special California 2019 edition was released through the band’s official online store. The special edition included the CD, an exclusive EP, “The Mad Gear and Missile Kid” (see below), a 48 page book entitled Art Is The Weapon, a wooden “bad luck beads” bracelet and one of four poly resin prop ray guns with matching mask in a white box with a photo sleeve.
“The Mad Gear and Missile Kid” was an exclusive three track EP by a fictional alter-ego band of the same name.
“It’s basically what the Killjoys are listening to in the car as they’re having those gun battles” Frank Iero (Source: MTV)
The World Contamination Tour reached North America in December. Beginning on New York City on the third of December, it included shows in Tampa, Kansas City, San Jose and Chicago. It finished in Toronto on December 18th.
From January 31st to February 6th the band played four shows in Japan before returning to Europe.
The second leg of the European tour began on February 12th at Wembley Arena, London.
During the show Gerard announced that the band would be playing the Reading and Leeds festivals in the summer. The tour continued with another 7 shows around the UK before heading out to the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and finishing in Finland on March 20th. The second leg of the North American tour began on March 31st in Oakland.
On February 15th the US TV series Glee featured a cover version of the band’s song Sing. The cover was released as a single and charted higher than the band’s original version reaching number 49 on the Billboard Hot 100.
On February 23rd the band opened the show at the Shockwaves NME awards. The band dressed as chic burglars wearing black suits and balaclavas. They performed “Na Na Na” and “Vampire Money”. The band were nominated for four awards including Best International Band, Best Video (for Na Na Na), Best Album Artwork, and Worst Album! Gerard was also nominated for the Hero of the Year gong. They won two awards that night: Best International Band and Best Video.
On February 25th the band recorded an extended interview for the Grammy Museum. Discussing their decade long career. They announced on their website on March 1st that the interview would be shown in parts over the next 8 days.
The band announced that the single Planetary Go! Would be released on March 21st. The single was delayed until March 25th for Ireland and March 28th For the USA/UK. The artwork for the single features the band’s name and song title with the Japanese word for Go underneath. The single got to number 1 on the UK Rock Chart. The song is featured in the PlayStation 3 video game, Gran Turismo 5 (except Japanese version), as the song that plays during the intro. It also can be heard while racing. It is also used in the video game F1 2011 and in an advert for Super Bowl XLV.
The music video was filmed on February 24, 2011, at the O2 Academy, Islington. The video starts off including Japanese characters with English subtitles underneath. Then the band is seen playing at Islington’s O2 academy in front of a crowd. Tickets were on sale the day before for fans to attend the performance.
This is the only music video to show Michael Pedicone on the drums.
The tour continued through April and May with 32 shows around North America, including Portland, Vancouver, Seattle, Chicago, Cleveland, Toronto, New York City, Washington, Dallas, Hollywood and finishing in Las Vegas on May 29th.
On April 13th the band re-released the song Sing to raise money for the victims of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11th 2011.
“I think we were in London, we were watching the BBC, seeing these events unfold, and as more and more time went by, the gravity of the situation really struck everybody; it just was getting worse and worse. And we talked about something that we could do, and at first we were thinking about writing a new song to raise money for charity. And on Twitter, something we had seen was #SINGitforjapan, and it was kids starting this Twitter feed, writing messages of hope. And that really inspired us, and we just set to work, and after a couple weeks, we were able to pull this thing together.”- Ray Toro (Source: MTV)
The band reworked the song to include a full orchestra and video footage from their tour. The band also included artwork and messages from MCR fans to the people of Japan in the video. All proceeds for the song went to the Red Cross.
On April 28th US broadcaster Glenn Beck labelled MCR’s song Sing as ‘propaganda’ after it had featured on the TV series Glee.
“It’s an anthem saying “Join us”. How can you and I possibly win against that” – Glenn Beck.
“I think the word Glenn Beck was looking for was ‘subversion’ not ‘propaganda’, because I don’t know what it would be considered propaganda for- truth? Sentiment?” – Gerard Way (Source: MCR Official Website)
On May 23rd the band met with fellow rock group Blink 182 at the Rainbow Bar and Grill in West Hollywood to announce that they would be co-headlining the 10th Annual Honda Civic Tour.
On June 10th the single Bulletproof Heart was released. The video was footage from the band’s concert in Valencia, Spain on April 15th.
The final part of the European tour began in Poland on June 17th. With a further 14 dates throughout June and July including Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, Czech Republic, Portugal, Ireland, and finishing in Scotland on July 10th.
From August 5th to October 8th MCR co-headlined the 10th Annual Honda Civic Tour with Blink 182. The Honda Civic Tour is an annual concert tour sponsored by Honda Motor Company which began in 2001. Each year, the headlining band or bands customize a Honda Civic for concert patrons to win in a raffle. Blink-182 were chosen to customize the car to commemorate their long collaboration with the tour, however, MCR customized a motorcycle for the tour as well. The tour opened on August 5th at the PNC Bank Arts Centre in Holmdel Township and played a further 40 dates across America and Canada finishing at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on October 8th.
After having bottles of urine and golf balls thrown at them in 2006 MCR made a triumphant return to the Reading Festival on August 26th. It was their first time headlining the show that night. For the band’s encore they were joined on stage by legendary Queen guitarist Brian May, for a performance of Queen’s “We Will Rock You”. May stayed on stage then to perform “Welcome To The Black Parade” with the band. After recent riots in the UK Gerard addressed the crowd and said:
“I know a few people have spoken about the recent events over here, but I just want to say this. It’s amazing to be here with people who love music in a non-violent way. If you’re mad, don’t throw a punch, don’t start a fire about it, don’t shout about it. Sing, that’s the most powerful weapon you have.”
