Music Hub

With their emo-punk songwriting, theatrical vocals, and neo-goth appearance, My Chemical Romance rose from the East Coast underground to the forefront of modern rock during the early 2000s. In keeping with the tragic element of the group's best-known singles -- including "Helena," "I'm Not OK (I Promise)," and "Welcome to the Black Parade" -- My Chemical Romance has roots in catastrophe, as frontman Gerard Way decided to form the band after watching the World Trade Center collapse on September 11, 2001. Drummer Matt Pelissier joined one week later, guitarist Ray Toro climbed aboard soon after, and the quintet's ranks solidified with the addition of bassist Mikey Way (Gerard's younger brother) and guitarist Frank Iero. With their lineup in place, the bandmates began touring and making plans for an album.

My Chemical Romance's debut, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, appeared in 2002 courtesy of New York's Eyeball Records. Comparisons to Thursday were frequent; both bands hailed from New Jersey, both had recorded for Eyeball, and both combined punk-pop's aggression with introspective, confessional lyrics. The album attracted a small underground following, and My Chemical Romance jumped to the big leagues in 2003 by signing with Reprise Records. The following year, they released Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, a platinum-selling album that featured cover art by Way himself. Although critical reactions were mixed, the record produced several radio singles and popular MTV videos, including "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)," "Helena," and "The Ghost of You."

Pelissier left the lineup in mid-2004 and was replaced by drummer Bob Bryar, who had first met the band while running sound for the Used (with whom the band had toured several years earlier). More touring followed, with My Chemical Romance co-headlining dates alongside Alkaline Trio, scoring an opening slot on Green Day's American Idiot tour, and sharing bills with Story of the Year and Taking Back Sunday. As My Chemical Romance prepared to enter the studio for their third album, they issued a stopgap recording, Life on the Murder Scene, in March 2006. The CD/double-DVD package offered a combination of rarities and live footage, effectively tiding fans over until My Chemical Romance (now boasting a sober and bleach-haired Gerard Way) issued the conceptual, highly ambitious effort The Black Parade in October. The record achieved platinum status by early 2007 and was followed by a live recording, Black Parade Is Dead!, in 2008.

After the rigorous touring for The Black Parade, the band took time out to decompress, especially the brothers Way, who both went through a number of changes, with Mikey dealing with anxiety issues related to touring and Gerard becoming a new father. With all of this happening in their personal lives, the band felt it was time for a change in their professional lives as well. When they returned to the studio, they decided to eschew their gothic image in favor of something fresh and new, replacing the darkness of their previous albums with a newfound exuberance. The band originally went into the studio in 2009 with producer Brendan O'Brien, but unsatisfied with the results, scrapped the project and returned to Black Parade producer Rob Cavallo. With a renewed creative vigor, the band set to work demolishing and reconstructing their abandoned recordings, and in 2010 released Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. Another concept album, it had a manic, Day-Glo energy and more of a punk-pop sound.

The band's final release was a series of five 7" singles entitled Conventional Weapons, released between October 2012 and February 2013, which collected the unreleased songs they had recorded during the sessions for Danger Days. Shortly thereafter, they announced they were disbanding, on March 22, 2013. Almost exactly a year later, they announced the release of a posthumous best-of compilation entitled May Death Never Stop You: The Greatest Hits 2001–2013, which Way described as their "epitaph." It featured songs from all four of their studio albums, as well as three demos and their final finished studio track, "Fake Your Death." Two years later -- a time span that also saw the release of Hesitant Alien, Gerard Way's first solo album -- My Chemical Romance celebrated the tenth anniversary of The Black Parade with the deluxe reissue The Black Parade/Living with Ghosts, which contained a second disc of demos and live tracks.


Early career (2001-2002)[]

Based in New Jersey, My Chemical Romance is an alternative pop/rock and punk-pop band that has been compared to Thursday and, to a lesser degree, Cursive. Their name was inspired by author Irvine Welsh (of Trainspotting fame), and while many of their songs are loud, fast, hyper, and aggressive, My Chemical Romance's work also tends to be melodic and pop-minded. My Chemical Romance got started in the early 2000s, when lead singer Gerard Way and drummer Matt Pelissier, who had been friends since high school, decided to try writing some songs together. The first song that Way and Pelissier came up with was called "Skylines and Turnstiles" (a post-9/11 song written after Way witnessed the Twin Towers fall while working at his animation job in New York City). Gerrard Way and Pelissier both felt good about the song, and Way asked guitarist Ray Toro if he would be interested in working with them. My Chemical Romance's five-man lineup was complete when Way, Pelissier, and Toro joined forces with bassist Mikey Way (Gerard Way's brother) and guitarist Frank Iero. With that lineup in place, the band started playing all around the Northeast Corridor and made plans to begin working on its first album.

