More than three years since they released their last studio album, ‘The Black Parade’, My Chemical Romance return in the spring with their currently untitled fourth album. Catch this week’s NME magazine to read the story of the album from frontman Gerard Way himself.
The Grammy-nominated rockers claim the new album presents My Chemical Romance as “the purest, most distilled version of itself”. Guitarist Ray Toro says, “I can say, hands down, this is our best record yet. It’s all of the best characteristics of the band finally on one record.” Pic: Pamela Littky
Written and recorded in LA, the group say the new album was influenced by a number of bands including the Sex Pistols, MC5 and The Stooges. “It was a good test to play around with where we might potentially go,” recalls Gerard Way. Pic: Dean Chalkley
Track titles on the new record include ‘Death Before Disco’, ‘Save Yourself’, and ‘The Only Hope For Me Is You’.
Singer Gerard Way says MCR’s new release will be a back-to-basics rock album, after the theatrical grandstanding of ‘The Black Parade’. “It will definitely be stripped down,” he explains. “I think the band misses being a rock band.”
Elaborating on this new-found drive for simplicity, Way said: “It’s not going to be hiding behind a veil of fiction or uniforms and make-up anymore.”
The band’s fourth album is a rejoinder to critics who portray the band as dark or downbeat. New track, ‘Save Yourself’, contains the line: “This ain’t a room full of suicides”. Way explains, “This record’s about the truth and living and survival.”. Pic: Dean Chalkley
The new album has been produced by Brendan O’Brien, whose previous clientele include AC/DC, Rage Against The Machine, Bruce Springsteen, and Pearl Jam. Pic: Pamela Littky
The band’s fourth release is not a concept album, but is built around certain themes. “To make a truly great album that doesn’t have the crutch of a narrative, that was so hard,” Gerard explains. Pic: Pamela Littky
The frontman continues: ”Everything is more direct. If ‘Black Parade’ was about the sweeping gesture, this is about the bold statement.” Pic: Dean Chalkley
Way became a father during the recording of the new album. “Lindsey [Ann Way, née Ballato, bassist with the band Mindless Self-Indulgence] and I had the baby, and then two weeks after that I was in the studio,” he explains. “I would show up in a T-shirt covered in baby puke.” Pic: Pamela Littky
One of the slower tracks on the album, ‘Light Behind Your Eyes’, was inspired by the birth of Way’s daughter, Bandit Lee.
‘Bullet Poof Heart’ – originally named ‘Trans Am’ – is the likely first single from the new album. The track is a tribute to the band’s hometown of New Jersey and features a character named Jenny, inspired in part by The Killers’ ‘Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine’. Pic: PA Photos
Another key influence on the new album? Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi film, Blade Runner, which the band watched while making the record. Pic: PA Photos
For far more on the new My Chemical Romance album, pick up the new issue of NME. Pic: Danny North
Since finishing promotional duties for their last album ‘The Black Parade’, My Chemical Romance have kept themselves busy. For example, they covered Bob Dylan’s ‘Desolation Row’ for the soundtrack of the 2009 blockbuster Watchmen. Pic: PA Photos
The band are being strongly tipped to headline a major UK festival this summer. Could it be Reading and Leeds? Pic: PA Photos
Another MCR fact: Gerard Way’s wedding in 2007 was a low-key affair. He and his girlfriend tied the knot following the final date of Linkin Park’s Projekt Revolution tour backstage, with a member of a live music agency – who was working on the tour – performing the ceremony. Pic: PA Photos
Gerard Way and fellow artists Shaun Simon and Becky Cloonan are currently in the process of developing and creating a new comic-book series titled The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, which Way announced at Comic Con 2009.