Many of you have probably heard of the alternative band My Chemical Romance. On March 22 2013 My Chemical Romance announced the break up officially on their website. The band lineup upon break up consisted of singer Gerard Way, bassist Mikey Way, and guitarists Frank Iero and Ray Toro. After 12 years of success in the rock industry they decided to call it quits.
According to Alternative Press Magazine, Gerard Way said, “the main thing we’ve always wanted to do was save people’s lives” in creating My Chemical Romance. Despite this, the band has been the target of criticism from the media who claim they promote suicide and self harm. In 2008 “The Sun”, a British tabloid, linked a teen’s suicide with the band. The singer was actually inspired by witnessing 9/11 to make a difference in people’s lives. They are a true example of a band that became huge out of virtually nothing. Their first recording sessions were held in ex-drummer, Matt Pelissier’s attic in 2001. Three months after forming the band they had already signed with Eyeball Records and began recording their debut album titled I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. The next album, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, was released in 2004 by Repise Records after the band returned from a tour with local metalcore band Avenged Sevenfold. My Chemical Romance also began to tour with other big names in the rock industry like Green Day. The next album released in 2006 was Life on the Murder Scene, followed closely by arguably their most famous album, Black Parade. This recently gained fame as the LA Kings theme song for Staples Cup. This gave us singles like “Welcome to the Black Parade” and “Famous Last Words.” After a few years of silence, Danger Days, The True Lives of The Fabulous Killjoys was released in 2009, a much more colorful album in comparison to its predecessors. The past two months many old singles that never were on albums were released in a series called “Conventional Weapons.”
Many longtime fans were shocked by the news of the break up. Sophomore Shelby Rogers originally felt heartbroken when she heard the news. “MCR made a huge impact on my life. When Gerard released a statement on why the band ended I realized it was probably for the best since it wasn’t making them as happy as it used to. Now they can move on to new things and be happy. I’m still very sad over it because they’re my favorite band, but at least their music and their message are still there.”
For me, it began and ended with “Welcome to the Black Parade.” Not five minutes before hearing the news of My Chemical Romance’s break up, I was sitting in my car listening to the radio when this perfect creation came on. As I was blaring it way too loud and singing as if nobody could hear me, I remembered the first time I heard that song. I was about eight years old sitting in the back of my dad’s truck when the song came on as we were driving home and I was instantly mesmerized. I forced my dad to download the songs as soon as we were home. Within days I had already memorized all the lyrics, and was singing them at the top of my tone deaf lungs much to the dismay of the rest of my family. As I grew older the band became more than just a band to me. The music helped me through hard times. Gerard Way, Mikey Way, Ray Toro and Frank Iero became more than just band members; they became heroes and inspirations to me. Hearing the news really hit home.
Like many fans I remained in denial, the 85 word announcement on their website just felt so distant and cold. Two days later Gerard Way tweeted a longer explanation, a letter titled “AVigil on Birds and Glass” ending with “My Chemical Romance is done. But it can never die. It is alive in me, in the guys, and it is alive inside all of you. I always knew that, and I think you did too. Because it is not a band- it is an idea.” This presented me with better closure. While I still felt sadness, the explanation created a better peace of mind. Gerard Way made it obvious that he needed the band to end before it turned meaningless. I suppose this is for the better.
Instead of turning against everything they stand for, the feeling, the passion, they are able to pursue their own happiness and aspirations. Perhaps they will eventually return. The future is unknown which only means the possibilities are endless. I will continue to patiently wait to see what the ex-members bring us, whether they are pursuing individual dreams or reforming the band I’ve grown to love.