In 2002, Eyeball Records (the New York-based independent label that Thursday had recorded for) released My Chemical Romance's debut album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. The album was often compared to Thursday — a comparison that, for various reasons, was inevitable and unavoidable. Both bands were from New Jersey, both had recorded for Eyeball, and both combined punk-pop's musical aggression with introspective, confessional lyrics. Plus, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love was produced by Geoff Rickly, Thursday's lead singer — add all of those things up, and there was no way that My Chemical Romance was going to escape Thursday comparisons. Lyrically, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love is as dark as it is introspective and cathartic; Way has been quoted as saying that the band's lyrics were a great way for him to deal with the problems he had been going through (which included severe depression and a serious illness in his family). The 2002 release included Way and Pelissier's first song, "Skylines and Turnstiles," and many of the album's other song titles were equally intriguing, including "Honey, This Mirror Isn't Big Enough for the Two of Us," "Drowning Lessons," "Headfirst for Halos," "Our Lady of Sorrows," and "Vampires Will Never Hurt You."

Mainstream Popularity (2003-2006)[]

In 2003, My Chemical Romance signed with Reprise/Warner Bros. and released Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge one year later. Proving to be widely popular, the album boasted several successful singles on commercial radio and MTV, including "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)," "Helena," and "The Ghost of You." Amid their growing popularity, Pelissier departed from the band in mid-2004, and he was replaced on drums by Bob Bryar.

The Black Parade (2006-2009)[]

On Spetember 2, 2006, My Chemical Romance posted "Welcome to the Black Parade" on their MySpace page. Following this, the song was aired on September 11, 2006. "Welcome to the Black Parade" reached number one on October 15th, 2006, in the United Kingdom. This was their first number one.&nbsp The Black Parade album was released on October 23rd in the UK and October 24th in the United States. The Black Parade World Tour started on February 22, 2007, with Rise Against, Thursday and Muse as support acts.

Danger Days (2009-2011)[]

In 2010, Frank Iero announced on that Bob Bryar had left the group. By March of 2010, the band started work on there fourth studio album, Danger Days: The True Lives Of Fabulous Killjoys. By Comic-con 2010, the band announced that they finished recording and by September of the same year, they released a teaser for there album. There new album was finally released on November 22, 2010.

During 2011, the band toured with Micheal Pedicone on drums, however by the late summer of 2011, Pedicone was sacked due to him stealing from the band.

Current Work (2011-2013)[]

On October 2011, Frank said in an interview with Rolling Stone that new material could "be out by summer" and on Febuaray 2012, It was revealed that the band is working on a studio in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the bands separation on March 22, 2013, caused the album to never be released. Only one song, Fake Your Death, was ever released, apart of their greatest hits album "May Death Never Stop You."


My Chemical Romance cite their influenes as Thursday, The Smiths, Morrissey, The Cure, and The Misfits as influences. And Way has even cited British heavy metal icons Iron Maiden as an influence.



Studio Albums[]

Live Albums[]

  • 2006: Life On The Murder Scene
  • 2008: The Black Parade Is Dead!


  • Like Phantoms
  • Warped Tour Bootleg Series
  • AOL Sessions (My Chemical Romance)
  • Live and Rare
  • The Black Parade: The B-Sides
  • The Mad Gear And Missile Kid
  • iTunes Festivel: London 2011


  • Honey, This Mirror Isn't Big Enough for the Two of Us
  • Vampires Will Never Hurt You
  • Headfirst for Halos
  • Our Lady of Sorrows
  • Thank You for the Venom
  • I'm Not Okay (I Promise)
  • Helena (So Long and Goodnight)
  • Under Pressure (with The Used)
  • The Ghost of You
  • Welcome to the Black Parade
  • Famous Last Words
  • I Don't Love You
  • Teenagers
  • Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)
  • The Only Hope For Me Is You
  • Sing
  • Planetary (GO!)
  • The Kids From Yesterday

External links[]