With fireworks and confetti raining down the band were a huge success.
The band played the Leeds festival on August 27th and did a show in Paris the next day.
On September 2nd Frank Iero posted on the official website that touring drummer Michael Pedicone had been sacked for stealing:
Some shit happened last night and before the blogosphere gets all crazy with false statements and ridiculous opinions we want the true story to come from us… But please listen close because this is the only time we are ever going to talk about this. The relationship between My Chemical Romance and Michael Pedicone is over. He was caught red handed stealing from the band and confessed to police after our show last night in Auburn, Washington. We are heartbroken and sick to our stomachs over this entire situation. The band has no intention of pressing charges or taking this matter any further than we have to. We just want him out of our lives. The people who play in this band are a family, and family should not take advantage of each other like he did. We are currently moving forward, and hope to have a new drummer in place for our show in Salt Lake City, Utah. The show must go on.
On September 4th it was revealed that Jarrod Alexander would be the new touring drummer for the remainder of the Honda Civic Tour. He also performed with the band at their Australian and New Zealand shows at Big Day Out in early 2012.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine on October 11th Frank Iero hinted that new music could be out by summer 2012. “Whether it be writing a new My Chem record or working on a different kind of project, there are a couple of things coming in the works. But I definitely see new music coming out or at least being worked on throughout the rest of this year and hopefully maybe something coming out by summer.”
On October 28th the band headlined the first day of the Voodoo Festival at City Park in New Orleans. As it was for Halloween the band dressed up as knights for their set.
On December 18th the band appeared on a Christmas special edition of Nick Jr’s Yo Gabba Gabba. Wearing ski clothing they performed a song called “Every Snowflake Is Different (Just Like You).
On January 20th the single “The Kids From Yesterday” was released. The was released as a limited edition CD/ shirt bundle. The music video was released on YouTube on January 15th. The video was directed by Emily Eisemann and featured concert and backstage footage of the band throughout the years.
On January 20th the band began their stint on the Big Day Out Tour in New Zealand and Australia. They played 6 dates that lasted until Feb 5th.
In February the band revealed they had been building a studio in Los Angeles to record music for their fifth album. Working with engineer Doug McKean, who had previously worked on The Black Parade and Danger Days the working title for the new album was MCR5.
On May 19th MCR performed at the Bamboozle Festival. Bamboozle is an annual three day music festival held in New Jersey. The event evolved out of the Skate and Surf Festival. The band performed on the main stage as well as other acts including Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World and the All American Rejects. This proved to be the last time My Chemical Romance would perform live on stage together before announcing their split in 2013.
On the 7th of June My Chemical Romance were announced as winners of the Best International Band award by Kerrang! Magazine. The band did not attend the ceremony but did record a video message thanking the fans and Kerrang! for the award. This was the last time the four of them were seen together publicly.
On September 14th Frank Iero announced via the MCR official website that the band would be releasing previously unheard material. The project Conventional Weapons was 10 songs from the unreleased 2009 material that the band had ditched before making the Danger Days album. Two songs were released each month for five months starting in October and finishing in February 2013.
“So long and goodnight”
On March 22nd the official My Chemical Romance website issued a statement announcing that the band had broken up:
“Being in this band for the past 12 years has been a true blessing. We’ve gotten to go places we never knew we would. We’ve been able to see and experience things we never imagined possible. We’ve shared the stage with people we admire, people we look up to, and best of all, our friends. And now, like all great things, it has come time for it to end. Thanks for all of your support, and for being part of the adventure.
My Chemical Romance”
On March 24th Mikey Way posted a thank you message on his Twitter account:
“I want to thank everybody who helped make the past 12 years an unforgettable journey for me. Family, friends and fans- Thank You”
He also stated that his personal relationship had nothing to do with the band’s breakup:
“For the record, my relationship has absolutely nothing to do with what just happened. They are completely separate”
On March 25th Gerard Way posted a TwitLonger on his Twitter account confirming that the band had split but denying that there had been any arguments/disputes.
On March 30th Frank Iero posted a statement on his blog about the break up:
greetings friends and acquaintances, on-lookers and rubberneckers, enemies and indifferents, believers and fakers,
i needed to take some time to myself this past week. i felt a moment (or maybe a few moments) of silence was deserved and required. it was my intention to let the dust settle a bit, not form, on the recent mychem announcement. a large chunk of my life (jeez, almost half my life) was devoted to that band and all that went with it, and i felt a week of quiet reflection was the least i could do to honor it and all involved.
i have written, deleted and rewritten this letter way too many times than i care to remember. i am not much for eulogies so i will keep this short and to the point. i don’t believe in holding back your feelings or emotions until it is too late. if you did not appreciate someone or something while they were still here then you have no business expressing cute anecdotes when they are no longer around to enjoy them. in the 12 years i have been in mcr i believe i have said all i needed and wanted to say about it when it counted. if you know me or have ever listened to me speak about mychem you know what it meant to me. i lived, breathed, and bled the band. i believed in and admired the things we created and the people that were involved in it (members and fans alike). for better or worse i held nothing back that i felt needed to be expressed. i loved my band with all i had and i have no regrets now that it is done. we began, we lived and we ended mcr for all the right reasons.
if you were there you know how truly special a time it was…and if you weren’t, well then you probably wish you were.
thank you all for the memories, my scrapbook is overflowing and my heart is excruciatingly full.
now on to the next…
On October 29th Gerard Way confirmed via his Twitter account that Warner Brothers would be releasing a My Chemical Romance Greatest Hits album in January 2014. He also stated that he would be doing the artwork for the album.
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