For those involved in the indie punk and emo scenes, My Chemical Romance shouldn’t be an unfamiliar name. While the group have only been around for two years, they’ve received much attention for their debut album I Brought You My Bullets in 2002. They’ve toured extensively across North America and Europe with bands such as The Used and Taking Back Sunday, creating a major buzz for themselves. Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge, the band’s new major-label debut on Arista/Warner is just as dark, yet positively uplifting, and is getting a lot of play in stereos of emotionally-distraught teens, especially across Canada. ChartAttack spoke with vocalist Gerard Way about how things are going for them.
My Chemical Romance
ChartAttack: True or false: The ladies love you guys.
Gerard Way: I think it’s true [laughs]. It’s pretty split I think though, like there’s a wide variety of people that like the band from young girls to older guys that are, like, in their late 40s and women in their late 40s. I think it’s starting to lead to the younger crowd, but it’s never been one demographic. It’s always been lots of different people who like the band. It also depends on like, kind of where we are at the same time too. Certain areas, like upstate New York, draw a bunch of younger girls [to MCR shows]. I guess that’s more of an East Coast pattern that happens.
Why start a band like My Chemical Romance?
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. I called up basically other people that I thought wanted to change their lives as well and it was kind of an escape for us from the mundane life of living with your mom in Jersey.
The band are doing very well for a group that’s only been together for two years. I mean, you guys are signed to a major label already.
It feels good because it’s not like we were on the radio in the beginning with a hit single. We’re not about writing hit songs, top 40 songs. How that happened in a cult way, in an underground way, is pretty crazy for it to happen that fast. It takes bands years to have that happen.
So how is it different now that you’re on a major?
They let us operate the same way we operated on our indie. Exactly the same, so it’s pretty painless. What we have now is a lot of support on a much more global level. Like, we have contacts in every city and the label is 100 per cent behind us. It’s pretty exciting.
With the number of bands today and the over-abundance of genres and sub-genres between the “punks,” the “emos,” the “‘cores,” where do you think MCR fits in?
We’ve toured with a lot of emo bands, but that’s because generally younger people are listening to that and it’s also a label that they put on music that young people listen to. I think we’re more of a rock ‘n’ roll band, but I think a lot of bands say that too. I think if you look at bands even like International Noise Conspiracy, I think they would probably consider themselves a rock ‘n’ roll band and they sound nothing like us. I think so many bands are just trying new sounds and new things and it’s very hard to classify anyone anymore.