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Jun 15, 2011

ARTICLE: Oxygen '11 - My Chemical Romance

My Chemical Romance’s lead singer, Gerard Way, is sitting in a quiet room at Dublin’s O2, a few hours before his band take control of the stage. Affable, talkative, and a very smart dude, the multi-coloured Way (from red hair to silver runners) explains what the modus operandi of MCR is…
“In a lot of ways, even if the sound of MCR wasn't always lending itself to it, infiltration was always the key. I feel like every record to date has been a battle of attrition – how long could we last, how long could we play those small clubs, to get people to notice us? None of our albums were instant hits. Perhaps that’s how the band operates? Maybe we have to consistently battle it out, get beaten down, go back, rebuild a new war machine and then go out again. And press repeat. We’re super stubborn, actually. We wear people down!”
You regard your latest album, Danger Days – The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys, as being, to date, the defining MCR album – why?
“Well, it doesn’t matter that it’s the greatest or best MCR record. Why I view it as defining is that it took such a struggle to put together, and there was so much to overcome to begin to show people what this band is about. We’re now making music as fans of music, as opposed to being a rock band. You start to see this with the song Sing. All over the world, but especially in the US, it is becoming so well known – it’s on an episode of Glee, for instance. It’s popping up on the pop music radio stations, too, and they’re playing it at the Superbowl… So it’s very interesting to see how it has gotten out there.”
You mentioned The Black Parade – did that album, which gained the band mainstream success, get to be something of an albatross for you?
“Yes, but the albatross changed into something more positive, something you could embrace and could be actually liberating. To me, obviously, The Black Parade was a burden emotionally, a burden physically, but talking about the album four years after it was released, and talking to people quite seriously about it, was a great way to understand it. We have yet to see what Danger Days… will do. To me at this point, the melodies on the album are going through some kind of alteration – not so much the dynamic of minor verses into major choruses with huge dramatic lifts, but rather linear melodies that take you from start to finish.”
So no more pigeonholing MCR as a goth/emo/whatever act?
I agree, and to me that’s why this is so defining a record for us. In many ways, through that record, we’ve re-grasped control of the band, and by doing so have embraced a wider sound, a wider scope.”
Speaking of a wider sound, MCR now seem to be a stadium/arena act - do you miss the early days, eyeball-to-eyeball gigs?
“Not so much, to be honest. And one thing I definitely couldn’t go back to is the tour van! I could back to the small rooms if that had to be, but as you get older, and you find you want a good night’s sleep, there’s no room in a van for that!”
Danger Days – The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys is out now on Warners. My Chemical Romance play the Oxegen Festival in July.

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